How to Create a Healthy Plate in Less-Than-Perfect Dining Situations

I’ve written about how we can avoid dining disasters when eating out, but many of my examples have involved selecting the establishment you desire to visit.  So, what happens if you find yourself in a situation where you’re dining at a restaurant that’s not exactly known for it’s healthy fare?  One option is throw caution to the wind and chalk it up as one of those times where you go with the flow–hey, we all have them.  However, if you’re really determined to find a way to stick to your healthy eating regime, there’s hope!  Let me share a recent experience of my own and how I was successfully able to enjoy a healthy meal based on the MyPlate guidelines.

Last week, I attended a business meeting in New York City with my husband and the individual he was meeting had selected the venue.  It was one of the city’s oldest and best steakhouses.  If you’ve ever eaten at a traditional steak restaurant, you know that portions are traditionally large, everything comes a la carte and if you’re not a meat eater the other options are limited.  I wondered if I’d be dining on bread and water.  As expected, there were numerous cuts of beef and the salad selection was a Caesar salad that had a heavy dressing or iceberg lettuce with bleu cheese dressing–again, not exactly what I was thinking in line with vegetables and salad.  I spied broiled Chilean sea bass, which seemed to be the best entree choice and then from the sides I selected the steamed asparagus.  My husband and his business colleague also ordered some broiled mushroom caps.  What I ultimately ended up with was a plate that you can see below–half my plate was fish and half was veggies.  Ideally, a quarter would have been fish and a quarter would have been whole grains, but this was the best I could do in the situation. 

Healthy Plate

I tend to eat lighter lunches and since this was more than I’m used to having I decided to pass on dessert, but I was pleased to see there was an option for fresh mixed berries.   Had I decided to get dessert I would have been able to go with a healthy choice!  So, you see–even at an unlikely location you really can end up with a healthy and delicious meal.  Here are a few more tips for making healthy choices when dining out.  It’s really not all that difficult once you get the hang of it.

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