Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dinner-on-the-Run II

I hear your concerns. There just isn't time or energy left at the end of the day to cook dinner. You are right! With our busy schedules it is so hard to find time to prep and prepare nutritious meals for our families. But where there is a will, there is a way.

Earlier in my Dinner-on-the-Run series I taught you about having cooked chicken prepared to morph into any number of quick meals. There are so many options, and I cannot stress enough how great it is to cook in bulk and freeze for those crazy days. But, today I want to talk about when carry-out is your only option.

Please, skip the pizza. Once in a while is not a crime. Those of you who have been following me know I am all for indulging from time to time. But, frankly, pizza is seriously devoid of nutritional value. Here are a list of healthier alternatives.

  1. Rotisserie Chicken - I know my Kroger makes great Rotisserie chickens. Remove the skin before eating to cut calories. Pair with a salad mix or frozen vegetables that can be quickly steamed in the microwave for a complete meal.
  2. Asian Take-Out - There are some stipulations. Go for restaurants that leave out MSG. Most can if you ask up front. Go for stir-frys full of vegetables with lighter gravies. Skip the fried and sweet dishes. Pair it with plain brown rice if available or keep frozen brown rice at home to prep in minutes.
  3. Restaurant Curbside - Here I am talking about the chains like Chili's, Carrabba's, etc. Salads are great but can be tricky. (LOVE Carrabba's Insalata Johnny Rocco pictured above.) Look for excess dairy products that will add unwanted calories, and watch for unnecessary starches like tortilla strips or sides of garlic bread. Just ask them to leave anything you don't need off the dish. Next, look for grilled dishes with vegetable sides. So many chains now offer complete calorie information online. So do a quick check before ordering.
  4. Mexican - Fajitas are great! Forget the flour tortillas and just eat the meat and veggies. If you need something creamy, add guacamole. It adds calories, but unlike sour cream or cheese, it gives you a dose of those healthy fats that are great for your brain, skin, and hair.
  5. Diner Food - If you are craving breakfast for dinner, try an egg white omelet with plenty of vegetables. Ask them to hold the butter. Add a side of grits or whole wheat toast for some carbs. If you must eat the burger, mind your portion. No one really needs a half pound or more fatty beef. Leave off the cheese and mayo and you will save yourself a minimum of 200 calories.
The key to eating out is portion control and willpower. When you are exhausted you will tend to opt for the Double-Bacon Cheeseburger. Just think of how you will feel afterwards though. Fuel your body with the right things, and it will repay you a hundred fold! Happy eating!

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