Project Veg-Up Challenge

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While I have many fun challenge ideas for you guys, with summer right around the corner, I figured what better challenge to do for June than one related to all the amazing produce on the shelves and in the farmer’s markets. Like my other challenges, I want to keep this one simple – shoot to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

The Project Veg-Up Concept

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The American Dietetic Association recommends consuming at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

My fave nutrition resource, Ellie Krieger, recommends eating 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-6 servings of vegetables (more exact numbers dependent on calorie ranges).

While a lot of us eat more than enough fruits and veggies, there are many, myself included, who sometimes struggle with getting enough produce in our diet. This challenge will encourage you to consume more fruits and vegetables every day.

How to Play

Goal: Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day for the month of June. (Really you should be doing this every day, but you know what I mean. ;) )

Rules:

  • General: In the interest of keeping this challenge simple, I say make the rules as detailed or as loose as you want – whatever it takes to get you eating fruits and veggies.
  • What’s a serving?: This is up to you. At it’s simplest, you can just say, did I eat some broccoli? Yes. There’s a serving. I’ll be posting details about actual servings sizes over the month, but just play it by ear. If you want to measure your servings, go for it. If you want to be more lax, then just eye ball your servings.
  • How many servings should I eat? For the purposes of this challenge, we’re saying just eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Actual serving amounts depend on many things: age, sex, activity level, target calorie consumption, etc. There are many calculators online that will tell you how many you should eat (check out the Free Tools section for one). Ellie Krieger basically says that you can’t hardly eat too many vegetables, but you should limit fruit servings to no more than 4. Check out her book Small Changes, Big Results for more information.
  • Have fun: This challenge is meant to be a positive, supportive, and encouraging way to eat more fruits and vegetables. Have fun with it! Connect with other challenge participants. Use hashtag #projectvegup on twitter to tweet about your veg/fruit intake status or share useful recipes and articles with other challenge participants. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy learning about new recipes and ways to eat your fruits and vegetables and connecting with others.

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Tips

I’ll be sharing tips in many ways:

  • Blog posts – I’ll post my personal tips, my wins and losses, lessons learned, recipes, etc. Click here to get free updates.
  • Email newsletter – I’ll share daily tips, offer encouragement, address issue areas (see next list), and send out easy recipe ideas (email thechiclife at gmail dot com with subject=”Project Veg-Up Challenge Newsletter” and I’ll get you added)
  • Facebook – I’ll post updates on how I’m doing along with useful links. Be sure to check the Discussion Boards for recipes shared with each other and other support
  • Twitter – I’ll be tweeting updates on how I’m doing with the challenge, recipe links, useful articles, etc.
  • Note: There will be some crossover between information in the various locations, but check each one so you don’t miss anything. ;)

Your Challenge Areas

I’d also like to hear what types of problems you run into when it comes to consuming fruits and veggies. Here are some issue areas I’ve heard so far:

  • I buy fruits and vegetables, but I put them in the refrigerator, forget about them, and they go bad.
  • Since it’s summer and HOT, I find it hard to actually want to eat veggies because all I want is cold fruit! Other than putting spinach in my green monster smoothies, I can’t think of any other ways to cool myself down AND get my veggies in.
  • I already have a lot to do in the morning to get ready for work and don’t have time to prep fruits/vegetables to take to work.
  • Fruits and vegetables can be expensive.
  • Fruits are messy to eat.
  • Sometimes it seems quicker and cheaper to go for packaged and frozen items.
  • Um, eating my strawberries WITHOUT heaps of Nutella. ;)
  • Eating raw veggies is hard on my IBS so I can’t eat veggies until I cook them at home in the evening.
  • Do you have a challenge with eating fruits and vegetables that you’d like to share? Please leave a comment. :)

I’ll be addressing your challenge areas via blog posts, Facebook, twitter, email newsletters, etc.

Free Tools

Serving calculator: The CDC has a neat calculator that tells you how many cups of fruits and vegetables you should eat based on your age, sex, and activity level. Click here to go to the calculator (note: 1 “cup” doesn’t necessarily equal 1 “serving”)

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Calendar Tracker: I’ve created a calendar you can print out and keep with you to track your progress. Since Ellie Krieger recommends 2-4 servings of fruits and 3-6 of vegetables, I just put circles to represent the minimum numbers for each group (feel free to draw more circles to fit your goal servings if you want). Print out this calendar and check off the circles as you get your servings in for the day. It will feel so rewarding! Just like checking something off your to-do list!! ;)

Click here to download the Project Veg-Up Calendar

The Badge

I’m working on the badge. Work has been crazy, so I’m hoping to get one created this weekend. I’ll let you know via the tip methods listed in the previous section.

