Yes, as you can imagine or may have discovered, eating “out” can be challenging when you want to eat healthy.  It seems most restaurant menus are designed to thwart our body shaping and health goals!

Fat, butter, cheese and meat are everywhere and packed into everything possible.  Of course to make food delicious.  Is it any wonder Julia Child’s cookbooks are such big sellers?  Put gobs of butter in anything and it will taste good!

When it comes to restaurant menus, I’ve had to be creative  for some time.  Time to share the wisdom of experience.

Case in point.
Yesterday, we loaded our bikes onto the car rack and drove to the valley to bike through the sunny wetlands. The birds of Northern California are just about gone from this stop on their migratory routes but there was plenty of heron, duck, and spring bird action.  And temperatures were in the mid-60s, heaven!

We stopped
for lunch at Casa Lupe, THE Mex restaurant in town. Looking at the menu, it was a healthy-choices dietary disaster. But I know I can put together something pretty good at Mex restaurants, as long as they have a pot of beans – without lard! j
I had called ahead about the beans, and yes they had 2 pots: one with just the plain pintos, and the other refried with lard.
(And to top it off, no sooner had we taken our seats than the waitress cheerily arrived with 2 bowls in hand announcing “Today, chicken soup comes with lunch for free!”  Politely we declined, and she graciously carried the bowls with creamy chicken whatever away.)

No problem!  Here’s what I did.

I simply ordered:

  • a stack of soft, fresh corn tortillas
  • a garden salad without dressing
  • extra bowls of salsa (for dressing and for my crafted tacos!)
  • lime and lemon wedges

Then I ate to my heart’s content along with a perfectly chilled Dos X cerveza.

The beans were yummy, savory and simply salted and the salsa fresh and chunky. Combine that with the pile of greens and tomato on the salad, and I was able to eat my fill.
And eating this way, I know I can count on satiety to still keep me trim.
Have you recently gotten “creative” in a restaurant situation?  Details, please, in “comments below!

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image:  spacecadet
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