How to Eat Healthy at Restaurants: Nutritionist Tips

Now I’m definitely not a health food fanatic, but I do try to eat healthy, love me some fruits and veggies, and feel best when I eat nutritious meals. A few nights ago, a friend and I went to hear a nutritionist talk. After refreshments and healthy eats (my favorites were wheat berry salad, ground pork spring rolls, and sweet and spicy trail mix show above), the adorable and inspiring nutritionist and yoga teacher Julie Starr-Wood and the Mandarin Boston’s Executive Chef Rachel Klein dished on food trends and healthy eating.

A few big takeaways:

  • There are so many different schools of thought when it comes to healthy eating, but it’s most important to listen to your body. If you eat gluten and you feel okay, then gluten is alright for you. Same goes for diary. I’m all for this way of thinking.
  • Speaking of diary, skip the skim milk and fat-free yogurt. Julie recommends low-fat options instead to get more nutrition and less sugar.
  • According to Julie, 50% of your diet should be produce–mostly veggies. She recommends just two servings of fruit a day (which is actually really tough for me).
  • My biggest surprise of the night was her strong opinion on soy: Women in their reproductive years should avoid eating a lot of soy–no more than twice a week.

The women also had some great tips for how to eat healthy when you’re out at restaurants–which is definitely a challenge (but maybe one that I’m not 100% interested in achieving).

  • Never go starving or dehydrated.
  • Skip the bread (not a shocker).
  • When you first get the menu, start by choosing your protein. From there, pick your vegetable, and then your whole-grain carb. You should always have a sliver of fat too (but if you’re at restaurant, that’s pretty much guaranteed).
  • Avoid anything with the word “puree” and try to stay away from rich, aromatic wintery meals.
  • Look for words like “acidic” or “citrus” to scope out a lighter option.
  • When you get your protein, always cut a third off and set it aside. Protein portions at restaurants are much bigger than needed.

One thought on “How to Eat Healthy at Restaurants: Nutritionist Tips

  1. Pingback: Food Trends from a Nutritionist | Piece by Piece

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