The Players

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Are you playing along in the Project Veg-Up Challenge? If so, leave me a comment, whether you’re playing for the whole month, a couple weeks, a single week, a couple days, etc. and your URL if you have a blog.

  • Me
  • You?

Questions? Leave me a comment on my blog or Facebook wall/discussion boards, mention me on twitter, and I’ll answer you there. :)

Who’s In? It’s never too late to join! If June is halfway over and you just found out about the challenge, feel free to join in on the festivities! Better late than never! :)

Eat In Month 2011 Recap

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Happy Monday friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and an even better start to your week!

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I stayed up a bit too late blogging after our super fun Super-Dance-Bowl party, so this morning was rough.

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Nothing a little coffee and some oatmeal can’t fix, though.

And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who likes bananas on top of my oats.

Today was a loooong day at work. I got in around 8:45pm but didn’t leave until just before 7pm! Luckily, I at least took a real lunch break today (as in I didn’t eat at my desk…hooray!). I’m going to work on getting away from my desk during the day more. I think it’s healthy to try to balance your work day.

Two fortunate things happened on my way home:

  • I made it through almost every stoplight! That never happens. I feel like I usually catch them. lol
  • Hubby was ready to make dinner at home as soon as I got back.

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Hubby started us with a side salad with organic romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, and sprouts. I used sundried tomato vinaigrette on top.

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And for the main event – breaded chicken parmesan and tomato basil soup. Plus some buttered whole wheat toast that I was simply too exhausted to photograph. After staring blankly like a zombie for awhile eating a balanced meal, I was feeling much better.

I caught a couple episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Have you seen it? I think it’s my new favorite TV show! If there are any No Reservations marathons coming up, you let me know, kay? ;) I think a day spent eating yummy snacks and watching No Reservations sounds like a pretty awesome day to me.

***

Eat In Month Recap

So, Eat In Month 2011 officially ended a week ago, and I’m feeling pretty relieved. Just like last time, I think it was a great experience, and I learned some lessons, but I prefer to live my life sans rules. I prefer guidelines.

So what did I learn? Well, there were some things I remembered from the 2010 challenge and some new ideas from 2011.

I learned that inside and outside of a challenge month:

  • A well-stocked pantry will encourage eating in, on a regular night or when you’re in need of a quick fix meal.
  • You can get a lot of satisfaction by pushing past your fatigue/laziness/whatever when you feel like taking the easy way out by preparing something tasty at home.
  • Meals IN don’t have to be perfect or gourmet – sometimes the simplest ones are best.
  • Sometimes it’s about making a better choice, not the perfect choice. While I think you should always eat whole foods as much as possible, if your choice is fast food versus some healthi-ER but not from scratch food at home, go with the latter.
  • You shouldn’t “not eat out” for the sake of it, if you’re in a situation where you need food and wouldn’t be able to eat in. For example, say you’re on a road trip. Now, if you can…definitely plan ahead and pack food ahead of time to enjoy later. But if you meant to pack food in the morning but spilled your entire container of oatmeal in the kitchen thereby making you late because you had to use your food-packing time to clean up rolled oats, by all means, eat something out! Don’t starve yourself!
  • Don’t skip social events just because you “can’t eat out.” You can always go after dinner and just have a drink. Or, if you’re not doing the challenge, go out to eat! Live a little.
  • Of course, you can very easily enjoy social events in the comforts of your home. Have a pot luck. Host a game night. Put on a movie marathon. Enjoy the company of your friends and eat in, too.
  • You don’t have to go out to eat to celebrate a birthday or other special event. Try cooking a special meal at home. Hubby and I celebrate in all the time, like how we celebrated his January birthday dinner IN during the month of the challenge.
  • Keep healthy snacks at work so you aren’t tempted to buy snacks out. It’s usually healthier and more cost-effective.

Check out this awesome recap by Brie Fit (click). Did you write a review? Let me know and I’ll link it up. ;)

***

And because I haven’t shared a good quote in awhile, this one seems somewhat fitting at the moment:

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
~Helen Keller

***

Did you participate in Eat In Month? What did you learn?

