How do you choose from a menu when eating out and avoid eating the foods you don’t want?

Here’s the thing – I don’t have diet issues, but when I worked out my list of choice foods for my body at the time and, a family dinner or social occasion comes up that means eating out – the first thing I did was groan, because I would think the restaurant wouldn’t have the foods on my food choice list.
I’m hoping you can get through this emotional drag and not think that your food choice list is debilitating at all.
I find these days most chefs are open to supporting people’s eating choices and, will gladly remove an ingredient or leave a dressing on the side. They are, after all, in business and will want a good review on trip advisor.
For you it’s the same old story – be prepared before you eat and making good eating choices are not ‘diet issues’.
So here goes:1. Before you write yourself off as having to eat the side salad only perhaps you could go online and check out the chosen restaurant’s menu.
2. Here’s a menu from a place I’ve chosen to meet a client at this week – I didn’t look before I picked the place – I just wanted somewhere convenient for my client to get to after work.

Chicken Chicken Chicken
Free Range Corn-Fed, Citrus Brined:
1/4 Chook – $10
1/2 Chook – $20
Whole Chook (Serves 3-4) – $30
Add one of our house made bastes for – $3:
Korean BBQ
Jamaican Jerk
Truffle Butter
Fresh Herb, Lemon & Confit Garlic
Buttermilk Fried:
Fried Chicken Thigh, Jalapeno Yoghurt & Chipotle Mayo – $15
Panko Crumb Chicken Breast, Butter, Capers, Lemon, Mayo, Rocket – $15
Hot Wings:
6 whole wings – $12
Vegetarian – Organic Tofu:
Fried Tofu, Sesame Greens, Ginger Chilli Sauce, Pickled Cucumber – $17
Sides & Snacks
Beer-Battered Chips
Harissa Mayo – $8
Seasonal Veg – $10
See Specials Menu
Chicken Fat-Roasted Potatoes:
Gravy (Optional) From 6pm only – $10
Warm Baguette – $6
Free Range Chicken Liver Pate
Cornichons, Balsamic Onions, Baguette – $15
See Special’s Menu
Any baguette, burger or wrap can be made vegetarian with fried organic tofu or free range eggs
Salads – Fresh, Seasonal, Vegetarian
Small – $6
Medium – $10
Large – $15
Extra Large – $20
See Specials Menu for Salad List
Add Pulled Chicken:
Little – $4
Lots – $5
Loads – $6
Or Add Bird’s Marinated Organic Tofu – $5
Can’t Decide?
Chicken Feeds:
Chicken, Salad from the Cabinet, Warm Bread
For One – $16
For Two – $30
Big Bird:
Feeds up to 4 with a choice of 2 Salads – $60
Family Feed:
Feeds up to 8 with a choice of 3 Salads – $100
Slice of Lemon Pie:
Berries, Yoghurt – $10
Warm Brownie:
Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Ice-Cream – $10
Eton Mess:
Berries, Meringue, Cream $10
Our delivery zone is within a 5km radius of our Ponsonby store. Click here for more info
We are New Zealand’s first chicken joint to draw a line in the sand and only source free-range chicken. Corn-fed and from Rangitikei to be precise. In our many, many, many blind tastings, this Rangitikei chook has come out on top each time. Rangitikei was the first chicken meat producer in New Zealand to carry the blue SPCA tick. Read about their farms and story here.
3.  Understand the words they use and know what you are looking for
4.  Avoid falling under pressure and say ‘oh stuff it, I’m out once won’t hurt’
5.  For me? from this menu – I will avoid the corn-fed chicken even tho it is free-range -because I am avoiding grains at the moment (the chicken is corn-fed)
6.  I’ll ask about the salads – I’m wondering if they use organic ingredients (cross fingers here)
7.  I’ll ask about the specials menu – there might be a line-caught fish
8.  I am likely to order a salad and add the marinated organic tofu for protein. I’ll ask for any dressing to be on the side and exclude crotons or alfalfa sprouts.
9.  I will feel very satisfied with my selection and enjoy their offering with gratefulness.
10.  Most of all I will enjoy the company at dinner.
If you can’t see the menu before you go, just trust that changes can be made – I hope you can do it quietly and politely. I know you don’t really want to attract all the attention for being fussy about food from those you are dining with, but remember, you don’t have diet issues, you just want to make good choices!.