wellness wednesday: tips for eating healthy at restaurants

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Happy wellness Wednesday! Today's topic is healthy eating when you're eating in restaurants. Unless you're at a healthy cafe that only serves grain bowls, green juice, and amazing salads, it can be really hard to navigate menus with healthy eating in mind. As someone who was strictly vegetarian for almost a decade (I still don't eat any red meat and very rarely eat any meat at all), I know the struggle of going out to a restaurant and feeling like the only thing they have for me is a sad, iceberg lettuce salad. 

It doesn't have to be that way! Now, we can't control what the restaurants serve, but we don't have to feel like going out to eat somewhere is an attack on our healthy diets. Here are my tips for making healthy choices when you're out to eat.

everything in moderation
I try to eat healthy most of the time, but I'm sure as hell not going to restrict my diet so much that I never, ever go out and just order a burger, fries, and a milkshake, pizza and rootbeer (my actual vice), or tortilla chips and a margarita. What fun would that be? Part of a healthy lifestyle is balance and that means enjoying everything in moderation and not being too restrictive with your diet or feeling guilty when you eat something "bad". 

make healthy swaps
Order a burger, but have them make it with a lettuce wrap instead of a bread bun. Ask for whole grains, steamed veggies, and grilled proteins instead of white, processed, and fried.

share plates
This is a fun one! Go tapas style and order a few plates to share with your friends. This way, you get to try a little bit of everything without getting too stuffed. 

take home leftovers
We all know American restaurant portions are out of control. I almost always take leftovers home with me because it splits the meal into more healthy portions and also makes it more economical since you're technically getting more than one meal for your money.

order your side wisely
Have you ever ordered soup in a bread bowl at Panera, only to receive the bread bowl, the bread lid, and an extra baguette on the side? I'm a shameless bread lover but that's too much even for me. Instead of opting for bread, chips, or fries on the side, try ordering steamed veggies (even if you top with a little salt and butter), fresh fruit, or a side salad.