Navigating the Food Court

Shopping in the mall can be challenging, especially if you are hungry and tired.

Ideally, you should eat before going to the mall, but sometimes that isn’t possible, and you need to eat on the run. Most food courts offer a wide variety of foods from around the world. Take some time to carefully examine each menu and select the best low-fat, nutritional entrées.

Here are some suggestions…

Italian: Pasta with tomato sauce, vegetable soup, or salad with dressing on the side are good picks. The best pizza choice is vegetarian–get double vegetables instead of double cheese. Avoid garlic bread, cream-based sauces, Caesar salad, and chicken parmigiana.

Mexican: Select chicken fajitas, enchilada, beef soft tacos, or vegetarian burritos without the high-fat toppings. Avoid high-fat nachos with cheese and guacamole.

Greek: Order chicken souvlaki and a salad with dressing on the side.

Chinese: Try egg drop and wonton soups, mixed vegetables, steamed dim sum, steamed rice, or stir-fries. Avoid deep-fried egg rolls, chicken balls, chicken wings, and fried rice.

Burger Outlets: Order a plain hamburger or veggie burger dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. Consider grilled chicken on a bun, a stuffed pita, or a wrap. Avoid the special sauces, bacon, and cheese toppings.

Submarine Shops: Order a six-inch sub on a whole wheat bun with turkey, beef, chicken, or seafood, lots of vegetables and low-fat mayonnaise. Avoid club subs and those with meatballs or deep-fried chicken.

More tips to keep in mind…

• Take advantage of late shopping hours. Head out after an early dinner at home.
• Wear comfortable walking shoes and leave your coat in the car. You won’t be as tired or on the lookout for a snack to cool you down or revive you.
• Try shopping downtown where you can stroll the streets and eat a healthy meal at a local café.
• Bring your own food: bottled water, a snack bag of nuts, protein bar, and an apple.
• Indulge and buy a single truffle at the chocolate store. (There are several women in my circle who can limit themselves to a single truffle)

Any other tips to share?


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