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Healthy Restaurant Orders That Nutritionists Make

We checked in with Maria Marlowe, an Integrative Nutrition health coach, to find out what healthy restaurant orders she makes when she goes out.

Whether she's out for sushi, Mexican or brunch


By Lindsay Champion, PureWow

Yesss, girls’ night out. But unless we’re talking about truffle fries, we’d rather not blow a zillion calories on a random Tuesday night. That’s why we checked in with Maria Marlowe, an Integrative Nutrition health coach, to find out what she orders when she goes out.

RELATED: 8 Restaurant Secrets That Make Eating Out Way Better

If You're Going Out For Sushi...

Start with seaweed salad, which is high in potassium, iron, calcium and minerals that strengthen your hair (yay, bonus). After that, your best bet is sashimi because you get the fish without the rice. Eel and salmon tend to be lower in mercury, but scallops and any other small fish (the size of a dinner plate or smaller) are generally a safer bet than the larger ones. A good rule of thumb: Always try to seek out restaurants that source wild, sustainable fish. They’re generally healthier and aren’t subject to antibiotics, hormones or pesticides the way farmed fish are.



If You're Going Out For Mexican...

As a starter, get the spicy guacamole. Avocado contains healthy fats that are good for your skin and hot peppers help burn fat and speed up your metabolism. But here’s the trick: Ask your waiter for sliced veggies (like carrots, broccoli or jicama) to dip in it instead of the chips. (Hey, you’re trying to cut calories, right?) Next, order either the veggie fajitas or tacos. Unless they’re made from organic corn, skip the tortillas and ask your waiter for romaine lettuce leaves instead so you can turn them into wraps. Last, you can’t go wrong with a side of rice and beans—when paired together, they make a complete plant-based protein. (Plus, beans are high in fiber so you’ll stay full.)

RELATED: 5 Easy Guacamole Recipes You’ll Want to Make All Summer Long

If You're Going Out For Italian...

It’s sad, but true: Skip the bread and pasta and go completely plant-based or order a seafood dish. If you’re in the mood for veggies, you can get creative by ordering sides (think: roasted broccoli, spinach and beans or lentils for protein). But if you’re craving seafood, order octopus, Branzino, sea bream or whatever wild or low-mercury fish is on the menu. Still, don’t ever skimp on the vegetables. Order them as a side even if they don’t come with your meal.



If You're Going Out For Pizza...

Try to pick a place with a gluten-free option for the crust (you can always call ahead and ask or peep the online menu to find out if they offer it). Even if you don’t have a gluten allergy, chances are you’ll feel better—and less bloated—without it. Then pile on veggies like mushrooms, onions and olives and go light on the cheese. Dairy can cause digestive and skin issues for many people, so it’s best to limit it if you can.



If You're Going Out For Chinese...

Chinese restaurants have veggie options galore. Order brown rice and broccoli, but just be sure to request low-sodium soy sauce. (Too much sodium causes bloating and water retention.) Other healthy choices: Steamed vegetables, chow fun with veggies (basically rice noodles in broth) or veggie spring rolls (ideally wrapped in rice paper, not fried).



If You're Going Out For Brunch...

You can’t go wrong with a veggie omelet. Get it stuffed with broccoli, jalapeƱo, onion and herbs. It’s OK to choose the hash browns over the salad, especially if they’re sweet potato. They’re more satisfying and will keep you full for longer. Add gluten-free toast on the side, but skip the butter. As for beverage choice, order a glass of grapefruit juice (as long as it’s made fresh there) and drink it before your eggs arrive. Grapefruit juice is not too sweet, and studies show it may help spur weight loss and jump-start your metabolism.

RELATED: How To Eat Clean For a Whole Entire Week
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Health Magazine: Healthy Restaurant Orders That Nutritionists Make
Healthy Restaurant Orders That Nutritionists Make
We checked in with Maria Marlowe, an Integrative Nutrition health coach, to find out what healthy restaurant orders she makes when she goes out.
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