Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Restaurant success


We went out for a family dinner last night and it was at a notoriously sodium laden restaurant.  Thankfully it has an online menu so I could make the best decision like I do every time we go here.  I had myself all set on the fire grilled tilapia and they told me they were out of it.  Blarg!  Wrench.  I asked what else they had and I knew the salmon would put me over where I wanted to be and they said they had mahi mahi so I got that with no sauce or added salt.  I could tell The Mr was really struggling with what to get.  He knew what he should get but he kept asking what a few other dishes had in them sodium wise and I knew the ones he was asking about were sodium bombs.  It's almost like when we're with other people, he gets a little tempted to veer off path because everyone else is ordering crap.

I used to gently remind him of what we discussed before we came to keep him on track.  Then it was almost like people were listening for it and I've even had things said to me like "oh he can have what he wants, leave him alone!" or "you're no fun!"  I stopped doing it because if he wants to blow his sodium out of the water or screw up his calories, that's his business.  I was no longer going to be viewed by my family as some taskmaster that cracks the culinary whip to keep him on track.  He can make those decisions for himself.  We make a plan going in and if one of us sticks to it and the other doesn't, then it's on the person who strays from plan to not gripe about it come weigh in day.

I was very proud of him for making the right choice and sticking to the plan of wood fired fish.  He got the baked potato with sour cream which calorie wise was moderate but at 730mg of sodium, I'll stick with my asparagus with no added salt.  (I always make sure to ask them to tell the cook not to salt my fish and veggies or else they just dump it on and I'd be bloated for three days.  He is completely unaffected by salt...poophead.)  They brought the fish on rice pilaf for both of us and we didn't have a single grain.  I knew one taste would cause me to slam my face into it.  It's so good but such a salt lick.  Stuffed mushrooms were ordered and he passed them up.  I was proud of him because I know he likes those but again, not alloted for and he stuck with the plan.  I was proud of myself too because those garlic cheddar biscuits were especially good this time but I stuck to the one I allowed myself and never thought about them again.  We drank 2 big ol' glasses of water that was probably about 35 oz of water which would've equaled one of the water bottles I drink the second half of the day.  Score.

All in all, restaurant success!

Do you stick to your plan when you eat out or are you tempted to veer off track when you're around others?

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26 comments:

  1. I was having a rough time staying within range. Glad I held it in check though because it wouldn't have been worth it otherwise. You did great and took the menu change with stride and adjusted accordingly. Good job!

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    1. I could tell but you made the right choices and that's all that matters. Anything above and beyond what we planned for tastes good for 3 seconds and makes you feel bad for days after. Not worth it.

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  2. YOU DONE GOOD! Once when I went to Red Lobster, and had planned on having the tilapia, they were out. Perhaps they should order more if running out is a consistent problem. I did hear John Tesch (from the radio--and he knows EVERYTHING) say the other day that tilapia is NOT one of the healthy fish. I like it because it isn't so fishy tasting. But I guess it doesn't provide lots of nutrients, etc., like some other fish. Oh well, it IS low in calories and that's good enough for me!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah that was the first time they were out for me but I go once a year so I don't know if it's a regular thing. John Tesh might want to re-read his studies. I don't want to get into a big fish debate with others but trust me, keep eating it along with other fish...we're fine. ;) At 23g of protein per 4oz, I'll take my chances.

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  3. I normally do stick to my guns when going out to eat. Every now and then, I do overindulge though. I have a hard time when we eat out with my hubby's family because they tend to eat out a lot and overindulge. They get basket after basket of bread, order appetizers and never order food that is healthy. I have certain items I always get at certain places. When we go out Outback, I just get a 6 oz sirloin and a side of steamed veggies. It's a good dinner and stays within my calories. I will have some of that bread too, but just a little bit, and I get water. There are a few places to eat that they pick where there is almost nothing healthy on the menu, so I have a hard time and just try to do my best to pick something not friend or covered in cheese. Eating out is so hard. That's why I don't do it that often. Hubby and I had a lunch at Panda Express yesterday, and that was the first time I'd eaten a single meal or anything out in about a week and a half.

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    1. If I'm going to a restaurant as part of our high cal day then I'll loosen the reins but if it's a weeknight event where we don't have a choice over the place we're going, I go strict all the way. Of course these days, I find most places honestly don't make stuff as good as I do. I can count on one hand restaurants worth going out for and the rest, meh. We're having homemade Chinese "take out" tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it! (Though I'd really love a break from cooking!)

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  4. I usually stick to my guns when were out. Salt is a huge issue for me too, so going out is just tough all around.

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    1. I wish you could find a restaurant that wouldn't douse everything in salt. I've been to some places where the that was all you could taste and refused to eat any more of it. I'd rather under-salt and let people add more on their own than have it be inedible.

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  5. The restaurants around here are mostly locally owned non-chain restaurants and although I prefer them to the chains, not having nutritional information posted makes it hard to make good choices ahead of time. For the most part when I go out with hubby & little guy I call it a "treat" meal and don't worry about it and then try to make sure the rest of the week is good. If I hit fast food for lunch I try to make good choices, and since those are chains and I know the nutritional counts of my "go tos" I usually do ok there.

