Don’t Eat French Fries

As a writer, I try to practice what I preach. After all, how much good would it be to dole out advice if I didn’t live by my words?

But I am human, and I goof up. Pretty much every day.

And last week I got caught.

When I was having lunch with a publisher, no less.

Mid-way though our meal, I handed her a copy of Finding Life’s Secret Sauce, in response to her comment about the value of giving away books (well, at least I did something right).

She happened to open the book to the chapter entitled,Watch What You Eat Out.”

As her finger literally points to the topic of avoiding french fries, she looks over and sees my plate heaped with sweet potato fries (and sadly, not the ones like I bake at home).

So now you know, in addition to my affection for sweets, I now admit my fondness for the orange potato (sorry, state of Idaho, I guess I won’t be your next spokesperson).

In hopes of not having lost all credibility, below is a brief synopsis of the chapter. After all, eating out can be challenging for even the healthiest of lunch-goers.

Stay away from creamy sauces. It’s hard to find a white sauce that doesn’t consist of butter and cream, unless it’s so runny you wouldn’t want to eat it anyway. Red sauces, on the other hand, are derived from tomatoes, a healthy veggie that tastes great. If you’re looking to avoid fat and calories, red’s the way to go.

Watch the appetizer selection. It’s no secret that American restaurants tend to super-size main dishes, so why bother with an appetizer? Especially when many of the selections are fried or swimming in cheese (or both). I love nachos and fried calamari as much as you do, but it’s easier to say no. Unless the appetizer is a healthy selection and a replacement for the main dish.

Watch your appetite after multiple glasses of wine. After a glass or two of wine, everything tastes better. As a result, you usually eat more of pretty much anything on your plate or someone else’s. And though I would never suggest skipping a nice glass of wine, just make sure you keep the appetite in check when you imbibe.

If you must have dessert, share it with someone else. Even if you nearly have fist fights when designating how many bites will be “your half,” eating part of a dessert is better than eating the whole thing. And it’ll satisfy your sweet urge, too.

Don’t order french fries. It’s impossible to eat one or two, so if you don’t order them at all, you’ll save yourself a lot of grease, and possibly grief, too. (Unless you are out with a book publisher and want to prove how imperfect you are!)

Melinda Hinson