Cooking and eating at home is the best option for your health (and your budget), but let’s be honest, sometimes you just need a break and allow someone else to cook for you, to serve you, and to clean up afterwards. Eating out can be so luxurious and fun!
How do you and your family decide on a place to eat?
Do you chose a restaurant by the type of cuisine, the environment, the size of the place, the drink menu, how healthy it is, or all of the above?!
For me and my family, we decide on a place by how healthy it is and by how many healthy options and swaps they have available. We have some food allergies in the family – we don’t eat gluten or dairy which can make eating out tricky at times.
I have discovered that Colorado Springs has amazing places with healthy options galore!
Here are our favorite healthy places to eat in Colorado Springs!
Quick and Delicious Chains:
- Jimmy John’s – Ask for the “Unwich” or the lettuce wrap!
- Noodles and Company – Go for the zucchini noodles!
- Panera Bread – My favorite is the Ten Vegetable Soup!
- Jason’s Deli – I love their salad bar!
- Tokyo Joe’s – The build your own bowls are the best!
- Zoup! – Their soups are delicious!
- Chipotle – They even have Whole30 approved options!
- Garbonzo – Their salads with extra grilled veggies is amazing!
- Mama Poke – The poke bowls are made with nutritious bone broth!
- Urban Egg – Great organic options and they use local products!
- Santanas Vegan Grill – Vegan everything!
- Pho (Numerous places around town) – I love the different herbs and soothing broth!
Sweet and Fresh Juice Bars:
- Nekter Juice Bar – The Greenie smoothie is my favorite!
- Qwench – Their açaí bowls are AMAZING!
- Ola Juice Bar – The green mojito juice is SO good!
- Clean Juice – The immune booster shot is my favorite!
Healthy and Satisfying Local Bakeries:
- Organic Mama Natural Foods – Lots of gluten free options!
- Sweet Elizabeths Organic Bakery – You must try their vegan coffee cake, it’s incredible!
- Nightingale Bread – Their bread is made from house milled flour and organic grains!
Eclectic and Fun Local Restaurants:
- Mod Market – My favorite is the Buddha bowl!
- Shugas – Globally inspired foods!
- Piglatin Cocina – AMAZING Latin-American tacos and plates!
- Rabbit Hole – Tons of gluten free and vegan options!
- Garden of the gods Market and Cafe – I love the classic curry chicken salad!
- The Burrowing Owl – Vegan options galore!
- Natural Epicurean – The food is a work of art!
- Cafe Red Point – They use local, organic and free range ingredients!
- Adams Mountain Cafe – Lots of vegetarian options and amazing homemade desserts!
Do you have a favorite restaurant not on this list?
Wherever you are eating out, here are 10 tips to help you make healthy choices wherever you go!
1. Check the menu before you go to the restaurant.
This helps you be prepared and allows you to look over the ingredients ahead of time to see how the food is cooked and prepared.
2. Avoid going to a restaurant insanely hungry.
I like to grab a small protein packed snack before I leave that way I will be less likely to overeat at the restaurant.
3. Just eat half!
Typically, restaurant portions are larger than you need to eat at one sitting. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a to go box even before your food arrives. That way you can place a portion in the box to save for later.
4. Ask for double the veggies.
You can’t have too many veggies! However, make sure they are prepared plain – meaning they are not cooked in oil or butter or sauce.
5. Dips and sauces on the side, please.
If you do enjoy oil, butter, sauces, and dressings, just be sure to ask for them on the side. That way you can enjoy a moderate amount with your food.
6. Beware of the chips and bread basket.
I know it can be hard when everyone else is digging in, but enjoy the bread or chips with moderation or try to skip them all together! This will allow you to save room for more nutritious foods.
7. Skip dessert.
Pass on the calorie-rich dessert or wait until you get home to have a healthier sweet treat. I love dark chocolate with simple ingredients!
8. Slow down.
Many of us eat way too fast. Eat slowly, take your time, breathe, and savor each bite.
9. Go for the substitutes.
Ask for healthy swaps like salad or fruit instead of fries and chips.
10. Stick to water.
We’ve all heard the phrase “liquid calories.” It’s best to allow your body to get nutrients and calories from food instead of sugary drinks or beverages full of empty calories — I’m looking at you soda pop!
I’m grateful our city has so many incredible options for healthy eating!