The road to wellness isn't straight, clear, or predictable. It's a path you forge yourself.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What Do I Eat in a Restaurant?

Sometimes, you just gotta go to a restaurant.  Here are some safe options that work for me:

1.  Chinese Food - The big ironic thing is that Chinese food got slammed for having MSG in it several years ago.  Since then, most Chinese restaurants have cleaned up their act and proudly boast "No MSG" on their signs.  Steamed rice with stir-fried veggies with shrimp or chicken is the way to go.  (Avoid the fried foods and sweet sauces.)

2.  Greek/Lebanese Food - Lots of choice here!  I like to get the chicken shwarma meat with several vegetable side dishes.  (Sauteed eggplant, pan-fried cauliflower, and mustard greens are my favs.)  Other good options:
-stuffed grape leaves (get them to hold the yogurt sauce though)
-mujadrah (but only if it's with lentils and rice.  Not the cracked wheat!)
-stuffed bell peppers or squash
-any kind of meat with rice pilaf
-hummous and veggies (avoid the pita bread)
-lentil soup

3.  Japanese (*Note:  I am reconsidering this option for me b/c of the MSG content from seaweed.  Avoid the seaweed-containing items if you think you have trouble with it.) - miso soup, edamame, seaweed salad, sushi rolls (yes, I know they put a bit of sugar in the rice, but I figure it's not terrible to have it as a treat every now and then), sashimi, salmon, scallops, cucumber salad, etc.
Avoid the tempura.

4.  Thai - I love Tom Yum soup!  (lemongrass soup with shrimp and mushrooms)  Also, I usually get the Pad Thai because it's made with rice noodles.  Again, lots of options here.

5.  Indian Food - Love it!  You can get poppadoms (like crackers but made with chickpea flour), breads made with lentil flour, and many variations of meat, veggies, and rice.  Avoid the naan breads, fried foods, and cream sauces, but you'll still be spoiled for choice.   

6.  Any restaurant will have some kind of fish with vegetables.  That's my default option.  Also, steak-houses are good (if you're non-vegetarian).

Again, if you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear them!

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