Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Take Out Tuesday

by Stacey

Heather please email us at girlsrunthe901@gmail.com

Ok, so I can’t really write a "Make It Monday" because I don’t cook that much and when I do, it’s not the healthy recipes these other girls cook. We have two teenage kids and just about every night we have a practice, a game, or something at church; so cooking at home doesn’t always work. So I get to write “Take-Out Tuesday.”

So how can you make smart choices and eat smarter when eating out (or grabbing to go)?
  • For starters, choose water over sweat tea, soda, or even alcoholic drinks - you are simply drinking your calories. They say that carbonated drinks slow your metabolism, cokes can clean toilets, diet coke can cause cancer and stomach fat ... do you really want to fool with it? Not too mention the cost of a drink at a restaurant is ridiculous! 
  • Watch the complimentary bread basket (a major weakness for me!) and the pre-meal chips and salsa. Just because they don’t cost you anything doesn’t mean they are (fat) free.
  • When looking at the menu avoid foods that are crispy, creamy, fried, or breaded. Look for foods that are grilled, steamed, or baked. 
  • Stay away from burgers - especially those smothered in cheese and other stuff! 
  • Check out the salads but buyer beware there too - some can be more fattening than a 
burger and fries! When ordering a salad limit the cheese, meat, and creamy dressings and try things like eggs, veggies, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. The dressing will get you every time - ALWAYS order your dressing on the side ... dip your fork before taking a bite of salad. By doing this you can control how much dressing you actually eat. Oh, if it comes in an edible bowl - don’t eat it! 
  • I am a big sandwich fan - Lenny’s especially. I usually stick with the Turkey Kaiser (half the calories of a sub), I’d like to say I get wheat ... but not a fan, but I always substitute mustard for mayonnaise. Of course your toppings matter and you can always leave off the cheese. 
  • Before you go eat, check the restaurant menu on the web. Many will list the nutritional values for their menu. Decide on your order a head of time and stick to it. [Have to admit in my research, I discovered my favorite eat-out salad is the most fattening on the menu! Very sad about that! Will keep them anonymous.] 
  • One of my personal favorite ways to watch what I eat out - split it! Half the calories, half the fat, and half the cost. Everybody wins … So celebrate the victory and split dessert too!!  
  • If you have kids, chances are you will end up at a fast food restaurant - I have included some options for you to consider.
 McDonalds – McDouble – One of the lightest double-patty cheeseburgers out there. 390 calories | 19 g fat (8 g saturated; 1 g trans) | 890 mg sodium

Papa Johns - The Works - (2 slices, original crust)
 - As pizzas topped with "everything" go, this is as good as it gets – get your meat and your veggies too. 460 calories | 18 g fat (8 g saturated) | 1,300 mg sodium

Wendy’s - Original Frosty (small)
 - When you crave a chocolate shake – found out the Frosty is the leanest option out there! Wow, who knew? 300 calories | 8 g fat (5 g saturated) | 42 g sugars

Arby’s - Super Roast Beef Sandwich - 
Arby's replaces the beef patty with roast beef, which cuts a lot of the fat. 430 calories | 17 g fat (5 g saturated, 0.5 g trans) | 1,060 mg sodium

Chick-Fil-A - Stick with Grilled Chicken … lots of options there.


All that said … seriously, if you just busted out your long run - reward yourself and order what you want!

What about you, how do you eat out smart? What is your favorite reward food (can’t be a healthy treat – it’s a splurge)?


For you "Make It Monday" recipe fans – Use this homemade dressing to cut the calories in your Caesar Salad ... (from wholefoodmarket.com)


  • 2/3 cup (about 5 ounces) firm silken tofu 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light soy or chickpea miso
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 2 cloves garlic

Ground black pepper to taste 
Put all ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth.
Nutritional Info: 
PER SERVING: Serving size: about 2 tablespoons, 25 calories (5 from fat), 0.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 2g protein

[disclaimer: I am not a Caesar Salad fan and I have never tried this recipe :)]


  1. I don't eat out often. At work we do get boxed lunches quite often so I sometimes eat those. Treats for me...chips. I love them!

    1. Hi Carli, chips are my favorite too, along with Sonic's Raspberry Sweet Tea. Thanks for the comment and visiting a fellow SPA's site. :)

  2. Oh my!! Thank you so much!!! I am so very excited!!