One of the most common challenges to eating healthy is going out to eat. It's easy to cook healthy foods when you are the one controlling the ingredients. However, when you go out to a restaurant it's sometimes hard to know what the healthiest thing on the menu is. A seemingly healthy salad can be sabotaged when topped with croutons, fried tortilla strips, blue cheese, and creamy dressing. No matter where you go, there is usually a way to make a healthy choice. I'm going to start giving my WINutrition picks from some of the restaurants here in Wilmington so that you'll always know what the most nutritious item on the menu is without having to stress over it!
First up.... P.T.'s Grille!
|1437 Military Cutoff Rd. Wilmington NC 28412|
Selection #1: 323 calories, 9.8 g fat, 1.6 g sat fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10.1 g fiber, 19g protein, 49 g carbs
Black Bean Burger on 100% whole wheat bun w/ ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, & onion
Side salad with 1/2 portion (2 Tbsp) of Lite Italian dressing [no cheese, no croutons]
Unsweet iced tea
|I sampled the black bean burger & side salad and it was tasty!|
Selection #2: 439 calories, 10.6 g fat, 1.8 g sat fat, 112 mg cholesterol, 5.9 g fiber, 45 g protein, 37 g carbs
Grilled chicken sandwich on 100% whole wheat bun w/ ketchup, lettuce, tomato, & onion
Side salad w/ 1/2 portion (2 Tbsp) of Lite Italian dressing [no cheese, no croutons]
Unsweet iced tea
I also got a chance to catch up with P.T.'s owners Mark and Jane Warren who are very health conscious themselves. Jane says "Health and nutrition are a priority for myself as well as my family. I enjoy eating at home, but when I do go to P.T.'s I love getting the black bean burger on top of a salad. I also request grilled onions and mushrooms to be added and balsamic vinegar for my dressing. These items are not on the menu, but all you have to do is ask for them!"
To browse more of the options available at P.T.'s, here is a link to the full menu.
Look for my WINutrition picks at P.T.'s Grille and more local restaurants coming soon! In the meantime, here are some quick tips for how to make healthy choices when eating out:
- Include whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and lean protein in your meal
- Don't be afraid to ask how things are prepared and request healthy modifications:
- Steam veggies instead of sautéing in butter or oil
- Grill/bake/broil meat instead of battering & deep frying
- Ask for cheese to be left out of the dish
- Ask for dressings on the side and use only minimal amounts
- When in doubt, you can always dress salads with balsamic vinegar
- Avoid butter, oil, fried foods, cheeses, white sauces, & gravies!
- Opt for healthier spreads like mustard & hummus vs. mayonnaise & cheese
- Pay extra attention to your hunger/fullness cues. Restaurant meals are often oversized in portions; don't feel like you need to eat everything on the plate!