We don’t mean the type that serve beer. We mean the packaged kind. Don’t be fooled into
thinking that grabbing an energy bar while on the go (even from the health food store) is a
slimming or healthy practice. Nearly all of these so-called natural bars are extremely high in
carbs and rely heavily on dried fruits like date pastes, honey, and glucose syrups. “Raw” bars
are notorious for this. The occasional one for a growing child would be fine, but your blood
sugar will be less likely to handle it. They often have a high nut content, which may slow down
the insulin response a little, but combined with dried fruit and the amount of honey used,
balanced sugar levels will be highly unlikely. Any fat the bar contains will climb on the insulin
truck and you have a double whammy packaged as an innocent health bar.
The other alternative is a protein bar. Most of these are soy based, and we know from ear-
lier discussion that soy is high in phytates and phytoestrogens. Corn syrup (even worse than
sugar) is often used to sweeten the bars. Sometimes these bars may be advertised as “no sugar”
or “low-carb.” In that case, sugar alcohols, like maltitol, are used. Maltitol is the least healthy
sugar alcohol and has its list of side effects, especially digestive distress. If you are really in a
pinch and not a purist psycho like Serene, these types of protein bars would be the best of the
worst. Atkins’ company makes such bars and they are readily available at most grocery stores.
We urge you to keep them for emergencies. However, it would still be a much better decision
when you are starving to eat a maltitol sweetened protein bar than a packet of potato chips, or
a high glycemic energy bar.
In Snacks, Chapter 24, you will find many recipes for energy and protein bars that are super
quick and easy to take with you. These are excellent on-the-go choices, or even for at-home
Sit Down Restaurants
We think sit down restaurants are best for S meals. It’s harder to do an E meal because most
restaurants do not have whole grains or sweet potatoes on the menu. Your starch would end up
being white potato, white rice, or white noodles. Those won’t work.
Here’s how to order a healthy S meal while dining at a nice restaurant:
1. Try to avoid arriving too hungry. Eating a light snack at home a little while before
leaving for the restaurant is a good idea—maybe an ounce of cheese and a few nuts, or
quarter of a cup of glucomannan pudding (Deserts, Chapter 23). This way, you will be
more in control of yourself when faced with so many options and won’t be as tempted
to eat any of those FATTENING white dinner rolls that suddenly appear on your
2. Here comes the first test. Say no to the bread or rolls they offer you. If you are vulner-
able to those temptations, ask for them to be removed from the table so you can focus
on ordering healthy items.
3. Choose your protein. Most restaurants have salmon (our favorite choice), other fish
choices, chicken, or fine cuts of steak. Make sure your protein source does not come
with sugar sweetened sauces or glazes. Butter, lemon, or cream based sauces are usually
4. Check if your protein source automatically comes with a rice pilaf, potatoes, or a side
of pasta. If so, ask for a double serving of grilled or sautéed veggies instead of the
starchy carb. Sautéed mushrooms are a perfect choice. Your server will always be most
happy to oblige you.
5. Your meal will usually come with a house salad. Remember to choose a dressing that
is not sweet. Oil/vinegar, Ranch, or Caesar are usually the safest options. Don’t eat the
It may seem a little obsessive to worry about such little items as crou-
tons, but they can turn a wonderful S weight loss meal into a fat-promoting meal due
to their carb content from the white flour. If you are in a restaurant where the salad
is a buffet, you can put a small sprinkle of sunflower seeds on your salad or ask the
waiter for bacon bits to replace that crunch.
Serene chats: I never order a salad exactly as described on the menu. I ask if I can
create my own side salad. Or, if I want it to be a feature part of my meal, I ask them
to make it nice and large and skip one of my sides that comes with the meal. They are
always delighted to help and have never charged me extra.
At Carrabba’s Italian Grill, my favorite restaurant in Franklin, Tennessee, I ask for
the field greens and a generous medallion of goat’s cheese, plenty of kalamata olives,
pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes, but to leave out the croutons. I ask for the virgin
olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side. This is my favorite salad in the world.
You can also order a very healthy meal at O’Charleys by ordering fresh wild caught
salmon or steak with non-starchy sides of asparagus and broccoli.