Roxanne E Moore: Hi! I am Roxanne Moore, Registered Dietician and Director of Wellness for Sodexo Schools. If you need to stop at restaurants while on the go, you will discover that many restaurants are willing to accommodate your dietary needs if you just ask.
Many restaurants now also, offer nutrition information and before heading out the door, you should familiarize yourself with restaurant locations that are convenient and provide food options that will fulfill your high-performance needs.
So let's review some better for you food choices from common restaurants. For example in the typical all-American restaurant, items such as grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato, salads with low-fat dressing, small plane burgers, pasta with red sauce, fruit cups and clear broth soups like a chicken noodle soup, all make good choices. Because the food items are grilled, not fried, the portions are typically reasonable and they are not loaded with added fats.
Some better ideas in the Mexican restaurant include a burrito or soft tacos with grilled vegetables, chicken, fish or steak. Now you do want to avoid those gas forming vegetables like onions that can cause some stomach upset.
You also need to stay clear of the calorie latte and beverages that are often found in Mexican restaurants. If you are stopping at one of the common fast food restaurants, look for items like a grilled chicken sandwich, hamburger, or veggie burger with the tomato and lettuce or maybe grilled chicken salad with reduced fat dressing, yogurt parfait, salads, fruit cups and water versus soda.
Many fastfood outlets also offer some great options for breakfast like fruit, a breakfast sandwich with English muffins or toast and lean ham pancakes and non-fat or 1% milk.
In fast food restaurant, you do want to avoid super sized portions, double burgers milkshakes, ice cream and some of those gooey cinnamon buns. At breakfast time, it's much better to go with the English muffin toast or a plain bagel versus the biscuit or cresson which contains more fat.
Now many sub or sandwich type restaurants have also gained attraction with athletes. Choosing some basic lunch meats and low-fat cheese as well as low fat dressings with extra veggie toppings chili and salads are all great choices.
In all of these restaurants, you want to avoid cream soups, casseroles, foods and sauces and creams and fried or breaded foods. Foods like this are simply too high in calories and more likely to slow you down.
Now my final dining out idea is one of my favorites, grocery stores, think about it. You have access to everything you need, low-fat, not-fat yogurts, cheese sticks, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, salad bars and more. Some grocery stores even make customize sandwiches to go in their dailies.
Now grocery stores are not on top of my dining out locations that people think of and may not be as fast in some cases, but they certainly can offer you the option to truly customize your on the go meal. So with the little planning and investigation, dining out can be a healthy part of any sports nutrition diet.