Most of the time, I'm super prepared for meals. I'm big on meal planning, so I usually have my meals planned and packed for the day if I know I have somewhere to be after work.
But life happens.
Sometimes, really awesome hangouts or opportunities come up last minute and I have to scramble to figure out where/what I'm going to eat.
Whether you are grabbing food before your meetup or if you meetup is for food, you can find something to eat without totally wrecking your nutritional habits.
A good rule of thumb is to eat something that is as close to what your were planning to eat as possible. If you were planning 4oz chicken and a cup of vegetables, get as close to that protein/vegetable meal type as you can.
Grilled Chicken Salad
Classic. This is always a go-to for me. You can't really go wrong with a Grilled Chicken Salad, and most restaurants offer them. Well, you can go wrong with dressing. I always ask for a balsamic vinagrette (or plain oil & vinegar) on the side so that they don't go crazy. Be mindful of the dressing type because a lot of dressings end up making the salad less healthy for you than a pizza. Just put a little bit of a good, sugar-free dressing.
Turkey Burger w/o Bun
I'm not a huge fan of burgers in general, but in a pinch, I'll order a turkey burger without the bun (or eating just half the bun if I'm super hungry) and a side salad instead of fries. This gives you a good amount of protein + vegetables but doesn't turn you into the weirdo who brought a tupperware full of food to the burger joint.
Chicken and Vegetable Side
Last time I met up with friends for Thai food, I ordered a dish (can't remember what it was called) that was basically steamed broccoli, boiled chicken, brown rice, and peanut sauce on the side. It was great-- veggies, protein, good/complex carbs, and a little bit of healthy fats.
A whole lot of restaurants have an option like this where you can order chicken and a vegetable side.
Whole Wheat Wrap
Wraps are terrific because you get a little bit of starchy carbs, but not so much to make you feel heavy. A wrap is basically a grilled chicken salad with a whole wheat tortilla wrapped around it. Yum!
Steamed Veggies with Brown Rice and Chicken or Tofu
I order meals like this pretty frequently at asian restaurants. It's uber healthy, and surprisingly satisfying. The problem with the sauteed version of this dish is that the sauce they cook it in is usually really sugary and/or fatty. Steamed is a better option if you're really trying to lose weight or stay lean.