Monday, February 25, 2013

Stopping at the truck stop for a hot meal?

It has been a couple of years since my husband and I stopped at a truck stop to eat a meal.  Last week we decided to stop at the TA in Las Cruces, NM for a hot meal.  As usual I was disappointed, there are still very few options for someone who eats low carb. 

The menu had changed slightly at the Fork in the Road, but the items were the same.  Every meal had a choice of potatoes, fried, mashed or baked.  Very little to offer in the way of vegetables. And corn IS NOT a vegetable. The main item was either fish, chicken, or steak with most all topped with something.  And of course can't forget that when potatoes are not offered rice is. 

I always have to substitute items in my meal.  The majority of the time the server is very accommodating to my request as this one was.  There have been times when I want smaller portions and ask to be able to order off of the senior section, and so far have never been denied.

Do not be afraid to ask the server if you can make substitutions. Don't just give in and order something because you are afraid to ask or think it will cause problems. When you do make sure that you ask politely and follow up with gratitude.  If the server seems hesitant or unwilling, politely explain that you have certain dietary restrictions, or that you have Diabetes and are following a certain dietary protocol.

If the meal comes with bread I always ask for it to be left off of the plate.  If it comes with the meal anyway I give it back to the server and have her/him take it away so I will not be tempted.  That goes for any restaurants that serve bread automatically as an appetizer. 

All of the pretty pictures on the menu sure make all of the food look good and tempting.  It can be a challenge to stay on track and not let your eyes and tummy make the decisions.  Especially when you are eating with one or more people and they are all eating burgers and fries.  It takes willpower to stay strong and on track.  Before going into the restaurant think about what you want to eat and keep reinforcing this by telling yourself that you will do it, you won't cave and you will be an example for the rest.  You never know who might be struggling as well and your dedication may lead someone else and help to reinforce their good choices where they may have lost sight and caved.

Here are a few suggestions in choosing your meal items.
  • First, choose the meat - steak, grilled chicken or grilled fish.
  • Once that is chosen then you can choose the sides. 
  • If it comes with potato or rice ask to substitute with a vegetable.
  • The meal may come with potato or rice and a vegetable - ask to have double vegetables or a dinner salad instead or soup (depending on what is offered).
  • Cutting back on the portions -- ask server to bring a To Go box with your meal, then put half in the box and set aside to take with you.
  • If bread is served with the meal ask to substitute something for the bread, small bowl of cottage cheese, small serving of fruit or sliced tomatoes.
On a tight budget ?
  • Use your points on your frequent fueler card to buy your meal
  • Take half of the meal to go
  • Order water to drink, this will save you $2.00+
  • If you are unsure about the water, bring your own drink or bottled water.
  • Ask to order off of the senior menu, it is usually cheaper, but smaller portions
  • Split a meal with a friend

 I know what changes I would like to see made on the menus but what would you like to see changed ?

With enough input and suggestions made we might see some changes.

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