In Canada, it is estimated that one meal in three is eaten away from home. When you prepare food yourself, you know exactly what has gone into that meal-you can choose what type of fat-and how much of it-you use. You can control how much salt you add, and you can determine the portion sizes that go onto your plate.
The same is not true of food eaten outside the home. Restaurant food may have hidden fats and salt, takeout and fast foods often contain unhealthy trans fats, and special “buy-one-get-one-free” deals can tempt you into buying foods you wouldn’t normally eat.
We’re not suggesting that you avoid eating out at restaurants or choose the most boring “healthy” dish on the menu.
With these simple tricks, you can relax and enjoy a special dinner out, a business lunch or Saturday night pizza. If you’re properly prepared you can eat gourmet food that delights your heart and your taste buds.
Before You Leave Home
Putting yourself into a healthy mindset before you sit down guarantees success. You can avoid the pitfalls of restaurant food without feeling deprived, by refocusing on all the possible options.
Imagine Your Meal
Picture your plate before you pick up the phone to order a takeout, before you make a dinner reservation or before going into the restaurant. Think about the healthy choices on most menus-the thin-crust pizza loaded with vegetables, the fancy mixed-greens-and-pecans salad with vinaigrette or the mouth-watering grilled fish at your local seafood restaurant.
Have fun treating yourself to delicious, healthy choices that you might not cook at home, from roast beets to wild salmon to wonderfully crunchy Chinese vegetables, such as snow peas, bok choy, baby corn and water chestnuts.
And, if you absolutely must have a sweet treat once in a while, plan to share one when you go out to eat -your sweet tooth will be satisfied and you won’t have to deal with the temptation of leftover desserts in your own kitchen.