Who doesn’t enjoy the pleasure of dining out? I know I am not alone in my love of being served in a restaurant and not having to shop, prep, cook and clean up, let alone come up with a creative menu idea.

However, eating out can require one to navigate a veritable minefield of tempting dishes ladened with excess “bad” carbs and heavy sauces. While I do allow myself a splurge once in awhile, I usually stick to a set of guidelines: no pastas or fried foods, choose a lean protein such as fish or chicken, aim for minimum 2 servings of vegetables per meal, ask if dish can be prepared with olive oil in place of butter, and most importantly, get the dressing and sauces on the side.

All of my friends know I am a salad girl and will almost always order a salad or make my selection into a salad by requesting a mound greens (such as arugula or spinach—whatever I can see elsewhere on the menu), undressed, on the side, to add in as needed.