Over the past 6 months, I’ve had to figure out how to eat out. Traveling about 15 days a month and the fact that I like to socialize, eating at home every night just isn’t an option.
One of the new JC’ers posted today that she is facing this challenge for the first time and I thought it might be a good idea to post more detail to share with others! Here goes….
Find Some New Favorites – I’m a creature of habit, and honestly, I don’t have the best willpower. If I was sitting at Macaroni Grill (a place I used to enjoy often when I traveled to Salt Lake), I don’t know if I could say no to the bread. So, I don’t go there.
Instead, I go to Buffalo Wild Wings – a new favorite. I don’t know the menu at Buffalo Wild Wings aside from the Grilled Chicken Salad (no cheese, no croutons, no dressing, extra tomatoes, + toss the chicken in Spicy Garlic Sauce.) I don’t even look at the menu, so I don’t get tempted. Another example is Cantina Laredo – I’ve only had their salad, so it’s my go-to and SOOOOO good!
ALSO – You can get creative and invent items that aren’t even on the menu! I did this recently when I was out to dinner while on a team meeting trip in California. The waiter was more than happy to accomodate me and to transform the chicken dinner into something I could eat. I ended up with a piece of grilled chicken (prepared with no oil/sauce) and a side of steamed broccoli and asparagus (no butter.) This dish was NO WHERE on the menu, but should have been!
A Few of My Go-To Dining Out Dishes – Chinese Restaurants: Steamed Chicken and Broccoli at Asian Restaurants, Mexican Restaurants: Fajita Chicken Salad (no cheese, no sour cream, no tortilla bowl, + salsa for dressing), Subway: They’ve got GREAT lunch choices on their Fresh Fit menu – - I LOVE the Veggie Delite and the Sweet Onion Teriyaki Chicken. I also stock up on their pre-sliced apples when I’m on the road so I get my fruits in! Salads: You can really do them anywhere. Just make sure that you have a lean protein and you remove all of the undesireables (cheese, croutons, bacon, etc) + lowfat/JC dressing on the side. Thank goodness most restaurants have at least one salad! Chick-Fil-A: An old fave was the Classic Chick-fil-A Fried Chicken Sandwich. Now, I opt for the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich. McDonalds: The best side salad is here! I usually get 2 and split one of the Newman’s Own Low Fat Family Style Italian Dressing – Yum-O. This is great when I’m at a hotel, as I can pair it with a JC meal. It’s also great when I’m out of lettuce at home!
Airport Restaurant Options: Denver, Salt Lake City, and Boise all have Quizno’s on their concourses that I’ve eaten at (Small Honey Bourbon Chicken Sandwich on wheat with extra tomatoes). This weekend, I found out Nashville’s best option on Concourse A might be Wendy’s (believe it or not) – - where I had a 1/2 size Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad with fat-free Ranch as opposed to Caesar dressing. Again, I use my iPad app to determine what’s best…
Another tip: TSA is FINE with you bringing fresh food through without additional screening required. Pack your shelf stable dinners/lunches in your checked bag and only bring what you need for the flight! I’ve been known to bring a Subway sammie through. I did ask an agent about a salad with dressing I wanted to bring through recently, and he said to pour the dressing on your salad before you go through if it’s over the three ounce limit. If you have a packet, just toss it into your resealable bag with your lip gloss and other “weapons.”
BOTTOM LINE: It can be done. You just have to determine how dedicated you want to be. In the end, after you are done with JC, you have to know how to make good choices. Eating out and while traveling is helping you get ready for maintenance!