Fresh Start

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By Mary Crafts, utahvalley360.com

Make healthier choices when eating out in 2011 — starting with Cafe Fresh

Orem’s Cafe Fresh takes the guilt out of eating out.

Orem’s Cafe Fresh takes the guilt out of eating out.

It’s the new year and time to get moving!

Over the past seven years, I have lost 80 pounds. At 57, I feel younger everyday. The single most important thing to permanent weight loss is exercise, and I do it five days a week. Next is learning to eat right — even when you’re eating out.

There are many restaurants in Utah Valley that offer healthier alternatives, and a great choice is Cafe Fresh located inside the Good Earth health food store on State Street in Orem. No fried or greasy food here!

Cafe Fresh offers a variety of sandwich wraps on whole wheat tortillas with most of them very low fat and chock-full of fresh vegetables. You’ll find brown rice — a superior alternative to the usual white rice — in the rice bowls, stuffed quesadillas and hot wraps.

I tried their homemade white bean soup made from vegetable stock and garlic, and I didn’t even miss the traditional bacon! I found the Coconut Curry Rice Bowl to be very tasty. However, I would have preferred the rice to be served as hot as the curry sauce that was served over it.

I love quesadillas, but they are usually grilled in grease and laden with too much cheese.Cafe Fresh’s Rio Stuffed Quesadilla was grilled without extra oil and a smaller amount of cheese. Wow! Healthy food can taste good. For the “vegan” enthusiast, Cafe Fresh offers large tasty cookies and fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

Healthy choices are informed choices. I follow a few easy rules when dining out:

1) Never drink calories. Shun sugar sodas, juices, milk shakes and smoothies.

2) Avoid fried and breaded;  select grilled or roasted.

3) As soon as the waiter brings the menu, order a salad rather than first course appetizers and ask for it to be served asap before they bring the bread basket. It’s a great way to fill up on leafy vegetables before the stuffed potato skins and fried onion rings arrive at the table.

4)  Remember all things in moderation. One of my pet peeves with U.S. restaurants is the size of the servings. Our mothers drilled into our heads that we need to clean our plates rather than stop when our hunger is satisfied. I plan to always leave something on my plate when I dine out.

It’s time to reverse the aging clock, and it really can happen. I challenge all of you to join me in our healthiest year ever! Scrumptious food (in moderation) and joy await you.  Hugs,  Mary.

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