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Staying Healthy While Going Out to Eat is All About Decisions

The Pointes are filled with great eating options; check out these casual spots to grab a quick and healthy meal

Getting or staying healthy depends on a couple of key factors. First, you need to make good decisions about exercising and what to eat. Second, you need to know where you can get a healthy meal. While Grosse Pointe is full of great restaurants--both casual and more formal--it is not always evident which menu items actually are healthy and which only sound healthy.

Spanning the stretch of the Pointes from the Park to the Woods, we have just a few examples of where you can find a great, healthy meal at an affordable price. These are only examples of healthy meals; their principles can be applied at any restaurant or eatery in the area and beyond!

, Grosse Pointe Park – This is the ultimate in healthy eating. Located on Kercheval in the Park, The Sprout House has, yes, sprouts. More importantly, it focuses on special-needs eating. That means it offers gluten-free, organic, vegan, vegetarian, sugar-free and all natural options.

Whether you select one of their soups, salads, a heaping tofu or tuna sandwich or a beverage from the juice bar, you are sure to stick to your healthy eating plan here.

The good thing about the Sprout House is that you can try many dishes you might not have any clue how to cook at home. After all, sometimes you need to develop a taste for different flavors or textures. The Sprout House makes this a safe and enjoyable bet.

– OK, when you think of diners, you usually think of buttery, grilled sandwiches, gravy-laden entrees and big hunks of cake. While the SideStreet Diner can certainly accommodate these tastes, there are several healthy options available.

Two of the best are their Chicken Fajita Salad and albacore tuna plate. The fajita salad is a magical combination of lettuce, chopped onions, green pepper, shredded cheese and seasoned chicken. What makes this dish is the homemade Tomato Vinaigrette dressing – a clean mixture of chunky tomatoes with a bit of oil and white vinegar. It brings out the best in the salad’s flavors, without packing on the high calories some dressings can. Meanwhile the tuna plate is a feast for the eye first, then the stomach. It's array of fresh fruit, tasty tuna, cottag cheese and a specialty health muffin satisfies all of your cravings.

The SideStreet Diner continues to tweak its menu to accommodate those looking for healthier options. Recently, the Diner offered mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes; they are also replacing canned veggies with daily fresh stir-fried ones.

"We even have fresh peapods," said co-owner Sheila Taylor. "It takes a lot of time to pull the strings out of each one, but it's worth it. We also offer a lot of vegetarian options, such as our minestrone or our black bean soups. If you're on a diet, you can find plenty to eat here."

, Grosse Pointe Woods – What is a chain restaurant doing in this story? Jimmy John’s has every right to be here. Their bread is baked fresh daily, and their ingredients – albeit typical cold cuts that contain sodium – are fresh as well. Jimmy John’s on Mack offers a multi-grain bread that is simply delicious.

By making a few select changes to the Turkey Tom or the vegetarian and you’ve got a very healthy meal. If you like the Turkey Tom, go with just mustard instead of mayo – you’ll eliminate about 100 calories and substantially reduce the fat content. While the vegetarian sandwich packs in the vitamins, you can reduce the fat and calories by asking for only three slices of the cheese instead of the typical six.

As a general rule of thumb at any restaurant, ask for the mayo on the side (or not at all), opt for plain or toasted bread instead of grilled, and either go without cheese or choose a low-fat version, such as Swiss.

If you have found a particularly tasty and healthy meal at a Grosse Pointe restaurant, let everyone know by commenting on this story!

Amy Pugliesi August 28, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Highly recommend Sprout House. Great food, friendly atmosphere, helpful staff. Try a veggie juice made to order, no easier way to get your veggies for the day!

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