Healthy Eating Out – The Fat Kid Inside Guide
How has your healthy 2013 resolution been going? Good, bad? Don’t lie now!
I know it can be hard at times, but nothing great ever comes of easy sailing. That last push of energy, the force of restraint, the power of concentration, these are all things that lead to a better you.
You want to quit? Or have you quit already? Given Up? Is it too hard? Well I don’t care, it’s not my body and health, its yours. If you have let go, you’re only disappointing yourself and proving that you are someone who can’t commit.
I know that’s mean, but people were mean to me and that’s how I got to where I am now. There is nothing pretty about losing weight, nothing majestic or glorious, but it feels damn good and I do hope that you are happy with your current health or that you soon will be.
This is why I do what I do. To help people help themselves and also to talk about my passion for food.
As you’ve guessed it, this is a health related post. To help you along your journey.
One of the biggest downfalls I see in people trying to lead a healthy lifestyle is when they are forced to eat out, they believe that they have no other option then to eat all the unhealthy stuff. However, whether you’re eating with your family/boss/colleagues or you are going out for a meal alone and don’t know what to choose, use this list as a guide.
First the general guide
Good: Steamed, Pan Fried, Vegetables, Protein, Salads (however be careful, in some restaurants salads can be really fatty if the components are deep fried, candied or with a really bad sauce), Grilled food is great, soups are usually ok if they are clear. For breakfast, stick to fruit and eggs, you don’t need anything else.
Bad: Too much sauce (when there is sauce you can be sure that there are some hidden unhealthy ingredients – order it on the side as much as possible, even “dry” barbecue has a sauce on it), vinaigrettes that are based on other ingredients than vinegar and oil, anything with STARCH/GRAINS (pasta, rice, bread, noodles, granola, cereal…), cream, too much butter, too much oil, cuts of meat that are very fatty or have been stewed way too long (osso bucco, short ribs, baby back ribs, prok belly, Lechon, peking duck…), sodium and over salted items (corned beef). Just because its vegan or vegetarian doesnt make it healthy (vegans eat alot of grains, carbs and beans), you can’t eat anything you want for breakfast.
Other Considerations: drink only water, don’t touch the bread basket, desserts are ALWAYS a no no unless its just fruit, alcohol is fattening, red wine is ok, a little butter never killed anyone,
Now in restaurants
The Good: There are lots of great choices, Chinese people love steamed items and you can grab any of those, they also have some great stir fries (just ask them to go light on the oil) and make sure the components are healthy, Chinese people also love their vegetables (kangkong, pechay…). There are also lots of great seafood choices. Just remember not deep fried and without a thick sauce, you should be good to go.
The Bad: Watch out for MSG, too much soy sauce, oyster sauce etc (all sodium bombs), stay away from the rice, the deep fried food, dumplings, rice noodles, thick soups, crab fat, egg rolls, kung pao chicken…
The Ugly: The worst in Chinese restaurant is probably the loaded fried rice, stir fried noodles, the sweet desserts and the deep fried sauced items.
The Good: All the soups are generally good, just don’t eat them with rice (small portions on the coconut based broths). Satay is a great protein. Curries are also good post workout food, just go easy on the fish sauce. Lots of grilled meats, steamed seafood, fresh vegetable stir fries. Oh and go spicy!!! Best healthy curry? Gaeng Pah.
The Bad: Stay away from the deep fried items, the rice, the sticky rice with mango..
The Ugly: Anything deep fried, pad thai, the deep fried fish.
The Good: Stick to the salads and the grilled meats. If it’s swimming in olive oil eat it in moderation.
The Bad: Bread, too much olive oil in certain dishes, rice, deep fried items.
The Ugly: Paella.
Italian Restaurants – No you are not obliged to eat pasta.
The Good: You actually have a lot of choices here. Most Italian restaurants always have a grilled selection of meats and seafood that can be ordered with vegetables. The Salad selection (olive oil and balsamic dressing please) are quite healthy. Or even dishes such as meat stews, meatballs with sauce, veal, etc. are good for you.
The Bad: Stay away from pasta, potatoes, pizza, bread and any starch. Creamy stews or sauces.
The Ugly: Risotto, it’s all cheese, fat and carbs.
Japanese restaurants – Heaven
The Good: ANY Sashimi, pickled vegetables, fried vegetables, salads (without the mayonnaise), meat and seafood skewers, broth soups. Just go easy on the soy sauce.
The Bad: noodles, anything with rice, crabsticks, unagi, tempura and anything deep fried.
The Ugly: ramen, chicken karaage, sushi and makis.
The Good: Grilled meats and vegetables are generally ok, just stay away from thick creamy sauces and always ask for the starch/grains to be removed. Steakhouses fall into this category and they usually have a great selection of purely grilled meats with a buttered vegetable side dish.
The Bad: Sauces, Bread, all starch, potatoes, grain heavy…
The Ugly: Bread and Butter
The Good: We actually have a lot of steamed vegetable dishes that are usually available (grilled eggplant, sayote…). Our soups are also a good choice (Sinigang, Bulalo..) as long as they are not eaten with rice. The grilled meats and fish are perfect to eat anytime, with just a little lime/calamansi Sarap!
The Bad: Really Fatty cuts of meat (pork belly…), stay away of anything with sauce, ask if there is sugar in the dish, rice, noodles, deep fried items.
The Ugly: Adobo, Kare Kare, Fried Chicken…