Tips On Making Healthy Food Choices At Restaurants

veganMany people think that when they begin eating nutrient rich, they can no longer eat out in restaurants or socialize, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Not only are more and more nutrient-rich-friendly restaurants popping up, but nutrient-rich choices can be made most anywhere, by utilizing a little First-Class knowledge whenever you sit down to dine.

Our goal is to help you make a nutrient-rich lifestyle work in any situation because eating out and socializing are an important part of a well-rounded and balanced life, and because many joyous occasions are feted with food. Most of us are also living fast-paced lifestyles, working long hours and feeling like we don’t have time to cook meals at home on a regular basis. Knowing how to eat nutrient rich anywhere is the key to accomplishing your goals and gaining all 7 of the Success Results.

Your goal is to eat 90% or more plant-based, nutrient-rich foods. Remember that the more nutrient-rich plant foods on the plate, the less room there is for animal and highly refined foods. By filling up on the good stuff, you won’t have room or desire for the unhealthy stuff.

Some restaurant menus feature “diet,” “low fat,” “low-carb” and “gluten free” items, but you don’t need to pay attention to any of that. Instead, you are just going to apply your nutrient-rich knowledge about vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds and grains, and seek out the items that meet the nutrient-rich criteria


When you see a menu item that could be made healthier by asking for some modifications, don’t be afraid to ask! Most restaurants want to accommodate their patrons, so you’ll come back again and again. Here are some easy modifications you can request:
• A specific ingredient on the side of The plate, e.g., Salad dressing
• A specific ingredient omitted altogether, e.g. cheese on salad
• Vegetables steamed instead of sautéed in oil
• Brown rice instead of white rice
• A side salad instead of French fries
• Whole wheat bread instead of white bread


When it comes to dining out, all restaurants are not created equally—from a health perspective that is. The good news is that certain types of restaurants will always be health-friendly choices, and many of them are establishments you can find in both large cities and small towns. Ethnic cuisines tend to be great choices that will provide you with a lot of variety and diverse taste sensations.

Here are some of the tips on making healthy food choices at restaurants- Go Ahead Be Adventurous!


Some traditional Asian populations, such as the Okinawans of Japan and certain rural Chinese, are known for their health and longevity. This is no coincidence—these were the people who were consuming a heavily plant-based diet, and they simply did not get the heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes that are epidemic in America.

At Asian restaurants, white rice is everywhere. As you’ve learned by now, white rice is a refined food that has been stripped of its fiber and nutrients. But, the solution is simple: Just ask your server for brown rice instead—the vast majority of Asian restaurants will be able to accommodate you. We’re sure you know this by now, but it’s worth repeating—no fried rice! That would be like eating french fries, and we all know those aren’t healthy! On the plus side, most Asian restaurants also have a vegetarian section of the menu and this section can be quite long! We seriously doubt you’ll feel deprived as you try to choose between the vegetables and tofu, the vegetable curry and the vegetable Pad Thai!


Chinese restaurants typically have a bunch of good options to choose from, including vegetarian dumplings, vegetarian spring rolls, stir-fried or steamed vegetables, and vegetables with tofu. NOTE: Steamed vegetables are of course healthier than those than have been stir-fried, due to the oil, but you can decide whether the oil will be your 10% non-nutrient-rich portion of the meal. In that case you’ll just want to make sure the rest of your meal fits the 90% guideline.


At Japanese restaurants, you can start with an order of edamame, which is boiled soybeans. If you’re lucky, they’ll come in the pods and you’ll get to pop the beans out (its fun!). Edamame is also typically very salty, so ask them to hold the salt. If you like sushi, choose the vegetarian sushi, such as the California or cucumber rolls. Since sushi is served with white rice, it’s not exactly a health food, but it’ll offer some of the healthier options on the menu. Japanese restaurants also offer vegetable-only dishes. Some offer an option of brown rice too.


If you like Thai food, there are typically many vegetable-based dishes to choose from—curries, Pad Thai, tofu and more. Remember that brown rice is healthier than noodles.


At Korean restaurants, it’s also easy to get vegetable dishes. For example, Bi Bim Bap is a popular Korean dish that comes with chopped vegetables over rice in a sizzling hot stone pot—you can order it with tofu instead of meat. It also typically comes with an egg over top, but they’ll leave it off if you ask.


Vietnamese restaurants are known for their soups (pho)—and vegetarian options abound. They are also known for noodle dishes. Noodles are a refined food, but you can usually get brown rice instead. If you do decide to get noodles, make sure rest of your day is 90% or more nutrient rich, and you’ll be fine.


Indian cuisine is another wonderful option for eating nutrient rich. There are so many plant-based dishes to choose from! There are all kinds of curries, dishes made with vegetables and lentils or chickpeas, stir fries and more. The spices in Indian food make for an endless array of delectable taste sensations. The classic Indian bread is naan—if you can live without it, you’ll be better off. If you feel like Indian food isn’t the same without it, see if you can get whole wheat naan, or at the very least naan without butter. NOTE: Some Indian sauces are made with cream or ghee (clarified butter). We recommend that you ask your server which dishes come without dairy. You may think it doesn’t matter, but those sauces can be loaded with saturated fat and hundreds of calories—which, trust us, your body doesn’t want!


Ethiopian food is becoming more and more popular with restaurants popping up in many cities. The menus at Ethiopian restaurants are loaded with nutrient-rich options—including dishes made with collard greens, lentils and mixed vegetables. Like Indian food, Ethiopian cuisine makes heavy use of spices, creating dishes that tantalize the senses and delight the taste buds. Ethiopian bread is called injera, which has a spongy texture and comes in sheets. It’s made out of teff, which is an ancient and nutritious grain. In bread form, it has become somewhat refined, but not as much as white bread. Because injera is used as a scoop for the food, feel free to have some; just don’t make it the bulk of your meal.


Some of the classic foods of Mediterranean cuisine are pretty health friendly! Salads abound, as do plates of grilled vegetables. You can always order a hummus or baba ghanoush (eggplant dip) plate with veggies for dipping. Grape leaves are stuffed with rice and herbs, and tabbouleh is made with cracked wheat (bulgur), cucumber, tomatoes and chopped parsley, which goes great, stuffed in a whole wheat pita.


While Italian restaurants don’t necessarily top the list of nutrient-rich restaurants because of the heavy focus on pasta—which is not a health food—even there you can create a delicious meal for yourself. The antipasto plates come with vegetables—just ask your server to leave off the meats and cheeses. You should also have several salad options to choose from and be able to request grilled vegetables as well.

If Italian food means pasta to you, seek out restaurants that offer whole-wheat pasta and order the pasta primavera, a vegetable dish. For sauce, you want a simple marinara (tomato) sauce. You definitely want to avoid Alfredo sauce, which is a heavy, fat- and calorie-laden cheese sauce, as well as sauces with cream, sausage or prosciutto (Italian thin- slice ham).


There are certain regions of Mexico where the people are healthy and long-lived. Unlike the Mexican food we’ve become accustomed to; Mexican cuisine is not inherently about disease-promoting cheese! For many Mexicans, simple rice and beans is a staple of their diet, along with nopalitos (cactus), vegetables and fruits. At Mexican restaurants, look for tacos and burritos that are made with rice, beans, potatoes and vegetables and ask them to hold the cheese. (Refried beans can be made with lard—ask for whole or black beans. Corn tortillas are better for you than flour.

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