It’s possible: Eat out, eat healthy and save money

Jan. 10, 2020

This paid piece is sponsored by GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.

Ready to eat a bit better this new year? With a little knowledge and some expert advice, it’s easy to dine out, eat healthier and even save money.

We caught up with nutrition expert Austin Kjergaard, head of nutrition for GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness, who shared his picks off menus at several restaurants where members can save while dining out.

Bagel Boy

Think bagels can’t be part of a healthy diet? Not the case, Kjergaard said.

He chooses the Chicken Grill at Bagel Boy, which comes on a whole wheat bagel with some cheese to add protein and healthy fat.

Trying to watch your carbs? You can skip the bagel and turn it into a salad.

“The Chicken Grill is a lean protein and low-fat option,” he said. “If you use the whole wheat bagel, you are also going to be getting beneficial nutrients like fiber, which has been associated with digestive and heart health.”

Kjergaard also likes the Smoking Fish, which is smoked salmon on a plain or whole wheat bagel. Add peppers if you’d like, he said, or turn it into a salad to save carbs.

“The Smoking Fish is a high-protein option that also contains a healthy amount of omega 3,” he said. “Salmon contains omega 3, which is a type of healthy fat that has been associated with improving heart health.”

Bonus: GreatLIFE members receive a free small coffee or soda with a food purchase.

Johnny Carino’s

Italian food can pack plenty of protein if you make good choices. At Johnny Carino’s, Kjergaard recommends the sirloin steak with roasted potatoes.

“Sirloin steak is a great protein source that contains micronutrients, vitamins B6, B12, calcium and iron,” he said. “Roasted potatoes are a great option for the side here because they are low in fat and provide a great amount of energy for our bodies.”

Feel like a salad? Go with the classic Caesar and add a protein option such as grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon. Just watch the dressing. His personal suggestion: Try yellow mustard with a little pepper to keep the calories low.

Bonus: GreatLIFE members save 10 percent every day.

Chevys Fresh Mex

Tacos are your friend at Chevys Fresh Mex. Opt for grilled chicken, fish or steak tacos with rice and beans, Kjergaard said. Want a little fewer calories? Ask for them without aioli and ask for a side salad instead of rice or beans.

“Tacos can be a great low-carb, moderate-protein option,” he said. “Rice and beans are a great source of carbohydrates, which is what our body prefers to use as fuel. Rice and beans are also a great source of fiber.”

His other choice: the sizzling chicken fajita salad. Put the dressing on the side for fewer calories.

“This can be a great low-carb option that has a great protein and healthy fat source with grilled chicken and avocado,” he said.

Bonus: GreatLIFE members receive 10 percent off every day.

Firehouse Subs

Go with the small “engineer” sub minus the mayo at Firehouse Subs, Kjergaard suggests. For a lower-calorie option, make it a veggie sub. Add a side salad and a small sugar-free tea to complete the meal.

“It’s a great source of protein with plenty of carbs and veggies to keep you going throughout the day,” he said.

Bonus: GreatLIFE members receive $2 off a medium or large value meal, so order up and share or save some as leftovers.

Pita Pit

Kjergaard likes the chicken pesto pita at Pita Pit, which he said is “packed with chicken, feta cheese and veggies,” or the black bean pita, minus the “boom” sauce to save calories.

This is a great option if you are not big on meat but still want something packed with protein and veggies,” he said.

Bonus: GreatLIFE members receive a free combo with a pita purchase, which includes a drink and side.

PizzaRev

This craft-your-own pizza concept leaves plenty of options for healthy customization.

Kjergaard suggests the following low-calorie choices: thin crust, organic red or spicy red tomato sauce, feta or parmesan cheese, grilled chicken, sweet fennel sausage, vegan sausage, ham, mushrooms, peppers, cilantro, basil, onions and cherry tomatoes.

“You can build any style pizza that you would like by choosing these low-calorie options,” he said.

Or go with the chicken Caesar salad, which is “a good source of protein from the chicken and Greek yogurt dressing, and you can choose either lettuce or spring mix.”

Bonus: GreatLIFE members save 10 percent every day.

GreatLIFE also stepped up its nutrition services this year. To meet with Kjergaard and his team, just ask at any fitness center.

Ready to get started? Join GreatLIFE now and receive no enrollment fee, no money down and your 13th month free! Click here to learn more.

It’s possible: Eat out, eat healthy and save money

Ready to eat a bit better this new year? With a little knowledge and some expert advice, it’s easy to dine out, eat healthier and even save money.

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