Dining Out, Low-Carb Diet

Low-Carb Dining at HuHot Mongolian Grill

Every girl needs a little pampering every once and a while. Today was my day to do a couple of things for myself. First, I got my hair colored with a few burgondy low-lights, treated myself with a new dress (on sale) for formal night at the upcoming Low-Carb Cruise, and finally had time to sit down for some lunch.

Slight Problem #1: Deciding Where to Go

All this running around left me pretty darn hungry. I was in a shopping area where I had plenty of restaurant choices, so I did a search for restaurants near me on my phone and On The Border popped up. Ooooooh! Chips and salsa sounded pretty darn good at this point and I was so tempted to go. A couple chips won’t be so bad… Then I had a moment of clarity and remembered how a couple of chips usually turn into a lot of chips (like 2 baskets, no kidding) plus half the rice and beans on my plate. Last time I went for Mexican, I checked my blood sugar 2 hours later, knowing it probably was going to be high. I didn’t expect to be in the 230s. So I discarded that great idea. As I continued to scroll the the options on my phone, Ultimate Buffet came up. Even though it’s a Chinese buffet, I figured that I could have shrimp & crab legs with butter and can be perfectly happy. Unfortunately, they were closed for their dinner reset. Finally, I came upon HuHot Mongolian Grill, still Chinese, and I can pick my ingredients. Yes, HuHot would definitely do the trick and it’s a place that I can stay on track with my low-carb lifestyle.

Slight Problem #2: What to Eat at the Mongolian Grill

IMG_0238Since I no longer drink diet coke, which has always been my go-to soda until a month or two ago, I ordered an unsweetened iced-tea with a lemon and helped myself at the buffet. I picked mostly meat (shaved beef & pork), added some cabbage, onions, and mushrooms, and decided to go with oil-based sauces (garlic, chili-oil, sesame oil, and a touch of green curry sauce made with coconut milk). The mix tasted delicious and I was glad I picked HuHot for my meal and to take a break from shopping.

*** For full disclosure, half way through my meal I added a little bit of rice to my plate, maybe 2-3 tbsp worth, but to be honest, it tasted kind of bland and next time I’ll just tell them that I don’t want any at the table, unless I have others who want rice accompanying me.

So Exactly What Was the Carb Count?

Well, I don’t really know. I can give you an educated guess, but other than the little bit of rice (about 10g of carbs) and maybe 2-3g carbs from the onions, mushrooms, and cabbage, I would say it had around 13g of carbs for the entire meal. Either way, it was a hell of a lot better than going to a Mexican place, which I find a lot more difficult to stay on track at, since chips and salsa are still trigger foods for me.

Finally, I’ll leave you with something warm and fuzzy…

4-up on 4-14-17 at 17.34 #3

… his name is Trouble and he approves of my new hair color!!!

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Dining Out, Low-Carb Diet

Low-Carb Dining at Applebees

IMG_0236Hubby suggested dinner at Applebees tonight. Eating out low-carb has become fairly easy for me at most places. I usually get a meat and a salad or a vegetable, and then I replace my starch with a second veggie.

Today I had the Shrimp ‘N Parmesan Sirloin with broccoli and the garlic green beans as my 2 sides. My meal was satisfying and hours later, I’m still comfortable and could’ve actually done with less.

Here’s the carb breakdown:

  • Shrimp & Parmesan Sirloin, 8g
  • Garlicky Green Beans, 11g
  • Steamed Broccoli, 6g
  • Total Carbs for Meal = 24g (OOOPS!)

Well, that really didn’t come out as well as I was hoping. As you can tell, even as a seasoned low-carber, I’m not perfect. It’s still lower-carb, but due to my blood sugar issues, my goal is to stay below 4g of carbs at each meal and I actually had 6x that amount tonight. So I’m really glad that I checked. Thank you readers for pulling me out of complacency!

Lesson learned for next time: 

So, next time I will look up the carb counts before I order, not after, like I just did. I’m also going to try going halfsies with hubby or pack leftovers for lunch the next day. Wow, I’m still trying to get over the carb count of garlicky green beans. I really didn’t expect that.

To stick closer to 4 carbs, next time I’ll order:

  • 8 oz Sirloin, 2g
  • Steamed Broccoli, 6g
  • Extra butter for Broccoli, 0g
  • Total Carbs for Meal = 8g (split in half, 4g)

I’ll enjoy 1/2 of the meal at the restaurant and pack the leftovers for lunch. Alternatively, I can split my meal with hubby and let him have his starch for the second side. A 4oz. serving of protein is actually more appropriate anyway, so I’ll give that a try.

I’d like to hear from you what low-carb meals you like to order at Applebees.