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The Best Healthy Restaurant Meals You Should Order

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There is a lot of bad news about excessive calorie, fat and sodium content in restaurants. But it’s not all doom and darkness out there! The menu labeling required today for chain restaurants with 20 or more locations in the United States enables smarter choices.

And that’s great news for you: while finding low-calorie and low-sodium options isn’t always easy, it’s not impossible either. Whether you eat out or order, there are healthy meals in the restaurant!

Here are 10 restaurant dishes that are a little healthier when you don’t feel like cooking. To always have the best options on hand in your own kitchen, don’t forget to stock up on the 7 Healthiest Foods You Should Be Eating Right Now.

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Meal to order: spaghetti with marinara sauce and grilled chicken in the Olive Garden

Per serving: 660 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,510 mg sodium, 89 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 33 g protein

You may think a bowl of pasta with marinara sauce is the most nutritious choice in an Italian restaurant. Close – but adding lean protein is a large Improvement. The “Create Your Own Pasta” menu option from Olive Garden makes it easy to customize a pasta meal. The extra protein in the chicken will keep you full longer and add relatively fewer calories in exchange.

Cooked tomatoes in the Marina Sauce Pack Lycopene, a powerful plant compound that prevents cell damage. Don’t let the sugar content discourage you: almost everything is found Naturally in the tomatoes in the sauce. While this dish has a little too much sodium in it, it’s well worth it on so many other levels.

Panda Express stir fryPanda Express / Facebook

Meal to order: Black Pepper Angus Steak, Super Greens and a half order of steamed white rice at Panda Express

Per meal: 520 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 1,280 mg sodium, 77 g carbohydrates (9 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 31 g protein

You don’t always have to order chicken or vegetarian options to get the healthiest menu option! The lean cut of beef used in Panda Express’s Angus Black Pepper Steak keeps the total and saturated fat content on the lower side. Beef is an excellent source of leucine, an amino acid that triggers muscle production in the body, and choline, which helps protect memory. Broccoli, cabbage, kale are the trifecta of dark leafy vegetables that are high in fiber and vitamin K for bone health.

This meal goes better with brown rice, and while it’s not an option with Panda Express, eating with white rice isn’t all that terrible. While there is no information on trans fat on the Panda Express website, this meal is likely only about half a gram in, which is what the experts recommend.

Whopper Jr. Burger KingCourtesy Burger King

Meal to order: Whopper Jr. at Burger King

Pro burger: 315 calories, 18 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 390 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrates (1 fiber, 7 g sugar), 13 g protein

When you crave a juicy burger, there is nothing else to do. We get it! But you don’t need a monster burger derailing your healthy eating plan to satisfy your craving. Sure, the Whopper Jr. at Burger King doesn’t get an award for fiber. It’s on a white bun; it’s not particularly rich in protein; and the lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion don’t offer much. But it’s relatively low in saturated fat.

With a very reasonable 315 calories and 390 milligrams of sodium, the Whopper Jr. gets the job done.

Are you looking for more helpful tips? Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!

Jersey Mike Roast Beef Provolone Mini SandwichCourtesy Jersey Mike

Meal to order: Roast beef and provolone (mini size on wheat bread) at Jersey Mike’s

Per serving: 540 calories, 26 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 655 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 37 g protein

Roast beef is surprisingly lean, and while this smaller sandwich contains about a third of the total fat adults need in a day, most of it is heart-healthy. Plus, 37 grams of protein is enough to keep you full for hours and this sandwich won’t raise red flags for sodium.

Order this sandwich made with wheat bread, which probably means “whole grain bread” since Jersey Mike’s nutrition calculator says it has more fiber in it!

cpk pizzaCourtesy California Pizza Kitchen

Meal To Order: Seared Artichoke Spinach Thin Crust Pizza and Chicken at California Pizza Kitchen

Per serving (2 slices): 440 calories, 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 940 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 24 g protein

Pizza doesn’t need to be eliminated entirely if your focus is on healthy eating. While it’s always a good idea to top your cake with vegetables instead of high-fat salty meat (we’re looking at you, hot peppers!), It’s okay to skip a cauliflower crust in favor of a thin crust.

The thin crust of this toasted artichoke and spinach pizza at CPK reduces calories and carbohydrates without compromising eating satisfaction. Artichokes are especially rich in magnesium – a mineral you need for energy production, bone health, and much more. Even without meat, the protein content for two slices is a surprising 24 grams, which is ideal for a pizza meal.

