Healthy Eating Out ?

Updated on September 30, 2007
G.G. asks from Aurora, IL
6 answers

Can anyone suggest a place for lunch or diner out that has a little more healthier menu. Vegatables/Fruit.


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answers from Chicago on

I'm not sure if you have one near you, but we sometimes go to "Sweet Tomatoes". It's not especially cheap, but it's buffet style and has an immense salad bar. They have "unhealthy" stuff, too, but the salad bar is pretty diverse and presented first. You may also find decent food at Einstein Brothers, Boston Market, Panera Bread, etc. Check the menu online for these places first, as they can be deceptively high in fat. Chipotle, for example, has numbers that astounded me.

Honestly, we've looked and you might have a little trouble finding lots of "healthy, eat out" options; restaurant food is really designed to make you like it at a lower (primal/childhood) level, and this usually means excess of things that aren't good for you!



answers from Chicago on

When we are planning to go out to dinner, I pull up menus of some restaurants on line and pick out a healthy choice in advance so I am not tempted when I am at the restaurant. Usually seafood restaurants are a good choice because fish is healthy and low fat, just watch the preparation. Avoid frying, sauces that contain lots of oil or butter, and cream sauces. Mccormick and Schmicks is a great choice, so is Hugo's Frog Bar in Naperville, and Catch 35 in Naperville. They post their menus too. I love to eat but now that I turned 39, I have made a choice to eat healthier. I exercise intensely 6-7 days per week, but I have noticed it harder to keep my weight where I want, hence the necesity (sp?) of better nutrition choices. I have read lots of books in this area and have lots of tips!! Try and avoid the bread basket. If an entree you want comes with mashed potatoes, ask if you can substitute for the vegetable of the day, of course ask for them steamed with no butter or sauce or have them put that on the side. If you order a salad always request lo calorie dressing and have it on the side (dressing can turn a healthy meal into a diet disaster!). If the salad has lots of cheese, bread crumbs, bacon, etc. ask for those items to be removed. If I know I will be ordering a salad, say at lunch, I have even brought my own dressing in a small container. I have only done this at lunch and never at a fancy restaurant!! Try to make healthy appetizer choices too. Don't order anything fried. Really any place you go to you should be able to find a healthier selection. You just might not have a lot of choices and you may have to be creative. If you don't like seafood, order chicken dishes or very lean cuts of meat. There are also healthy selections at places like Chilis, applebees and TGI Fridays if you are looking for a more casual atmosphere. At Chilis I order the lettuce wraps as my meal. They only have 330 calories and the sesame sauce has 70 calories for 2 ounces. Avoid the peanut sauce, it has 190 calories for 2 ounces. I carry a calorie fat and carbohydrate counter in my purse it has some casual restaurants and fast food info. You can also go to and get more nutrition information on fast food and casual dining. It was a real eye opener for me to see how many calories and fat are in some things that I ate!! For example I love The Cheesecake Factory but was in shock when I found out that that peice of cheesecake I ate every time I dined there has 900 calories and that the choc chip cookie dough cheesecake has 1910 calories per slice!!!

Chipotle can be healthy if you order the bowl. The fajita bowl with meat and corn salsa only has 435 calories and 28 grams of carbs. Go heavy on the vegetables, salsa etc, and light on the cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. They make it how ever you want!!

I hope this helps out. Good luck and healthy eating!!



answers from Chicago on

Applebees has a menu geared towards weight watchers, and I beleive TGI Friday's does it for South Beach dieter.



answers from Chicago on

Check out BD Mongolian BBQ or Stir Crazy. You can make your own stir fries and have it be very healthy if you want...full of veggies and some fruit.



answers from San Diego on

Also if you like great salads and sandwiches at a reasonable cost, try Cosi. They also have great vegetarian options and you can choose a bag of baby carrots as your side instead of chips.

Also, to get more fruits, perhaps Sweet Tomatoes to get a salad bar with the selections you are looking for.



answers from Chicago on

They're not everywhere, but check out Froots or Camille's.


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