Today I have a good friend coming back in town for the first time in a few months. We are all very excited, he has been out of state for his job. The first thing he said was that when he gets back to Texas he has to have Tex Mex, so we are meeting tonight at his favorite, Matt's in Dallas for dinner. If you know me at all or have been following me for any length of time you know that i am really in to nutrition and healthy eating. So what would Dr. Austin eat on a Tuesday night at a Mexican restaurant?
Here are some simple guidelines and tips to eating at a Mexican restaurant, obviously eating on a Tuesday night isn't the normal for me, but we have to sacrifice for good friends!
1) You are going to have to face it, you are not going to be able to eat organic, so don't look like an idiot when you ask the waiter if they have anything organic or if their chicken is free range or their beef grassfed. Because most likely it's not. And they won't even know what you are talking about. So you have to make the best out of your options at hand.
2) When ordering drinks, obviously margaritas are a TexMex favorite. One simple step to making your margarita healthier, ask the waiter to hold the simple syrup and make it with all lime juice. Most margaritas are made with the combination of the two. Going with strictly lime juice will cut down on the sugar and the most likely additional ingredient, High Fructose Corn Syrup. It will be a bit more sour, but much better for you. Also hold the salt, the salted rim will give you additional salt you don't need. When eating out you are already going to get more salt in your food then when eating at home, so you don't need anymore.
3) Avoid the Chips and Salsa! Corn chips are one going to add carbs to your meal, but are also a likely source of GMO's. Corn is the number one genetically modified crop in this country, with over 90 percent of the corn you find containg GMO's. If you consume them by the basket at a Mexican restaurant you can bet you getting some. The risk? GMO's have ben linked to cancer and birth defects.
4)Go for the Guac! So if I can't have chips and salsa, what can I have? Order a side of fresh guacamole! And eat it by the spoonful! Now make sure it's fresh guac, there are some restaurants that will mix their guacamole with avocados and sour cream, making it far less healthy. If it's extremely creamy guac, you might want to question it. But avocados are nature's perfect food!
5)So what can I order? Go for the fajita's. Fresh grilled chicken, shrimp, or beef with veggies. You can't really go wrong with that. Skip the tortillas and just eat the plate of fajitas. After a few times ditching the tortillas, you won't even miss them, I promise! Obviously you wan't to avoid enchiladas and other poor choices at a Mexican Restaurant but their are some deceivingly "healthy" options to avoid too. Like Taco salads that come in a big fried taco shell, not so healthy. Fish tacos, still have the tortilla, but also the majority of fish used in a Mexican Restaurant is Tilapia. Tilapia is always farm raised, never wild caught. Which can bring us to a whole other topic. Follow these simple tips and you will be the healthiest at the table and still be enjoying the Mariachi!
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