Dining Out 101- Let’s talk more about CALORIES

In my series of posts on dining out (from my corporate lunch and learn presentation) here is the next section on calories.

You can read Part 1 here: ย https://unleashyouroptimalhealth.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/dining-out-101-how-many-calories-should-we-aim-for/

From this blog you can take a look at how many total calories is suggested for you in a day, and use that as a guideline for choosing an option from a menu.

For part 2 on CALORIES, I bring you specific examples from restaurants around Vancouver.

Surprisingly, one of the best restaurants I found for ‘healthy’ menu options was the White Spot! ย I’ll be honest, I’ve never eaten at the White Spot, but after looking at their menu I was really impressed with their selections and how they keep their calories and sodium from getting out of control in their meals.

Lower calorie options at the White Spot- From their “Lifestyle Menu”

  1. ย Lifestyle asian chicken salad with dressing- 290 calories and 500 mg of sodium
  2. Lifestyle chicken tikka- 500 calories, 790 mg sodium
  3. Chicken ceasar wrap – 755 calories, 1423 mg sodium (getting a little high here….)
  4. Lifestyle chicken burger- 520 calories, 610 mg sodium
  5. Big bowl ceasar salad- 487 calories, 819 mg sodium.

Plenty of ‘tasty’ options, that run at about 1/4- 1/2 of the calories that these meals might typically contain at another restaurant.

Some meals to be aware of higher calorie content. ย (White Spot)

  1. ย Fettucine alfredo- 1583 calories, 1509 mg sodium
  2. White spot club- 889 cals, 1953 mg sodium
  3. Double double burger- 1218 cals, 1720 sodium
  4. full rack of ribs – 1997 calories (more than what a sedentary middle aged women should eat in an entire day), 786 sodium
  5. Roast turkey dinner- 691 calories and 2691 mg sodium (more sodium than you should intake in a day).
  6. Most desserts on their menu contained greater than 1000 calories.

Each menu will look a little differently, and that’s why I encourage you to look it up in advance!

So I have a question for you,

What is the lowest calorie option offered at Earlโ€™s?

1) Noodle Bowl

2) Moroccan salmon, onion, peas, cauliflower. With sides of sauteed buttom mushrooms, and beet & butternut squash.

3) Cajun chicken, with coleslaw and Garden salad.

Post your answer in the comments below (without looking up the menu online)! ย I will respond with the correct answer.

General Rules

ย In general when we order WHOLE foods (meaning not processed foods like vegetables, unrefined grains, fruits, meats, nuts etc.) we get much more nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and health from the meal. ย It is still advisable to understand the calorie content of your meal. ย You could be eating the most delicious healthy salad every time you dine out, but if it’s a salad with 1000’s of calories, and you aren’t active regularly, those additional calories add up to weight gain.

  • ย Remember foods aren’t necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad’. ย All foods in moderation can bring you to good health. ย Rather than writing off certain foods you might normally label as ‘bad’, instead perhaps you could try ordering the meal in a healthier version. ย For example, if you are really craving a BLT and fries, could you order an open faced sandwich (cutting all those excess carbs and calories from the bread in half) and ordering a half fries/half salad side order instead of all fries? ย There are always options to make your meal a little more applicable to your health goals.
  • ย One of my favourite rules of thumb (and that I practice almost every single time I dine out) is EAT HALF! ย If you are absolutely craving a burger, order the burger and salad and split half with a friend. ย The more you deprive yourself of foods that you absolutely love, the more often you will indulge in them. ย Instead, give yourself permission to eat the ‘indulgent’ foods every once in awhile, and split the meal with someone else.

I hope this helped bring some awareness to making your next food choice option a healthy one!


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