Eating out can be challenging. Even in places with good healthy choices on the menu, those choices can sometimes be pretty boring (salad, chicken and broccoli, etc.), and eating out always feels like a “special occasion” when one should be able to splurge a little, even if you eat out once a week like I think most families do. You go in with good intentions, and then look over the menu and think “Man, if I have another piece of skinless chicken breast I may weep openly. Maybe a piece of fish…oh look, they have fish and chips.” And then you eat a nice 1500 calorie meal, which, at least in my case, leads to thinking “Well, I already screwed up, might as well go whole hog” and you drink a bunch of beer and a fantastic dessert.
If it really is a “special occasion” (your birthday, wife got a big raise at work, your eldest son came out of the closet), then a little splurge is fine, but you can’t do it very frequently, which is a problem for me ’cause I do so love me some splurgin’. So whaddaya do if you find yourself at a Red Robin and are trying to steer away from a double cheeseburger with guacamole, bacon, and a fried egg?
What I like to do is try and pick something that’s going to provide me with a ton of protein. So even if I end up getting a 1000 calorie meal, I might get 70 grams of protein from it, which is pretty stellar. A good chicken sandwich with some awesome flavors might get you close to that. Then the trick is the side dishes; maybe don’t go with regular french fries, but you could rock some sweet potato fries instead. Slightly fewer calories and a ton more micronutrients and fiber.
Tonight we met my parents and my sister and her family for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, and I managed to steer away from the “Sampler platter” (two plates of awesomeness that have to total at least 2000 calories) and got fajitas instead, with chicken, beef, and shrimp. Staggering amounts of protein. Did I also eat chips with huge loads of salsa on them? I did. Did I eat beans and rice? Of course. Was it probably 1500 calories of awesome? Perhaps, but lunch was just some chicken and veggies, and I did swim another 1500 yards today, so I think it’s a wash.
Per uzh*, I’ve banged out my 30 chins and pushups, and need to blast through some planks before heading to bed. My back feels a ton better so I should be able to do my OHP and Squat workout tomorrow, and maybe even get a short run in, time permitting.