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    1. I LOATHE going to chain restaurants. Whenever the Mr and I have birthday dinners, we purposely have them at local places and it drives my family nuts. They like the food but you know they'd rather be at some soulless chain restaurant. Bleh. But yes, I would really love it if local restaurants got on board and as a courtesy to their customers offered nutritional info. I'd be more likely to frequent a local place more often if I knew what I was eating label wise.

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    2. Me too. I understand the point of these small owners though. They don't want to take the time to post their information online (instead of actually running a restaurant). They're not sure if their customers actually care (in my town it would be a small number that would). Plus I think that pretty often the nutritional information changes based on what was on sale that week and which cook is on shift. The chains tend to be more consistent and have a recipe for everything whereas the little guys tend to allow for more personalization.

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  6. Maybe what John Tesh meant was that tilapia is a warm-water fish, and therefore does not contain the megadose of Omega-3 fatty acids that cold-water fish have.

    As for whether I stick to my guns when eating out, lately I find it difficult to do that even when eating at home, so no, not usually. Sometimes I'll make a choice that I know is better for my plan (such as it is) than what I really want, but then I'll be equally smug for being 'good' and resentful because I wanted something else. Best I can do is eat only half the meal and take the rest home for another day. Unless we're eating Mexican food. Then I eat two baskets of chips with salsa and take home the entire entree for two to three meals another day. Mexican food is my favorite--and my downfall.

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    1. Mexican food is really good if made properly. I'm so glad I've come up with a few go to recipes at home so when the urge for Mexican strikes, we can partake in the fiesta!

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    2. I can't remember what he said about the tilapia but I'm going to keep eating it, cause I like it. You might be right, Cheri, about the Omega-3 lack. It has to be healthier than red meat, right?

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  7. Good job! I find that this is one of my weak spots - I go in with a plan and then completely choose something else once I'm there and it's usually not a good swap!!

    Very proud of you both!!

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    1. It can be very hard. I usually open the menu just because everyone else does but I don't even read it because I already know what I want before I get there. If there are dessert menus, I'll flip them. Like the chocolate chip lava cake I saw last night...yeah, I wanted that. But I turned it the other way and didn't think about it. Plus I know if I REALLY want it come Saturday, I can make my own version and it'll rock. :-)

      Aww, thanks!

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  8. Good Job!! love your blog so far :)

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  9. Hi! Just found your blog! Nice job! I hate having to dodge sodium every bit as much as calories, but it is what it is. I was scraping off 'blackened' seasoning off chicken on Saturday myself, because what was blackened must've been pure salt. LOL

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    1. Blackened seasoning can be the worst. I just made my own salt free old bay today and looking forward to testing it out.

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    2. Love Penzey's great selections of salt-free seasonings at home! Mayhaps I need to consider getting a small container and just taking it with me when I need to....

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  10. I've always had trouble when eating at restaurants. I have this mentality that suggests I have a right to eat whatever I want just because someone is cooking it for me. I really struggled with this in New Orleans. There were so many foods that I haven't tried and I did a pretty good job of trying most of them. It's something I've avoided thus far to deal with it but I have to make a better plan in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. I don't have problems with ordering something relatively healthy IF (IF-IF-IF) my family chooses somewhere that actually has anything relatively healthy on the menu. it's always a crap shoot there, but fortunately we don't do those kinds of meals too often. It helps that I don't seem to react to sodium too much, or maybe I do and just don't notice it?

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  12. I like that you decided to let him make his own choices...there is something so freeing about just focusing on your own choices and feeling good about those. I've long since stopped trying to get the hubs to eat more vegetables (which he only eats with cheese or loads of salt). I figure I'm not his mama and even when I don't think it's the "best" choice for him, he's still entitled to make it. I used to be quite the control freak when it came to him (although I didn't see it that way at the time), but since I've stepped back and started truly focusing on myself, I'm so much happier and not nearly concerned with other people's business (I was ridiculously judgmental--hard to admit, but true). As far as veering off track when with other people, I do pretty good with that. I get a lot of flack at work for "being so good" and other cutting remarks, but I just smile and say, "I'm good, thanks." I offer no explanation and it drives people nuts, which does make me giggle on occasion. I'm also learning not to be the first one to finish my plate (I'm a "wolfer" by nature), and to really focus on the company more than the food.

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  13. It's super hard to stick to your guns when you go out to eat, especially when other people are encouraging you to order things you know you shouldn't have. Good for you both for staying with the plan!

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  14. It's very rare that I stick to plan. I am always influenced by others or I'm a creature of bad habits. I hate it because I always have a dilemma about what to order. I know what I should order, but I do the opposite. If I go to a restaurant that has the menu online, I will normally make a better choice in a restaurant. If I am going to a restaurant I will not make the best choices. The other day I went to a restaurant for a going away party. They didn't have online menus. I normally get everything fried. This time I did get some fried foods; however, I decided not to get the french fries as well. I made better choices for my sides. I ordered water with lemon instead of lemonade. The portions were not huge, and I wasn't stuffed when I left, so I felt good about the choices that day. I even worked out later.

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