We’re well into 2016, and chances are most of us are totally off course in achieving those New Year’s resolutions so earnestly made two months ago.
According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and 66 percent of those folks make resolutions related to fitness but – wait for it – only a paltry 10 percent of us actually reach our goals. Dismal.
Our social patterns could be torpedoing our best intentions. According to the United States Healthful Food Council, the average American adult buys a meal or snack from a restaurant 5.8 times per week. And when we sit down at a restaurant, we typically have no idea how much fat, oil, sugar, sodium or calories are on that plate. I remember once ordering a quinoa and tofu dish at a high-end Anchorage restaurant, thinking I’d made a wise choice. The chef, a friend, laughed and informed me the dish was loaded with sugar. Oops.
But dining out is one of the most social things we humans do, and can’t be shucked entirely. Here are some local options for dining without derailing health and wellness goals.
DORIOLA’S, Tudor Road
Doriola’s is a charming lunch spot open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The simple menu is packed with options like salads, homemade soups and fresh sandwiches. Vegan and gluten-free options are clearly marked, and it’s possible to highly customize your order by mixing and matching two or three items to create combos.
Quality at Doriola’s is high, the ambiance is warm and relaxed, and staff members are attentive. Personal menu favorites include the deli veggie sandwich, piled high with crisp cucumber, juicy tomato and creamy avocado; and pretty much any soup that comes out of Doriola’s kitchen.
BURGER FI, Sears Mall
You’re wondering, I know, why a restaurant with the name “burger” in the title is first on the list of healthy options. Fair enough. But check it out: Burger Fi is all about all-natural, with a commitment to hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat, house-made sauces from fresh ingredients and earth-friendly chairs and tables built from up-cycled Coca Cola bottles and milk jugs.
I visited recently and devoured the garden burger, a crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside quinoa patty on a sturdy multigrain bun, topped with sharp white Cheddar. The interior offers plenty of seating for a lunch meet-up or post-workout meal. You’ll feel good about what’s on your plate as you read the slogans on restaurant posters, such as “all natural tastes better.”
ORGANIC OASIS, Spenard Road
Skeptics may steer clear of this organic food granddad of the Anchorage restaurant scene, imagining platters of bland tofu and soy cheese. They are losing out. Organic O’s menu is extensive, creative and delicious.
Personal favorites are the chicken Caesar salad and the turkey mushroom burger. Added bonus, Organic Oasis serves wine and beer, and always has live music. This makes it an ideal spot to unwind.
SULLLIVANS STEAKHOUSE, Fifth Avenue
Sullivan’s recently underwent an extensive and elegant remodel. Lunchtime is an opportune time to stop by. Pay just $19 for three courses, bypass the artery cloggers (blue cheese meatloaf, anyone?) and opt for a green salad and salmon with green beans.
While Sullivan’s dinner menu is packed with indulgences, opt instead for seared ahi, jumbo shrimp cocktail, grilled asparagus, or a kale salad with crisp apples, dried cranberries, candied pecans, crumbled goat cheese and cidar-dijon vinaigrette.
MIDDLEWAY CAFE, Northern Lights Boulevard
Middleway features breakfast and lunch, and has a longstanding commitment to organic, locally sourced ingredients. With ample healthful options including plenty of choices for vegetarians, its convenient location between REI and The Alaska Club also makes it a logical stopping point for the adventurous and active, who appreciate Middleway’s balanced dining options.
A haven for the officeless hipster sect, it can be challenging to score a table during peak hours. But the wait is worth it. Middleway’s mission is “to contribute to a healthy, balanced, and sustainable life through good food and drink,” is evident from the entrees flying out of the kitchen, on down to the vegan baked goods lining cafe shelves.
Sources: http://www.details.com/story/new-years-resolutions-by-the-numbers, http://ushfc.org/about/#fancy-form-delay