Restaurants · 20 February 2013

Eating at restaurants can be a daunting task when trying to eat healthy. There are items that society calls healthy, but seemingly everything on restaurant menus has meat and/or dairy.

At home, I used to wonder where the meat was at any meal. Now I realize that the greens are the main course. I used to have a little pie with my whipped cream. Now I wonder how much eggs and dairy are in some dessert that I am contemplating. I know I am not a vegan or really even very close, but meat and dairy do not have a hold on me anymore. It is odd how taste buds change.

Unfortunately, this change has definitely undone eating out. For the most part.

We do not really go out to eat very often, but when we do, I look at the menu carefully. Some burger joints have veggie burgers. Asian places have lots of veggies, but most dishes are Americanized with lots of meat. Mexican restaurants have cheese in everything it seems. So what is a cheater vegan to do?

I do not really subscribe to the notion that going out means that I must deviate from my eating plan. While I have not totally given up anything, I do not like to have much dairy or eggs in my food. But I do not really want substitutes either. I would rather have the food that I want. Which is sometimes not available.

The best option seems to be to check out restaurant menus before going. (Either online ahead of time or before being seated if possible.) At the very least we can ask the wait staff what vegetarian or vegan choices there are. Which is what I did the last couple times I have eaten out. Servers and hosts must be used to it these days because I have not gotten strange looks from them. I suppose that the more people choose or at least ask for vegetarian and vegan choices, the more restaurants will make them available.

Eating out can indeed be unhealthy depending on where you go. But with a little preparation and planning, eating healthy anywhere does not need to be such a daunting task.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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