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Old 07-19-2006, 11:55 PM   #1  
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Question Need suggestions....

Hi everyone. I am doing pretty good this week (excellent with my foods, okay with the exercise)

Our good friends just announced that they are pregant with twins! We are taking them out to their favorite restaurant on Friday, which happens to be an Italian restaurant.

[Oh No Pasta! and it was such a good week! ]

What can I get to eat, that isn't too terribly bad- without standing out by just getting plain salad...Im up for trying new things and haven't experienced much italian food (other than the traditional pastas and lasagnas)

Are there any veal or chicken dishes or anything else that you can think of that wouldn't be terribly high in calories?

Thank you!

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Old 07-20-2006, 01:15 AM   #2  
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As far as Italian food, I would just stay out of the bread basket, make sure I get a salad appetizer (dressing on side) so I wasn't ravenously hungry and order a dish without a cream-based sauce. If they have a whole wheat pasta with a marinara sauce, that would be the best option. Gnocchi is also good, it's made from potatoes. I've had sweet potato gnocchi before which was awesome.

Box up half immediately.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:19 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by Glory87
I've had sweet potato gnocchi before which was awesome.

Box up half immediately.
Yum on that sweet-potato gnocchi!

And LOL, exactly my advice ... ask for a box right away and put half in the box BEFORE you begin eating.

If it's a chain restaurant, chances are good that they have nutritional information posted online and you can choose something ahead of time.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:28 AM   #4  
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Yeah, I'm a big fan of picking what I want in advance and not even opening the menu to temptation at the restaurant.

Just do not order fettucini alfredo - that stuff is so high in fat and calories!!!
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Old 07-20-2006, 02:35 AM   #5  
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Let me just preface this by saying that I'm English and I think restaurants are different here. I would order a salad like Glory (make sure they serve the dressing on the side) and order an entree serve (small serving) of tomato based pasta for your main meal. I tend to have a treat meal each week, so I personally wouldn't sweat it, and just order fairly sensibly but if I wanted dessert I'd have it!
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:55 AM   #6  
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Speaking of italian food I just had some today. It is soooo hard to resist the temptation of the bread. And to beat it all my hubby orders alfredo sauce to dip it in. Alot of places will allow you to order 1/2 plates. I know the chain that I went to today (well yesterday, went to bed early and woke up at 2am craving something) has their menu marked with special icons for low fat/low carb items. Also they may let you kinda make up your own plate. If you like things like mussels you may be able to get like the appetizer plate which will be smaller than an entree. Also fill up on something like vegs before leaving the house and order water to drink. Water seems to fill me up. If everyone orders dessert they probably have some kind of seasonal fruit with a small amount of jello type topping or just ask for whipped cream. If it is a popular italian restaurant you can look up their website and make your choice from there where you can see all the nutritional information before you get there. I think my biggest challenge is not getting the tiramisu. Good luck. kimberly
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Old 07-20-2006, 07:08 AM   #7  
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Check out the antipastas and soups if the restaurant has them, and even if they're only listed as an appetizer, you may be able to combine them into a meal, or at least get off to a good start.

If there are northern italian dishes on the menu, there may be great non-pasta items. Chicken or veal piccata can be healthy or hazardous depending on how much oil is used, but it's one of may absolute favorites. Lemon juice, garlic and capers in a (hopefully) light butter and wine sauce. With luck, they will prepare it lighter for you if you ask. Chicken marsala is sometimes light (chicken in wine), but you may have to ask how it is prepared, or read the menu carefully.

You usually can tell from the menu description if it's going to be a health nightmare. Pasta with a low fat sauce, may be be better than chicken or shrimp prepared with lots of oil or butter.

Polenta can be healthy or hazzardous depending on whether it is made with tons of olive oil or butter (or of course deep fried). I've only seen it in a few restaurants, though (my italian grandmother made it when I was little, but usually fried). When it is served with a meal, it is usually creamy like mashed potatoes, and often seasoned with vegetables and herbs (maybe mushroom or tomato and basil).

Many small home-town restaurants even have their own website, so it's worth looking. One of our favorite restaurants is a little tiny out of the way place, and they have their menu posted on their website.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:55 AM   #8  
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Some italian places serve fish, too, and that can be a great alternative. See if you can check out the menu first! That helps me a lot!
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:54 PM   #9  
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I agree with what everyone else has said, try to see if they have their menu and nutritional information online first and pick out what you want before you go. I went shopping with a girlfriend last weekend at a mall about an hour from my house, so I haven't been there in years, I looked online to see what restaurants they had there and find out what things from different ones would be fairly low points (as I'm doing WW's) and when we went I got something I had looked up beforehand from one of the places in the food court, and I got an enlightened smoothie from jamba juice, knew the exact points for everything beforehand and still "felt" like I'd had a big treat! Generally speaking spaghetti with marinara sauce is a safe choice in an Italian place when most of their choices are pasta or things like Chicken Parmigiana. Plan ahead and then enjoy yourself and have a great time!!
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