Making Healthy Options: Take-Out Chinese Food

 Hi friends,

Food – it has been around since the beginning of man! We love it and enjoy it, but we don’t always enjoy gaining weight from it! At least, I don’t. Who agrees? Well, since I have been married maintaining my weight has been even more challenging. My husband likes to eat out often and he doesn’t like to eat the same thing two days in a row or eating left overs. I can eat the same thing everyday and be ok with it. I am a pretty simple eater and as long as I have healthy options around, that is what I will eat. Even with snacks, if I am craving something sweet and have some frozen mango in the freezer, I’ll eat that and bam, my craving is gone nan junk food, ha!

It is challenging for me to make healthy choices when we eat out! It takes will power! When I am sitting there, looking through the menu, going straight to the salads, then my eyes wander to the fries or onion rings! Yikes!

We order take out Chinese food about two times a month. It is hard to not go for the sweet and sour chicken, or the fried rice! And, who doesn’t love fried egg rolls? I love these! Yum! But, I am really trying to keep it healthy and low on calories, so lately I’ve been opting for steamed vegetables and brown rice. It is a healthier option. Just be cautious of heavy sauces that may be added to the vegetables. This way, when my husband is enjoying his mongolian beef, fried rice, and other heavier options from the menu….I am still enjoying the Chinese food experience, just the low calorie and less fat, and low sodium version. I still can’t resist the egg rolls and usually have one! But, eating one is better than eating three egg rolls, and this way I don’t feel deprived.

Instead of a soft drink or sweetened iced tea, I’ll drink water or a sparkling water, or green tea. For utensils, I’ll use chop sticks, we have some plastic one’s at home and it really adds to the experience of eating Chinese food (at least for me). It takes me longer to eat with chop sticks, so my brain gets the signal that my stomach is full before I end up overeating. Another trick I use, is that I serve myself on a medium size plate, not the large dinner plate, hence eating a smaller portion overall. After I serve the portion I plan to eat, I put away the leftovers right away….saving them for lunch the next day. If I leave the containers out, it is just too easy to go back to the kitchen counter and serve myself some more!

Ah, I know, the tricks we use to maintain our weight. I never deprive myself of any type of food…especially not chocolate or foods I love, ha! I just try to eat in moderation and keep it healthy as often as possible. I figure, it all balances out.

Remember, the most important thing is that you are happy with your life and yourself, at any size we may be….to enjoy life and that includes the joy of food!

Do you have any suggestions of healthy take-out dinners you buy? Do you use any techniques or tricks to eat smaller portions or healthier meals? I’d love to hear them!



PS – Healthy breakfast I eat everyday, how I stopped eating chips, and easy way to remember to take your vitamins DSCN8892 DSCN8884

I order steamed vegetables and brown rice. Instead of a heavier main entree and fried rice.DSCN8893

I serve myself on a medium size plate, not a large dinner plate, and use chopsticks.

DSCN8894I enjoy the Chinese food experience….just a lower calorie, less fat, and low sodium option.

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How to Cut 300 Calories from Your Day


Have you seen the two liter bottles of soda? They are huge! Growing up, my mom would often make us fresh lemonade or “aguas frescas” (natural fruit drinks), like agua de sandia or melon (watermelon or cantaloupe drinks). On occasions, we would buy the one liter or two liter bottles of soda for dinner. I can picture the giant bottle sitting on the dinner table and can still feel the fizz in my throat. As you know, I have to work at maintaining my weight (yes, I gain weight easily), so years ago I decided to stop drinking sodas. It was probably around my early twenties. Little by little, I just stopped drinking them. Mostly, because I started to read about the ingredients and realized they were adding to my daily caloric intake. I still missed the fizz, so I started drinking sparkling water instead. Just like that, with this one simple change, I cut between 200 – 400 calories from my day.

Sparkling water has zero calories and fat, no sugar or ingredients that sound like chemicals. It is basically natural spring water with carbonation. It gives me my fizz fix and refreshes me. It is also hydrating for the body. Some sparkling waters are healthier than others, some contain more sodium than others, and some are from natural springs. But, they don’t have calories, and overall are much healthier for you than soft drinks.


I buy mine at Trader Joe’s because I like the “natural lemon flavor” sparkling water they sell – and because it is the main store I shop at for groceries. The 18 oz. bottles come in four-packs and they also sell a 42 oz bottle.  I always have multiple bottles in stock at home and keep about five bottles in the fridge, to ensure they are chilled and easy to reach for. The Trader’s Joe’s brand tastes the same as the Crystal Geyser brand which can be found at most grocery stores and the bottle even looks the same (I’ve often wondered if they are bottled by the same company). I also drink Perrier and Pellegrino. I have been encouraging my husband to stop drinking sodas and even though he still orders a Diet Coke (or lemonade) when we are eating out, at home he drinks the sparkling waters instead of soda. We no longer buy soft drinks to have at home. Even little changes like this one can add up to a big difference in your daily calorie intake, and overall health throughout the years.

DSCN4525 An average serving ( 8oz – 18 oz) of a soft drink has between 182 – 364 calories, of which 27g are carbs, and 12g are sugar (most of the calories in soft drinks come from the sugar). It is ok to have a soft drink every once in a while, kind of like a special treat, but if you have one or two sodas every day you are adding quite a bit of calories to your day with just a serving. Also, diet soft drinks may list zero calories, but they may contain caramel color, citric acid, potassium citrate, aspartame, caffeine, phosphoric acid, and natural flavors (which may be made of chemicals to mimic natural tastes).

So, if you want to cut between 200 – 300 calories from your day, try replacing a soft drink with a sparkling water. Just try it – you’ve got nothing to lose, but calories! It may not happen overnight, but eventually, like me, you may no longer crave sodas. Plus, you’ll still get your fizz fix! I haven’t ordered or bought a soft drink for myself in years.


Do you drink sparkling water? Do you have a favorite sparkling water brand?