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MLAN613 Posts: 19,055
1/21/13 8:28 A

My husband and I went to Olive Garden recently and I was surprised to find they had lighter entries. I can't remember what I ordered but it was delicious. We discovered this when we went there. Normally, if I am going somewhere new or a place I haven't been since I started caring about what I eat, I check out their websites.

Here's a link to their lighter fare entrees (The sodium may still be high but that's somehwat normal when eating out):

And it looks like they have some gluten free options, too, which is great for 2 of my sisters and anyone else who needs that:<

Edited by: MLAN613 at: 1/21/2013 (08:29)
KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
1/21/13 6:36 A

The Venetian Apricot Chicken is deliciious. Try it if you go back again.

PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (20,650)
Fitness Minutes: (13,280)
Posts: 785
1/21/13 5:24 A

I have found quite a few restaurants with high quality and healthy food. I only eat out at these restaurants. No chain restaurants and no fast food. I just can't go to a place that has a 550 calorie meal that has minimal food value.

MISSYK25 SparkPoints: (3,440)
Fitness Minutes: (1,215)
Posts: 109
1/21/13 1:08 A

I just went through the same thing tonight. I'm ok with going to places that have nutritional info, but we went to a Vietnamese restaurant that didn't, so I had to roll the dice on what to order. I stayed away from fried things, but you still never really know how many calories are in it. I just ate an appropriate portion and worked out a little extra today :)

KARITR1 SparkPoints: (1,218)
Fitness Minutes: (1,205)
Posts: 62
1/21/13 12:50 A

Ate at a Chinese buffet restaurant last night but ordered off the menu and did not do all you can eat thing. My husband and I shared a meal and we still had gobs to take home. But just a note here, watch that fried rice it is FULL of calories.

1/21/13 12:33 A

Thanks for your reply! Those are great tips and reminders.... I used to remember to save up some calorie expenditures! And I do like to prepare by working out but this time I didn't, so that is why I want to make sure I get a longer walk in tomorrow.


MRSALLYP SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (59,080)
Posts: 147
1/21/13 12:17 A

Sounds like you did pretty good considering the temptations there. I have learned that when I think I might go somewhere and do some extra calories to either plan on going to the gym before going out or going to the gym after and put in a longer workout to make sure I have more calories to play with that day. This way it helps make things a little easier. I also schedule in a cheat meal once a week, this way I can throw off my calories for 1 meal and not go crazy about it. I do make sure I log what it was though and have asked staff to ask the chef about some of the ingredients if I need to - like how many oz a steak was for example - it helps to know!!

1/21/13 12:11 A

I have had this gift card to Olive Garden since August and decided my husband and I would go out for dinner last night. I knew it would present challenges to me in my weight loss plans.

When the waiter came, I asked for the Nutritional Guide. It came and I proceeded to examine the menu very closely. Oh dear, this is not the place to come to reduce calories OR fat grams.
But I kind of knew that before I came. I was just hoping to enjoy a meal by making good choices.

It was really difficult to find any entree under 48 grams of fat, beside Spaghetti with meat sauce. I decided I would order a Penne Pasta with white sauce and shrimp, and eat less than half of the serving. I ate one bread stick, and had soup instead of the salad. We did not have wine, I had a herbal tea. My meal came with a dessert and I opted for the Italian (decaf)Coffee (a Latte) and only drank half of it or less, it was really yummy.
I had two tiny bites of my husband's dessert, and that was nice so I didn't feel deprived, just to have a taste.

We took our time and enjoyed the ambiance and the service as well as the food. We got ready to leave and even though our waiter boxed up my remaining dinner and the other bread sticks, I walked out of there without remembering my take home goodies. After the initial shock that I just left half of my dinner back on the table.... we had already drove 20 minutes toward home, I realized that it was the best thing... I didn't need those calories or temptation.

Will I return to Olive Garden? Probably not.... all those high calorie and high fat items make it difficult to feel okay about it. They did have some lighter fare items that were in the 15 grams of fat range, and a Venetian Apricot chicken for 7 grams... to be fair...

Today, the day after, I have cut back on my intake here at home ... and hope to get a good work out tomorrow and be back on track.

I will have to better plan and prepare before I go out to eat in the future. Hidden calories and the accumulation of the whole meal can really set you back from the goal of better health.


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