Bonefish grill salmonCourtesy Bonefish Grill

Meal to order: Atlantic salmon (small) with mango salsa, seasonal vegetables (green beans) and jasmine rice in the Bonefish Grill

Per meal: 620 calories, 28 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 910 mg sodium, 50 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 44 g protein

Most of us don’t eat enough fish because we don’t like to cook it at home. This salmon entree is the perfect opportunity to include one of the two fish dishes that experts recommend every week.

Salmon is one of the most nutritious fish in the sea; The excellent omega-3 fatty acids support heart and brain health and reduce inflammation in the body. Combine salmon with seasonal vegetables and jasmine rice to keep the balance. But note: most of the sodium in this meal is added to the rice. So if you’re looking for a meal with a lower salt content, skip that and double the veggies.

Longhorn SteakhouseCourtesy Longhorn Steakhouse

Meal to order: Flo’s filet (6 oz), plain sweet potato, and freshly steamed broccoli at Longhorn Steakhouse

Per meal: 660 calories, 23 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 650 mg sodium, 66 g carbohydrates (13 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 46 g protein

The low saturated fat content of Longhorn Steakhouse’s Flo’s Filet, as well as the relatively small servings, make it a great choice for enjoying a delicious steak. Don’t let the 20 grams of sugar in this meal worry you. Almost everything comes naturally in the sweet potato and no sugar is added. Experts recommend limiting this.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and contain carotenoids, which give the potato its bright orange hue and also act as protective antioxidants in your body. The broccoli can be steamed fresh, but it also has added fat so you don’t have to add more.

del taco 8-layer vegetarian burritoCourtesy Del Taco

Meal to order: Del Taco’s 8-layer veggie burrito at Del Taco

For burrito: 530 calories, 18 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,350 mg sodium, 70 g carbohydrates (9 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 18 g protein

The combination of beans and cheese is largely responsible for the impressive protein content of this meatless meal from Del Taco, which also provides 20% of the daily iron value – a nutrient missing in many women’s diets. This vegetarian burrito contains 9 grams of fiber, which is more than a third of the recommended daily allowance, and 35% of the daily value for calcium. Not too shabby!

The only disadvantage? The sodium level. However, you are unlikely to find a lower sodium burrito on a restaurant menu as most of the ingredients appear to have salt added. Cut down on salty foods for the rest of the day to limit your sodium intake.

Panera Asian Sesame SaladPop of Red / Twitter

Meal to order: Asian sesame with chicken (whole portion) at Panera Bread

Per meal: 430 calories, 23 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 720 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 31 g protein

Surprise! Salads aren’t always the most nutritious choice – especially when you start piling up pieces of bacon, seeds, cheese, and greasy dressings. Panera Bread’s Asian sesame with chicken salad, with its appropriate calorie and sodium content and excellent protein content, combines excellent taste and good nutrition. It’s a little high in fat, probably from dressing.

Pro tip: most of the fat is unsaturated, but ask about the bandage on the side to reduce fat intake!

ChipotleChipotle / Yelp

Meal to order: burrito bowl with coriander, lime and brown rice, vegetables, pinto beans, Monterey Jack cheese, roasted chilli corn salsa and romaine lettuce at Chipotle

Per meal: 555 calories, 17 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,070 mg sodium, 80 g carbohydrates (15 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 22 g protein

With careful planning, bowls can be nutritious, balanced meals. When ordering from Chipotle, set your bowl on brown rice to add more whole grains to your eating plan.

Pinto beans provide protein, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Choosing them as a source of protein can also meet the recommendation of consuming 3 cups of legumes a week. The excess sodium in most Chipotle toppings, including the toasted chili corn salsa, is the only downside. In this case, the diet and taste benefits outweigh the sodium content.

Whole Grains Health

4 Positive Changes to Make in 2022

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(Family Features) Before you completely overhaul your lifestyle, remember that positive change may just be a few simple steps away. Starting small with achievable goals can help you stay on track throughout the year.

drink more water
Preventing dehydration, maintaining normal body temperature, and lubricating joints are all benefits of drinking enough water every day. Try to carry a reusable bottle as a reminder, choose water over sugary drinks and opt for water when eating out.

learn to cook
If you’re not comfortable in the kitchen, start with simple recipes that don’t force you to sacrifice taste. After all, it’s easier to stick to a meal plan when you enjoy the foods you’re preparing. For example, Baja Fish Taco Bowls take just 20 minutes for a flavorful, freshly-seasoned family meal, and Mediterranean Rice Bowls with Zucchini Fritters are a satisfying step toward meatless meals at home.

