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Chat with Ruthie Eat Well Dining Out

This week for my Chat with Ruthie post I wanted to share some ideas on how to Eat Well Dining Out


Sometimes it can be a little tricky when we go out to dinner with restaurants offering such a large variety of menu items… how does one choose???


In this day and age the average household eats out 3 times per week… {wow!}  I didn’t realize it was that often either!!  SO, if we’re eating out that much then it’s probably smart to figure out a healthy way to enjoy a meal out on the town!

Restaurant meals contain 60 percent more calories than meals prepared at home reported “USA Today” in October 2006. Even seemingly healthy options, such as salads, can be diet busters when you add nuts, bacon, eggs, avocado, and creamy dressings. Restaurants want their food to taste good and seem like a great bargain, so you’ll keep coming back. As a result, the food contains high amounts of fat, salt, and added sugars and you are often served gargantuan portions.


Eat Well Dining Out by


I like to eat a salad when I’m eating out but I don’t like a lot of salad dressing and I’ve found that most restaurants overload it!  I like to order the salad dressing on the side… I’d rather put my own on or dip my fork in the dressing and then get a bite of salad; either way works out better for me.  Salads with fiber will help fill you up too… try salads with seeds, lentils, beans, grapes, or raspberries!

Most restaurants offer “healthier fare” menu items; there’s usually a key at the bottom of the menu that tells you which items are lower in fat and calories!

~Choose lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, lean sirloin, and fish.

~Choose food that is grilled, baked, broiled, steamed, roasted, or boiled- all these are options are much healthier than fried!

~Avoid entrees with sausage, cream sauces, and fatty cuts of meat such as prime rib or brisket.

~ Choose meats such as tenderloin, flank steak, and sirloin are leaner choices.

~Words such as au gratin, braised, confit, and scalloped most likely mean the dish has added fat in the form of cheese and butter.

~ Choose baked potatoes or steamed vegetables over french fries, onion rings or creamed spinach.

One trick that I’ve heard of for dealing with restaurant sized portions- when the main course is served, is to ask the waiter for a to-go box and tuck away half for lunch tomorrow.  I prefer to eat until I’m satisfied and save the rest to take home… one more easy meal later, right?!
Here are a couple of healthier menu choice options:
~ Italian restaurants, choose pasta with marinara sauce, minestrone soup, and garden salads.
~ Mexican dining, chicken, shrimp, or vegetable fajitas with corn tortillas and no cheese or sour cream can be a healthy choice.
~ Chinese restaurants, ask for brown rice and stir fried chicken with vegetables. Order the sauce on the side and use just a few teaspoons worth.
~ For a diner-style restaurant, try grilled chicken breast or fish with a baked potato topped with fresh herbs, salt and pepper with a cup of vegetable soup.

Eat Well Dining Out by


We have a weekly date night that usually includes a dinner out (to whichever lovely establishment we happen to have a coupon for!)  I completely look forward going because I don’t have to cook or clean up a thing… which is just fabulous once in a while!


We all know home cooked meals are best but for those times that you eat out- it’s helpful to know what to look for on the menu!!   Some of these healthy tips came from , they have a lot of healthy ideas that are very helpful!


AND just in case you’re tempted to splurge, which is just fine on occasion, I thought I’d share a chart I saw at the gym recently; its pretty interesting…


Working Off Fast Food:

~ Small Fries: 30 minutes cardio and 20 minutes weight lifting

~ Small Nacho Plate: 30 minutes kick boxing

~ Ice Cream Sundae: 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes weight lifting

~ Cheeseburger: 30 minutes spin class

~ Deep Dish Pizza slice: 4.5 mile run

~ Buffalo Wings: 40 minute bike ride


I hope this Chat with Ruthie… Eat Well Dining Out will help you in making healthier food choices the next time you’re at a restaurant!  I know I learned a couple of things while putting this post together 🙂





** I recently started writing for Family!  This post is published on their site… make sure and check it out!!  Tips for Healthy Eating Dining Out!

Chef Ruthie

Owners at Cooking With Ruthie
Chef Ruthie is a professionally trained chef who specializes in bringing cuisines, cultures and culinary adventures to your kitchen. Chef Ruthie inspires readers to create in the kitchen, explore the world and find joy in all the many aspects of living!
  1. Debra says:

    Excellent post! The list of how much it takes to burn off things so simple makes me feel slightly guilty. 🙂

    • Ruth says:

      Sorry for the guilt 🙂 It’s just a good little reminder, right?! Thanks for the comment… you’re awesome!

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  3. Hi Ruthie!
    I LOVE your Healthy Eating Out Post! I am always trying to eat healthy when I eat out and not be tempted by all that fatty food! It was so nice to meet you at EVO this last week! I hope we can keep in touch! My Mom and two sisters just couldn’t say enough good about you! We all LOVED you! We will have to meet up soon!
    Kristen Hills – The second Sister with blonde hair 🙂

    • Ruth says:

      Hi Kristen!! Your cute message ended up in my spam 🙁 Sorry it took SO long to reply! It was so nice to meet all of you at Evo! You’re all just adorable, including your momma! We totally have to plan a get together soon! xoxoxo

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