Eating out: it's not ONLY beneficial to your ladyfriend

Just like every other aspect of eating, restaurant-dining and I have had a bit of a tenuous relationship over the past three or four years. Oftentimes, I would accompany my family and friends to restaurants, only to order “just a Diet Coke,” or “decaf coffee, black.” More often, though, I would just avoid the whole eating-out situation altogether.

I’ve been better lately–I’ve been eating veggie burgers and salads. Pintos and cheese is a new Taco Bell mainstay. Hell, I’ve even scarfed down a slice of pizza or two since I’ve started trying to fix myself.

A great source of inspiration–or at least a handy resource guide towards not being crazy at restaurants–can be found on Crack Fitness NYC. Melissa offers seven helpful hints for actually enjoying your dining experience, still remaining healthy, and avoiding the shame you would invariably bring your friends and accomplices over dinner. Here is an interesting excerpt, although I would strongly recommend reading this entire article:

Tip #2 *The ONE request rule. This is huge. This can transform your relationship with eating out if it makes you uncomfortable. You can only ask the waiter to make one substitution for the entire meal. So if you want your omelet with egg white only, don’t ask for it to be cooked without oil. If you want you salad dressing on the side, don’t drill the person about the way the cook your fish. If you want your fish cooked with olive oil not butter, make that your request. So let’s say your fish comes drenched a top a pool of teriyaki, just move it to a separate plate, so you have a reasonable amount of sauce.

One of these tips is to look at a menu and see if there is something you will actually eat on there beforehand. It saves you a whole lot of hassle. You don’t want to get seated at Denny’s (the epitome of fine dining, of course) and find yourself torn between the Grand Slam Breakfast, the Grand Grand Slam Breakfast, and the Fatboy Special–eight pieces of deep-fried french toast spread thick with lardo.

There are a number of items and sites that facilitate my particular brand of obsessive-compulsive, mildly-disordered crazyeating, which probably goes completely against the intentions of Melissa’s article but dag-nabbit it’s progress.

Red Robin’s website is my favorite. They have a burger customizer, which allows you to get accurate (but limited) nutritional information of all of their food, including the condiments you want and the side dishes you shouldn’t be eating. By the way. a lonely, bunless Gardenburger sitting on a cold plate is a mere 100 calories, which is a small price to pay for being the laughing-stock of your table.

Of course, everyone is familiar with those cheap paper menus they make available at the fast food joints now. Taco Bell, McDonald’s, and Subway (which is, by no means, a healthy weight-loss regime, by the bye) have had the most easily-available nutritional information in my opinion, but these days they all have some sort of guide or calculator on their website. Even Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken have gotten in on the game, although I think that’s simply to rub their fiendish coronary-murder-plot in your face before you croak.

Anyway, I guess this post was my successful attempt to crazy up a perfectly good and valid link. If you want real advice from somebody who is not a crazy crazy that is crazy, see the post at Crack Fitness NYC.

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