Today my wife Laurice and I are going to talk about healthy eating on the go and specifically one of our favorite smoothie places. Certainly one of the things that we enjoy is going out to eat. We also want to make it a part of the way we live a healthy lifestyle. So, it’s important for us to understand how we make the decisions about what to eat when we go out and how we develop the healthier habits when we are out and on the go.

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The first thing we do is look at the menu. What’s nice about Tropical Smoothie is that they break down everything on the menu, including what’s in all the different dishes and they even give you the calories, but you still need to be a little bit careful because there can be hidden things. For example, there are strawberries but are they fresh or are they preserved with added sugar.  You can really order a lot of calories in a smoothie if you’re not careful.

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At another location we visit from time-to-time, they have a smoothie called a “Hulk Strawberry”.  That smoothie has more calories than a Burger King double cheeseburger with fries.  Now, if I look at the menu here at Tropical Smoothie and check out something like the Detox Island Green smoothie with spinach, kale, mango, pineapple and bananas, and ginger, at 180 calories, I’d be hungry before I walked out the door.

I like the Health Nut, the blueberries (a lot of antioxidants), I’ll probably add some peanut butter just to give me even a few more calories which are okay for me, I had a good workout this morning.

When I go out to eat I recommend you limit sugar, refined grains, like white bread and processed foods in general. I also recommend adding more fiber, as I have done with adding kale to the Health Nut smoothie that I ordered.  You should also eliminate juices that are meant to sweeten for taste (like apple juice) but add too much sugar.

Substitutions really don’t make much of a price difference either. Just makes your meal a little healthier, not more expensive.

People are often challenged with how to eat healthy on the go. Science suggests limiting sugar, refined grains, processed foods while adding more vegetables and fruits and more whole foods.

It’s also a good idea to get something in a bowl, as opposed to having it in a wrap if you are trying to lose weight.

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Some will tell you to order smaller portions when dining out (if you are on a weight loss program). There is some recent research that explains why the quality of food you order maybe more important. This study, published in JAMA, found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.

This is even when scientists are looking at genetic testing to understand if we are more sensitive to a low-carb diet vs a low-fat diet.

What matters is the quality of food choices you make.  You can read more about the study here @nytimes The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds.

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