These columns about recommended restaurants aren't in any way my reviews of the establishments.
They are simply personal preferences - places I've eaten and found specific menu items that I find delicious and diabetic-friendly. The choices are healthy and fit into anyone's everyday dining.
If you are watching what you eat, by choice or by diagnosis, you should have already been given the clues to menu wording on foods to avoid: creamed, breaded, coated, fried, in butter sauce, with bacon or bacon drippings (think spinach salad dressing) and so on.
Eating is scary when you are first diagnosed, particularly when combined with a weight-loss plan. Am I getting enough nutrition? How much can I have? After I consume it, what will this food do to me? Will I ever cook and eat again as a "normal" person?
And those questions are just when at home. Dining out poses other problems and temptations, but what I want you to learn is that eating out promises much pleasure.
My suggestions don't apply to the special-occasion, go overboard treat, when we momentarily stray from diets, but to eating out in general, trying to adhere to sensible choices. There's some great food waiting.
Be sure to consult your diabetic professionals about the particulars on what and how to eat. But as a layperson, I'll tell you where we go and what I have.
The restaurants aren't ranked from lowest to number one. Each menu is unique in its own way and the offerings are equal to another in appeal. All are tops in taste. A few may be unexpected.
Since some of the places I'll discuss aren't available statewide, I'm starting with a restaurant that is. Ours is in Charleston Town Center. It's Chick-Fil-A. Yep. The fast-food emporium.
A scan of their menu board one day revealed something new - a chicken salad sandwich on whole-grain sliced bread. I'm a sucker for anyone's chicken salad, tuna salad and coleslaw, and this sandwich fit my numbers (33 carbs). Of course I added their slaw (17 carbs), which I love and a small fresh fruit cup (17 carbs) and that made lunch.
Depending upon your carb allowance, you may eat the sandwich open-face, which reserves the right to a little more of something else.
You may also enjoy the chicken salad alone on a lettuce bed. To make a salad plate, ask for one scoop, along with a serving of tossed salad or slaw and fruit salad.
Other good selections at Chick-Fil-A that I want to get back to are the whole-grain wraps (I checked if they were) with chargrilled, Caesar or spicy fillings; an even newer (than the chicken salad) chargrilled chicken and fruit salad combo; chargrilled chicken sandwiches (their regular sandwich buns are whole-wheat); carrot-raisin salad; and chicken soup.
Complete nutrition information on all their items is available for the asking.
You can calculate and mix and match your own preferences, keeping correct portions per serving in mind.
Food allergies aside, remember to not concentrate so intently on what you can't have and instead uncover tasty bites that are allowed. The search is well worth it.
And please don't hesitate to let me know what you order when dining out and where you like to go.