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Food Coach

Hotels creating low-calorie menus for travelers

Monday, November 26, 2012

If you're traveling for business or pleasure, it can be difficult to find tasty, yet healthy food. Some hotels are re-thinking the menu to rise to the challenge.

Many chefs know how to make food tasty, but creating low-fat and low-calorie dishes that are yummy is truly an art form.

Sofitel's Executive Chef Marius Blin has met the challenge, testing a De-Light menu for about a year as health-conscious travelers and locals request options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"It's actually 24-hour. We have in-room dining offering the De-Light," said Blin.

Even catering has answered this lower calorie call. Blin teamed up with a dietitian to work on the calories, but he is responsible for swapping ingredients like butter and cream with options like tofu and lighter cheeses, agave in lieu of sugar, loads of herbs, and of course making vegetables perfectly palatable.

Oftentimes, you'll find the light version is 600, 700 or 800 calories. So if you can find a meal that is 500 calories or less, that is a true find.

Lunch, for example, can be tomato basil soup, endive salad with a smattering of blue cheese, ahi tuna salad and a petite cheese cake all for 420 calories.

At tableside, a Dover sole is an aromatic and visual feast served in parchment. There is also the salt encrusted fish for two, featured with toasty thyme and artichoke ragu. If you are imbibing, Perrier Laurent's ultra brut champagne is 65 calories a glass, about half the calories of a traditional bubbly.

Blin says the most popular dish is the veggie frittata with fromage blanc. At a mere 171 calories, it's a protein-packed breakfast that goes well beyond oatmeal.

"It's definitely about the experience. It's definitely about the product," said Blin.

The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, along with Marriott and Kimpton hotels, also offers healthy options. But a website and app that can help you eat lighter no matter where you are is HealthyDiningFinder.com.

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food, diet, food coach, lori corbin
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