Mariano’s sushi, sashimi is ok, but I miss the soy sauce

Mariano’s is a relatively new chain of supermarkets in the Chicago area that’s been getting a lot of positive buzz for its large selection of fresh produce and it’s many prepared food areas within every store. Each store also has a wonderful make-your-own salad bar.

My new job is not far from a Mariano’s near Chicago’s lakefront, so I venture over there at least once a week for a salad bar lunch. Many of the pre-made salads and other items on the bar have too much salt for me, however, as does all the prepared foods on a large prepared food buffet (items like chicken, fish, mashed potatoes). I’ve asked store help and they tell me everything is slated before cooking, everything.

It really makes me sad to even look at the food buffet there, not to mention other food stations, such as an in-store pizza area, that I cannot buy anything at that would conform to my diet needs.

Shame on you Mariano’s for not thinking about low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar options.

This sashimi was ok, but not worth the price and not all that tasty without soy sauce.
This Mariano’s sashimi was ok, but not worth the price and not all that tasty without soy sauce.

Each Mariano’s also has a sushi bar and pre-packaged sushi for takeout. I formally had sushi at least once a week but now avoid it because of the salt in soy sauce that I would normally use to accompany it. Plus, I’ve been advised to avoid white rice, which many sushi selections are made with. Continue reading “Mariano’s sushi, sashimi is ok, but I miss the soy sauce”

Eating Out: try a salad buffet

Eating out on a restricted diet can be difficult because every restaurant tends to load its dishes with salt, fat, sugar or all three. If you do find something you can eat, it likely won’t be a large enough portion to fill you either and you’ll just go home hungry and irate about your new limitations.

One solution I’ve found it to frequent all-you-can-eat salad buffets. In my area, I have two to pick from, Ruby Tuesday’s and Sweet Tomatoes.

A recent first trip to the salad buffet for me at Sweet Tomatoes.
A recent first trip to the salad buffet for me at Sweet Tomatoes.

Ruby Tuesday’s is good for a quick lunch salad but to really chow down, I enjoy Sweet Tomatoes. Check the website to see if there’s one in your area and if not, look for something similar. The sites lists 15 states with locations, under two different chain names. Continue reading “Eating Out: try a salad buffet”

Breakfast Fruit: a great road alternative

My recent trip to Italy included some amazing meals, made all the better because they were shared with family. And both hotels we stayed in offered breakfast buffets. Buffets hold a certain magic for me, having grown up with very little. An all-you-eat buffet seems the opposite of a childhood spent on the edge of poverty. But these days I cannot partake of all the wonders a buffet offers and breakfast buffets are no different.

Our hotel buffets had the usual bacon, omelets and other items I can no longer eat. But thankfully, they also featured a variety of fruits which is where I spent my time at them.

Fruit and tomatoes for breakfast, bellisima
Fruit and tomatoes for breakfast, bellisima

Another fun option at one was steamed tomatoes. I love tomatoes and the ones we had in Italy seemed all the better for being from my ancestral home. So I regularly had three or four for breakfast while we were staying in southern Italy. Continue reading “Breakfast Fruit: a great road alternative”

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