Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Scout Out Your Prey

So yesterday I didn't have very much for breakfast, mostly because my stomach gets upset when I'm nervous about classes and have less than 6 hours of sleep (I'll do a post about the benefits of going to bed on time one of these days). So once I had woken up and gotten through my stressful class, I was hungry. I've said it before, but I hate being hungry. Yesterday was one of those days when the fates were against me because my schedule was stacked up in such a way that I wouldn't be able to get back home until 3...and I got hungry at 10 am. Well I wasn't going to eat a full meal before lunch, mostly because (in my over-efficient mind) I had stuffed my schedule full between my two class periods. That meant I had a window at 1 pm where I could eat before the school devotional at 2. 

But I've gone restaurant hopping before. I know how this works. When I'm hungry, diet schmiet, get me everything that I can smell! Which I can guarantee is not a salad. So with this in mind, I walked through the food court on my way to the copy center. 

Me at the food court...
Now I'm fairly new to campus so while I recognized the familiar beak of Chic-fil-e and the K of Krispy Kremes, I didn't know any of the other options. So I walked through while I was too busy to impulse buy anything, but slowly enough that I could plan out what I was going to buy for lunch. 

I kind of felt like I was casing a joint, looking at all the food options, trying to find what I was looking for when TADAH!! There it was. The nice big picture of a salad, with beans, lettuce, tomatos, pico de gayo, and limes. I risked being spotted and read the description for the Caliente Salad. Everything was fine, and it had lots, and lots of veggies! Well it did have meat and cheese, but it would only be a matter of asking them to not add those and problem solved!

Did I say I hate being hungry? I hate lines almost as much. College cafeterias are packed, and I am someone who gets stressed if there's a long line, which means that I just quickly buy something and deal with the consequences. Haha, but this time I was prepared. I got the salad (they only had flour shells, not corn, sad day!) and asked if I could have extra beans instead of meat. She said yes! By the time she was done there was a beautiful, nutritarian friendly meal waiting for me. I didn't have to wait until 3 pm, and I didn't have to settle for something less than what I wanted.

So what's the principle? If you decide to eat out and you want to eat healthily, scout it out first if you can. You may have to be a little creative, but something I learned from my time working with food, if you the customer, come with specifics, you'll get what you long as you're not asking for a free sandwich. 

It's not impossible to eat healthily at restaurants, you just gotta to know where to look. Generally, Chinese (sit downs are the best, though buffets have some good stuff too), Mexican and Thai places are good with veggie courses and healthy options. Burger joints are harder, but most offer salads as sides, and you can always order those. When you're ordering with veggies in mind, just make sure you ask the waiter. Just because a meal says vegetarian, doesn't mean it has veggies. Often it will have tofu and meat substitutes, true, but it may not be very veggie heavy. If your goal is lots of green, don't be afraid to ask your waiter. Their job is your satisfaction, so they'll be happy to answer any questions you have. 

Live long and eat healthy!



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