Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is this something I want?

I just found out about a web site that offers information on finding "healthy" restaurants (http://www.morningsun.net/columns/x596324166/FOOD-FOR-THOUGHT). Is this really necessary? Is this something I want?
Don't we dietitians teach people that they can find something healthy to eat at just about any restaurant? Do I want to eat some place where all the food is healthy....meaning low in fat and sugar, high in fiber. Or do I want to eat where the food is well prepared with an emphasis on freshness and flavor? Guess which one I choose.
Maybe it's just me but I eat out because there's something I want to eat that I cannot make at home or I'm too tired to make at home. Rarely do I eat out just for convenience. I guess if I had to eat all my meals out or at least many of them, I might opt for a healthy dining restaurant. If such restaurant offered tasty food, that would be great. But I would never choose a restaurant just because the menu offered healthy choices. Tasty food would have to be a big part of the concept for me to become a diner.
Aren't there plenty of books (like the one by Hope Warshaw or the one by Joanne Lichten) that offer advice on how to make healthy choices when eating out?
I just recently ate at a new local (Phoenix) restaurant that touts its menu as being healthy. I thought the food was bland and pretty uninteresting. I've heard the same from others although some friends have told me that there are some pretty good dishes. I guess I ordered the wrong stuff because what I had was mundane, tasteless, overcooked and not very appealing to the eye. It looked like (and tasted like) something I would make if I had lots of food left over in the frig that was going bad and I combined it all without much thought about flavor and color. I won't be going back any time soon.
I guess I feel virtuous when I make a healthy choice from a menu filled with breaded and fried food, huge portions of fatty meat and few vegetable offerings. Choice. I like choice.
So I won't be using that new healthy dining web site any time soon. And I hope my favorite restaurants stick to their offerings allowing me to make up my own mind. But that's just me.

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