Monday, November 16, 2015

Befriend your restaurant employees!

Step 2 in eating at a restaurant with LPLD
(Step 1 can be found here)

Whether you cook every meal from scratch at home, or are a take-out connoisseur, things will have to change with the diagnosis of LPLD.  I plan to have many posts on recipes on how to cook at home, but what about eating out?  Is it even possible to maintain your diet with LPLD, and also eat out at a restaurant??

Yes!  We hope the following guide will help you make good choices at restaurants, whether a 5-star Vegas bistro, or the mom-and-pop joint across the street.

First, talk with the cashier, waiter, manager, even the Chef!  Ask about healthy menu options or a separate menu for lean choices.  Be careful: low carb and low calorie do NOT necessarily mean low fat!   Fast food restaurants often have  a list of nutrition facts posted; look for food options that are low fat.  Your daily fat intake goal depends on your doctor’s or nutritionist’s recommendation, but we usually look for items less than 10 g of fat, and then think about how much fat was eaten over the rest of the day. Don’t even look at the other options that are too fatty! Don’t tempt yourself!
All right, the colorful plate gives this away as homemade... but these mushrooms, curried cauliflower, and shrimp would be delicious any place you can get them!

Specific ideas:

  • For breakfast, oatmeal, a smoothie, or yogurt with fruit often work
  • For a salad dressing, or to dip French bread into, try just balsamic vinegar without the oil; it’s got kick and a lot of delicious flavor!  
  • Ask your waiter to have the cook staff hold any cheese, butter, or added oils
  • Ask your waiter to double or triple the vegetables, offer to pay extra; often they won’t charge you, and you’ll have something to really fill you up!
  • Try not to be worried about making so many demands and requests; you are the one who will have to pay for the consequences, through your health and hospital bills, if they make a mistake.  So be polite, but speak up!
Sauteed vegetables in just a touch of olive oil are delicious and beautiful!
It is often harder to find good food choices at fast food places than ‘real’ food restaurants.  Sometimes a grilled chicken filet, salad without dressing, or chicken wrap with a fruit salad is an option, but often not.  Look at the kids’ menu, too; sometimes a kid sized burger can satisfy a craving without putting your fat grams through the roof!

If a restaurant treats you well, then tip the staff well, and become a regular customer so that you build a relationship of trust with them!  They’ll be more likely to continue to offer foods that are good for you, and maybe add to their menu with you in mind!

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