Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan – Five Tips For Eating Out

One of the advantages of the Mediterranean Diet is how easy it is to bring the right foods and eating habits into your own home. Dining out, however, can bit a bit tougher. In a world full of fast food, army sized restaurant portions and low-fat menus, it takes a little work to maintain your Mediterranean Diet menu plan. Here are 5 tips for finding and creating Mediterranean Diet meals when eating out.

1. Order an appetizer

With restaurants serving such large meals, most appetizers have become meals in themselves. An Italian restaurant chain I like offers an appetizer of steamed mussels in butter and garlic served over pasta with a slice of garlic bread. I can’t even imagine what the dinner portion looks like! Choose appetizers with a good amount of healthy fat (olive oil, butter, hard cheese), and fresh vegetables, fish or lean meat. Sorry, mozzarella sticks don’t count.

2. Split a plate

Even the healthiest Mediterranean Diet meals heaped in a pile can ruin your whole Mediterranean Diet menu plan. One solution is to share a plate with a friend. Again, with portion sizes what they are, you’ll be more than satisfied with a half order of most meals. Many restaurants even allow you to request a plate split for two when you order. You’ll get two individually prepared plates rather than one with half the meal scooped onto it and just have to pay for one dish.

3. Side it up

Many restaurants offer a virtual menu of side dishes you can combine to make a meal. Usually there are good grilled or steamed vegetable options so you can avoid artery-hardening deep-fried sides. For breakfast stir a side of fruit and a touch of honey into unsweetened whole yogurt (or add a splash of half-and-half to low-fat yogurt). Meal salads are also becoming more popular and usually fit nicely into the Mediterranean Diet menu plan without being altered. Since the vitamins found in vegetables are fat soluble, avoid low-fat salad dressings

4. Create a meal

Sometimes when all the restaurants in sight are fast-food joints, a grocery store can be your best friend. Armed with your well-honed Mediterranean Diet menu plan, you can stalk the aisles for the right ingredients to create a lunch on the go. In France, a whole meal can be made from a baguette and a wedge of cheese. Try adding olives (or olive oil), cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, salami, anchovies, avocado, etc. to create a hearty Mediterranean sandwich.