Eat more whole grains
Skip refined grains and instead opt for whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, which offer a fuller package of health benefits. You can count on options like Success Rice’s Boil-in-Bag Brown Rice and Tri-Color Boil-in-Bag Quinoa, which are ready in just 10 minutes, to take the guesswork out of cooking while giving home cooks more time to focus to give on uplifting crockery for loved ones.

Create a nutrition plan
Creating weekly menus can help you avoid drive-through by scripting meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, it makes grocery shopping easier (and less frequent) as you can buy all the ingredients you need for the week ahead in one go. Encourage family members to offer suggestions so the planning process doesn’t become overwhelming.

For more delicious recipe inspiration, visit SuccessRice.com.

Mediterranean rice bowls with zucchini fritters

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 bag of Brown Success Rice
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups diced cucumber
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup garlic hummus
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss zucchini with salt; leave on for at least 10 minutes. Place in a colander and squeeze out excess moisture. Pour back into the bowl and stir in the eggs, scallions, dill, and garlic.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, parmesan, baking powder, cumin, and pepper. Stir the dry mixture into the zucchini mixture and mix into a thick batter.
  4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup oil. Portion 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan for each donut. Fry 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown, adding remaining oil as needed. Drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper.
  5. Divide rice among four bowls. Top each with cucumber, tomatoes, feta and donuts. Garnish each bowl with a scoop of hummus.
  6. Substitutes: Hummus can be substituted with prepared Greek tzatziki sauce if desired.

Baja Fish Taco Shells

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 bags of Success Tri-Color Quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 white-fleshed fish fillets (5-6 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups of packaged baby kale
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package instructions.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season fish with Cajun seasoning and salt. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until fish is lightly browned and beginning to crumble. Put aside.
  3. Whisk together the yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, and cumin in a small bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the quinoa and kale. Divide into four bowls. Top each with fish, sliced ​​avocado and a dollop of yoghurt lime cream.
  5. Substitutes: Taco seasoning or chili powder can be used in place of Cajun seasoning. Arugula or baby spinach can be used instead of kale.

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New year, new workout routine. Here’s how to avoid burning out

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Nisha Sharma/EyeEm/Getty Images

We’ve all heard about it work-related burnout, whether from personal experience or from others who have experienced it, and it’s a real threat to your mental and physical health. However, burnout is not solely limited to work-related endeavors. It can also happen on a physical level when you start a new exercise routine and go a little too hard at first.

Here’s the real catch: Workout burnout isn’t just for fitness newbies — it can happen to anyone. When you start a new exercise routine (even if you’re in shape from other types of exercise), you can burn out right from the start if you don’t take the right steps to recover and allow your body to properly adjust to the new workout you are about to do incorporate into your fitness routine.

“Whenever you start a new exercise program, whether it’s HIIT, running, or Pilates, you can expect your body to experience a natural type of ‘shock to the system,'” says Brooke Taylor, certified trainer and founder of Taylored Fitness. “Every time you incorporate a new type of exercise into your workout, you’re recruiting the muscles in a different way,” says Taylor.

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You may be thinking, if you’re already in shape, why is it taking longer than normal to recover from exercise? Or maybe you’re worried you’re not making the progress you want because you’re so sore all the time. Here’s why: When you pick up a new exercise routine, such as Pilates, when you’re used to running, your body uses different muscles or uses them in a different way than it’s used to. “Running activates your fast-twitch muscle fibers to hit the ground and accelerate, while Pilates activates the small intrinsic muscle fibers that surround your core, spine, glutes, etc. This can make you more tired or sore from another type of activation,” explains Taylor.

If you’re feeling excessively sore or tired after a workout and are concerned that you’re not in shape or making progress, don’t worry. “Actually, it just means you add variety to your workout,” says Taylor. And it’s a good thing to add variety to your workouts, by the way. “It’s very important that you incorporate other modalities of cross training to prevent injury and muscle imbalances and to maintain proper alignment. The same repetitive motion over time can lead to increased stress, leading to tissue breakdown and causing injury,” says Taylor. All of this simply means that doing one workout at a time isn’t good, and variety is a good thing.

Read on to find out how you can help your body adapt to a new exercise routine and avoid burnout.