Eat in Month 2011 Challenge

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Just like last year, Hubby and I have been spending too much money eating out! In an effort to save money and eat more healthfully, we are vowing to eat in for the entire month of January. Long time readers of The Chic Life may recognize this post because I did the same challenge in January of 2010. You can check out my January archives to read more about how I did last year. And let me tell you, I went for a long period of the month without a kitchen due to home renovations. I mean, I didn’t have a countertop or sink! If I can eat in through all that, so you can you. I know you can if you put your mind to it.

Anywho, just like last year, we’ve been using “eating out” like a crutch when we’re tired after work or don’t have anything at home to cook and don’t feel like going to the grocery store. Well, for the month of January – no more excuses! We’re eating in…every. single. meal.

The Eat in Month Challenge Concept

Eat every single meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, snacks…whatever!) “in” to save money and eat better. (Hey, this may even fall in line with the New Years Resolutions some of you have made!)

How to Play

  • Cook or prepare all meals at home.
  • If you’re away from home for a meal, plan ahead and bring something from home with you (i.e. to work) to eat.
  • If you got it at a grocery store, it probably counts, unless you bought it at the grocery store cafe. The only exceptions to the cafe rule include: 1. if you create a side salad to accompany a meal you’ll be making at home or 2. prepared meats, i.e. rotisserie chicken.
  • Grocery-store-prepared dishes are ok if they accompany a meal put together at home. IMG_1249.JPG We all have busy lives and taking help from the grocery store shouldn’t be a crime. Example of acceptable use of grocery-store-prepped item: you want to eat sandwiches this week but don’t have anything to go with them. You pick up some bean salad at the grocery store deli to go with your lunch. Another example: you want to make chicken salad sandwiches, but you don’t have or want to buy all the ingredients. You buy grocery-store-prepped chicken salad, take it home, make sandwiches and enjoy lunch. NOTE: Personally, I feel that buying pre-pared side dishes, etc at the grocery store (esp at Whole Foods/Earthfare/etc) are sometimes healthier and more cost-effective than buying all the ingredients to make yourself. Why not use the help once in awhile?
  • Frozen meals count (meals from scratch are better but frozen meals are still cheaper than eating out (more affordable meals and you don’t have to pay tip) and can be actually cooked at home/work/etc.).
  • Challenge starts January 1, 2011 and ends January 31, 2011.
  • Play for a month if you can, or feel free to join for a week or two, or a day…whatever you can do.
  • Those playing for a month will get ONE cheat pass – one meal (not a day) you can eat out during the month of January.
  • Have a blog? If you’d like, post photos and/or descriptions of your meals. If you have a food blog, you very well may be doing so already! Remember, this is totally optional. I’ll probably post most of mine, but that’s because I’m the host of the challenge! I can’t guarantee I will post photos of every single meal, but I will tell you guys if I cheat (which I won’t do). If I did it last year, I can do it again!
  • If you’re on Twitter, use hashtag #eatinmonth to check out updates from each other, get inspiration, request tips, offer tips, and help each other out.
  • I’ll be posting tips and suggestions also on my Facebook page, so be sure to check that out often during the challenge month for updates.

Tips

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  • Get your pantry ready – A lot of times, I have good intentions to eat meals at home, but after a long day of work, if I don’t have any easy meals to whip up, I’m more likely to pick up the phone and order takeout. Having easy meals that come together quickly makes me more likely to put “pantry-meals” together instead of calling someone.
  • Click here to read my Eat in Month Pantry Tips + Ideas post
  • Have snacks ready – If I’m hungry at work, especially when there are lots of quick options around, it’s easy for me to take a 15 minute walk to pick up a snack. By keeping snacks in my desk and in the office fridge, I can just nosh on those instead of seeking snacks elsewhere.
  • Plan ahead – Prep your pantry, create a meal plan for the week. If you have a meal schedule ready, you’ll be more likely to stick to what you already planned ahead to prep/cook/eat. You’ll probably also utilize those leftovers more efficiently, too!
  • Have quick meals in your back pocket – Go ahead and jot down 5-10 quick meals you can throw together using pantry & staple items. Use this list when you’re hungry, out of energy, and out of time. Try to keep your pantry, fridge, etc stocked with a couple of the items needed for these quick meal so you’ll always have something to eat when you’re in a bind.
  • Keep it Simple – It’s nice to try to cook fancy-schmancy meals every night, but if you’re as busy as me, you just can’t do it every day. Allow yourself to put together simple meals, even if it’s heating up a frozen dinner. We know you may have better intentions, but just do the best you can while still being reasonable. Sometimes the simplest meals (spaghetti anyone?) are the best!

