girl’s night out

Calories in Sushi

Eating out is often difficult for me because my eyes get bigger than my stomach and I am easily tempted by the things that sounds good on the menu. When I know where I’m going out to eat, I will look up the menu online and pick what sounds the healthiest to me. I may not always choose that, but I like to have a game plan. My go-to restaurant “healthy” choice is usually the soup and salad combo; it’s a safe choice.

But with sushi, I don’t get that same anxiety about choosing the wrong thing. Part of the reason is that I think sushi is really healthy. IF you order the right things. The biggest tip for sushi: don’t order tempura! Deep frying anything immediately makes it not a healthy choice (even though the tempura is oh-so good).

I found a website recently with a chart for calories in sushi. The calories run from 50 calories to 700 calories. Just to give you a few examples:

Veggie Roll – 170 calories

Avocado Roll – 140 calories

Spicy Tuna Roll – 290 calories

Salmon Cucumber Roll – 230 calories

Sashimi is usually under 100 calories!

One of the good things about sushi restaurants? You are usually sharing the rolls with your friends! So you’re probably eating even less calories than you think. I rarely feel guilty about eating sushi because fish is so healthy and packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

A tip that I have for sushi restaurants is to get an appetizer first. The edamame (soy beans) lightly salted run around 100 calories. Miso soup is less than 100 calories for a small bowl. Both take the edge off the hunger. Also, if you’re not that skilled with chopsticks, it will take you forever to eat your sushi!

I recently met up with my cousin Anna for our monthly/bi-weekly-girl’s-night-out-happy-hour at Bara Sushi House. It’s in SE Portland on the trendy Clinton Street. I’ve been there for dinner at least three or four times and have always had a good meal there. Another bonus: I had a Groupon deal that covered a bulk of our dinner.

It was a Thursday evening after a gorgeous week in Portland with weather that was sunny and warm and a reminder of why I live in the Pacific NW. I wished that the sushi place had outdoor seating. I got there early and read some of my book while I waited for Anna to get there. I had a small cup of Miso soup while I waited for her to arrive. She arrived and ordered sake and I had a glass of dry chardonnay. We ordered some really tasty  sushi rolls, some were ones I’ve never tried before.

We shared a Philly Roll (my favorite) and a Spicy Salmon Roll (Cucumber, kaiware, and yamagobo). Then we got two rolls that were more adventurous; the Tropical Punch was spicy as hell–as in my lips and mouth are burning spicy–but in a really good way. The Tropical Punch: Spicy albacore, house crab mix, mango and Thai chilies. And we got a Spider Roll (which was just two pieces): Fried soft-shell crab, house crab mix, tobiko, cucumber, avocado, yamagobo and kaiware.

We were both super happy with our choices and I felt like the calorie count was fairly decent. Miso Soup -50 calories; Spicy Salmon -330 calories; Tropical -297 calories; Spider Roll -317 calories for 4 pieces but I had 1 piece; Philly Roll -320 calories.  So splitting all the sushi, how did I do on calories? I estimated 675. That isn’t too bad for a dinner out!

Whatever calories I saved by eating sushi I made up for at Pix for dessert! It’s a super cute, delicious dessert place just up the street from the sushi restaurant.  We ordered the Amelie– it was creme brulee with a hint of orange, chocolate mousse with a crunchy chocolate outer glaze and caramelized hazelnuts.

Thank goodness we split it! It was rich and decadent and I absolutely loved the crunchy hazelnuts in it.

Splitting it was a good move; I think we each had about five bites before it was gone. Hopefully I didn’t do too much damage to my waistline with that little treat.

One last thing, I never step on the scale the day after eating sushi. Don’t torture yourself. That soy sauce will add a few pounds to anyone!

QUESTION: Are you a sushi fan? What do you usually order and how many calories are in it?

Babes & Brews

I love my girl dates! Whenever anything in life gives me a bump in the road, an evening with a girlfriend almost always makes it better. Sometimes it’s just fun to get together and chat about the gossip in our lives. I met up with my friend Robyn for happy hour one night after work. We met at the Cascade Brewing Barrel House.

I’d never been to the pub before, but have driven by it a million times and wanted to try it out. There is also tons of outdoor seating for nicer weather. I bet it’s a hot spot in the summer time. Oh, and if you are a local and a cyclist, Cascade is an easy place to get to by bike. Lots of bike lanes all the way there!

The place was empty when we got there but it filled up pretty quickly. I ordered the Muffuletta sandwich for dinner. It was on a ciabatta roll and had Italian meats, ham, tomato, mozzarella and melted gruyere cheese, fresh basil and an olive tapenade. I love tapenades! The sandwich was so good. The flavors were pretty mild, not too overpowering like some Italian meat sandwiches can be and the bread was a little soggy from the balsamic vinegar–which was delicious. I loved the bread.

Robyn ordered the plate of fruit, cheese and honey and then we got down to the samples! It turned out that the Cascade Brewing House specialized in sour beers, which I can’t say I am a huge fan of. But I was willing to try.

My samples were four of the beers I wanted to try:  Cascade IPA, Spring IPA, Red Eye Rye IPA and the Portland IPA. I liked my samples a lot except for the Red Eye Rye–the flavors were too much like coffee for my tastes.

I ended up getting a half pint of the Cascade IPA because it was my favorite of the samples I tried. Half pints are the perfect size for me.

Robyn tried all the sour beers and she loved them! I had a few sips of some of them. The Cranberry was good and so was the Cascade Apricot.

The Sour Lime? Holy pucker! It was so tart and so sour it was as if I popped an entire lime into my mouth and started chewing. It was a shocker! Robyn made fun of the faces I made when I had samples of the sour beers. I’m sure it’s an acquired taste that I could learn to love, but it was shocking for the first time.

We split an order of the hummus. I wasn’t really hungry after my sandwich but I munched on it anyways (see what happens when you drink and eat??). The homemade pita chips were awesome.

After two hours, Robyn and I decided we wanted to bar hop and headed over to the Horse Brass. The Horse Brass is a traditional English-style pub with a huge beer selection, typical English “bar food” and dart boards all over the pub. It’s a huge place.

I ordered a half pint of the Walking Man IPA (a local brewery that I’ve had before and liked a lot) and we finished up our late evening. I had such a good time with Robyn, and I ended up staying out way past my bedtime on a work night, but I wasn’t too concerned.

We debated on how many pubs you have to go to for it to qualify as a “pub crawl” and even went to Facebook to get a verdict. The verdict was at least three, and you should be crawling in between the bars. 😉 Oh well, not quite a pub crawl but I still had fun.

The next morning I headed to the gym before I had an appointment to get to. I’ll admit, I was dragging ass. I had probably the equivalent of two and a half normal-sized beers the night before, but I am a total lightweight, and felt it the next morning.

I ran 2.8 miles on the treadmill, feeling half awake and rather slow. I had to walk a few times because I was just tired.

Then I struggled through my weight routine and worked some machines and some free weights. I was feeling unmotivated, honestly, but at least I got a workout in. And I definitely felt better AFTER my workout!

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:19
Calories Burned: 680
Mileage: 2.8 miles 

The moral of this story: beer will not help your run the next morning. Especially if you stay up past your bedtime imbibing. But sometimes it’s worth it!

QUESTION: Are you a sour beer fan? How often do you have Girl’s (or Boys) Night Out?