I love going out for dinner, but I also know what havoc it can create for a waistline! Making healthier menu choices can help keep some of us in line if you are on a weight management or weight loss plan.
Health coach Debbie Slutzky was kind enough to share some healthier options available on local menus. So here’s to good choices! Thanks Debbie!
Dr. Lydia Sosenko
Consider these choices at the following Naperville area restaurants:
Take advantage of their small plates such as hummus, tabbouleh & tzatziki, adobo (grilled) shrimp skewers or potstickers. Most of the salads are good choices here – but hold the bacon and bleu cheese and go for a vinaigrette.
Black Finn American Saloon
Seared ahi tuna starter or ahi tuna salad, spinach salad (without the cheddar jack), lemon chicken, Chilean sea bass or lime seared salmon. Go for sides such as sautéed spinach, asparagus, steamed broccoli or green beans (ask for olive oil and not butter).
Because it’s seafood, choices are more plentiful here. Half shell oysters, shrimp cocktail and yellow fin tuna sashimi are all good starters. For main courses, fish is your best bet over steak. Choose fish that is sautéed or blackened rather than battered or fried. For sides, go for sautéed mixed mushrooms or sautéed spinach instead of creamed spinach
Cold Stone Creamery
Smoothies with soy milk are a good choice or go for the “light” ice creams – they have less calories, fat and sugar than the full fat ice creams. Sorbets have less fat than ice cream, but beware, they are high in sugar.
Egg Harbor Café
They have an extensive gluten-free menu. Go for eggs with veggies (peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, onions, avocados, and artichokes) along with fresh fruit, harbor potatoes, salsa and dry wheat English muffin or wheat toast. If you get oatmeal, eat only ½ the portion, as they give you at least 4 portions in the bowl, and fill it with fresh fruit. Vegetarian vegetable soup is a good choice. Share a salad, as they are mega portion and high in fat. Choose sides such as side salad, applesauce, fruit, mandarin oranges, yogurt, wheat toast, and cottage cheese.
Front Street Cantina
A rule of thumb when eating at most Mexican restaurants, stay away from the fried taco shells, beef, steak, cheese and sour cream. Instead opt for fajita fillings – grilled chicken, shrimp, or portabellas with onions and peppers. Go for the beans, salsa and guacamole and don’t fill up on the chips and rice. Be careful of the flour tortilla basket that salads are served in. Instead ask for the fajita salad or a dinner salad with grilled chicken and no cheese on a plate.
The house salad or the greco Roman salad (hold the feta) with added grilled chicken breast is a smart choice. Fill up on your greens and veggies and if you must have pizza, one slice should be quite enough. Go for the thin crust instead of the stuffed pizza pies and get the super veggie with Mushrooms, green peppers, onions, broccoli, black olives, artichokes & spinach.
The Italian small plates make it easy to keep your portions controlled- the lower sodium and fat choices include Sicilian meatballs, parmesan roasted asparagus and Tuscan white bean hummus bruschetta. The Pasta e Fagioli soup and the garden fresh salad are the best soup/salad choices. Be careful with their “Lighter Italian Fare” menu, as many items are very high in sodium. But there are a few good options such as herb grilled salmon, Linguine alla Marinara (lunch portion) with grilled chicken or shrimp,
Tap House Grill
Best appetizer choice is the red pepper hummus & tzatziki. Salads, like most sports bars and grills, need a little tweaking. The bleu cheese, pecan, apple & grape salad is better without the bleu cheese and croutons; the Tap House chop chop is a nice change with garbanzo beans and is even better without bacon, bleu and parmesan cheese. Sandwiches to choose include the roasted red pepper hummus wrap, the grilled chicken & wild mushroom panini (hold the bread!) and adobe chicken wrap (hold the cheese!) Get the house salad and house made pickles with your sandwich.
Appetizers make good meals and help to control portions. For example, the honest hummus plate is a good one. Salads need some tweaking. Take the cheese and focaccia bread from all of them, exchange the dressings for a vinaigrette and be sure to go for the grilled chicken and not the crispy. Likewise for the chicken sandwiches. Take away the bread, cheese, and mayo and choose the grilled not crispy. The garden burger (vegetarian) and BOCA vegan burger are acceptable choices as well. Hold the bottomless steak fries, of course! Get a few sides like a side salad, steamed broccoli, southwest black beans and / or freckled fruit salad.
Debbie Slutzky is a Certified Health Coach, marathon runner, and loving mother of twins. She decided to become a health coach to fulfill her passion of working with people to improve their health and life goals. Debbie received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, and she is Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Debbie leads workshops and classes on nutrition, writes blogs and articles on health and nutrition and offers individual health and nutrition coaching. She also received her BA from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Contact her at Debbie@NutritionAndHealthCounseling.com.