The Badge

You guys know I love my challenge badges! I’ve created one you can put on your blog for this challenge:

You can use the following code to add this banner to your site:

<a href="http://thechiclife.com/2010/12/eat-in-month-2011-challenge.html"><img src="http://thechiclife.com/wp-content/uploads/images/EatInMonthJan11.gif" border="0" width="170" height="170" /></a>

The Players

Are you playing along in the Eat in Month Challenge? If so, leave me a comment, whether you’re playing for the whole month, a couple weeks, a single week, a couple days, etc. and your URL if you have a blog.

  • Me :) I’m playing for a WHOLE month!
  • You?

Who’s In? It’s never too late to join! If January is halfway over and you just found out about the challenge, feel free to join in on the festivities! Better late than never! :)

Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge 2010

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It’s here! Time for my 2nd annual Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge! Read on for details on how you can participate…

The Challenge Concept

If you’re like me, you believe that every change, no matter how small, in a positive direction, helps make the world a better place. So, why not use our knowledge of healthful eating to help our friends, family, and co-workers enjoy a slightly more healthy Thanksgiving?

Many people associate the holiday season with a time for indulging in a plethora of not-so-healthy eats. We eat at friends’ homes, office parties, and family get-togethers. At most Thanksgiving dinners, whether you’re hosting the whole meal or just bringing a side dish, you can bank on being able to share your mad cooking/baking skills with your friends, family, and even co-workers. Whether you’re cooking the main dish, bringing something on the side, or baking dessert, you can help make the world a healthier place by making your contribution a little healthier. Then, all your friends, family, and/or co-workers can reap the benefits of having healthier eats, too!

Show your loved ones that Thanksgiving can be a healthy indulgence.

How to Play

The Thanksgiving Food Challenge is simple – choose a dish and make at least one small change to make it healthier. You can make as many changes as you want, but even one change is great.

Here are some examples:

  • Use an organic ingredient (sub organic milk or eggs for your famous dessert)
  • Use a local ingredient (local veggies anyone?)
  • Use a humanely raised turkey (find one at LocalHarvest.org *click*)
  • Substitute a healthier ingredient (try brown rice syrup instead of sugar as a sweetener)
  • Serve a healthier alternative (steamed green beans instead of green bean casserole)
  • Give a family recipe a complete, healthy make-over (tofu pumpkin pie is tasty!)

Click here to view my healthy makeovers for my family’s Thanksgiving 2009 for ideas.

Click here to view the entries from the 2009 Challenge for ideas.

How to Enter

You don’t have to have a blog to play!

There are 3 ways to enter (1 mandatory and 2 optional if you want extra chances to win):

  1. *mandatory* Leave a comment explaining what you made and what you changed.
  2. Tweet about the contest using the following: “I’m playing in the Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge 2010 t! http://bit.ly/bPBTCn #healthythanksgiving”. Leave a separate comment on this post to let me know that you tweeted an entry.
  3. Link to this contest from your blog. Leave a separate comment telling me you did.

Easy Rules:

  • Each entry must be left as a separate comment on this post to count individually.
  • All entries must be received by 8pm ET Saturday, November 27th, 2010.
  • Winner will be randomly selected.
  • Shipping of prize is for US only.
  • Winner will be notified via email and so must have a valid email address.
  • If winner doesn’t reply within 48 hours of email notification, a new winner will be selected.

Banner

I’ve created a banner for the challenge if you’d like to use it on your blog or web site:

You can use the following code to add this banner to your site:
<a href="http://thechiclife.com/2010/10/healthy-thanksgiving-challenge-2010.html"><img src="http://thechiclife.com/wp-content/uploads/images/HealthyThanksgiving2010.gif" border="0" width="170" height="170" /></a>

The Prize

The prize is helping make the world healthier one ingredient at a time. :) Oh wait, you want something for you? Ok…

I’ll randomly select someone from the group who posts by the deadline to receive a handmade (by me) pair of Swarovski pearl drop earrings (sterling silver) – perfect for your next holiday party and just in time!

