Skip to Content
May 21, 2019


ThedaCare Provider Shares Tricks and Tweaks for Restaurants, Parties and Travel


May 21, 2019


ThedaCare Provider Shares Tricks and Tweaks for Restaurants, Parties and Travel

NEW LONDON, Wis. – The mission to eat healthy has as many layers as grandma’s lasagna. First, we need to plan menus and shop for fresh, unprocessed food as much as possible. Then we are told to cook our food in ways that cut down on excess fats, salt and sugar. The complexity only increases as we try to stay the course when we eat out, go to work, attend parties or travel.

“The “out of home” eating scenarios require some extra planning,” said Dr. Bryan Hendrickson with ThedaCare Physicians-New London. “It can be done, you just need to plan ahead to avoid the bad choices.”

Dr. Hendrickson has a few tips to help make good choices when eating out.

“Drink a full glass of water before any meal, said Dr. Hendrickson said. “It starts to trigger the sensation of fullness which can lead to eating less.” 

A green salad, a plate of veggies, shrimp cocktail or a broth-based soup will also start to fill your belly with better quality nutrients, not unhealthy fats or sugar and help limit your food intake later in the meal. Watch out for unhealthy traps like rich creamy soups and calorie-laden salad dressings.

When you read the menu or when food is served, scan your choices and make a mental note to reach for foods that are more simply prepared without sauces or fried batter coatings.

“As you are chewing each bite, take time focus on its smell, taste and texture before you swallow it. Then ask yourself, “Do I need or even want this next bite?” he said.

Research shows that mealtime multitasking, whether at home or at a party, can cause you to pop mindless calories into your mouth. Be present; you’ll enjoy your food a lot more, too.

Dr. Hendrickson has another suggestion: Make rules for yourself. When you are traveling, eat something green with every meal, or insist on eating one fresh whole fruit per day. Decide to go free of fried food, or reach for dessert just every other day.

“Be thoughtful about your alcohol intake,” he said. “Alcohol not only serves up empty calories, but when we relax our inhibitions, we tend to eat more. Remember to drink water between alcoholic drinks to rehydrate, fill your stomach and space out your intake.”

Dr. Hendrickson also recommends mixing things up. Do you have a tendency to always meet for drinks and wings? Suggest that you and your friends meet out for coffee or tea at a local coffeehouse instead of happy hour. Not only will you have a new food experience, the conversational style will also shift in your new setting.

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.