How to Navigate Any Restaurant Menu

 

A struggle that most women I know face is finding healthy options while they are out. If you are like me, you want to be able to enjoy your brunches with friends, family dinners, date nights, and nights out while still not having to worry about totally going off track.

So here are my favorite healthy options at all your favorite types of restaurants...
 

Brunch

  • Egg white omelette with 3 different types of veggies (no cheese, or just ask for a small side of mozzarella so you can control the portion)
     
  • Ask for whole wheat toast
     
  • If it comes with hash browns, try to only finish 1/4 of them
     
  • 2 Eggs to order with whole wheat toast (& same as above if there are hash browns)
     
  • Oatmeal with fruit (ask for side of honey to sweeten)
     
  • Yogurt with fruit (ask for side of granola so you can put it on yourself)
     
  • Bagel store: Bagel scooped out with egg whites (& optional avocado)

     

American

  • Enjoy a hummus platter or salad for an appetizer
     
  • Fish or chicken dish with side of vegetables (make sure there is no cream-based sauce on your meal)
     
  • Veggie or turkey burger with half the bun (& side salad or vegetables) instead of fries
     
  • Salad with fish or grilled chicken (balsamic, Italian, or oil & vinegar dressing are all safe picks)

     

Italian

  • Start with a salad (balsamic, oil & vinegar, or Italian are all good options)
     
  • Any pasta dish with a red sauce or white sauce (avoid cream-based sauces or ask for a dish to be made without the cream)
     
  • Any pasta dish that has protein on it such as fish or chicken & ask to substitute the pasta with broccoli or spinach
     
  • Any fish or chicken dish (with red or white sauce)
     
  • If you want pizza: get a vegetable pizza with no cheese

     

Mexican

 Chipotle bowl with half brown rice, veggies, half chicken half sofritas, mild salsa, lettuce, and guacamole on the side

Chipotle bowl with half brown rice, veggies, half chicken half sofritas, mild salsa, lettuce, and guacamole on the side

  • Try to only have a handful of chips during your appetizer, or better yet, see if they have some veggies you can dip in the salsa or guacamole
     
  • Fish tacos
     
  • I usually eat one full taco with the shell and then eat the insides of the others
     
  • Chicken or vegetable fajitas
     
  • Use the salsa, lettuce, veggies, and guacamole as toppings
     
  • Eat one full fajita with the tortilla then just eat the chicken & veggies with the toppings after
     
  • CHIPOTLE: Ask for a half portion of brown rice, fajita vegetables, black beans, chicken or tofu (or half & half), salsa, lettuce, and guacamole on the side

     

Japanese

  • Always start with a soup, salad, and/or edamame to fill you up
     
  • Choose any two fresh sushi rolls (I usually try to avoid anything that has a spicy mayo sauce)
     
  • California, tuna avocado, salmon avocado, cucumber avocado, vegetable
     
  • If you want to order a side of spicy mayo (because who doesn't love spicy mayo?!), just use it sparingly
     
  • Choose one roll with rice and ask for one roll that is wrapped in cucumber
     
  • Cucumber wrap can be expensive, so unless they don't charge you extra, just have one roll wrapped & the other normal

     

Chinese

 Chicken lettuce wraps

Chicken lettuce wraps

  • Always start with soup or salad to fill you up
     
  • Chicken with mixed vegetables in a garlic sauce
     
  • Ask for the sauce on the side (I don't usually do this unless I REALLY want to cut down on sugar)
     
  • Chicken chow mein or vegetable chow mein
     
  • Tofu and broccoli
     
  • Chicken or tofu lettuce wraps (usually found in the appetizer section but are perfect size for a meal)

     

Dessert

 Chocolate cake to share for the table (enjoyed a few bites)

Chocolate cake to share for the table (enjoyed a few bites)

  • Surprisingly the easiest one of all!
     
  • Order something to share with a group of friends and just take a few bites!

OR

  • Order a fruit plate and some tea or decaf coffee

     

At the Bar

  • Stick to clear alcohols like vodka
     
  • Vodka tonic with lime
     
  • Vodka soda with lime (& add a splash of pineapple juice or cranberry juice)
     
  • Any glass of wine
     
  • Any specialty drink on the menu made with natural ingredients
     
  • On occasion, it is OK to enjoy a regular mojito, red or white sangria, regular margarita (on the rocks), or a Moscow mule (ask to substitute half of the ginger beer for seltzer