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I have a couple other pearl colors and several crystal colors and would be happy to help you pick some colors to match your preferences.

Wrapping Up

With this challenge being so simple, it should be pretty easy for lots of people to participate. Let’s spread the healthy word and show people that healthy can be tasty! And if you’re wondering how changing out 1 ingredient can make a different, I truly believe that every change for the better makes a positive impact overall. I leave you with this quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead

Who’s in?!

Project Hydrate

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If you’re like me, you have a tough time getting your 8 glasses of water every day. And if you are like me, then why not join in on Project Hydrate to work on getting those very important fluids in.

(Feel free to borrow the graphic above if you’d like)

What is Project Hydrate?

Project Hydrate is a little challenge I put together to try to get myself to drink 8 cups of water every day for the rest of the month of March, starting Monday, March 8, 2010.

I typically barely get 4-6 cups of water a day, but I know I should drink more.

The Goods

I like reusable, non-BPA, aluminum bottles. They’re so much more eco-friendly than throw-away bottles of water.

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I got this fabulous water bottle for Christmas.

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I found these aluminum water bottles at Target today – 2 for the price of one ($12.99).

My Gameplan

I plan to use water bottles to help me gauge how much water I’m drinking. If I bring 2 water bottles with the total amount of water I need for the day, then I know I just need to drink the water from those bottles by the end of the day.

General Gameplan:

  • Since I work at an office all day and I’m a germiphobe, I prefer to take my water with me during the weekdays.
  • I’m planning to use eco-friendly water bottles, instead of standard bottled water.
  • I’ll try to space out my water intake over the course of the day. It’s not safe to consume too much water at one time and your body will be better hydrated if you pace yourself.
  • I get cold at the office, so I’m planning to make hot tea part of my daily water intake.
  • I’m planning to drink extra water for fitness activities.
  • I don’t typically drink much other than water, tea, and coffee, so I’m not really focused on drinks outside of those categories. If I drank them, I wouldn’t count sodas as part of my intake, though.

Daily Gameplan:

  • Coffee doesn’t count towards total intake
  • Bring 2 reusable water bottles full of water to work – each of mine hold about 3 cups.
  • Drink both bottles, paced out over the course of the day
  • Drink hot tea (to make up for any amount missing from the bottles – about 1-2 cups for me), also paced out

NOTE: Athletes have different requirements for proper hydration, which depend on the type of exercise and of course you. This challenge is for every day water consumption. You may want to research your activity to learn the best way to stay hydrated for your physical activity.

Players

Anyone interested in joining me for Project Hydrate? Leave me a comment or email me at thechiclife at gmail dot com and I’ll add your name (and link back to your blog if you have one).

My Recaps

I’m trying to blog about Project Hydrate every day of the challenge:

Have you blogged about your experience with Project Hydrate? Lessons learned? Changes noticed? Etc.? Email me at thechiclife at gmail dot com or leave me a comment and I’ll link to your post.

NOTE: Please join in on Project Hydrate at your own risk. It is possible to consume too much water (though I’ve heard this isn’t typically applicable for the everyday person), so please be responsible. Also, Project Hydrate doesn’t take into account athletic activities. Athletes generally require more water than the normal 8 cups a day, depending on activity. Please consult your doctor before trying any new diet or lifestyle change or to learn about the appropriate amount of water intake for your personal needs.

Eat in Month – Lessons Learned

Well, it’s finally here. It’s January 31st, which means today is the last day of my Eat in Month Challenge.

For those of you new to the blog or not familiar with it, Eat in Month was a challenge I came up with to help me eat healthier and spend less money on food. All I had to do was not eat out for the entire month of January. I challenged others to join me and had about 20 people who opted in! See list of participants below.

Meals

  • Breakfast was the easiest meal to keep. I think breakfast is the meal I eat in by nature more often anyways, plus there are so many great, simple options, like oatmeal and Power Toast.
  • Lunch was pretty easy to keep, especially considering my hectic work schedule. Not being able to leave the desk is conducive to finding something to keep at work handy to eat. I found lunch was easy to eat in as long as I was prepared most days and had backups (frozen meals) for days I wasn’t.
  • Dinner was the most difficult to keep, but not as hard as I expected. When I had the urge to get take-out, I had to try extra-hard to head straight home, but knowing there were easy things to cook made life simpler. Dinner was difficult because it made you avoid common social situations – work dinners, friends getting together at restaurants, people wanting to just grab coffee with you casually.

