When I first started my fitness journey one of the biggest factors to my weight loss was that I started cooking more of my meals at home instead of eating out on a regular basis. Restaurant food often contains hidden calories and is loaded with butter, creams and oils. I started steaming fresh veggies and grilling my proteins with spices instead of sauces. I packed all of my lunches and snacks for work instead of hitting up the vending machine and before you know it, I started to see results. That being said, it is always nice to enjoy yourself and have a social life once in a while too.
There is nothing wrong with eating out here and there as long as you know HOW to order and which places include healthy options. No matter where you go, there is always a healthier alternative or what I would call a “better bad choice”. Don’t be afraid to order something that is not on the menu. Most places have no problem catering to your needs so when ordering, keep in mind that you should be having a lean protein and a complex carbohydrate with most meals. I always ask the chef to cook my food without butter or oil, so if your plate comes out sizzling, beware, as that means it was made with oil. Here are some great tips for local spots where you can dine guilt-free.
Sushi is always a good choice
If you are looking to grab and go, my all-time favorite place is Wasabi Sushi located downtown on Quebec Street. They have pre-made fresh sushi and salads daily and are open late until 9:00pm. If you choose to dine in, the staff there will welcome you with a genuine smile and hello every time. Your best sushi options are veggie, avocado, or California rolls. If you are into the sashimi, that’s even better. Order either a miso soup or garden salad as your side dish and you will absolutely love the house salad dressing made with carrots and ginger.
Casual dining options
If you are dining out with the family, both White Spot and Boston Pizza are great choices! Both places carry healthy choice menus which will include the nutritional information. These include stir-fry’s, wraps and salads. There are children menus for your kids so everybody wins.
Something a little fancier
When you are looking for something a bit fancier like a steak house, take a venture over to The Keg or Mr. Mikes. Here you can order a grilled chicken breast and plain baked potato with salsa and chives to dress it. Ask for your veggies steamed without oil and any salads with dressing on the side. If you are in the mood for steak, go for the smallest portion and be sure to ask for it with no butter as they usually melt it on top to add extra flavor. The keg has an amazing shrimp cocktail and my personal favorite at Mr. Mikes is the chef’s salad.
If you want atmosphere, many people in Prince George would agree that Earls is the place to be. I like going there if I’m in the mood to get a bit dressed up and have a couple beverages. I recommend ordering the dynamite roll which you can ask the chef to steam instead of deep fry. Hold the mayo and you just saved yourself plenty of unnecessary calories. If you aren’t into the sushi, the appetizer menu has chicken or fish tacos and edamame beans. Another safe choice would be the large seasonal greens with a shrimp skewer or grilled chicken breast for your protein. Don’t forget to order your dressing on the side.
Sometimes you have full intentions of ordering the salad but once you get there, the plan goes out the window. Let’s face it, it isn’t the most attractive meal on the menu. My advice in this situation is to ask for a to-go box and eat half your meal saving the rest for later. Anything is okay in moderation so this way you get a smaller portion of something a little tastier.
It IS possible to have fun, socialize and at the same time achieve your goals. It’s all about finding a balance of what works for you and your lifestyle. You don’t need to eat perfectly to get results, just better than you were before.