WSU Nutrition: Dine Out, Don’t Pig Out

Eating healthier for your body, mind, and wallet

The Washington Post recently described Detroit as a rising “food mecca.” Over the past year alone, Detroit’s food industry welcomed Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery, Treat Dreams, and Central Bar + Kitchen… just to name a few new eateries. The increasing number of restaurants, bakeries, and bars will likely increase your desire to try them all, especially if you are a self-proclaimed foodie. Unfortunately, this activity may be hazardous to your health—and your wallet. Is dining out on occasion really that detrimental? Most likely not. However, it is important to remember one of the most important words when it comes to food and nutrition: moderation. This is gentle not only on your body but on your budget as well.

If your friends invited you out for dinner this weekend, how can you plan out your week so you avoid overindulging on the weekend? Or maybe it is your best friend’s birthday tomorrow, and your friends are all going out to a pricier restaurant, but you don’t want to miss the festivities: How do you handle this situation? The following tips will cover these scenarios and more.

WSU nutrition tip #1: Plan ahead

If you have been trying to get back into a healthy routine, dining out can sometimes be a road block. Remember, it is okay to indulge sometimes, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. If you are trying to stay on track, plan your meals and snacks out in advance so you don’t feel bad about going out to dinner or grabbing dessert with your friends on the weekend.

WSU nutrition tip #2: Order with creativity

Certain circumstances make it difficult to avoid eating out. If this is the case, do some research. If you know which restaurant you will be dining at, familiarize yourself with the menu in advance. Not only can you get a sense of the price range, but you can also scope out the healthier options. If the menu is pricier than expected, sharing is caring. Ask your friends if they would be interested in splitting a few appetizers or sharing a larger menu item.

WSU nutrition tip #3: “Where do you want to eat?”

This seems to be one of the most difficult questions, especially when you are bombarded with so many great options in downtown Detroit. Sometimes you aren’t in charge of where you and your family or friends dine out. But when you do have the driver’s seat, here are some tips for eating healthier around the D:

On campus – La Pita

If you are looking for a quick lunch stop, La Pita is a very convenient option. The pita sandwich combo (~$7) is an ideal choice since it comes with your choice of rice, fries, soup, salad, or hummus and a drink. Try the Chicken Tawook pita for a leaner option, and instead of choosing rice or fries, opt for a side salad. Beware of the beverages, though. Sixteen ounces of Coca-Cola contains fifty-two grams of sugar!

Group outings – Small Plates

Don’t be fooled by the name of this restaurant. With an extensive menu, you and your friends/coworkers/family are bound to find a few plates to share. While eyeing the menu, keep the five food groups in mind. Try these not-so-small plates: Pan Asian ($6), Quinoa & Kale ($7), and Lotus Flower Tuna ($13)

The list goes on and on, but these tips can apply to any restaurant outing. Making healthier (and budget-friendly) choices might take more effort, but in the long run, it will be well worth it.








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