How to Dine Out and Stay Healthy

It’s not always easy to make healthy choices when you’re out to eat. Large portions, heavy sauces, fried sides…it’s all very tempting. However, if you go in prepared – healthy choices are easier to make! Here are a few quick tips on how to make healthy choices when dining out:

1. If you’re at a restaurant with inevitably large portions, then ask for a to go box as soon as your food arrives. Place part of your food in the box immediately, and put it aside. This way, you won’t be as tempted to eat the entire plate in front of you. If you’re really still hungry, you can always dig in to the extra food, but this will cut down on the chances of eating more even when you’re full.

2. Ask for sauces and dressings to be held on the side of your plate. This is a simple way to control heavy-handed chefs adding potentially unnecessary calories.

3. Share appetizers and desserts if you must indulge. Sharing is caring after all!

4. Fortunately, many restaurants have started offering lighter options (see below). Check out their online menus to choose your lighter option ahead of time. If you go in prepared, you might not be as tempted to order a heavier meal.

Here are some great examples of popular restaurants offering a light menu:

Red Lobster LightHouse Selections:

Red Lobster Light OptionsEntrees: 

Red Lobster Light Options

  • Wood-Grilled Fresh Tilapia (half portion)* 260 cal, 6g fat, 390mg sod.
  • Wood-Grilled Fresh Rainbow Trout (half portion)* 290 cal, 12g fat, 370mg sod.
  • Rock Lobster Tail 170 cal, 1g fat, 540mg sod.
  • Bar Harbor Salad (Before Dressing) 200 cal, 8g fat, 160mg sod.

Sides:

  • Green Beans, Fresh Asparagus, Fresh Broccoli, Garden Salad

Dressings & Dipping Sauces:

  • Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette, Pico de Gallo, Cocktail Sauce

 

Olive Garden Lighter Fare Menu:

Lunch:

  • Garlic Rosemary Chicken
  • Ravioli di Portobello
  • Capellini Pomodoro
  • Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken

Dinner:

  • Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken
  • Herb-Grilled Salmon
  • Center Cut Filet Mignon
  • Baked Tilapia with Shrimp
  • Garlic Rosemary Chicken
  • Chicken Abruzzi

 

LongHorn Steakhouse Flavorful Under 500 Menu:

  • Flo’s Filet® Center Cut
  • Renegade Sirloin
  • LongHorn Salmon™
  • Redrock Grilled Shrimp
  • Spinach Feta Chicken

 

Dining out with your kids? Here’s some quick tips from NY Magazine on a successful meal out with your little ones:

  1. Eat Early. Avoid peak times. Waiting too late could result in some grumpy attitudes.
  2. Sit In The Back. If you request an out of the way table or one towards the back, you won’t have to worry about other diners if one of your children gets cranky.
  3. Call Ahead. Ask whether the restaurant is equipped with high chairs, and if it’s a child-friendly environment. Mention that you’ll be bringing a child so that the staff is ready when you arrive. 
  4. Bring Distractions. Many restaurants have crayons for kids to draw on paper placemats with, but it doesn’t hurt to come prepared with quiet toys and books.

 

Remember: if you buy 3 or more tons of fuel by July 31st, you’ll receive a $50 Darden restaurants gift card! Your fuel will be delivered within three weeks of your order. (More info here)

If you want some helpful tips on how to properly store your wood pellet fuel, check out our blog: Wood Pellet Storage: Inside and Out.

 

How to Store Wood Pellets Inside and Outside

Storing Wood Pellets Inside

We recommend storing your fuel inside in a dry area free from flooding, mold, and excessive humidity. Inside storage is really your best bet for efficient storage. If you have the space, reuse the wooden pallet your fuel arrived on. Place it in a dry area, put cardboard over the pallet, and stack your bags on top. The pallet is built to hold weight, so you can stack your pellets nice and high. 

IndoorWoodPelletStorageThe wooden pallet is an almost square shape, at 40 by 48 inches, which might not be ideal for your space. Sometimes it’s more practical to ditch the pallet and stack in a narrow space, as pictured. (Check out our Pinterest page to see some ways to re-use wood pallets!)

 Re-stacking in specific spaces takes a little extra time and work, but it’s a great way to save some precious room!

