Saturday, July 9, 2011

How to Make Take-Out Healthier

Even if you're trying to eat healthy, it's unrealistic to cut out all indulgences forever. This sets you up for a binge later and is certainly not fun either! Even though ordering take-out usually means a meal much higher in fat and calories, there are ways to make smarter choices

One of my favorite indulgences is the lentil burger at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. It's made with a mixture of green lentils and (I think) potatoes and is just amazing. I'm a big fan of the veggie burger and this has to be one of my all-time top recipes. 

However, the burger comes on a huge, fluffy white burger bun. When eaten with the bun, the burger is rather heavy. Also, the bun is made of white flour and thus (metabolized as) pure sugar. So there's a super easy substitution. I ordered the burger (junior size) and threw out the bun. Then I placed the burger on a bed of greens and diced tomatoes and drizzled some balsamic vinegar on top. 

I saved 130 calories from the bun and still thoroughly enjoyed my lunch. One of the key tips of weight loss is to figure out what you can live without and more importantly, what you can't. In other words, if you're a big dessert person but don't care for alcohol much, cut out all alcohol and enjoy your desserts in moderation. This is the way to stay sane while eating healthy. I personally don't like desserts, but enjoy wine and vodka, so I don't eat desserts on a daily basis but might eat healthy all day to be able to enjoy my vodka soda at night. You get the point. 

For me, when it comes to this burger, the bun is really unnecessary. Next time you order take-out, try this trick on your favorite dish and let me know how it goes. 

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