Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eating Out, and Choices

Last night I went out to dinner. I love going out to eat because then I don't have to cook! An invitation to eat out used to put fear into me because I knew I'd have a rough time with the food. I'd go in, look at the menu and cave for Fettuccine Alfredo with garlic bread. And since I was doing *that*, I may as well have a couple of Cokes and a piece of cheesecake...

I do it differently now. I have to say this is something I learned from Medifast that I never expected to learn: how to order in a restaurant. There's no official direction on this from Medifast that I know of, but since my dinner is supposed to fit within a certain guideline, I just naturally figured out how to make that work when eating out. My big meal of the day is supposed to be 5 to 7 ounces of lean protein, 3 servings of vegetables (NOT potatoes) and some healthy fats. A few condiments are allowed, too. I have to say this has made eating out *so easy* for me. Last night went like this:

Walked into a nice seafood restaurant.
Ordered my beverage: unsweetened iced tea with some slices of fresh lemon. (I always get fresh lemon to add to my water or tea. It feels fancier.)
Scanned the menu for my protein. I narrowed it down to salmon, sturgeon, or lingcod and decided on the sturgeon (because I can have salmon anytime. My son catches it). Looked over what kinds of garnishes and/or sauces come on the protein and decide if I want them or not (I do not eat any sweet sauces, but sometimes decide to have some other sauce on the side).
I always IGNORE the breadbasket. If I need to pay attention to it at all (like while I am buttering my kid's bread), I hold a piece to my nose and smell it. I enjoy the aroma but don't eat any.
Asked the waiter what comes with the dish. Last night he said "au gratin potatoes and asparagus." At this point I ALWAYS eliminate the potato/rice/pasta side and ask for "double veggies" instead. He was glad to oblige. I then requested "no butter, oil, or salt on the vegetables, please." No problem.
Then, because I was guessing this will probably still not be 3 whole servings of vegetables, I ordered a salad as well. I asked what is on the salad, and told the waiter I'd like NO croutons, cheese, or other off plan stuff. Just mixed greens and veggies (and last night I opted to leave in the fresh crumbled bacon. Yum!) and I always get the dressing on the side.
The waiter is always happy to make it how you like it. Don't be afraid to ask! So my dinner looked like this:

2 tall glasses of iced tea with fresh lemon slices
a lovely salad of spinach and fresh mushrooms and bacon. I used about 1T of dressing (I dip my fork in it and then spear the salad)
a generous helping of fresh grilled sturgeon and steamed asparagus with a side of lemon chive butter sauce (which I dipped my fork into and used sparingly on my fish and veggies)

It was FANTASTIC. SO flavorful and moist and delicious. I loved every single bite and it was perfect. I was filled but not tired and weighed down by the food. I felt wonderful after eating this.

Sometimes I order an appetizer but I go for the low carb stuff with some nutritional value: smoked salmon, cheese, ahi tuna roll... that kind of thing. And I just have a few bites.

I never thought I'd love dinners with no potatoes, pasta, bread, or rice! But I do. I love eating this way and feel amazing. I will eat this kind of dinner for the rest of my life! I do intend to have the occasional piece of crusty bread with soup, but for the most part my dinners will be looking like this forever. I just feel so much better eating this way.

Sure, I'd like a brownie. But I like living better. I might want some of that chocolate mousse my dining companions were eating, but I am not willing to give up what I have now and want most for *that.*

I came across this Shakespeare quote the other day and wanted to share it here. Next time you think you really, really think you HAVE to have a brownie or a can of Pringles, remember this:

What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy-
Who buys a minute's mirth to wail a week?
Or sells eternity to get a toy?
For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy?

Think about it.
Choose wisely.

Scale says: 203.


Renee said...

Lyn, this meal sounds SO GOOD. Great job!

203 ... !!! Brian and I are jumping up and down!

PR Coordinator
Medifast, Inc.

-J.Darling said...

Great job on ordering out! I usually look at the nutritional information (always provided by eateries out here in CA, since it's the law now), and I narrow down by choices from that -altering dishes where I can.

