One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


2 Days/3 Restaurants: What Are Your Eating Out Go-Tos?

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The last 2 days have been a blur, but I’m not quite sure why or what I’ve accomplished besides making really good choices while eating out!

That’s right, I’m patting myself on the back. Eating out is a challenge and sometimes it happens more that I’d like it to, but it’s not an excuse to throw my hands in the air and walk away from healthier eating.

I thought I’d share my choices in hopes of giving you some ideas on your next restaurant trip.

First up, Qdoba.

The Husband really wanted to do lunch out yesterday and I agreed. He chose Qdoba, one of my favorite new age fast food chains. My go-to at Qdoba is the craft 2 menu. I get the Mexican Gumbo and naked taco salad.

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 9.24.03 PM

I skip the rice and just go with beans and pork or chicken. As for toppings, I skip the tortilla strips and sour cream but have them add a little of each salsa for flavor and a bit of cheese.

Based on the nutritional information from their website my choice weighs in at about 450 calories. It was filling, satisfying and tasty! One of my absolute favorites.

Second, Red Robin.

Today I met a friend at the mall and we took the kids to lunch. We decided to sit down at Red Robin instead of braving the food court.

I happen to love Red Robin and it may not seem like it on the surface, but there are great light choices to be had!

I stick with a small burger or grilled chicken on a lettuce bun with a side of broccoli.

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 9.37.46 PM

Today I went with the Grilled Teriyaki Chicken sandwich with no mayo on a lettuce bun with a side of steamed broccoli. According to their nutrition customizer my lunch weighed in a mere 371 calories.

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And let me tell you.. TASTY! Totally satisfying. I didn’t even miss the bun!

Third, Chuck E. Cheese.

Yup, tonight we had dinner at Chuck E. Cheese. It was a treat for the 7 year old who came home with a good report card. He’s been begging us to go for literally years, so we decided it would be a nice surprise.

At first I was not happy about the food choices there but then I looked up the nutritional information and went in with a plan. That always makes it easier. Always.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture –too busy playing with the kids….

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 10.41.25 PM

…but I went with 1 slice of pizza and the salad bar. According to the info on their website my meal was about 370 calories. 1 slice of large cheese pizza is only 169! I was actually quite shocked. For the salad bar I stuck with mostly veggies, a small drizzle of the vinegar based dressing and a few sunflower seeds.

I’m not going to lie, I left feeling awfully proud of myself. There was a time I wouldn’t be able to manage a place like Chuck E. Cheese. I’d stress out about it, decide it wasn’t worth the effort and then pig out because it was easier to “break” my diet then just make the best choices I can and then move on.

Ahh the power of stateless dieting. :)

Do you have any go-to meals at your family restaurants? Please share in the comments. I love getting ideas and seeing how people manage their own eating out.

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However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.


There are 21 comments so far.


    February 8, 2013

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    February 8, 2013

    Thanks for this post. Very helpful to me!

    Fiona Jesse Giffords

    February 8, 2013

    Looks like you have clearly escaped from all the worries of gaining extra kilos from the eating out plans. Well i am also bit more conscious when the friends or family plan anything, but i go with the more veggies to keep it low and also prefer some fruit juice.


    February 8, 2013

    I too always look up the menu and nutritional info before I go somewhere new. After the first or second trip, I usually have a couple go-to items and/or meals I can do, guilt free. It makes life easier when friends and family want to go out and have a good time knowing you can still go and not have any remorse about what you ate. For the bigger chains, I am very familiar with BJ’s, PF Changs and CPK’s menus. I’m also a bit of a coffee fiend sometimes (…who am I kidding.. most of the time!) so I am very familiar with the nutritional info for half the drinks and snacks at Starbucks & Coffee Bean. None of these places are at all the most health conscious, but like you did with your fast food, it is easy to find alternatives almost anywhere! Good choices Roni!


    February 8, 2013

    Never heard of Qdoba, but I ‘d wish we’d get one that looks EXCELLENT!!

    At Panera Bread I choose the “Pick 2” and have 1/2 a Smoked Turkey Breast sandwich (with mustard), 1/2 a classic salad and an apple. Only cost me 7 Weight Watcher points+.


