Eating out is simply part of life for many, if not most, people these days. That holds true for our Tuesday evening's On the Way to Wellness group members. They enjoy sharing their experiences at different restaurants and providing their assessment of how well it fits in their healthy living plan. More nutritious menu items are a great find, while huge portion sizes bring a warning. I think they could easily be dubbed the restaurant critics for healthy eating in the area!
During one meeting's discussion of restaurants, Marcia and Jean, who love Mediterranean food, discovered that others had no idea how tasty and healthy these foods could be. I offered to take our group on their first field trip to their favorite Mediterranean spot: Woody's Oasis.
|Marie, Woody's manager|
Our field trip turned out to be even more than I'd hoped for. The manager, Marie, spent lots of time with us explaining what was in each dish and how it was prepared, answering our many questions. Fried foods were noted, and the healthy fats used in hummus were hi-lighted. We first were served various salads, types of hummus, and pita. We thought that was our entire meal since it was certainly plentiful enough! To our surprise, dishes of entrees arrived for us to share family style. When we were done, she brought in mini servings of baklava and an almond pastry.
And I think quite a few eyes were opened to some great new food choices and ways to make restaurant eating healthy. Among the many comments:
- "Hey, take a look at every one's plates!" Some were completely empty when we finished each course, while others had left food behind.
- "I ate too much. I'm stuffed!" She realized that she was very hungry when she got there. She now knows that a little healthy snack before eating out can calm the tendency to eat too fast & eat too much.
- "I really like this food! I've got a new place to choose healthy foods." I loved that she was making notes in her smart phone of which foods she really liked.
- "They're going to have at least 6 more regulars here!"
- "________is so good" and"I don't care for/like _________ as well." Learning to evaluate flavors, textures and the whole food package is part of mindful eating.
Lots of sharing, smiles, laughter and talking went on throughout the meal, with a little learning taking place on the side. Perfect!