Eating Out and Staying Slim: How to Eat Healthy at Delaware Restaurants
Yummy restaurant foods can kill any hopes of donning those bikinis. But there are ways to dine out without beefing up.
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Substitute, Substitute, Substitute
But Thomas does excel at asking for alternatives. He orders whole wheat bread instead of white and asks for a side salad or veggies instead of fries. Arnott follows the same principles. She orders a sweet potato instead of a white potato, for instance.
No matter your choice, Georigi recommends asking if the veggies are fresh. Even better, see if the restaurant buys from local farmers or farmers’ markets.
Also ask the server if salad dressings are made in-house. If not, they might be loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives. “They can also contain large amounts of sugar,” Georigi notes. Good olive oil and vinegar is a safe substitute.
Going vegan or vegetarian for a meal or two is another way to up your meal’s healthy quotient. Abbott’s Grill offers a grilled vegetable panini, and the restaurant has featured a seitan stir-fry entrée.
Seitan, the “wheat meat,” can stand in for regular meat at Home Grown Café in Newark, which prides itself on offering “something for everyone,” says chef Eric Aber, who owns the Main Street eatery with his wife, Sasha.
In the beginning, the restaurant offered a choice of proteins on a salad or in a wrap, including tofu, seitan and salmon. “It became one of our niche selling points,” he says of the have-it-your-way approach. “When this proved successful, we extended the concept to our sandwiches and now most recently to our entrées. It is part of our customer-centric attitude.”
For those who to want take a break from meat, Nage in Rehoboth Beach offers Meatless Mondays. “We have a small cult following,” says owner Josh Grapski. “Vegetarians love it.”
Over at the Cultured Pearl, a favorite veggie dish involves quick-fried tofu in bonito stock dressed with fresh grated daikon, ginger and scallions livened with a pepper blend. “I personally love this dish,” Wood says. “You can make it even healthier by getting the tofu straight up rather than fried—but you have to live a little, so get it fried and go for the crunch.”
The Finishing Touch
That urge to live becomes pressing when it comes to dessert. Relax. “My motto is that if you eat dessert once a week and you’re responsible about it, just enjoy,” Georigi says. Arnott opts for fruit-based desserts or gelato—and she always gets forks for the table.
If you stick to a plan, which might involve nixing an appetizer in favor of dessert, you’ve earned the reward. In the end, it’s all about taking a thoughtful approach to food. “Be conscious and mindful about what is on the plate in front of you,” Diaz concludes. “We all have to take responsibility for our actions.”
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