By Samantha Taylor
Okay, I have to admit: I just had a cheat meal.
It was, by no means, a healthy meal. This health professional who teaches you how to order healthy just ate something that was really fattening, cholesterol-laden and so far from what I would normally recommend.
Remember, this was my cheat meal, and having one once in a while lets you have a sense of freedom from an otherwise rigid and legalistic diet routine. It is recommended to let go occasionally and have something that is not healthiest so that you do not end up dreading your program and leaving it.
I went to Olive Garden with my 14-year-old niece. We chose the Limoncello Chicken Scaloppini and I must say, it is now my favorite cheat meal. It was delicious, although rather rich for my taste. It is a chicken dish with cream sauce — normally a no-no with cheese-stuffed ravioli (oh my) and mushrooms. Now, if I had eaten the whole thing in one sitting, I would have consumed 1,280 calories (2,100 calories for the full meal, with one breadstick and a salad – yikes)!
But, here are the things that we did to cut the calorie explosion into half for each of us:
1) We had a salad to start off the meal and get us fuller faster to stop us from eating too much of the main entrée. Remember, dressings can be very fattening so request to have the dressing on the side instead of being drizzled onto the salad. I messed this one up. I saw on their website they even have the low-fat version of dressing.
2) We ordered the Chicken Scaloppini to split between us.
3) We added healthier stuff like asparagus and mushrooms to thicken up the meal.
4) We only had one breadstick each. Even the 14-year old saw to it that I stuck to the standard, a great teaching from her mother. I honestly can no longer enjoy white bread these days since I got used to whole wheat. Now, white bread just tastes too “pasty.”
5) We actually took some of it home; it was so rich, we couldn’t even finish half the order.
So that is my so-called cheat meal. The funny thing is that all these healthy eating habits I teach you have been so ingrained in me that I don’t even really cheat when I cheat! The old me would have eaten the whole meal plus dessert to the tune of 3,100 calories. Phew, thank God I am not like that anymore.
Samantha Taylor is a weight loss expert, personal trainer and owner of Pure Health Studios in Lutz. To read past restaurant reviews, visit her blog at www.thisisfit.com.
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