Saturday, November 3, 2012


I'm someone who eats out a lot and it can sometimes be hard to make healthy food choices when it comes to ordering from fast food restaurants. I have found that the best way to deal with this is research the food from the place you are going to check which are the healthiest options. Most fast food restaurants have nutritional facts on their website if you go have a look and that is always the best way to determine what you should order. This is crucial because a lot of times we don't realise how many calories are in fast food we are eating considering we aren't preparing it ourselves but when we take a look at the nutritional facts, that is when it becomes clear what is the healthier option and what we should steer clear from. Of course it's possible to eat healthy while eating out, you just have to make the right decisions, so this is all about my food choices at fast food restaurants when I am trying to eat a little bit healthier.
Burgers don't have to be all bad, especially ones freshly made with quality ingredients like those from Grill'd. I always get the "Simon Says" burger (bottom left) which has grilled chicken, avocado, salad, relish and herbed mayo. It also comes with cheese and bacon but I always ask to have it without those because they are just unnecessary calories that I don't even like anyway. I also always get a snack sized chips just to control the portion a bit more and choose the wholemeal over the white roll. I also love getting the healthy sides like olives and nuts (seen above right).
Mexican food doesn't have to be all bad, full of cheese, fatty meat and sour cream! When I go out for Mexican I always get an enchilada which sounds pretty fattening right?! But no, I actually ask for it without sour cream and with minimal cheese (you still need some cheese to stick it all together but the amount they use without you asking for less is ridiculous). Another huge thing which actually makes a big difference is getting a vegetarian enchilada and that means instead of meat they use beans (much healthier for you). Sometimes I get tacos instead but I find there are too many carbs for such a small amount of protein because you don't get as many fillings in a taco as you do in an enchilada.
Japanese food is generally pretty healthy as they usually have a wide variety of salads and vegetables. Some of my favourite things to eat from Japanese restaurants are steamed vegetables (super healthy for you), edamame (soy beans, also super healthy), salads (pictured above right is a potato salad), tempura (slightly unhealthy because it's deep fried but still vegetables) and of course nori rolls!
I'm talking the really expensive, fancy resteraunts where you don't even really understand what the menu is bet is to go with a lean piece of meat like chicken or even beef that has some vegetables on the side. A nice hearty meal without all of the carbohydrates you would get from a pasta dish. 
I rotate between two different things at Nandos, the chicken wrap and the chicken pita. With both I always ask for no mayo and when I get a pita, I ask for extra salad! I do prefer the wrap to the pita though because there is less bread.
Tavern food is the best and it's always so tempting to get delicious fatty wedges with sour cream or a big steak with mashed potatoes but I always stop myself because I know I will regret it and I end up getting a salad. I love their tuscan vegetable salad and their Caesar salad, I always allow myself the sauce, cheese and bacon but you could totally ask for it without to make it even healthier.
Pancake Manor
If you ever go to Pancake Manor (or any other pancake place) I recommend choosing crepes over pancakes and that's just because they are much better for you as they have a higher nutritional value unlike sugar coated pancakes. Also try to get the salad on the side instead of chips. I always end up ordering Mushroom Crepes with a Garden Salad on the side and it's super satisfying and delicious but sometimes if I have a sweet tooth I let myself share pancakes with my boyfriend.
Takeaway Sushi Places
Sushi in general is pretty healthy for you but some options are healthier than others. For example, I try to avoid crumbed then deep fried chicken (usually called crispy chicken, honey chicken, tempura chicken and chicken schnitzel) and opt for the healthier alternative of breast chicken which is usually sweet chilli chicken with cucumber or chicken and avocado. Most of the time though I don't choose the rolls with any meat in it and look for the salad/vegetarian options because salad is of course much lower in calories than meat and they usually don't have any sauces which may contain hidden calories. The raw fish and seafood options are probably much option but I personally cannot stomach any sort of sea food at all so never get those.
I always get the chicken breast schnitzel on multi-grain bread with all the salads and marinara sauce. The chicken breast schnitzel is much healthier than a lot of the other options (like the meatball sub) because it is a breast piece of chicken (lots of protein) and only has a thin layer of tempura around it (compared to some of their other deep fried chicken options). By choosing a multi-grain bun over white gives you much more nutrition and is always the healthier choice. I like to get all of the salads because it adds more nutrition and fills you up and I never get mayonnaise just because it's so many extra calories but I really enjoy marinara sauce which is low in calories but still makes the sandwich really delicious and moist. I also never get cheese because I am not someone who really enjoys cheese anyway but it does take out a lot of extra calories considering they are full fat slices of cheese.
Sushi Train
Similar to what I said about takeaway sushi places, sushi is generally pretty healthy for you with all of the nutritional benefits from the seaweed and vegetables. That being said, sushi can contain a lot of mayonaise and unhealthy sauces not to mention a lot of the stuff is deep fried. I try my hardest to stay away from these things but at Sushi Train most of the chicken is deep fried so the healthiest options are edamame (soy beans), agedashi tofu (crispy tofu in miso soup) and simple vegetable rolls like avocado or cucumber, even teriyaki chicken. I do probably overindulge in the deep fried dishes like chicken and avocado, chicken, egg and lettuce as well as tempura and even those rolls with little deep fried crumbs on them. Still, I don't consider sushi train to be anywhere near as unhealthy as most takeaway places and burger joints considering all of the nutritional values you get out of a lot of the ingredients.
Most cafes have a salad option and I always choose that over a pasta dish or burger. The best kinds of salads are when they have lean grilled chicken in them compared to a deep fried schnitzel or something. I also try and avoid cheese in my salad and much prefer leafy greens to something like iceberg lettuce. Although those delicious looking sweet treats look to die for, definitely skip those though despite how tempting they are!
Okay so Italian food is known for having food with super high amounts of carbohydrates in it but there are healthy options. I love getting Italian Caesar salads, bruschetta and sometimes even pizza. Everything in moderation is okay and won't hurt you but generally I go for the bruschetta as a starter and the salad as the main.  Another tip is to drink coke zero instead of normal coke as it doesn't have any sugar in it and therefore has next to no calories.
Noodle Box
The two dishes I love from Noodle Box are Pad Thai and the Nasi Box (Rice and vegetables). I get replace the meat in the Pad Thai with tofu and the meat in the Nasi Box with extra cashews.

There are some places I avoid and those are KFC and Red Rooster. This is because I had a friend who worked at KFC and the stories I heard of how the food is cooked and just the whole concept of chicken deep fried until it's nothing really makes me sick so I avoid both of those fast food places completely. I also avoid Indian because it always makes me feel really sick as the sauces are very high in butter and oil. I try to avoid Hungry Jacks and McDonalds although I occasionally enjoy the rare Whopper or Big Mac but generally I just don't think the food is good enough quality and skip it. I actually used to be a McDonalds addict so writing this is even surprising myself haha.

Okay, phew, this actually took a lot of effort to write but I really wanted to let you guys know that it's completely okay to eat out and I'm proof of this. I try and eat healthy as much as possible and I still really enjoy eating out and don't find that it negatively affects my diet at all! It's all about portion control and choosing the right thing on the menu. I think the main thing for me is that I avoid meat and cheese in my dishes and always replace it with more veggies and I always opt for a healthier bread, lighter sauce or a salad instead of chips. Just little things like that really do make a difference. 
Thank you so much for reading!

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