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Friday, July 19, 2013

Saigon Vietnamese - Pleasanton Healthy Menu Choices

Saigon Vietnamese Pleasanton – This little bistro is somewhat hidden on main street in the old cheese factory building.  Like many other Asian restaurants they have a rather large menu to navigate.  However, once again if you keep specific things in mind (soups, sauces, fried etc.) it's quite possible to make good selections without too much agonizing over the menu.

The same strategy applies here as in any other restaurant I've reviewed.  Look for items that provide plenty of protein...meats mainly and then fill-in the rest of your meal with vegetables.  Portions and food selection should be dictated by the time of day, how much energy you have/need, and where you're at in your fat loss journey.  Earlier in the day you want to focus more on proteins and healthy fats (healthy fats are hard to find in restaurants).  This will give you more mental alertness and focus...while if it's later in the day you can have a few more carbs as these tend to raise your serotonin (happy calming chemicals in your body) and help you sleep better.

The whole don't eat carbs in the evening is nutrition myth...just like calories in calories out, now if you aren't active, use no discretion in what you eat then yes it will matter...but assuming you are trying to lose fat this shouldn't apply to you.  When it comes to beverages you should stick to water, tea or coffee only...drinking calories does you no favors when it comes to fat loss.  Particularly when it comes to alcohol, unless you enjoy having screwed up hormones, a big gut and higher risks for many diseases.  Now you may say, I thought wine was good...well a little bit can be...but how often have you had just 1 5oz glass.  Lets face it...if you are 20 plus pounds overweight you're never going to lose the fat if you insist on having alcohol.  Excuses and exceptions lead to nothing other than no results.

As I step off the soapbox, before you head out to Saigon Vietnamese on Main St in Pleasanton check out my choices below from their menu. 


Appetizers – lets just follow the steps they have on their menu
Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp and Pork, 
Vietnamese, Thai or Lotus Salad

Pho Variations - since pho is broth...I would recommend avoiding items from this section because you don't know what's in the broth and it's very likely it contains bad oils and possibly flavor enhancers like msg etc. that you don't want...what you don't know will hurt you when it comes to food!  If you do opt for pho, certainly go for the options with meat and avoid consuming all of the broth.  If I had to choose one I would get the sliced eye round and brisket.

Specialty Noodle Soups - again I would avoid this section as it is soup, and you can't be sure what's in it.  If I had to choose I would likely get the seafood noodle soup.

Stir-Fried Noodles - you see the key word fried, which means you should steer clear as the noodles are likely fried in soy, canola or some other bad oil.  I would skip this section entirely...little to no protein in these...any that is there is likely of low quality.

Fresh Rice Bundles - this is one of the sections I would lean toward as you get meat and carbs...just go easy on the rice.  I would likely go with grilled beef or chicken...I prefer fattier dark meat...however in restaurants you rarely know the meat quality and toxins are stored in fat.

Saigon Rice Plates - there are also great options in this section, just avoid the items that mention they are fried, such as the fried rice and stir fire...the others all contain good proteins...which you should eat first and then eat any veggies followed by a small portion of more than half the portion you're given...

Fresh Rice Noodle Bowls - noodles are processed carbs and thus you should skip this section if you're looking for fat loss - if you do go with something in this only a few of the noodles and make sure you eat the protein first...

Saigon Specialty Dishes - avoid the soup options and those that mention sauce...I personally would select the Claypot Pork/Catfish, or the Ginger Braised Chicken

Leave a comment on what you choose at Saigon Vietnamese when you're trying to lose weight!

Check out the Saigon Vietnamese on yelp here Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant Pleasanton

Up next on what to eat at Pleasanton restaurants… one of the best Red Smoke Grill

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