How to Order Healthy at Brunch

It’s Saturday and you’ve just sat down for brunch with some friends after a hectic week of work, exercise, networking—you know, all those stressful life things. On weekends it’s easy to stray from our diets and workout regimes, especially with the temptation of weekend outings. With mimosas, appetizers and side orders of bacon, you can almost picture yourself rolling out of the restaurant for an afternoon nap. Here are some ways to enjoy brunch to the max (with minimal guilt).

Sip smarter

As far as drinks go, there’s nothing like a good bloody mary or mimosa. Even though the fresh juice can trick you into thinking that you’re getting some vitamins and antioxidants into your system (while shaking the Friday night hangover), big amounts of booze in the morning can spike your appetite, not to mention that alcohol has a very high calorie count.

Pro tip: A 4-ounce glass of champagne only has 84 calories. Add a splash of orange juice, and you can keep your calorie count in check while still enjoying an afternoon out with friends.

Get eggcited

Not all eggs are created equal. Dishes like eggs benedict and huevos rancheros are packed with fat and extra calories because of toppings like hollandaise sauce, cheese and refried beans. If life can’t go on for you without these orders, we suggest ordering huevos rancheros over eggs benedict because there’s a little more nutritional value—but try swapping out the refried beans for black beans and ditching the side of rice.

Eggs themselves, however, are a favorite for us. Packed with vitamins, minerals and protein, eggs are one of the healthiest foods on the menu. We suggest scrambled eggs or an omelette with veggies and lean meat like ham or turkey bacon (and lots of hot sauce, of course).

As far as the debate on cholesterol and calories found in the yolk, we don’t suggest you steer completely away from the yolk because that is where the majority of the nutritional value is—just don’t overdo it, try to keep it to one or two yolks per day.

Pro tip: If you’re ordering an omelette, try asking for one whole egg and two egg whites. Restaurant dependent, omelettes can have anywhere from two to five eggs, so make sure you’re aware of the portions you’re receiving.

Cut the carbs

Most dishes come with a side of toast and potatoes (in other words, twice the carbs). There’s nothing wrong with substituting your toast for a fruit cup or even sliced tomatoes to keep you from mindless munching at the end of your meal. If you’re going to skip the potatoes and keep the toast, we recommend you pick rye toast—when compared to wheat, studies have shown that rye toast keeps insulin levels relatively stable, preventing post-brunch energy crashes.

Pro tip: If you’re having a hard time justifying the potatoes but still want a tasty side, try asking for grilled veggies instead to fill you up.

Listen up, Eleven

As long as you’re not crushing pancakes and waffles every morning, it’s okay to have one or two at brunch. Nutritionally speaking, pancakes and waffles are very similar and as long as they’re not the size of your plate, a couple small pancakes or waffles won’t ruin your diet for the weekend. We recommend swapping the syrup and butter for fresh fruit to keep sugar cravings at bay.

Pro tip: A typical pancake recipe has roughly 20% less calories than waffles—this is because they’re cooked on a grill or skillet, they are, by nature a tad bit smaller. Waffle size, on the other hand, is already determined by the iron they are cooked on.

There’s nothing fun about overindulging and getting too full, so make sure you’re in-tune with your stomach, savor each bite and be aware of when you’re full. That being said, eating smart and healthy is all about balance—not about  restricting yourself to the point where you can’t enjoy life. So pick up the fork and enjoy (in moderation, of course!).

How to Order Healthy at Brunch

It’s Saturday and you’ve just sat down for brunch with friends after a hectic week of work, exercise, networking—all those stressful life things. On weekends it’s easy to stray from our diets, especially with the temptation of mimosas and side orders of bacon. You can almost picture yourself rolling out of the restaurant for an afternoon nap.

Here are some ways to enjoy brunch to the max (with minimal guilt).

Sip smarter

There’s nothing like a good bloody mary or mimosa. Even though fresh juice can trick you into thinking that you’re getting some vitamins and antioxidants (while shaking the Friday night hangover), big amounts of booze in the morning can spike your appetite, not to mention that alcohol has a very high-calorie count.

Pro tip: A 4-ounce glass of champagne only has 84 calories. Add a splash of orange juice, and you can keep your calorie count in check while still enjoying an afternoon out with friends.

Get eggcited

Not all eggs are created equal. Dishes like eggs benedict and huevos rancheros are packed with fat and extra calories because of toppings like hollandaise sauce and cheese. If life can’t go on for you without these orders, we suggest ordering huevos rancheros over eggs benedict because there’s a little more nutritional value—but try swapping out the refried beans for black beans and ditching the side of rice.

Eggs themselves, however, are a favorite for us. Packed with vitamins, minerals and protein, eggs are one of the healthiest foods on the menu. We suggest scrambled eggs or an omelette with veggies and lean meat like ham or turkey bacon (and lots of hot sauce, of course).

As far as the debate on cholesterol and calories found in the yolk, we don’t suggest you steer completely away from the yolk because that is where the majority of the nutritional value is—just don’t overdo it, try to keep it to one or two yolks per day.

Pro tip: If you’re ordering an omelette, try asking for one whole egg and two egg whites. Restaurant dependent, omelettes can have anywhere from two to five eggs, so make sure you’re aware of the portions you’re receiving.

Cut the carbs

Most dishes come with a side of toast and potatoes (in other words, twice the carbs). There’s nothing wrong with substituting your toast for a fruit cup or even sliced tomatoes to keep you from mindless munching at the end of your meal. If you’re craving toast, we recommend rye—when compared to wheat, studies have shown that rye toast keeps insulin levels relatively stable, preventing post-brunch energy crashes.

Pro tip: If you’re having a hard time justifying the potatoes but still want a tasty side, ask for grilled veggies.

Listen up, Eleven

As long as you’re not crushing pancakes and waffles every morning, it’s okay to have one or two at brunch. Nutritionally speaking, pancakes and waffles are very similar and as long as they’re not the size of your plate. Having a couple small pancakes or waffles won’t ruin your diet for the weekend. We recommend swapping the syrup and butter for fresh fruit to keep sugar cravings at bay.

Pro tip: A typical pancake recipe has roughly 20% fewer calories than waffles because they’re cooked on a grill or skillet and a tad smaller. Waffle size, on the other hand, is already determined by the iron they are cooked on.

There’s nothing fun about overindulging and getting too full, so make sure you’re in-tune with your stomach and savor each bite. That being said, eating smart and healthy is all about balance—not about restricting yourself to the point where you can’t enjoy life. So pick up the fork and enjoy (in moderation, of course!).