Another handy way to carry your own oil & vinegar

Salad dressing served in restaurants are loaded with salt, fat and sugar, exactly what you don;t want to put on a healthy salad. I’ve advised in the past that you carry you own olive oil and vinegar to use when dining out. Small packets of each are available on Amazon, i buy them literally by the hundreds.

My new tiny oil and vinegar bottles for eating out.
My new tiny oil and vinegar bottles for eating out.

My resourceful daughter presented me with another option this Christmas when she gave me tiny dressing bottles from Crate & Barrel (full disclosure, she works for the company, so likely got these at a discount. You can get them on the store’s site for $4.95 each).  Continue reading “Another handy way to carry your own oil & vinegar”

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AMC Dine-in Menu — hear the sound of your blood pressure spiking???

Sunday is movie day in our house. We normally go to the first show of the day to get cheaper tickets because why pay more to see the same movie a few hours later? Movie theaters today are adding all sorts of new perks to get people to leave their houses. One of the new perks is expanded food options.

AMC is a large theater chain and I saw recently that it has what it’s calling the AMC dine-in menu now. The cardboard menu they give you to pick from actually has calorie counts right on it for every dish, a requirement that comes from the healthcare law commonly called Obamacare.

Continue reading “AMC Dine-in Menu — hear the sound of your blood pressure spiking???”

Consumer Reports takes a great look at healthier eating

Consumer Reports is a magazine I look at whenever making a major purchase such as a car or large appliance. It’s reviews are the bible of product reviews, in my opinion. So I was intrigued to see its November issue carrying a cover story about healthy eating.

What’s in the issue is as good as other work Consumer Reports does. If you cans till find one to buy, buy it and refer to it as you cook or eat out. If you can;t find a physical copy, go to the website, it appears you can read at least some of the stories there without being a member of Consumer Reports. Continue reading “Consumer Reports takes a great look at healthier eating”

More advice on what’s healthiest to order at McDonald’s

Salads were on the list, but one tip I didn’t know about was asking for the Southwest salad, my usual, without the cilantro-lime glaze can cut the sugar in it substantially.

McDonald’s is everywhere across the United States, so chance are you’ll find yourself in one for a meal from time to time even if you’re on a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet. I actually go to a local McDonald’s once a week, getting a salad and bringing my own oil and vinegar packets so I don’t use the high-salt Paul Newman dressings.

A McDonald's breakfast platter my mother once loved.
A McDonald’s breakfast platter my mother once loved.It didn’t make the healthy breakfast list on MyFitnessPal.com

And I’ve written before about what nutritionists recommend there. So I was interested to see a story from Myfitnesspal.com headlined What’s the Healthiest Thing to Eat at McDonald’s? Continue reading “More advice on what’s healthiest to order at McDonald’s”

Healthier items disappearing from Mariano’s shelves???

I really hope this was a one-time out-of-stock case, but I’m not hopeful of that since I didn’t see shelf tags for either product. Please Mariano’s don’t let me down.

The Mariano’s supermarket chain took Chicago by storm a few years ago, generating so much positive buzz that Kroger in 2015 bought it and it’s parent company, Roundy’s for $800 million.

I've found two brands of low-sodium,low-sugar ketchup, Westbrae and LocalFolks Foods.
Localfolks ketchup, on the right, my favorite.

Mariano’s brought an approach to food sales that Wegman’s is known for on the East Coast — stores with more prepared foods and in-store chefs and eating areas, to the Midwest. What I liked about Mariano’s was that it stocked more low-salt and low-fat products than the major supermarket chains tend to do.

But my latest shopping trip to a Mariano’s in Skokie, Il., caused me some concern about whether that’s all changing under Kroger ownership. I go to Mariano’s specifically to buy three products — Kraft fat-free shredded mozzarella, low-salt canned olives and my favorite low-salt, low-sugar ketchup from Localfolks. But Mariano’s had neither the cheese nor the olives on my latest trip. Continue reading “Healthier items disappearing from Mariano’s shelves???”

A fun seafood restaurant in food-heavy Highwood, Il.

The atmosphere is very casual and the staff was very helpful and friendly. And the menu had several other offerings I hope to try on future visits.

Highwood, a far northern Chicago suburb, has been known traditionally for its Italian restaurants but the foodscape there is becoming much more diverse these days. Lucky Fish Deli is just one example, a fun seafood shack that can make you feel like you’re in some sleepy East coast fishing town. Indeed, the decor was inspired by a trip the owner took to Maine, according to one story I’ve read.

Grilled octopus and asparagus at Lucky Fish, loved it.
Grilled octopus and asparagus at Lucky Fish, loved it.

The seafood was excellent. I went with a half-dozen oysters, which came out clean, fresh and cold as they should be served. I think the waiter said they were bluepoints. I was a little surprised there weren’t several varieties to choose from, but was very happy with what was available. Continue reading “A fun seafood restaurant in food-heavy Highwood, Il.”

Taco Nano, a different sort of taco place

Taco Nano won’t become a regular stop for me because I don’t know how much salt and fat are in its offerings. But it’s obviously gained a following and is worth a try if you’re looking for a different approach to Mexican food.

Charity auctions are a favorite activity of mine. In fact our theater company, the 2nd Act Players, is planning our first-ever charity auction this September. Check our website for more details as we get closer to the Sept. 10 date. But getting back to food, I recently won a gift card to Taco Nano, which bills itself as a fresh Mexican-style place in the Chicago northern suburb of Northfield.TacoNanoLogo

Going there for dinner on a Friday night, my wife and I were surprised by the crowds. It’s obviously a popular place but is it healthy? As a small place, it isn’t required to post nutrition information on its offerings and doesn’t. So eating there was a shot-in-the-dark nutrition-wise. Continue reading “Taco Nano, a different sort of taco place”