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Monday Man-Day: Healthified Bar Food

May 16, 2011

I get really stumped about what to do for Monday Man-Day almost every week, so I asked for some suggestions (still taking them, btw). One suggestion was about how to keep bar food healthy. So I present to you : Monday Man-Day: Healthified Bar Food

If you’re anything like me, you love watching sports. For me it’s usually Notre Dame Football and Cardinals baseball, but big events like the NCAA Tournament and the World Cup find me making my way to sports bars too. And even if you don’t like sports, you might still tag along with your guy and just yell when everyone else does. Either one works.

And if watching the sports instead of actually playing them yourself doesn’t make you feel bad enough, the food options at sports bars usually don’t do wonders on the waistline. Most of the time the options look like this:


And if you want to dig in and treat yourself, I give you permission to do so with no guilt. Sometimes nothing tastes as good as a mozzarella stick or french fries! But if you indulge too often your pants might get a little snug. So here are some great ways to make a bar menu a little more health conscious.

1. Order A Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Most places have some sort of chicken sandwich on their menu. You may have to ask for it with no bacon or mayo, but that’s okay. Plain grilled chicken is a great option anywhere you are, and bonus points if you can get some veggies or wheat bread. I used to do this ALL the time when I ate meat.


2. Order a Cheese Quesadilla

It might be tempting to dig into that huge plate of nachos covered in ground beef and sour cream, but a cheese quesadilla could actually be a better option. You can add veggies if they have them and definitely get salsa on the side. It’s a great way to get your fill of the Mexican flavor but without all the added fat that the Nachos Supreme include.


3. Start with a Salad

If not an entrée option, salads are often offered as a side. If you fill up on these veggies, you are more likely to eat less of the fried appetizers at the table. Just make sure your salad isn’t covered in cheese, crutons, and a creamy dressing — that defeats the purpose. Veggies and a vinaigrette are best.


4. Eat a snack beforehand!

Have an apple and peanut butter or carrots and hummus before you even head to the bar so you don’t have to make a meal out of the options there. Or if you’re like me, sneak your healthier snacks in with you. Especially since becoming a vegetarian, I feel no shame in bringing food with me. Until restaurants start offering more health conscious and vegetarian options (which some are doing!) I will continue to ask for special preparation or just bring food myself.

  • What are your tips for navigating a bar food menu?
7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2011 2:16 pm

    I love to get a salad but also indulge in the good stuff. Bar fries are the best!! And then stick to simple drinks like wine or vodka/soda!

  2. May 16, 2011 2:48 pm

    I usually look for something like bruschetta or hummus. Most bars will have an option like that. And definitely a light sandwich like roasted veggie.

  3. May 16, 2011 3:01 pm

    CARDS GAMES!!!! I remember the days all too well when I would make game day my “splurge day” and load up a big ol tray of nachos supreme, share a huge brat with the hubby, and of course a beer. But now, with my new cancer-remission lifestyle, which I LOVE, I am almost at a loss of what to get when we head to the ballpark. I am excited to hear that Busch has added some healthier options, and last year I believe I saw a vendor selling fruit cups. FRUIT CUPS!!! I wanted to HUG the guy, seriously;-)
    But I think making sure you are satisfied BEFORE you go to the game is the biggest thing. And hopefully, the game is going to be so good [with a Redbird win!] that you won’t want to waste time on any junk and just concentrate on the game:-)

  4. May 16, 2011 3:15 pm

    I always order a chicken salad without cheese and dressing on the side. Always gotta make sure to read the menu correctly, salads can pack a calorie punch!

  5. May 16, 2011 5:15 pm

    Oh bar food. I’d love to say I have tips for navigating the menu, but truth be told the second I get alcohol in my system I have no power in front of fries or calamari. I just try to make good choices the rest of the time, so that I can enjoy some deep-fried stuff without worrying too much!

  6. May 16, 2011 9:16 pm

    Hm. I don’t have too much experience with this, since I rarely go to bars, so every time I go, I just order whatever I’m feeling. I loveee good mozzarella sticks and onion rings. But if I started going more often, I’d probably end up ordering salads.

  7. May 16, 2011 9:42 pm

    Mmmm, the bar food looks good!


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