Eating Out Guide for Fire Rescue Athletes
Maybe it’s for business, maybe it’s for school, maybe it’s a date, maybe it’s a special occasion or maybe you and the crew don’t have time to prepare food. It doesn’t matter. The last-minute restaurant meal will likely occur at some point. Instead of sabotaging your health, here are some good guidelines that will help you keep your meal selection on the right track. Let me note that it is alright to indulge (I try to do it 2x per week) but if you need a good, healthy meal while eating out, here are some tips.
When menu-scanning, you can use several strategies. Select any one of these options for your meal (not all of them):
- Order a good protein–Is there: grilled chicken breast, lean beef, shrimp, tuna, beans, etc.? Start with the protein, then add veggies (such as a side salad instead of fries).
- Or, look for veggies–Is there a salad? Veggies and dip? Start with that and figure out how to add protein to it — you can often get chicken breast or steak added to a salad.
- If the first or second option doesn’t look good, then look at side dishes. Often you can assemble a pretty good meal from a few side orders, such as a single egg or a cup of fruit or cottage cheese.
- Finally, if you cannot find anything, then, look at the appetizer menu. If you’re at a restaurant, it’s a safe bet to assume portions will be big. Try ordering a small item or a half plate of the entre instead of the whole thing. Soup and salad are filling, and most restaurants offer some variation on this theme. And, always remember to avoid the chips and/or bread sticks (they add up).
Build a list of good restaurant options that you know offer healthy choices. Keep that list of options in your back pocket (or on your phone) as a ready response to “Oh I don’t know, where would you like to go?”
In summary, here is what you need to remember when eating out…. Focus on veggies, then mix in some lean protein and whole grains if desired. Add a bit of healthy fat. Order items steamed and dry with sauce and dressing on the side. Don’t eat until you’re stuffed (stop before that). And, drink at least 3 glasses of water at the table. There you have it…. easy right?
Plan ahead and make good food choices. I hope this helps.
Please let me know if you have questions or comments.