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Saturday, 23 July 2016

Healthy Options when Dining Out

I am sorry for bleating on about it but blogging about my new lifestyle change is very motivating for me and I hope there are others in the same boat who can sympathise with what I'm going through. As you may know, it's Time For Change in the Rickelton household. We are making better choices and striving to lead a healthier life. This doesn't mean I am going to stop having fun and I will definitely still enjoy treat nights but I think that 80% of the time, it's important to choose food that is going to nourish my body and actually improve my health rather than hinder it. One of the big changes I am going to have to make is when I dine out (because this is going to stop anytime soon!). My first chance to test my will power was when I was invited along to Gusto to sample their new spring menu.

Starters


My go-to starter in any Italian restaurant is usually Calamari. I just love it (and I recommend Gusto's by the way). However I recognise that choosing something deep fried isn't the best idea and according to My Fitness Pal (my new best friend), a restaurant portion of Calamari will have around 500 Kcals. This isn't actually as bad as I thought to be honest but I still think I should keep Calamari for a special treat such as a birthday/anniversary. Luckily, there are plenty of starters on the new Gusto menu that are perfect if you are looking for a healthier option. I opted for the Asparagus Spears with Dolcelatte Mayonnaise and Red Peppers. Luckily for me, the mayonnaise was served on the side so I was in control of my portion. 


Asparagus contains just 20 calories per 100g (although you would need to add more if it has been grilled with oil). Asparagus is often cited as one of the top superfood's for spring and is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium. Wow! It tasted delicious too and I didn't miss my Calamari at all! 


Chloe went for the cold smoked salmon with spiced avocado, pureed red pepper and capers. It looked delicious and is certainly a dish I will try next time.

Main Course


I don't think I have EVER ordered a salad in a restaurant. My go-to dish in an Italian restaurant would be a pizza or some sort of breaded chicken with tomato sauce. The Peking Pizza at Gusto which I ordered when I visited with the kids contains 745 calories which I think is actually OK for a pizza! I am keen however to fill up on as much nutritious food at the moment so decided to switch my pizza for a salad. I ordered the new smoked duck salad with shaved fennel, radish and orange. I know duck is often deemed a fatty meat but it was actually very lean with most of the fat and skin removed which I was thankful for. My portion was HUGE and truly delicious. It didn't taste boring at all and I would go as far as to say it is my new go-to dish. 


Chloe ordered the new Smoked Haddock Risotto with baby spinach, poached egg and peas. You can read more about what she thought over on New Girl in Toon


Dessert


A pre-requisite of going out with Chloe is that you have to order dessert. Normally I would order my absolute favourite Sticky Toffee Pudding which again, is probably around 500 calories. This time however I decided to choose the lighter option of Summer Berry and Prosecco Jelly with tropical fruits and Eton Mess ice cream. Yes the ice cream was rather indulgent but I liked the fact that the fruit salad was providing my body with a few extra vitamins. This dessert was divine and the perfect end to our meal.


Drinks


Time for a confession. I did order a cocktail! I just couldn't resist! I went for a Strawberry and Vanilla Martini which was recommended by our server and absolutely divine. Normally on a night out I would drink several cocktails plus wine so I think only having the one is a huge improvement. We ordered a bottle of water for the table and this is a habit I am going to get into as it stopped me from ordering another drink and sipping on water throughout the meal helped me not to over-indulge.


I would highly recommend the new Spring menu at Gusto, especially if you are looking for a healthier option when dining out. 

I would love to hear your tips for making the right choices when dining out too. 

I'm linking up with Honest Mum #TastyTuesdays blog linky where you'll find fab recipes and other restaurant reviews.




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5 comments

  1. I too love calamari no end. My husband and I have so far lost 80lbs in four months. Stick to you - you can do it!

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    1. Wow well done! That is amazing! Calamari is fab but I have been eating it way too often - I'll treat myself on my birthday I think :D

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  2. Ooh this sounds great, I always struggle when eating out, the temptation to over-indulge is far too much!
    The best salad I ever had in a restaurant is the lobster salad in Wagamama. I had it a couple of years ago, it's usually on their Summer menu. I'm hoping it makes an appearance again soon! :)
    #tastytuesdays

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    1. Oh I will look out for it - sounds right up my street x

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  3. I love all the things you went for. Asparagus is one of my favourite things to eat, so are poached eggs and so is rice.

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