A recent weekend get-away to Las Vegas including a lot of dining out for my husband and myself. The weekend was jam packed with hanging out with cousins, exploring the many casinos, walking for miles on end, and dining at some rather wonderful restaurants. My husband and I are not much for gambling. Other than a few spins of the slot machines, we did not spend time gambling. What we did was spend time dining out.
Saturday night we enjoyed a two hour meal overlooking the Bellagio fountains and then Sunday night was a two and a half hour dinner sitting up high overlooking the flashing lights of the strip. Saturday and Sunday also included outside patio dining, where we enjoyed the fresh air, more bites to nibble on, and more views of the Bellagio fountains.
As you know January is my Sugar-Free eating month – a month of not eating added or refined sugar. This is much, much easier when you are preparing your own food and you have control over the ingredients. To be perfectly honest, this was not a perfect sugar-free weekend, but I worked hard on making intentional choices whenever I ordered my food.
Eating Sugar-Free When Dining Out
So what helped? As I said, first and foremost –
Be Intentional in Your Ordering. Simply carefully looking over the menu and you will find items that will be lower in sugar if not totally sugar-free. Meats and fish along with vegetables should be a safe choice. An antipasto platter of meat and cheeses makes a great sugar-free appetizer. Minestrone soup with basil pesto sounds divine. Ahi tuna is yummy. Look carefully and you will find choices. Looking at the menu ahead of time will help you prepare, and most all restaurants have their menus on line for you to see.
Stay Away from Sauces and Dressings. While a nice crunchy salad can be a healthy and sugar-free choice – the dressing is most often sugar-filled. A splash of oil and vinegar, salt and pepper can often be swapped out for the sugar-filled dressings. I enjoyed Hollandaise sauce which is lower (or no sugar depending in the recipe) with my eggs Benedict.
Go light On or Avoid the Bread. Most breads are made with added sugar. I have found tortillas and sourdough to be better choices. Depending on your diet requirements, it might just be easier to stay away. For me, I chose to eat half the bread – half the bun on my burger, one English muffin of my eggs Benedict. No, it is not the perfect plan, but it is a plan that let’s me enjoy and keep in mind that I want less sugar in my diet.
Check the Cocktails. Some alcoholic drinks are loaded with sugar. Stick with spirits and sugar-free mixers. Red wine has less sugar than white. You can enjoy a cocktail – read more here.
Go for the Smaller Plates. Many restaurants offer small plates to share and enjoy. If you are going to indulge a bit, sharing the treat will curb that amount that you actually consume.
Skip the Dessert. This I guess should go without saying, but I admit I did indulge a bit. This goes back to being intentional. My husband and I shared a lemon soufflé one night and it was worth every bite.
No, I cannot say that my weekend was completely sugar-free. But I can say that I had a totally enjoyable time and cut way back on my typical sugar consumption while dining out and vacationing. After all, in between goals is a thing called life.