Group of students in pilates reformer class

Each time you start a new exercise routine, you use different muscles, which can leave you feeling even more sore.

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5 Steps To Adapting To A New Workout (Whether You’re In Shape Or Out)

“Every time you add something new, there’s a good chance you’ll get a little sore from shocking the body. You’re training the body in a different range of motion, recruiting muscle fibers in a different way, and challenging your proprioceptive system, and you might feel a little down,” says Taylor. But all of this can be worked through with the right adjustment, including the following steps that Taylor designed to help you avoid injury and adapt well.

Use a foam roller before each workout

“Make sure you take the time to do a foam roller before each workout,” says Taylor. “Self-myofascial release will dissolve any muscle attachments in the body and lengthen the muscles back into what I like to call a ‘neutral state.’ That way you don’t compensate as much when adding load and it gives the weaker muscles a chance to recruit with forced control and precision.

Warm up properly

“Make sure you take the time to warm up properly. Especially if you’re doing HIIT, running, or some other high-intensity workout to give the body time to get the blood flowing,” says Taylor. She suggests warming up on a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or stairmaster, or doing dynamic mobility exercises. “Especially during the colder months, when your muscles are naturally tighter and your joints might be a little more sore, the last thing you want to do is go from 0 to 100.”

Stretch after every workout

“After each workout, make time for static stretching. This helps bring the muscles back to a neutral state and relieves some of the lactic acid buildup,” says Taylor. She also recommends holding each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and avoiding pushing your stretch too far or beyond your flexibility threshold.

Rest and have a good rest

“Listen to your body and when you need a break – take a break and have an active rest day in between. Recovery is key to building muscle, improving performance and maintaining the body’s longevity,” says Taylor. You can also try an Epsom salt bath to relax your muscles and body.

Don’t forget good nutrition

What you eat before and after your workout is also key to feeling good and recovering. “Don’t skip meals. Make sure you’re eating every 2 to 4 hours and incorporating nutrient-dense foods into your diet, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains,” says Taylor. “The most important thing is that you stay hydrated and replenish your fluids.”

Check out the Amazon Halo View, the company’s first fitness tracker with a screen

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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Liver Fat Is Directly Linked to This Disease, New Study Says — Eat This Not That

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A fatty liver can also have serious effects on your blood sugar levels, according to a new study from Brunel University London.

The researchers reviewed MRI scans of 32,859 people, who looked closely at the size of their livers and pancreas. The researchers relied on a type of method of measuring gene function to study cause and effect, called Mendelian randomization.

Not only did the scientists learn that people who are genetically predisposed to store fat in the liver are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but it was shown that every 5% increase in liver fat increased that risk by 27 % elevated.

“Our results encourage better treatment for people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and provide evidence for the multiple benefits of weight loss and better screening for diabetes risk in these people,” said lead study author Dr. Hanieh Yaghootkar issued a press release.

The Cleveland Clinic defines NAFLD as a condition affecting one in three adults who are not heavy drinkers. While the cause of this type of liver disease is unknown, obesity and diabetes are considered likely risk factors.

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“I’m not surprised by these results, as NAFLD has been shown to be a key factor in insulin resistance,” said Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, LDN, CPT, a New Jersey-based nutritionist and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet. “It makes sense that even small accumulations of fat in the liver would, in turn, increase insulin resistance and thus the risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Additionally, she believes this current study offers tremendous value as it points to the importance of focusing on the prevention of excess fatty tissue in the liver centered on your diet. “Some research suggests that coffee may protect against liver damage from fat accumulation. So if tolerated, drinking up to two cups a day can be beneficial,” says Palinski-Wade.

However, she’s quick to add that stirring in the sugar and cream “can speed up fat buildup in the liver. Instead, enjoy black coffee or sweeten it with flavors like cinnamon or vanilla extract.”

In addition to reducing total sugar intake, Palinski-Wade also advises limiting alcohol consumption. “Following a Mediterranean diet high in plant-based fats, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and oily fish may be the best strategy for reducing fat in the liver,” she says.

Also, consider adding more high-fiber foods to your plate like broccoli, berries, apples, and plenty of leafy greens and legumes. “Fiber may help reduce fatty deposits in the liver while also helping to promote stable blood sugar levels and fight insulin resistance,” says Palinski-Wade.

“One study found that spinach, in particular, may reduce the risk of NAFLD, while the resistant starch found in legumes may also help reduce NAFLD,” concludes Palinski-Wade.

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