I was under no pretense that my dinner tonight was going to qualify as healthy. It just wasn't. So my goal was to do the best with the menu I was given.
I ended up with a kid's meal from Penn Station -- 4-inch grilled artichoke sub with mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and cheese (no mayo) and a half-order of fries.
I had planned to make fajitas for Meatless Monday but when Mark and I decided to go car shopping, those plans disappeared. I knew I wouldn't have time to drive north, cook dinner and eat, then drive south and make a round of the dealers. I identified a few fast non-fast food restaurants in the area and let Mark pick. It was a bit of a formality, though, because I knew what he would pick: Penn Station.
If you don't have Penn Station, let me first tell you that it is delicious. I am a fan of the chicken philly sandwich with extra veggies and a smear of mayonnaise, as well as a side of fries drenched in malt vinegar. Thank goodness it was Meatless Monday, and I couldn't be tempted. It would be a "lite"-sized grilled artichoke sub for me. Not that I'm complaining - it was quite tasty. It might have been better with mayonnaise but it was tasty nonetheless AND it was less than 300 calories. By ordering off the kids menu, my meal was about 400 calories. Total. Including fries drenched in malt vinegar.
A few of my tricks for eating out:
- Order off the child's menu when possible.
- If you really want something, see if you can get it in a smaller portion. Rumor has it that you stop enjoying the flavor of a food after three bites.
- Pick what you really want and decide what you are willing to give up for that. I was willing to sacrifice mayonnaise for a kid's order of fries.
- Seek out nutrition information before you go. I was surprised that the bread for a 6-inch sandwich, the bread alone, was nearly 250 calories.
- Drink a sip of water or your diet beverage of choice between bites.
- Talk. A lot. You won't notice that you are eating a smaller portion if you are going on about the merits of the Manolo Blahnik Mary Jane.
- Eat a peppermint once finished so you don't feel tempted to take fries off your husband's plate. Not that I know anything about that.