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Whole Foods in Restaurants

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Old 07-31-2006, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default Whole Foods in Restaurants

One of my biggest struggles with nutrition is finding decent choices in restaurants. I was hoping people could post their whole-foods restaurant choices here.

Saturday night, I went to Chili's and opted for their Guiltless Grill Salmon. The entire meal was allegedly 480 calories. I asked them to leave off the beans and double up on the vegetables, as I was short on vegetable servings anyway. I requested they blacken the salmon for me, which probably involved some additional butter , but it was worth it.

Salmon and broccoli ... two SuperFoods.

What are some good bets at other restaurants?
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:56 AM   #2
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It really depends on the restaurants and I also tend to give myself a little leeway when eating out. I know I can't be perfect but I can try to make good choices. My favorite restaurants include:

1) Local pizza chain that serves nonfat dough/sauce pizzas and plenty of veggie choices.

2) Baja Fresh - Burritos are good, also naked burrito is good as well.

3) Middle eastern restaurants - Hummus? Rice? Grilled meat? Grilled veggies? I love it.

4) Sandwich shops - unforunately the best sandwich shop I have is Panera. I would kill for a good deli near me but I haven't found one. Load up with whole grain breads and veggies, skip the mayo. They often also have salads that are good.

5) Red Robin - Ok I know it is a burger place BUT you can substitute fries for a small salad. They also have a cobb salad that is really good although you might want to be gentle on the bacon and blue cheese.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:19 PM   #3
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At Red Robin, I like the salmon sandwich on a whole grain bun, hold the "bistro" sauce, lettuce, tomato, and I ask for a lemon wedge to squeeze. I get that with a side salad, dressing on the side.

P. F. Chang's is easy - their brown rice is great, they have a spinach/garlic side dish that I love. I usually get the scallops, brown rice and spinach. Plenty for at least 2 meals!

Qdoba/Chipotle - I get the naked chicken burrito - white rice, black beans, chicken, 2 scoops of pico, I ask for extra lettuce, red salsa, I split a side of guacamole usually.

Outback is easy - grilled salmon, no butter, two servings of vegetables.

Indian food is usually pretty easy - I ask for whole wheat roti (no butter) and get chana masala (chickpea curry).

For sushi, I love to order seaweed salad and salmon or yellowtail sashimi.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:27 PM   #4
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With Red Robin, I meant to say that they have chicken burgers, turkey burgers and salmon burgers. Their burgers do come with fries but you can substitute out. They also have a bunless burger where you can substitute lettuce wrap for a bun. I tried it once and it was very good.
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:24 PM   #5
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We have a local place that makes a killer Oriental Chicken Salad. I just ask them to leave the chow mein noodles off. Has grilled chicken, assorted lettuce, raw broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, plus tomatos (depends on the season how good they are) and a hard boiled egg. It's huge! I usually end up not finishing the lettuce, just picking out the chicken and other veggies. Likewise our local Mexican place has some good choices and will let you substitute a lot. There's also a vegetarian soup/salad/wrap place that has some good choices, as long as you avoid the cream soups! The bean wrap is esp good. The salads are all good, but many have too much mayo. The spicy Thai one is yummy though!

We don't have a lot of chain restaurants around here (though Anchorage does, but it's 50 miles) except fast food. At Subway, don't forget, you can have a salad made with any of their ingredients. Ours always has nice fresh spinach as well as chopped up iceberg (ick).
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:21 PM   #6
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Just wanted to say I love the Chili's Guiltless Grill dishes -- esp the salmon!

We also have a great restaurant near us called Fresh City. Their menu is online so you can look up info before you go, but they also have a computer up on site! Lots of nutritional info is there.
http://www.freshcity.com/

I wish more restaurants had this kind of info!

You can get the salad bar, but a lot of their wraps and meals you can sub brown rice and whole wheat tortillas -- good stuff!
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:20 PM   #7
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Wyllenn, Fresh City sounds really cool. I will have to check that out the next time I'm passing through Chi-Town.
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Old 08-01-2006, 11:45 AM   #8
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There's a theme here: customize whatever menu item you choose to make it healthier (of course, it helps to start w/ a relatively healthy one to begin with!). Ask for dressing/sauces on the side, inquire about the preparation and ask for adjustments (no butter, etc.), ask for veggies instead of simple starches. I believe that you can make the best of the situation and make a healthier choice than if you just ordered straight off the menu w/ no adjustments/substitutions. We don't always have control over where we eat restaurant-wise (i.e. family & work functions, etc.) but we do have some control over what we eat and how it's prepared/served.

DH and I LOVE Sweet Tomatoes - salad and soup place. I love for someone else to cut up the veggies! And Vietnamese food offers some wonderful healthy options as well.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:12 PM   #9
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We had a very good friend in college 35 yr ago from Viet Nam and he was an awesome cook. I never liked Chinese before but he said I like his cooking because of the French influence in Viet Nam. I have tried to find him over the years but he went back right before the communist take over and I really wonder if he lived through it.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:32 PM   #10
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I love Sweet Tomatoes (aka Soup Plantation in CA) but there is no place like that that I've found in Maryland. I wish there was a salad place here, I'd go all the time.
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