    February 8, 2013

    We try not to go out very often (about onceevery two weeks) and try to avoid chain restaurants. That being said, though my boys favorite restaurant is chipotle, and I will bring it home on days that are crazy. I have a vegetarian burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, 3 kinds of salsa, cheese, guacamole and lettuce. Except for the cheese, not too bad. On other occasions that we go out, sushi is our most common choice. My DH and I are going out twice this weekend because it is his birthday and the boys have a sleepover. I am planning to have a spinach salad with day boat scallops tonight, and tomorrow night I am planning to have a dish with black cod, Manila clams, and spiced chickpeas. The last time we went out without kids, we went to a vegetarian Thai restaurant.


    February 8, 2013

    I must admit, I’m a bit of a restaurant rebel. Husband and I go out to eat once a week. I cook the rest of the time and pack my lunches. On Saturday I make sure I get in a good workout…and then order what I want off the menu…with wine or a cocktail. That being said, we are going on our first cruise in April and I am a bit concerned about not being able to prepare my own food for a week. Our travels usually involve renting a condo or house…so I still get to cook (which I love doing).


    February 8, 2013

    A lot of people don’t know that Chick-Fil-A offers their nuggets “grilled” as an option to the breaded ones. Very good!

    Slim Style Secrets

    February 8, 2013

    When I need a fast food fix I’ll go for a Whopper Jr. without mayo (260 calories/440 mg sodium) or two slices of Pizza Hut thin crust veggie pizza (360 calories/16 mg sodium). I have to splurge sometimes or I’ll just give up!


    February 8, 2013

    I LOVE Red Robin – wrap any burger in lettuce? I’m sold.


    February 8, 2013

    I’m going to be slightly off-topic, but yay for a good report card, and yay for showing the importance of it. Yes, I’m geeking out on teaching, ha!


    February 8, 2013

    i love pizza, so when i’m not making my own i love pizza huts thin and crispy veggie lover. i sortof have the idea when eating out that i hardly ever do it, so i’m going to enjoy myself. i don’t like to think of ordering the healthiest thing but would rather compromise other ways, like working out that day and drinking 3 liters of water. for sure i would get 2 servings of veggies, either a salad or steamed veggies, and then get what i was hungry for. i’m not a dessert person normally and the bread basket isn’t that big of a distraction. i LOVE olive gardens steamed mussels. the last thing i want to do is feel deprived and eat something that i don’t really want to eat, and then leave wishing i would have just got what i wanted. it’s all about compromise and moderation i think.

    Fab to Fat and Back!

    February 9, 2013

    Those are excellent choices. I am so impressed. I am not sure I would have lasted. I really like your choices from Qdoba. They look awesome.


    February 9, 2013

    Good job Roni! No exaggeration- all your posts about stateless dieting truly stick in the back of my head. Your posts are the reason I’m able to make It through a bad night of eating, then wake up the next morning & know I don’t need to starve myself or make up for last night. I just need to move on & start the day fresh w/ a smart, healthy, filling choice. Keep it up Roni, your ups & downs encourage me on a very regular basis!

    Staci @

    February 9, 2013

    If it’s somewhere I really love, I try to compromise. At Shoney’s, I will get their All America Cheeseburger, but instead of fries I get their steamed veggie medley. We rarely do McD’s, but sometimes it happens. I have gotten to where I actually look forward to their Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad with Southwestern ranch. Even with the dressing and crispy tortilla strips on top, the entire salad is only 10 points+. Loved seeing your choices.


    February 9, 2013

    i very timely post, i just went out with my mothers group to lui lui’s, an italian place, anyway i looked at the menu before and decided against pasta and had an appetizer, a buffolo chicken quesadilla. what a HUGE mistake, i was thinking it would be small. it was huge, salty and made with pizza dough crust. i ate half and gained 3 lbs. mostly water, 2.5 came off but it was way heavier than i thought. UGH, i hate going out and making bad decisions, SO not worth it


    February 10, 2013

    You can really order a lettuce bun at red robin? Had no idea but will definitely be doing that next time! Thanks!


    February 18, 2013

    i need to try the pineapple bun this weel

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