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Eating healthy in Hillcrest: fitness expert Grant Foreman goes to Uptown Tavern

Fitness expert Grant Foreman takes you through the healthy pages of Uptown Tavern's menu.

Diets and meal plans are awesome for getting to a short term goal. But, what happens when the diet is over, or you want to meet friends out on the Hill? Do we sit there and say we ate before we came while chomping on ice cubes?

Like they say, it ain't no fun if the homeys can't have some. So order a drink and let's eat!

This week I went to Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest to find out what you can order that won't later turn into a jelly roll. 

A little background about Uptown first. 

The only thing frozen is their ice cream (which sadly is not on my list). Lots of thought has been put into creating a farm-to-table experience with even the ketchup being made in-house. 

A fair bit of thought has also been put into their staffing; not bad to look at and personality for days! If you haven't been I think it's time you check out your new favorite hangout. 

I've broken down the calorie content and macro nutrients (carbs, fats, proteins) for each. These totals are best estimates so keep that in mind. 

Here's your Trainer recommended Uptown Tavern cheat sheet for a good time:

-Skinny Margarita with Mezcal

-Uptown Vodka Soda

-White Bean Humus $8 ($7 on Happy Hour)

-Beet Salad with added Chicken Breast $13

-Spaghetti Squash and Pork Meatballs $16

Let's breakdown the details so you actually know what you're adding to your daily totals. 

You can always just order what I say without learning why, but if you understand the choices you can make similar ones at other restaurants. 

(I can get a little geeky with nutrition break-downs so again, if this ain't for you, stick to the cheat sheet above and I'll see you here next week!)

Besides the booze (don't sip daddy's medicine it's not for you!), the food can all be split between two people, the dip is good for even four. So split your macro breakdown accordingly. 

-Skinny Margarita with Mezcal 

Calorie: 129 Carb: 16 Fat: 0 Protein: 0

You can't go wrong with such simple ingredients: Mezcal, lime, agave. The flavor is smokey and lightly sweet.The Tajin spiced rim is awesome. Calories are low, and carbs are low which is ideal. 

Remember, alcohol is a tricky thing to calculate though. Without getting too involved here you should think of it kind of counting as a carb in its effects in the body; meaning you should eat less carbs when drinking to help accommodate for this. If you can get a little fat in as well (like with our humus) you will lessen the insulin response. 

-White Bean Humus

Calorie: 600 Carb: 81 Fat: 17 Protein: 30

The dip is addicting with its simple blend of garbanzo, spice, and a bit of honey. It's served with cucumber, carrot, and warm pita. The super studly staff (try saying that three times fast without the purse falling out) is happy to bring extra veggies if you ask so you can cut back on that pita (do it!). 

If you leave out the pita bread, take off 200 calories and half of the carbs which is huge! Worried about self control? Just ask for no pita right from get go. 

-Beet Salad with added Chicken

Calorie: 322 Carb: 16 Fat: 24 Protein: 22

This light salad isn't just a conduit for sugar and fat like most restaurant offerings. The lemon vinaigrette is a flavor addition, not a broth, to the three types of beet and greens.  Throw a seasoned chicken breast on there and you're golden. 

-Spaghetti Squash with Pork Meatballs

Calorie: 448 Carb: 21 Fat: 28 Protein: 26 

If you've never had spaghetti squash as a substitute for regular noodles, you're welcome ahead of time. The squash strings into noodles after roasting and the carb content is very low. They are a life saver when lowering carb intake. 

Uptown makes their meatballs without the usual panko breadcrumbs. This makes them gluten free with rice as the substitute. 

Now you should be full and a bit tipsy. All with a clear conscious that you had fun without being reckless. 

If you want help figuring out what your daily calorie and macro totals should be hit me up at writegf@gmail.com

Eat, drink, and get ripped!