Lighter Louisville: healthier options for the dieting diner

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Let's just say...I ate too much caramel. Don't you hate that feeling? Your jeans are getting a smidgen too tight, you've skipped the gym a few too many times, you've developed a deep love for watching entire seasons of shows on Netflix instead of riding your bike. I get it, I really do. Every New Year I resolve, along with everyone else, that THIS will be the year I get those abs. Of course, I still want to eat fabulously while developing said abs, and that's where these amazing restaurants come in. Of course you can eat healthfully almost anywhere in town, but these four places make it especially easy to stick to that resolution.

1. Chop Shop Salads

My favorite place downtown for lunch, hands down. Chop Shop takes the boring out of salads. You have a huge amount of control here over what actually goes into your specific salad, so you can go super light with all veggies and vinaigrette, or you can fill up on one of their signature salads. 

2. Hillbilly Tea

This is a great place for a lighter date night. Hillbilly Tea not only has wonderful, good for you tea, but they are also the best restaurant in town when it comes to portion control. I have never had to take a doggy bag home from Hillbilly Tea, and that is a good thing because we all know that it's not really a doggy bag, it's a "eat with your hands on the drive home" bag. Hillbilly Tea also does a great deal of farm to table food, and local food is almost always better tasting and better for you than something that's been freeze dried, flown across the ocean and reconstituted with a pound of soybean oil.

3. Ghyslain on Market

Now you might hate me for sending you somewhere with so many sweet temptations (Ghyslain's chocolates, gelatos and desserts are indeed wonderful) but if you fill up on one of their salads, you won't need anything to finish your dinner! Ghyslain's goat cheese and beet salad, with wedges of grapefruit, is a perfect flavor combination  and won't leave you feeling too heavy. Their cups of soup are also great lighter options.

4. Mojito's Tapas

Mojito's is very good for one thing: portion control. After all, tapas is little plates of interesting foods to share with others, and seeing the beauty of small plates and portions goes a long way to sating my appetite. Their guacamole is the best in the city, served with amazing plantain chips. Their cheese plate had three small portions of cheese, perfect for you and your loved one to share without feeling guilty. 

photos: Elizabeth Orrick

About Elizabeth Myers
Big fan of bacon and bourbon, deep fried anything, sweet tea and sweet nothings.
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