My 7 Favorite Restaurants For Healthy Eating

Hey everyone! I’ve been busy this week getting ready to head out to Atlanta, but this is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a few months now. Remember when I finally shed all of my baby weight (all 75 pounds of it!), several of you would ask me what I ate etc, and I posted a few of my food diaries in those posts too so you could see what I ate on a day to day basis.  Now that it’s past me and the weight is off, I’ve still managed to keep it all off, and have even lost about 7-10 lbs more since that post. Woohoo!  But since this isn’t a perfect world and there are going to be times when you are out and about and you need to grab a bite to eat, or if you just want to go to a nice dinner with your family or something, I wanted to tell you what my 7 favorite places to eat out are for healthy eating, and are places where you have the option to eat well and have it taste good! Even better.

Healthy Restaurants

These are in no particular order, and none of these places have any idea who I am. They are just places that I like, and are usually my first picks when we eat out somewhere. Unless the hubby is wining and dining me, then it’s something different. ;)

1. Cheesecake Factory.

Cheesecake Factory

You do have to have willpower to go in here and be okay with not having dessert, but they have an excellent “SkinnyLicious” menu that I love and there are tons of choices. My favorite dish off that menu is the Tuscan Chicken.

2. Cracker Barrel.

Cracker Barrel

They have a low-carb menu which I like, and I also like to order breakfast there too but I just leave out most of the bread and biscuits and such. Or I’ll order a veggie plate and get the most healthy veggies they have like the greens, cucumber salad, and usually pinto beans.

3. Chick-fil-a.

Chick fil a

Not exactly a restaurant, but definitely a better choice for fast food purposes. I always order a #7 (grilled chicken sandwich) with a fruit cup/no fries, and also a side of grilled chicken nuggets to get extra protein. Did you know they have grilled nuggets? They are delicious!

4. Longhorn Steakhouse.

Longhorn Steakhouse

We went here a few weeks ago for the first time, and while the service wasn’t the best, I did like their under500 menu and was glad it’s an option. I ordered grilled chicken and fresh steamed veggies and a salad. Just be careful when you order veggies from restaurants that they don’t slather them in oils and butters. I want them only steamed if possible.

5. Pappasito’s Cantina, (Or any mexican restaurant).

Pappasitos

Mexican food is my favorite so we usually eat it for our first choice. Ever since I was losing the weight, if I had to eat out, I chose mexican so I could order fajitas and grilled vegetables. I still love to do that and that’s what I always order to this date. I usually choose the chicken fajitas, with vegetables and corn tortillas instead of flour. And I typically only eat just 1 corn tortilla, not several or anything. I do allow myself to indulge in chips and salsa now too, but only because I know I have myself under control. When I was still trying to lose the weight I did not partake in the chip eating. And it hurt. Ha!  But since we are in Texas we do love Pappasito’s and also Gringos. Then there’s a few hole in the walls we like too but there’s no point in mentioning those. :)

6. Panera Bread.

Panera Bread

There are many things you can get here that are good, just stay away from the bread and pastries. ;) They have good salads (just choose your dressing wisely). I usually do a little oil and mostly balsamic vinegar on any salad I do.

7. Ruggles Green.

Ruggles Green

I know this restaurant is mostly a Houston thing (I tried to pick places that most of you have too) but they are too good not to mention. All of their foods are made with organic ingredients and are usually from fresh local farms. Even their desserts are made with natural sweeteners such as local honey, agave nectar, and organic pure cane sugar. You really can’t go wrong here.

So that’s it for my top 7 places to eat out healthy! I didn’t mention any seafood or fish places, but those are always great options too if you’re a seafood lover. Sushi is always good too, if you like it. I was craving it the other day and so we went. Yes it has rice, but a small portion is fine.

I always try to make half of my plate full of vegetables, and the other 2 spots my meat and maybe a starch. But my body just does better (and feels better) when I don’t eat starchy foods so I typically just stay away from them. Yes it was hard at first, but I honestly have no desire to eat them any longer. I’ll eat a plain sweet potato or something, but nothing crazy like a loaded baked potato. :)

Okay so where are your favorite places to eat out while still keeping it healthy? I’d love to hear some other suggestions!

xxoo,

Decorchick!

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Comments

  1. Panera also has a “hidden” menu. It has super clean foods. http://mypanera.panerabread.com/articlestips/article/access-into-paneras-hidden-menu/

    My husband and I are paleo…..we also hit up Chipotle…if you choose your add-ons wisely, it’s an incredibly healthy restaurant meal.

  2. We also love Panera and one of my favorites is Chipotle! They disclose all of their GMO ingredients and have pledged to phase them out completely…plus their food tastes great!
    -Shelley

  3. I would love to hear your “hole-in-the-wall” places since we live in the same town. I really need to try Ruggles Green. I keep hearing about it, but have yet to go. I was less than impressed with Longhorn Steakhouse last time we went.

    • The service definitely was not good at Longhorn, but I was hoping to give it another shot since they have the under 500 menu. Sorry to hear you didn’t like it much.

  4. The guys from “Eat this, not that” would call you downright nuts. The Cheesecake Factory and Cracker Barrell are the top 2 unhealthiest chains to eat in this country!

    • I said these are places that have healthy options. You can get anything that’s unhealthy anywhere you go. These are my favorites for healthy options only. Like I already said, there is a skinny menu at Cheesecake Factory, and the low carb menu at CB.

  5. That is great that you are conscious of what you are eating. Usually when I go out to eat I say “the heck with it” and get whatever. I’ve never really worried about my weigh until I had my baby. So I need to lose weight but have little motivation. Anyway, I got a mailing about hidden sodium in food or something like that a while back and was surprised to learn how much salt is in some food, including Chipotle. I also remember the mailing talking about the Cheesecake Factory but I don’t know if it was about salt or calories or something. Anyway, I quickly googled “Chipotle salt content” and came up with this ( just cuz I was shocked to find out how much sodium was in this food I figured was “healthy” in terms of fast food): http://endurancesportsflorida.com/2011/02/04/chipotle-so-good-so-salty/

  6. Love this list, Panera & ChickfilA are two of my faves!

  7. Ooh Ruggles has expanded? I only went to the one in Rice Village once I think. Also, when you’re in Atlanta, check out Urban pL8 (I think that’s how they do their weird letter/number thing). They’re primarily a paleo/gf restaurant but the burgers are great, especially the banh mi burger. Houston and Atlanta are my cities :)

  8. Great tips! We have most of those restaurants here but if not, I can still use your advice! Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Leena

  9. Great list! I already knew and love some of them but others I didn’t realize. Will be trying those out soon!

  10. Wow, every restaurant is new to me. lol can’t wait to try em out

  11. I read an article last summer about the worst places to order kids meals and Chick fil a’s grilled nuggets where in top 5. The article claimed their grilled nuggets are infused with sugar water. Not sure if it’s true but thought it was worth mentioning in case someone cared to look it up.

  12. we went to to ruggles green at city centre just yesterday! :) i love that their kids menu is healthier as well.

  13. Also, Chick Fil A will make any of their sandwiches protein style (wrapped in lettuce). So you can make the grilled chicken sammy even healthier by ditching the bread :)

  14. I love the new Ruggles Green in the Heights.. I had their turkey lettuce wraps.. definitely healthier than the Pei Wei version ! I’ve also had the skinnylicious lettuce wraps from the Cheesecake factory.. Thanks for this post

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