Article written by guest blogger, Jamie Bodner, personal trainer and owner of Pinnacle Fitness
The way Atlanta has been growing the past 15 years, there are so many options and choices to eat out. I bet you can go all year and not eat at the same lunch or dinner spot twice. With all the great options, you have to ask how can you navigate around town and eat clean? Here are five great spots where you can eat healthy!
1. Whole Foods
One of my favorite places to grab lunch is at the Whole Foods Salad Bar. I suggest going before the crowd (11-11:30 am) or after (2:30-3 pm). The food is fresher and not picked through. Fill the bowl with 3/4 veggies and salad mix. If you find yourself in the veggies or salads with things like mayo or oils, scoop from the top and be sure to drain as much of the liquids as you can. Then, add a handful of protein like chicken, turkey, or tuna. (Mediterranean tuna is best.) Top off with a few seeds and/or nuts. Put a small amount of oil and vinegar in the side to-go container. The last thing to note, it should cost around $10-15. If it is more than $15 then you have a little too much for a meal.
A second great lunch spot is Willy’s. Opt for a salad over a fajita. If you want to get the beans on the bottom, go for a 1/2 scoop of black beans drained. Then, load the salad with peppers and all the veggie fixings. Add guac and throw that on too. Only use the salsa for dressing and no chips. I promise you will be more than satisfied.
A new fun lunch place is Chopt. It puts a fun spin to salads. They put all your salad choices in a big bowl then chop it and mix it together. They list all the calories on everything. Work to keep the salad around or below 500 calories. The menu can be a bit intimidating. Be ready to read and calculate calories. Remember, you will never overeat on veggies and fresh foods. Just be careful of dressings. If you prefer to order one of the prepared menu items, go with the Key West Jerk Chicken salad. You can’t go wrong.
4. Any Atlanta steakhouse (Cabernet Steakhouse, Hal’s, and Branchwater are some of the best!)
For dinner, any one of the steakhouses around is a wonderful spot. I know most people enjoy big steaks and potatoes, but these places are also known for having some of the best fish in town. Ask for the fish special and opt for sauteed green veggies instead of the starchy carbs and potatoes. If you don’t like the fish special, go with another fish, blackened or grilled. Also, tell the server, ‘no bread, please.’ No need to torture yourself looking at a warm basket of bread and butter.
5. Mirko Pasta
Mirko Pasta is another great option if you are with the family. Everything is from scratch in house. Any of the sauces and pasta pairings is a hit with the kids and they have great options for parents as well. The Insalata Di Cavolo Riccio Salad, with added Salmon, is one of the best. There is also the Mare, mixed seafood and shellfish in a light red sauce. It is outrageous and my personal favorite. Remember to steer clear of bread!
Do you need some help getting in shape and learning how to eat more mindfully? Come visit me and my team at Pinnacle Fitness and enroll in our Wellness Program, where you will have a licensed professional counselor, a licensed professional dietician, and a certified fitness trainer all on your side helping you make the lifestyle changes you need in mind, body, and life to be truly healthy, happy, and fit. Visit our website today or email us at [email protected]!