So much food, so few options?
Here in Buffalo, food is like a religion. If you ask a typical Buffalonian where you should eat, chances are they will spend the next 10 minutes listing off all of their favorite hot spots in town. Carbone’s in the Old First Ward, Thin Man Brewery in Elmwood Village, Cantina Loco in Allentown, Pho 99 on Bailey Ave., Nine Eleven Tavern in South Buffalo — the list goes on and on. But if you’re like one of the many who also struggle with working off those leftover winter pounds (I know it’s August, but let’s be real) you may find yourself struggling to find healthy options in the sea of Buffa-liciousness.
First, let’s start with a few guidelines about eating to bear in mind when eating out in general:
1.) Don’t overeat.
Remember, your stomach is about the size of your fist and you truly only need small portions in order to be satisfied and get the calories your body needs.
2.) Take your time when eating.
It generally takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain ‘I’m full!’ Set down your food or fork in between bites; you’ll eat slower and fill up surprisingly fast.
3.) Leave some for tomorrow.
I know we Buffalonians pride ourselves on being able to finish most every meal as if it were a matter of honor, but just remember that excess calories get turned into fat cells! Try to eat only half of any meal you order. Tomorrow is another day, and chances are that the pad thai from Saigon Cafe you had tonight will taste just as good tomorrow!
4.) Try to start your meal with a salad.
Green leafy vegetables are high in fiber and help to keep your body regular. Aside from that, there are lots of vitamins and minerals in things like spinach and romaine lettuce that help keep your body truckin’!
Okay, so now that we’ve established some ground rules about our eating habits, where do we go for healthy food? Just about anywhere. In recent years, the whole Buffalo restaurant community has taken the initiative, alongside some great community programs, to make their menus healthier. One of my favorite places to go during the summer season is Larkin Square for Food Truck Tuesdays.
Boasting 25+ food trucks, ranging from tacos to cheesecake, it offers live music, beer gardens, and a family-friendly environment. One of the other great community aspects of this weekly event is their partnership with the Independent Health Foundation to promote their Healthy Options program.
Every food truck features a Healthy Options menu item, which could include snacks, entrees, or desserts that are lower in calories, saturated fats, and have little added sugar. While you may need to skip the ever-tantalizing deep-fried Mac ‘n Cheese bites, there are still plenty of tasty yet healthy eats to be had; choose wisely!
Some of my top food truck picks are:
Dish: Mediterranean Ahi Tuna Salad, $12
Dish: Turkey Cranberry Almond Wrap, $8
Dish: Build-Your-Own-Salad, $8-16
Dish: Chopche, $6
Dish: Sausage, Bean, & Kale Soup, $6
You can find almost every flavor that Buffalo has to offer during Food Truck Tuesdays, which is why it’s such a great summer stop. This event will be going every Tuesday 5-8 p.m., until Oct. 3, so don’t procrastinate and miss out on the all of the food & fun!