Cutting the string – the first meal out

sausages-garlic-mash-onion-gravy

A little update! We are currently on Day 13 of cutting the string and so far so good, we haven’t had any major hurdles to overcome and have been sticking to the meal plans we have devised. However today represented the first real challenge. We were out and about this morning and decided we would really like to take the kids out for lunch. It is something we like to do quite regularly, as hubby only gets two Saturdays off a month, and we rarely all eat together in the week.

So the first question we had to ask ourselves was where could we go that we could get something relatively healthy for lunch, but that also wasn’t too expensive. We had been out by the river for a walk this morning and we were all freezing and just wanted something warm and filling so we opted to go to the nearby Harvester.

My 4yr old loves Harvester, mainly because he is a bread monster and he loves the fact you can have free bread rolls, but it is actually a great restaurant for a healthy meal. First of all the salad cart is free. Yes there are a few unhealthier bits on it such as potatoes, pasta and coleslaw, but provided you don’t slather your salad in sauce or bacon bits, its really a good, diet-friendly way of filling up.

When it comes to the main course, I find it brilliant that every dish has the calorie content listed, so you know exactly how naughty what you are eating really is. You can also swap side and veg options, so instead of chips you can opt for a jacket potato or some rice. Hubby decided on “simply chicken”, which is basically what is says on the tin – a grilled chicken breast, jacket potato and peas, and it comes in at a very reasonable 557 calories. I usually choose the goat’s cheese and broccoli pasta shells which are delicious and only 580 calories, but today I realised that I could have a hearty serving of bangers and mash as they offer a “vegetarian” option using soya and leek sausages. Using regular sausages it would set you back 929 calories, but by swapping to the vegetarian version, I only consumed 559 calories instead. I know you can do the maths, but to save time I will spell it out for you anyway – a whopping 370 calories saved which is pretty much the equivalent of what I eat most lunchtimes, or enough to allow you a Harvester Sundae Best (all less than 300 calories) with cals left over! (I didn’t – this time anyway!)

So I have had a lovely lunch out with my family, feel completely full and for once, not at all guilty! First meal out – a success!

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