Storing Wood Pellets Outside

Ideally, your fuel is best stored indoors, like described above. Of course, this isn’t always possible. You may not have a garage, or extra space inside. If you don’t have room to store your pellets in the garage or basement, the next best thing is a shed or shelter in a raised, dry place. If you can only store pellets outside, be sure to fully inspect your fuel when it arrives. Your fuel is carefully wrapped and protected with a plastic shroud before it’s sent out for delivery. Upon inspection, repair any rips or holes in the plastic shrouding with water proof tape or additional layers of plastic.

We very strongly recommend adding a securely fastened tarp over your fuel, to protect it from water and from any birds or squirrels that may try to puncture the plastic. Want to make your own tarp out of empty wood pellet bags? Follow the directions on our DIY pellet bag water blob article, and just make it into a big square or rectangle instead of a pouch.

Now for some season specific advice on keeping your wood pellet fuel safe and dry outdoors!

Summer Storage

During the summer months make sure your fuel is delivered to an area in your yard or driveway that is free from any water pooling or flooding. Direct water contact from below may cause water damage and render the pellets to its original form: sawdust. Also, be mindful of any irrigation heads or water spray paths as well. Remember, we strongly suggest adding a tarp to cover your fuel. This not only protects the packaging from constant exposure to the elements, but also keeps the leaves, dirt, and bird blessings from littering the shroud that protects your bags of fuel. Check on your fuel once in a while, just to make sure the chipmunks haven’t developed a condo association!

Fall Storage

Now your fuel has been outside for a couple of months and you are ready to fire up your stove! Carefully remove the protective wrap and slice the shroud on the top edge of the skid in order to slip the top bags out. Leave the shroud on as long as you can. Use the shroud to protect the bags and cover with the tarp. Place a weighted object on top of the skid to keep the tarp in place.

Winter Storage

Shovel a path to your fuel and shovel around the entire skid. This effort will keep the snow off your fuel and help prevent any water and/or ice damage. Continue to use the shroud and tarp to protect your fuel from snow and ice. Don’t forget to keep checking on it!

Spring Storage

You’ve been warm and toasty all winter, and now it’s time for spring cleaning! If you have loose bags left, find a spot in the garage or keep them outside, just protect them from the elements – as described in the seasons above. Empty your stove’s hopper and keep an eye out for Spring Buy Pellet Fuel Specials!

Make sure you do everything you can to protect your pellets. But in the rare instance they arrive damaged, all of our Quality Certified fuels are backed by guarantee. We are here for you if you have any questions. 

Free Summer Storage Offer Ends 5/30

Organized Garage, Clean Garage, Free Wood Pellet Summer StorageWe certainly can’t organize your garage…but we can save you some space in it this summer!

Buying your pellets this month secures your fuel for the heating season. (See our past blog about reasons for the pellet shortage). 

Buying this month locks in the current price, so you’re protected even if prices change this summer and/or fall. (See our article on what drives wood pellet pricing).

Buying this month gets you free storage this summer.

If we store your pellets for you:

  • You can enjoy your summer without thinking about wood pellets. It was a very long winter…relax now.
  • You can keep the extra space open for your lawnmower, pool supplies, coolers, bikes, kayaks, your kid’s toys (and your toys).
  • We will protect your fuel from the elements for you if you don’t have a garage or shed. You won’t have to worry about properly covering your pellets.

Read more

5 Factors Driving Wood Pellet Fuel Prices

Like any fuel, the price of wood pellets will inevitably fluctuate. However, even with their increasing popularity (pellet production has significantly increased over the last few years) wood pellet prices don’t get nearly as much attention as other fuels such as heating oil.  We realize our customers might have some questions about what factors determine wood pellet price changes. As always, we prefer to keep our customers as informed as possible. So, here are the top five factors influencing wood pellet pricing:
Read more

Spring Stock Up Sale: Don’t miss out!

wood pellets online, wood pellets sale, woodpellets.com Now that Spring is finally here, it’s time for the Woodpellets.com Annual Spring Stock-up Sale! We encourage all of our customers, and potential customers, to stock up now. Buying pellets now will not only save you money, but it will keep you prepared for what the next heating season may bring.

The Stock-Up Sale will save you $15 per ton on softwood pellets, and $5 per ton on hardwood pellets.

Type in your zip code at www.woodpellets.com to get pricing and delivery options in your area. Or, you can always give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS (800-735-5387). We would love to hear from you!

If you’re concerned about storing your pellets this summer, don’t worry!  Check out our wood pellets summer storage tips.

 

Pellets must be ordered by 4/30, and delivery by May 15th must be agreed to. Some delivery dates may vary depending on the region.

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