Hubs loves the Olive Garden. So do I. So two weeks ago when he wanted to eat there I was hesitant. Wheat-free living was new to me (actually, it’s still new to me). I mentioned our upcoming jaunt on Facebook. Gerri Helms mentioned that she and her husband eat there often. Sean Anderson told me to ask for the Garden Fare Nutrition Guide (I’d never heard of that). Armed with knowledge and hope, off we went.
I explained to my server that I’m detoxing from wheat. Wouldn’t you know it…she used to compete in figure competitions and she trains others to do the same. She had a wealth of nutritional knowledge to share. There was a time when I would have found that to be a wonderful coincidence. I’ve since learned that my Higher Power takes care of me where ever I go. I was amused at how He helped me with this restaurant trip.
My main objective was to avoid wheat. In other words I ate the salad, complete with dressing. Hubs got to enjoy all of the croutons. I ordered the Apricot Chicken, with the glaze on the side. It was delish. Two seasoned chicken breasts were served with broccoli, tomatoes and asparagus. I raved about the meal and our server seemed so happy to have helped me meet my goals. Hub seemed happy to know we can continue eating at Olive Garden.
Fast forward to last night and we returned to the scene. I ordered the same meal. This time I decided one chicken breast was a perfect portion. I brought the other one home and will enjoy it for lunch today with a side of spaghetti squash and red sauce.
Now about that Garden Fare Nutrition Guide. Yowza. I understand why one has to request it. It lists the calories, protein, carbs, AND FAT content contained in the various dishes. Based on what I read, my future trips to OG will include getting my salad without the dressing. There’s a lot of fat in that healthy salad.
I’m interested in your experience. If you have a food allergy or you’re just trying to eat clean, what are your tips and tricks for navigating restaurants? Leave a comment here or on Facebook.
Thanks for the tip on asking for the nutritional guide! We’re celebrating Super Bowl Sunday. Hubs wants to fix some of his specialty foods, including chili! I’m making wings. You don’t need to bread and deep fat fry them to taste good! Try rolling them in soy powder or oat bran, bake or broil and then brush with the wing sauce. Yummo!
I love reading blogs like this, which tell me I’m on the right path and that I don’t need to feel deprived to eat healthy!
Love the wing idea. Thank you!
Beautiful post, my friend. Very nice!
The post would not have been written had you not told me about the Garden Fare Nutrition Guide. Many thanks!
I recently quit wheat, as well, and have found it to be pretty easy! I don’t have an allergy per se, I just wanted to see how I’d feel without it. I have also eliminated certain forms of dairy (I eat Greek yogurt and some cheeses).
I don’t like eating out (especially at chains) because the food tends to be too salty, but if I ever find myself at an Olive Garden, I will ask for that menu!
Karen, do you feel differently now that you don’t eat wheat?
To be honest, I don’t know yet…it’s been about a month and I’ve heard that it can take up to six months to notice. I think at some point I will try some and see what happens.
Six months? So much for immediate gratification! I’m already breathing better, so I’m grateful for that. I hope you’ll keep me posted on your progress.
They have a low fat Italian dressing that tastes the same as the “real” one and has way less calories and fat! I get a separate bowl of salad when we go now. It took some courage to request that, but like you say, that regular dressing can really mess up a good healthy salad!
Seriously? I had no idea. Thanks for passing this along. I’ll be requesting low fat Italian on my next trip to OG.