It is the Ochsner Eat Fit, Dine Out Day. A day in which you and some local eateries can team up and up the ante in terms of healthy eating.
"Eat Fit Acadiana is a community partnership where we work with local restaurants to bring healthy menu items to the community,” says Ochsner dietician Yvette Quantz. “It's completely free for restaurants, markets, grocery stores, to participate in."
The key ingredients are partnerships and education and then meeting with owners and chefs to put those healthy elements together into one ‘Eat Fit’ meal. "We don't want to interfere with the integrity of the restaurant. So we want to work with the restaurant to help keep with what they offer, but modify if needed."
What goes into an 'Eat Fit' meal? It must have no meal than 600 calories. No more than 800 milligrams of sodium. No more than 5 grams of added sugar and no more than 8 grams of animal fat.
Here's a tip-- check of the "Eat Fit" app for guidelines and a list of restaurants. Speaking of... The good folks at Antoni's Restaurant in the Oil Center are part of the "Eat Fit" team. Owner Holly Cure says being only a few blocks from Ochsner--- and wanting to take care of her clientele-- made teaming up on "Eat Fit, Dine Out" a win-win.
"We have a number of people with health concerns that I think would appreciate those options on the menu. where they already enjoy parts of our normal menu and with just a few tweaks would make it even healthier for them to enjoy." Antoni's "Eat Fit" initiatives already include baked salmon and chicken with vegetables but Cure says there are plenty of other possibilities. “We’ll do a lighter version with less oil, a little less salt and a lot of our pastas we'll do whole wheat.”
And one of the cooler elements is this: for the past two years, instead of suggesting member restaurants make a donation to the Eat Fit campaign, Ochsner has been sensitive to recent financial challenges, and is instead suggesting restaurants channel their Eat Fit proceeds back into their very own businesses.
“Let’s just do a celebration of our partners; let’s just celebrate them,” suggests Quantz. “Just encourage them to go out, show their support to the restaurants, and thank them for being good partners. And have a good time.”
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