How to Eat Out without Blowing Your Healthy Eating Plan

Eating out doesn’t have to mean watching every morsel you put in your mouth for fear of blowing your eating plan. With just a few tweaks, you can enjoy eating out and still stick to your program.

Say no to the bread, or have just one slice with your meal.

Many restaurants bring out a big basket of bread the moment you sit down, and this bread can wreck your healthy eating plans. If you can’t say no, at least have the bread with your entrée to minimize the damage. Spread real butter on it or dip it in olive oil. If you love bread, ask for darker breads like rye instead of the typical white bread.

Ask for low-starch veggies in place of potatoes or rice.

If your meal comes with potatoes or rice, ask to substitute something else. Low-starch veggies such as green beans, spinach, or broccoli are good choices.

Enjoy plenty of salad with healthy dressing.

Ask the server about your dressing choices. Chances are you can enjoy a healthy, homemade vinaigrette or oil and vinegar. If you have access to a salad bar, don’t be afraid to load up on the greens and veggies, but go easy on the cheese, croutons, and creamy dressing.

If you must have creamy dressing, have it on the side, dip your fork in it, and then take a bite of salad. If you want creamy dressing on a house salad, ask for it on the side.

Put half in a to-go box.

Ask for a to-go box when you order, and put half your meal in it before you start eating. That way you don’t blow your diet, and you can enjoy the rest of the meal the next day. If you’d rather not take anything home, split a meal with your dining companion, or give the leftovers to a friend.

When it comes to dessert, have anything you wish—just take a few bites.

You’ve probably noticed that when you eat a rich, luscious dessert, there comes a point at which it’s too much and you’ve had enough. Why not order any dessert you want and then savor only two or three bites? Again, you can share or take the rest home.

What’s your favorite tip for healthy eating out?

How to Spice Up A Boring Salad—the Healthy Way

saladYou’re eating healthier by having a salad once or twice a day, but it’s getting a tad boring. What can you do to spice it up and give it a little taste pizzazz? When it comes to delicious healthy additions, you’re limited only by your imagination.


Here you have a variety of choices, including bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange), banana peppers, hot peppers including habanero and jalapeño, and dried peppers used as a spice. Peppers are full of fiber and antioxidants, vitamins, and carotenoids to nourish your body. Red peppers are loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as lycopene. The capsaicin in hot peppers may help improve immunity and kill stomach bacteria that cause ulcers.

Nuts and seeds

Any salad tastes better with a little crunch. Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, vitamin E, and minerals including magnesium, iron, and zinc. Eat a variety of nuts and seeds to get as many nutrients as possible. Good choices for salads include sunflower and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and pistachios.


A hardboiled egg is only about 70 calories, and is a tasty and healthy addition to any salad. Eggs are chock-full of nutrients, including essential fatty acids that help keep your brain, eyes, and muscles healthy. The protein in eggs is high quality, and if you’re pregnant, the choline in eggs helps your child’s brain develop properly.

Fennel or Anise

This aromatic and flavorful veggie contains fiber, folate, and vitamin C, and delivers a slight licorice flavor.


Another food full of nutrients, beans will fill you up and add fiber and protein to your salad. Try black or kidney beans for a rich taste that’s never boring.


Why not add orange slices, kiwi, strawberries, or blueberries to your salad? Fruit is high in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, which give fruits and veggies their color. Eat a variety of colors, and you’ll feel incredible.


If you’re bored with oil and vinegar, try something new. Use a different type of oil, or sample rice or balsamic vinegar. Add a few squeezes of lemon or lime juice, or try yogurt mixed with olive oil and vinegar. Add a new ingredient with a kick, such as red pepper or mustard, or buy a pepper mill and crack fresh pepper over your salad. Don’t be afraid to use spices liberally, such as Mrs. Dash or sea salt.

What do you do to spice up your salads?

What Does It Mean to Eat Healthier?

healthy eatingWhat does healthy eating mean to you, personally?

Eating healthier means different things to all of us. For one person, it might mean cutting out animal products and eating strictly organic vegan food. For another, it might mean eating out no more than a couple times a week and learning to cook.

Transforming your eating habits is a process, and you can’t expect to be perfect overnight. Eating healthier means striving to avoid unhealthy food most of the time. Only you can decide what it means to decrease unhealthy food and add healthy food. Your doctor or nutritionist can help, but you must live with your new eating habits, so your plan must be realistic.

We’ve seen people stop eating certain foods cold turkey, and while it works for some, for others it’s a recipe for disaster. When you deprive yourself of foods you love, you may reach a point where you have an overwhelming craving for that food, and then you’re likely to binge, or eat a large amount at one sitting.

We recommend that instead of cutting out favorite foods completely, allow small portions occasionally, or find an acceptable substitute. One example is moving from eating large amounts of milk chocolate daily to small amounts of dark chocolate a few times a week. Another example is limiting yourself to one soda a day.

When you’re ready to change your diet for the better, you can start with these tips:

  • Think about how you eat now. Look at how often you eat processed food, such as frozen pizza, versus food in its natural state, such as fruit. Generally, the less often you eat processed food, the better.
  • Keep a food diary for two weeks. You’ll see where you can improve, and you’ll have a good idea of exactly what you’re eating.
  • Visit,, and for more information on healthy eating and ways to change your eating habits.
  • Decide what you can and cannot live with when it comes to healthy eating, and start with small steps such as reducing sugar intake. Once you’re comfortable with that, add another small change to your diet.

Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Make minor changes gradually, and you’ll still enjoy eating while you work toward your goals. Use your doctor and nutritionist for help and guidance.

What steps to improve your diet are you considering? If you’ve already taken steps to change your eating, please share in our comments section.