Dillypoo said...

Your restaurant strategy is pretty awesome! I stopped eating from the bread basket, too. Those are the most dangerous things on a restaurant table, I think! I also carry a set of collapsible measuring spoons in my purse. They're really handy in measuring out salad dressings and sauces when eating out! I found them at Target and blogged about them last summer:


(I hope including the link is OK.)

Lucy said...

Oh fantastic. And I love that quote.

He Took MY Last Name said...

I cant ignore the bread basket. It just glares at me. So instead, I ask not to have one. Yay!

Good for you, 203! I am so jealous. 4 more lbs and you are in onederland.

Then what, ten more for that bikini? hehe :D

beerab said...

Great job- I do the SAME thing. I order salads with no croutons (though I keep the cheese) and so on.

Like last time I went to Denny's with hubby's parents. While they all got dinners with mashed potatoes and bread and so on. I ordered two grilled shrimp skewers and a side salad and drank it with water. Worked out fine for me :)

I have a coworker in our competition at work who keeps NOT weighing in cuz she eats out. I told her "either STOP eating out or make better choices, you don't HAVE to eat the appetizer or get a soda..."

Laryssa said...

I've learned so much from you in the few months I've been following your blog. I'm beginning to see that the benefit of Medifast is that you are "forced" to prepare one meal on your own. You have no choice but to learn how to prepare healthier meals. I think that's why so many people on Nutrisystem - including me - struggled when they went out to eat ... all their meals are prepared for them so they didn't have to put any thought into it.

I'm learning a lot from you and have been two days following a plan similar to yours - no carbs except from non-starch veggies and absolutely no sweeteners. I've actually followed some of your examples when preparing my meals.

I'm so thankful for your blog!

Kristine said...

I wanted to thank you for responding to my letter a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about having tears of jealousy and happiness.
You are such an inspiration to me.
203!! WOW.
You must take a picture when the scale says 199, K.


Teale said...

Great post, and a great rule of thumb to follow!

Ice Queen said...

I am definitely going to take a page from your book when I do start going out, again. Tho I will choose lower cal rather than lower carb options. ;) :D

I love that quote. It is perfect, isn't it?

spunkysuzi said...

I had to smile as i read this post! I also went out to eat and didn't know what was being provided. I hate that!! Anyway, it turned out to be a very healthy meal, i just didn't have the buns, the rice (didn't know what was in it) and buttertarts(homemade). I feel really good about the selections i made and i know just how you felt at the end of your meal :)
203?? Way to go!!!

CJ said...

Congrats on reaching 203! You are so close to onederland now! Can't wait to see you there!

Great post as always Lyn!

Anonymous said...

75 lbs gone Lyn, it's picture time! Well done well done well done well done.


outdoor.mom said...

very good advice!

big_mummy said...

Loved this post!! Truely awesome advice, that I can see myself taking on board!! Thanks

Abi said...

LOVE the Shakespeare quote. That's going on the fridge.

Great job eating out, Lyn! Your dinner sounds like it was just lovely.

Christina said...

Just found your blog Lyn and it's fantastic - I am going to go back and read it all! I like the idea of having a strategy for coping with eating out - yours sounds great and I like it that you can still eat plenty, just of the right things.

nelson_clan said...

Wow, what a help you are, I'm going out to eat tonight and you've given me a plan! I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

You are doing so well. I love the comment about how you'd like a brownie, but you'd like to live more (I hope I didn't murder the quote to badly).

Lori @ All About Me
48 lbs and counting

screwdestiny said...

That quote is fantastic. And I'm so happy for you--203, wow!

Anonymous said...

congrats on mastering the whole eating out thing! that is honestly one of the things i have the most trouble with - I find that at the end of the week when i am over-tired and tempted with a menu full of fatty meals, its so easy to stray from my healthy eating habits - but if I go into the restaurant with a "game plan" and (the important part!) stick to it (!), I can manage to have a relaxing night out and night off from cooking =) so proud of you!!! you are to close to breaking 200, I can smell it!!