Cravings

I didn’t have as many cravings for things I could only get out as I expected:

  • Starbucks & lattes in general
  • Pizza (from our fave, local pizza join)

Entertaining In

If you want to entertain friends or get together with them but you don’t want to eat out, there are plenty of options that are sure to keep your friends happy. Here are some of my personal faves:

What’s your favorite way to entertain in?

Lessons Learned

  • Eating in is easier than you think. If you don’t let yourself make excuses for why you should get take-out and suck it up and go home and cook, you most likely will have a more enjoyable, affordable and healthier meal.
  • Every meal doesn’t have to be fancy. Sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich and soup make for a great dinner – it’s simple and cheap.
  • A well-stocked pantry is essential to staying in. If you feel like getting take-out and have to get groceries to cook something, you’re far less likely to stay in. Alternatively, if you feel like getting take-out but remember you have something you could whip up quickly and affordably at home, you are more likely to just eat in.
  • Having quick meals in your back pocket that you know you can cook up quickly and easily will make you think twice about ordering take-out. When you have recipes you can fall back on, you’re less likely to feel pressure to just eat out.
  • There are some situation, mostly social ones, where eating out is essential. Example #1: Your boss invites you to a group dinner with teammates – it’s a good idea to go to events like these to get to know your co-workers and boss better, get face time, and build relationships with all. I know it sounds cheesy to do team building, but when you have a good social relationship with someone, they’re more likely to help you out at work, too. Example #2: All your friends want to hit up a restaurant in town. Even if you’re trying to eat in, it won’t hurt you to go out once in awhile. There are affordable ways to eat out and there are healthy options, too.

Eating Out Healthy

Though most restaurants tend to serve food on the heavier side, there are options:

  • Avoid foods that sound heavy, i.e. “cream of”, “creamy”, “butter-sage”, “alfredo” – anything cream based is probably not your best bet.
  • Try grilled items.
  • Go for sushi, but don’t get the tempura.
  • Choose the healthy side (steamed veggies vs french fries)
  • Get a salad, but don’t let the toppings and/or salad dressing make your healthy salad worse than the cheeseburger on the menu.
  • Customize your selection – ask for light or no butter, oil. Ask for sauce, dressings, etc. on the side. Some restaurants post their healthy options online along with customizations you can request, so try to do some research in advance. I especially like to do this when I’m traveling for work, so I don’t get the expense-pounds. Great example – I used to hit up Outback when I was traveling for work because I could get the “Grilled Chicken on the Barbie” without butter or oil, steamed veggies (also sans butter) with a side salad with low-fat but delicious Tangy Tomato dressing on the side and a nice hunk of their yummy bread.

Personally, I like to splurge once in awhile, so I’ll get cream based foods, tempura sushi, and french fries. Salads are usually one of my last choices for dinner. But, when I’m trying to eat healthy, I’m use the tips above.

Eating Out Affordably

For the most part, no matter where you go (except for the really fancy places), there will be affordable options:

  • Try getting an appetizer as your entree. Most entrees are so big, they could feed two people anyways.
  • Talk someone into splitting an entree with you. I LOVE to do this because I find most restaurant portions too big anyways and I don’t like leftovers. I also try to convince friends (and sometimes co-workers) to split something with me so I can try more flavors – especially if splitting means you can also get an appetizer and/or dessert.
  • Get the vegetarian dish – these are typically more affordable than the meat ones.
  • Get something you can have for lunch tomorrow, too. If something costs $20 but I can make 2 meals out of it, I rationalize each meal was more like $10 each, which sounds much more affordable. Though I don’t like leftovers much, there are some things I think taste pretty great the next day.

Participants

And let’s give a hand to our Eat in Month participants. I know some of you have emailed telling me you didn’t make it the whole month, but who cares?! You tried, even if only for a short time, and I like to think you benefited from even a short time eating in.

Thank you Eat in Month for the lessons learned and thanks to my participants for playing along! If you did a recap post, please post the link in a comment so I can check it out. :)

I’m still trying to decide where to eat out first. Where will you be eating out first?

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