Out to the Ballgame with Nutrisystem

nutrisystem eating out guideThere’s lots to like about the Nutrisystem program; it’s simple, there’s very little prep time involved in eating, you get to enjoy snacks and lots of veggies, and the food ranges from good to surprisingly tasty. Where it’s a bit challenging is when you’re not at home and not near an oven, stove or microwave. Like, say, at a baseball game…

Which is where I ended up last night when I was driving through Denver with my children and we came up to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. “Hey, it’d be fun to go to a baseball game!” my son exclaimed, and my older daughter piped up after checking her iPhone that “they’re playing the Atlanta Braves tonight! We could go!” I pulled into a convenient parking spot, inquired at the ticket office and walked away minutes later with four tickets to the game.

From a food perspective, however, it was a problem: I hadn’t planned on being out for dinner nor had I brought anything to eat. Nutrisystem has a little “Eating Out Guide” book, but of course, it’s inevitable that I hadn’t actually read the book at that point.

Still, I’ve been on the program long enough to know the basics: vegetables, a small portion of protein, and go for the low calorie salad. Ah, but a ball game! It was hard to imagine enjoying the game without a hot dog, some fries or a bag of peanuts. There are low calorie beers, but I’m not much of a drinker so that was easy to side-step.

infield greens at coors fieldThe good news is that among the dozens of different places to get food in Coors Field, there’s actually a mini salad bar called “Infield Greens”, and for $10 I had a huge salad with my pick of toppings: tofu, black olives, green peppers, cherry tomatoes and as a bit of a splurge, half a fresh avocado. They had a balsamic vinaigrette, under 100 calories, and fit into its neat container, it ended up a nicely tossed salad by the time we got to our seats.

Eating out is a real dilemma when on a program like Nutrisystem, but there are ways to learn what works and to think creatively about menu items. Fried? Nah, you shouldn’t eat that anyway. Most restaurants now have lite or low-cal dishes, and if that doesn’t work, salads. Don’t like salads? There are always other options on the menu if you’re paying attention.

And here’s a handy tip: Drink a glass or two of water before you eat, and if they don’t have rational portions, put half in a to-go container before you start eating!

hot dog at the baseball game

As it turned out, my 17yo son had a hot dog that he reported was quite delicious, my younger daughter had a rice, cheese and beans burrito, and my older daughter “had a few forkfuls” of my salad which turned out to be about half. But it worked out just fine, we had a very good time and our seats offered us a great view of the entire field.

The game itself? Well, it was 0:0 at the bottom of the 7th inning and we were bored by what ended up to be a pitcher’s game to that point, so we bailed.

It was inevitable, perhaps, that just as we got to our car in the parking lot, maybe fifteen minutes later Charlie Blackmon scored a home run, bringing two additional runners in and scored the only runs in the game. Final score: 3:0 Rockies.

rockies versus braves, coors field, denver

Most importantly, we had a really fun, spontaneous evening and thanks to the food options at Coors Field, I managed to have a healthy and satisfying dinner that weighed in at a modest few hundred calories instead of the zillion calories of a hot dog and fries, with a beer chaser. A definite win.

Disclosure: I have received all of my products from Nutrisystem for review purposes and that my opinions are 100% my own. As is always the case.

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