Historically, most people dined outside their homes infrequently enough that one could feel okay about “indulging” when eating out. However, our lifestyles today have more of us eating out more often, and indulging can’t be a multiple times per week habit if we want to maintain our overall health. One solution is to eat at home and only prepare healthful foods….but what about meeting a friend for lunch, that business dinner with a client, that night that the kids’ soccer practice ran long--they’re starving and you were too busy to plan anything for dinner? What about the night that your friend calls at the last minute and says, “let’s grab a bite”? Let’s not forget the Thursday night birthday dinner for your college buddy. Sometimes it just feels easier to stop at a restaurant on the way home from work. The lifestyle of multiple restaurant meals makes it easy to rack up a lot of unhealthy food choices each week. We no longer eat out only on special occasions.
If we study the menu hard and become “high maintenance” for the wait staff, we can make better choices. Can I have that broiled not fried? Please put the sauce on the side. Can I get double vegetables instead of fries? Can the chef prepare that with olive oil instead of butter? This is a fine solution, but depending on the venue, sometimes it works better than others. WooFood is trying to make it easier for all of us to make healthy choices and still enjoy the pleasure of eating out. Restaurants can go through a WooFood certification process so that their menu includes healthful food choices and one of the key criteria is that the menu option must taste good- pretty important huh? (For full details of WooFood criteria, go here)
Another challenge of dining out today that we hear about constantly is portion sizes. WooFood’s solution to that is “Dinner for now and tomorrow’s chow.” We all know we can eat half of our entrée and then ask to pack up the rest but it is so easy to keep taking just one more bite and before we know it, we have consumed way more than we planned to. With this WooFood option, half of your entrée is packed up before it is served to you. Won’t that be perfect for lunch tomorrow?
Are you wondering what to do if your dining companions aren’t so keen on the healthful choice or what if this is that meal where you want to “indulge”? No worries--no WooFood certified restaurant is required to take anything off their menu- your choices will not be restricted. Everyone will be happy with their menu choice. Try a WooFood restaurant and ask your favorite restaurants to become WooFood certified.