Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Healthy Chaining 101
Since we are really only a week into the New Year I am going to continue to focus on my Oprah Winfrey New Year, New You resolutions. Umm she picked the president so I am going to take her advice. I know I have already fallen off the wagon a few times but everytime you fall, you just have to pick yourself up and try again. Therefore I am dedicating this posting to some of my picks for the most healthy eating options at chain restaurants.
(these are in no particular order)
1) Applebee's Weight Watcher Entrees. I think Applebee's is just alright but if you want a good, healthy meal at a chain restaurant that is more than a simple salad with dressing on the side, this is the place to go. Some real standouts on the menu are the Chili-Lime Chicken Salad that has chicken, spinach, reduced fat mozzarella's cheese, and some veggies. Others are the Garlic Herb Chicken, Cajun Lime Tilapia (daddy would eat that), Italian Chicken & Portobellow Sandwich ( I would get that without the mushrooms). Also some of the salads, like my favorite Oriental Chicken Salad can be made healthy with grilled chicken and subbing a lower calorie dressing.
2) Panera - I know this place has some fattening sandwiches, soups and salads, but they also have some very healthy ones. If you are smart about what you order you can have a delicious meal and still make Oprah proud. There are tons of low fat soups like the new Tortilla Chicken Soup. I have tried it and it was delicious!!! My personal favorite soup there is the French Onion. If you say not too much cheese and croutons, you can save a lot of calories. Also their salads are pretty healthy and extremely delicious. My favorites are the Orchard Harvest (it has cherries!!), Asian Sesame Chicken and (seasonal) Strawberry Poppyseed. I was just looking at the calorie counts on the sandwiches, those are kinda high to I guess avoid those unless it is like turkey which I don't like so I can not recommend.
3) Cheesecake Factory - What, how can the Cheesecake Factory be healthy??? It is not really, but they do have a weigh management salad menu that is pretty decent. My pick is of course the Asian Chicken Salad.
4) Pret A Manager - I know I have spoken about this many times before but they have tons of great sandwiches, salads and soups that will not make you unable to fit into your favorite black wool Brooks Brothers skirt.
5) The Seafood Chains - Red Lobster, Legal Seafood, etc. Everyone knows I am not a huge seafood fan but if you got a Red Lobster it is not that hard to work healthy. What I would do is just get grilled shrimp on a bed of rice or a plain baked potato. It would try to avoid the bread but I know me and I would eat the bread, especially the garlic cheese biscuits. Oprah would too so it is Ok.
So that is my list for now. If you have any advice, please share. Notice I have nothing about drink restrictions on this list. That would be lame.