We have been on a “stay-cation” since the 4th. Even though we are not traveling, we have gone out to eat far more than normal. I have spent time the last couple of days figuring out how to enjoy our meals out and stay on plan. I have increased the exercise each day, but I don’t want exercise to be an excuse to eat more. Instead, I am taking this opportunity to learn how I can make better choices when going out to restaurants where the PointsPlus value is not easily available.
Even though I am off of work, the boys still had summer camp in the morning. Mike and I took advantage of this and went out to breakfast at the Good Egg on Thursday morning. This restaurant at least makes it easier to make better choices by listing the calories on the menu and identifying Dr. Oz approved meals.
After settling on the Krabby One Crepes I snapped a picture of the menu so I could figure out the points when I got home. This also seems like a good deterrent even if you are not following an eating plan. They list the calories for every entrée and menu choice, not just the healthy options.
My meal also came with 1 slice of toast and a fruit cup, so I snapped a picture of the sides menu too.
My meal came and it was yummy and satisfying.
When I got home I estimated the points by using CalorieCount.About.com to plug in the crepe ingredients and get as close as possible to the calorie count on the menu. Then I used the resulting fat, fiber, protein and carbs to calculate the PointsPlus value. The entire meal was 7 points including 1 teaspoon of butter for the toast.
That afternoon we took the boys to see Madagascar 3. I meant to make my own popcorn before we went, but completely forgot until I was in the car. I looked up the points for movie popcorn using the Weight Watcher mobile app and figured I could use some of my weekly allowance points for popcorn. I ended up eating more than I probably should have and spent 13 points for 10 cups.
For dinner that evening we went to BJ’s Brewhouse. We eat at this restaurant a lot, so a couple of weeks ago I sent an e-mail through their website and requested the nutritional information. I had to request the nutritional information for a California restaurant, because BJ’s only provides nutritional information in certain states, Arizona is not one of them. I figured that it would be a close enough guide to help me make better choices when we eat there. The nutritional information only provides calories, saturated fat, sodium and carbs so I still didn’t have enough information to calculate the PointsPlus value without extra work.
I knew from the menu I had received that the calories in a flatbread pizzas were 100ish calories a slice. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Pesto Flatbread which had 94 calories a slice.
The flatbread was cut in 8 pieces, of which I had 4. This picture is of half of the flatbread.
Again when I got home I had to use CalorieCount.About.com to estimate the points. The flatbread and pesto sauce were the biggest point grabbers. For half of the flatbread my estimated PointsPlus value was 12 points, which based on the calories and the ingredients, seemed like a reasonably close estimate. I also had a BJ’s LightSwitch Lager which their menu said was 135 calories. I used another beer that I knew was similar in calories and style to estimate the BJ’s light beer at 4 PointsPlus.
At the end of the day I had used 4 points from my weekly allowance. I was very pleased with my choices, although I should have eaten less popcorn. Next time I will make Jackson and his popcorn sit on Mike’s lap instead of mine. Maybe that will make me less tempted to graze on popcorn through most of the movie.
On Friday, Mike and I decided to go out to breakfast again after we dropped the kids off at summer camp. We went to Paradise Bakery, again another restaurant with no nutritional information and in this case no calorie information anywhere that I could find.
This meal was pulled off by choosing wisely and modifying my order a little. I did check out the menu before we went so I could formulate a plan.
I ordered the Vegetarian Omelette and a nonfat sugar free iced latte. The only modification I made was ordering the omelette with egg whites. Based on the size of the omelette I estimated that it had 6 egg whites; after determining all the other ingredients my estimate for my meal was 8 PointsPlus. I used a similar Starbucks iced latte to estimate my drink points and plugged all the ingredients for my omelette into e-tools to estimate the PointsPlus values.
Dining out can definitely be more of a challenge if the restaurant is not listed on e-tools or in the Weight Watchers dining companion guide and if the nutritional information is not available or incomplete. In preparing to go out this often in a short period of time, I followed the tips I talked about in my post about eating at Baja Fresh (Monday – 7/2/2012 – Baja Fresh Do-Over – My First Meal Out on Weight Watchers).
I knew I needed to figure out how to make it work, because this isn’t a temporary plan I am on it is something I will need to sustain for the rest of my life. Going out to eat with my family is part of that life, so the extra effort is definitely worth it.Tags: Dining Out on Weight Watchers