September 23, 2015

Eating Healthy While Eating Out

Within a 10 mile radius from my house, there lies a Chipotle, Cane's, Waffle House, Chickfila, Sonic, Panera, several taco places, and a sandwich shop with the best philly cheesesteaks known to man. I keep healthy food in my pantry and fridge, but sometimes I just want to hang with my friends at IHOP and use the coupons I get in the mail.

I hear a lot of people say that to eat clean and healthy they just don't eat out. What?! You mean you never have a day when you've spent 4+ hours in the library, cleaned your bathroom, paid some bills and then don't feel like making yourself something to eat? You're crazy! 

Going out to eat in America is like a daily cultural celebration. Stories are shared, connections are made, and tasty meals are served. Embrace it! Just because you're trying to eat healthy doesn't mean you have to watch your friends pile into their car for taco Tuesday while you melodramatically stab a salad. No! 

Here's my advice:

Pick a restaurant that has healthy options (even if they aren't the healthiest)
I'm a college kid, so I LOVE coupons. Cam and I have been to Zaxby's (a fried chicken food chain) twice with a coupon for a free "Zalad". Is there something healthier than a salad? Well, yes. I'm sure the dressing has added sugar and what not, but it's FREE, so I'm going to eat it. I get grilled chicken and no cheese and it's delicious. (And if you're really worried about the dressing, just squeeze some lemon juice on it!) 

Split something with someone
Sometimes, it's the portions that can make you overdo it. When I go to IHOP with my friends on a Sunday morning, I'm usually craving eggs and bacon, but I'm not really wanting to push it with a stack of pancakes. Give them to a friend (they'll probably love you forever). 

Be complicated with your order
Did any of ya'll ever watch Bon Qui Qui on YouTube like it was your job? Just me? "SE-CUR-ITY!" (Wow this must sound really weird if you've never seen it so here's the video.) Anyway, don't be afraid to be complicated! Obviously don't be rude or anything, but if you want to ask for "no cheese, no mayo, don't pre-butter the bread, and instead of fries can I get a fruit cup" DO IT! 

Don't make it a combo
Sometimes I visit places where you can get a taco and beans and rice and chips and that is just too much for me and my macros I'll order just the tacos (corn tortillas please) and if I'm still hungry afterward, I'll go home for some fruit or heat up some brown rice. 

"Whatever, I'm getting cheese fries"
Give yourself a cheat meal! Maybe you've been good all week and now your friends invite you to get pazookies. (I realize some people don't know what a pizookie is and that is so sad.) TREAT YO SELF. Counting my macros has helped me to realize that balance is key. If I really, really want that cookie, I'm getting it.

Make friends
Having a friend that will eat healthy with you is really great. My best friend and I eat really similar, so we had a thousand study dates last year for salads and baked potatoes.

Plan ahead
Because I count my macros, I can plan my meals around each other. If I want to have a delicious burrito bowl at Chipotle for dinner, I will enter that into my macros first thing in the morning and then eat around it. Since Chipotle tends to be more carbs and fat, I'll have a protein filled breakfast. Also, look up the menu before you go. This way, you don't have to spend a lot of time (or any stress) figuring out the best option for you.

Bring a meal bar
Sometimes I'm really trying to be good, so I'll get something healthy when out with friends. Sometimes this healthy thing (example: a salad) isn't super filling. Keep a meal bar in your purse to go along with your meal. Just eat it in your car before or after meeting up with your friends and now you've had a good meal and gotten to have some quality time with pals. My favorite are Kind bars

Don't be embarrassed
I used to get embarrassed ordering healthy food when all my friends were getting chicken tenders. This is just something you have to get over if you really want to achieve your fitness goals or what have you. If they're your friends, they'll understand! Occasionally someone will make a comment like, "Oh yeah, you don't eat that because you eat healthy crap" and I just say "Yeah, I do, thanks!" Don't sweat it!

Go out and enjoy your favorite meal with some friends. Talk a lot, laugh a bunch, and have a great rest of your week!




  1. PIZOOKIES! I swear that is the ultimate cheat food. Basically tradition for me and my roommates to go get pizookies whenever we have good stories to tell. Definitely agree on all your advice too! I am definitely a complicated meal orderer (that's not a word...) but it really does help when you want to avoid certain things!


    1. No way, we are twins again! I can't help how delicious they are. X!