Author: Marie Viscardi 

We are seeing it everywhere, magazines, TV, weight watchers, workplace, the gym; I’m talking about mindfulness. Mindfulness is not a new concept but seems to be the buzz these days. So although we can bring this concept to literally every aspect of our lives, let’s talk about food (because I like to).

I eat out… a lot. Hey, I’m busy (who isn’t). I needed to make smart choices and I don’t like to compromise. Living in Huntington, I didn’t have to! So after a while of meal prep and planning at home I looked for my usual cuisines in dining-in and taking out.  Here are some of my favorites places to help you make healthy, mindful, choices while not sacrificing a social life or your waist line.

Tomo – You can never go wrong with Japanese cuisine. Just be mindful of the rice even if it’s brown rice. I opt for sashimi. The sashimi salad bowl gives you a bang for your buck. It’s an array of fresh assorted fish on top of a bed of greens with homemade ginger and lemon dressing. Great for picking up on the way home from work. Hibachi is always a great choice but here’s some tips: Ask them to not use butter or oil (they can be butter and oil smothers). You won’t even miss it and the benefit will show up on the scale in the long run.

Photo from New York Panini Facebook page

NY Panini – Pretty much everything on the menu is great. I jump straight to the salads. They have a variety of styles or simply create your own. You can substitute breaded chicken for grilled and ask for non-veggie items on the side to control the portion. I like to indulge in the honey mustard dressing but their vinaigrette is better choice (wink wink) Portion sizes are great and will usually give me two meals.

Photo from Yelp page

Gourmet Whaler – If you are venturing into cold spring harbor, this place offers a variety of options (if you can pass up the ice cream and delicious milk shakes!) I opt for the quiche. They have both mushroom/onion and spinach/bacon (Don’t be afraid of bacon). For breakfast they serve it with home fries and toast but they will gladly substitute with a garden salad (it’s never too early for salad). Lunchtime, they offer quinoa bowls and sandwiches. You can even forgo the bread and ask for it deconstructed on a bed of greens. I will opt for the BLT on rye…mayo on the side. Again…don’t be afraid of bacon.

Photo from

Black and Blue Seafood and Chophouse – You can definitely make smart choices at any Seafood/Steak house but this is one of my favorites. They have a great happy hour menu until 7pm and you can even find a groupon now and again. They offer unique salad choices with fresh and in season veggies. I simply ask for the Fish of the day on the top. When ordering steak, ask for them not to use butter (see above). Think of this way, you can save the calories for a glass of wine or better yet some frittes.

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Spice Village Grill – You never have to twist my arm to go out for Indian food. Spice village offers an excellent people-watching view of wall street along with a simple menu with delicious options. When I feel indulgent I opt for the mango chicken. It’s sweet and savory. I forgo the rice on this dish and stick with salad. Add the papadum for some crunch (It’s the crispy stuff they give the table at the beginning of the meal. It’s a baked crisp. Light and crunchy). My first choice, however is the Tikka Chicken. Baked with spices. The yogurt sauce is a nice compliment to the mild heat.

Photo from

Hometown Bake Shop – I know what you’re going to say; “Marie, You’re crazy! Have you seen the decadents in this bakery?” I have. And I’ve enjoyed every delicious bite of all that goodness. Life balance, amiright.? But, I can walk to Hometown Bakeshop from my house so I had to come up with a compromise. Breakfast is great time to go. They have made to order breakfast sandwiches. I love that they offer Naan as choice of bread (See above) and fresh grilled veggies. I stick to egg whites and no cheese. If you are with a group of friends… go ahead split a chocolate chip cookie. It’s ok. 

So these are just a few of my “Go-To’s”, but take your mindful and healthy choices to any of the fabulous restaurants in Huntington. If you get stuck, ask for everything on the side, a salad with either grilled chicken or salmon on top and eat slowly.  If all else fails, enjoy your meal, savor each bite and relish in the company you’re with.

-My name is Marie and I’m lucky to dine here!

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