Healthy Eating Out Options
My day starts at 6:30 in the morning and doesn't end til around 11:00 at night when I get home, but then I have to start my homework. I don't have a lot of time to cook something if I want to get a decent nights sleep so I was wondering what my possibilities were for eating out without totally blowing my diet.nwatzig by:
You could always cook a bunch of something on the weekend or whenever you have time and eat it throughout the week. For instance, I cook A LOT of chicken/rice on Sunday, portion it out into tupperware containers, and eat those throughout the week. It may not be much of a variety, but I know that what im eating is beneficial to my diet.
For eating out, the This/Not That books are good. Hungry Girl (http://www.hungry-girl.com/) has lots of easy recipes and eating out tips. You can make easy meal combinations though with a few tools.
For a healthy carb:
* Cook brown rice or Quinoa in a rice cooker
* Cook whole wheat couscous on the stove (~5 minutes)
* Cook a sweet potato all day the slow cooker
* Buy pre-cooked plain brown rice and heat in microwave
For a healthy vegetable
* Steam vegetables in a rice cooker or microwave
* Buy frozen vegetables and microwave
* Buy pre-washed lettuce/salad mixes and toss with vinegar and/or oil
For a healthy protein
* Cook lean cuts of pork, chicken, or beef in the slow cooker
** You can also do variety like turkey meat balls
* Heat black beans for a few minutes fin a sauce pan.
* Cook hard boiled eggs (can be cooked ahead for a few days)
* Drink vanilla protein powder mixed with ice for a "milk" shake
Combine the above with sauces/spices for more combinations
* Add salsa or cilantro, chili and lime for Mexican flavor
* Add hot chili sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger for East Asian flavor
* Add tomato marinara, basil, oregano, lemon for italian flavor
* Add curry powder, cumin, tumeric for an Indian flavor
* Use Mrs. Dash spices for a combination that already tastes well together
You might look at some of the "Eat This Not That" books. I think they are put out by Men's Health, they give healthy (or healthier) eating options for popular restaurants and they have a supermarket version that covers snack foods and pre-prepared meals.
All of the answers you've got are what I would have suggested. I especially do the "Sunday prep". Making extra of chicken breasts and just adding the extras are a great idea. I'm sure there will be a day that you just "grab" something quick, remember to be aware of what you're eating and think about the choices in front of you. I struggle with this daily myself so it's a little motivational speech for myself as well!
When you cook too much and don't want to eat it for the next couple of days, put them in the freezer and froze them. When you want to eat put them in the oven or microwave. We always have leftovers and my parents go for a vacation, I eat those taking out from the freezer, don't even have to cook for myself. =) This way your sunday cooking won't go wasted if you can't eat whole the stuff you cooked.
Some of the options at Chipotle are pretty good (just cut out the cheese, sour cream, fattier meats, etc.) I also really like subway for nights I just can't face cooking something and have no leftovers to fall back on. It's hard though, most places aren't going to give you as good a meal as you'd make for yourself, healthwise at least!
I don't do it often, but McDonald's Sante Fe Salad is a really good low cal fast food option. It's actually fairly tasty as well. Certainly had a lot better, but not sure I've ever had one with only 330 calories.
My other option isn't exactly eating out but I keep these 1 portion veggie trays in my fridge at work. Whenver things get crazy that's my go to lunch. It's 150 calories of baby carrots, broccoli, and celery, and a tiny cup of dip. It's enough to buy me a couple of hours, and if things are still crazy I just eat another one.
I'm also a big believer of prepping food in bulk and portioning everything out to eat. I try to do this twice a week, typically grilling a protein (usually chicken thighs or salmon filets) and prepping veggies (either sauteeing them or chopping for salad). I also do smoothies a lot. I keep frozen fruits and protein powder at my desk and whip something together with our office Magic Bullet.
As far as eating out, look for salads wherever possible (and choose a vinaigrette-style dressing, and try to use only half!), pass on the carbs (for instance, I know at Subway you can turn any sandwich into a salad), drink water only, and skip dessert!
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