I survived the perils of dining out for dinner (Irish pub) and breakfast (Coney Island). And I must say, I’m quite proud. What follows are my food choices, and some tips for dining out.
Last night, I went to an Irish pub with my best friend. Irish pubs are a drunk person’s haven of greasy, fried, delicious food. But, I survived! My friend insisted on an appetizer, and I only ate a small portion and got my soup not in a bread bowl.
IRISH PUB: What I Ate.
- APPETIZER: goat cheese topped with with roasted peppers and garlic cloves, served with sliced, toasted baguette. I had two pieces of bread, with approximately 1 ounce of goat cheese, 2 slices of pepper and 4 garlic cloves.
- Take away tips: If your dining partner wants an appetizer, monitor what you eat. If it is a dip like appetizer, spread the dip thinly over your bread or crackers. Focus on the veggies/healthy part of the appetizer. You can still enjoy all the flavor and experience of an appetizer without eating too much.
- DINNER: bowl of potato leek soup NOT in a bread bowl, served with 2 pieces of soda bread. I ate all the soup and 1 piece of bread.
- Take away tips: If you know during the day where you are going out at night, look up the menu online (what I did). This way, you’ll know ahead of time what kind of delicious food you’ll be tempted with, and have some time to work out a healthy option. Like I did with the bread bowl, it’s easy to ask for meals prepared in a healthier way. Also as I did, you might feel slightly self-conscious doing this, but in the end you’ll be happy you did.
- DRINK: 4 soda waters with lime. :)
- Take away tips: Soda water (or, club soda) is an awesome alternative to Diet Coke. It is essentially fizzy water, so you get the same bubbles of Diet Coke (or other pops) but not the same chemicals, etc. The lime (or lemon if your prefer) adds some flavor. Typically costs the same as a pop, with free refills, but some restaurants will give you soda water for free.
This morning, my family went out for breakfast. To a Coney Island. The breakfast haven of all things greasy, fried and delicious! But, I resisted!
CONEY ISLAND: What I Ate.
- BREAKFAST: 2 poached eggs, 2 halves of whole wheat toast with butter and 1 packet of orange marmalade, 3 slices of tomato. My mom insisted I order the meat, to give to my dad. This was stupid because he didn’t end up eating it, but then again, neither did I, so it doesn’t matter.
- Take away tips: Poached is definitely the healthiest way to eat your eggs. The eggs are cracked into boiling water and cooked, and still have a yolky center (they come out like soft-boiled eggs). No butter or grease involved! Also, most places will substitute hash browns for tomatoes, so just ask your server. Of course, always get whole wheat toast, but limit your consumption to just 2 halves (typically, you get 4).
- DRINK: like 7 cups of black coffee. I’m wired. :)
- Take away tips: Coffee is just awesome. Enough said.
Bottom line, be prepared when you go out to eat. Don’t let yourself think about the pancakes or the fish and chips that you “could” be having. Focus on how awesome your soup will be, or how good you’ll feel after not filling up on grease. Try substituting things, or asking for the meal prepared in a healthier way. And, something I struggle with: it’s OK to leave food behind. Better yet, if it’s doggie-bagable, bring it home for lunch the next day!