In order for a healthy lifestyle to be sustainable for me, it has to allow pizza.
Often I hear people saying that a style of eating or diet must mean giving up all the foods they love. To be fair you won’t be able to have Domino’s pizza every day, but you can have cauliflower pizza or Blaze Pizza or even an occasional Domino’s slice. Some things do have to be sacrificed, but if you get creative and keep in mind that you are making these sacrifices to reach your goals they might just be worth it.
When asking my clients what they are craving so we can find a healthy-ish solution I usually get one of the following responses: Pizza, Mexican food, Pasta.
Enter: Katelyn’s healthy meal hacks.
- Add all the veggies: The issue with pizza is that it’s often loaded up with cheese and processed meats. Try backing off on the cheese and extra pepperonis and subbing in some vegetables (see above photo).
- Go to a make-your-own restaurant: Blaze Pizza, Pizza Rev, Mod Pizza, and Pie-Five are few that I’ve been to (let me know any others in the comments). A few benefits are that the crust is much thinner than a regular pizza, you can control the sauce, cheese and really everything that goes on it! These places also often have nutrition calculators online if you are tracking macros.
- If you’re living your best life and going to a delicious, not calorie friendly pizza place, either bring it home and add a side of roasted vegetables or if you’re eating there consider ordering a salad for extra volume, nutrients and fiber.
- Opt for a lean protein. This is going to be much easier if you’re making the dish at home (reach for extra lean turkey/beef), but if you are at a restaurant you could look for fish tacos or have grilled chicken with your fajitas or quesadilla.
- Choose your toppings wisely. Guacamole is great, just not 10 tablespoons worth. Try not to pile on sour cream, guac, refried beans and queso. Choose one or two things and use only as much as is necessary.
- Ditch the sides. When eating Mexican food at a restaurant, at least for me, the beans and rice aren’t that special. Ditch those or sub for a side of veggies if possible.
- Watch your portion size. Especially at Italian restaurants the portions seem to be life size. They are also usually so delicious that you could easily over indulge. Assess the size of the plate when it’s brought to you and ask for a box so you can enjoy more of the meal tomorrow!
- Split things. What’s better than eating a giant plate of gnocchi? Getting to taste a few bites of gnocchi, a few bites of shrimp scampi and a few bites of kale caesar salad. Go family style and aim to order one less dish than the number of people you are with.
- Only get one bread basket. This would no doubt be the most difficult thing for me to request, but if you’ve got goals then the endless supply of fresh bread while smelling all the wonderful scents wafting from the kitchen will be hard to resist. Enjoy a slice of bread and then when the server asks if you’d like some more, stand your ground.
I covered a few tips for both eating at restaurants and at home, but I want to emphasize that making at-home healthier versions of your favorite restaurant dishes is a great way to get out of a recipe rut and not feel restricted with your weekly menu.
What are your favorite “restaurant quality” meals to make at home?!