Experience the Sacramento Area Nightlife without Killing Your Diet

What you eat can play a huge role in how healthy your body is. Not surprisingly, the Boston Medical Center says that about 45 million Americans go on a diet each year in an effort to shed excess weight.

Of course, sticking to a diet requires a lot of willpower and discipline, and, unfortunately, your well-laid eating plans may be derailed when your friends or colleagues invite you to dine at one of the many restaurants in Sacramento. But don’t decline the invitation just yet – there are things you can do to make dining out a healthier experience:

Choose Your Restaurant Carefully
Research local eateries and see which of them offer diet-friendly menus. For instance, Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar has a Karui menu which features healthy dishes that are all 500 calories or less. By carefully choosing Sacramento restaurants to visit, you can enjoy scrumptious food without sacrificing your diet.

As You Like It
If the choice of restaurant is not yours to make, Reader’s Digest says that you can ask servers to prepare your food in a healthier manner:

Dining out is no time to be a meek consumer, notes Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and coauthor of the book Restaurant Confidential. “You need to be an assertive consumer by asking for changes on the menu,” he says. For instance, if an item is fried, ask for it grilled. If it comes with french fries, ask for a side of veggies instead. Ask for a smaller portion of the meat and a larger portion of the salad; for salad instead of coleslaw; baked potato instead of fried. “Just assume you can have the food prepared the way you want it,” says Dr. Jacobson. “Very often, the restaurant will cooperate.”

Pace Yourself
According to experts, it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re already full. If you feel like the meal you ordered didn’t quite hit the spot, don’t order seconds right away – give your tummy a chance to send its “satiation signal” first.

So Long, Sodas
You may be watching what you eat, but are you also watching what you drink? Consider this: A single can of cola has about 139 calories, or about 7% of your daily caloric needs. Keep this in mind the next time you eat out, and just go with water.

(Source: 20 Tricks to Eating Healthy While Eating Out, Reader’s Digest)

One of the Leading Restaurants in Sacramento Offers a Gluten-Free Menu

After a long week at the office, one of the best ways to unwind is by dining out with your colleagues at renowned restaurants in Sacramento. However, some of your co-workers won’t just be scanning the menu for the food; they’ll also be on the lookout for ingredients that contain gluten.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale, which helps food made from these grains maintain their shape. Unfortunately, some people suffer from celiac disease, which causes them to experience adverse reactions to gluten. This article from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’ website offers an overview of this condition:

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.

Celiac disease is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourishment.

Aside from malnutrition, celiac disease can also cause unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, constipation, headaches, and fatigue. Left untreated, it can lead to even more complications, such as the development of osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and other autoimmune diseases.

As such, dining out often causes more dread than pleasure for celiac sufferers as they might inadvertently consume gluten. They might also find themselves going to a restaurant with friends, only to find that there are no gluten-free items they can order.

Fortunately, leading Sacramento restaurants like Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar have created special gluten-free menus just for these diners. They can feast on items like sashimi or a variety of healthy and gluten-free sushi rolls. Other options include items like pickled cucumber salad, and teriyaki dishes made with gluten-free sauce.

According to Harvard University, as many as two million Americans have celiac disease, though only about 300,000 of them have been diagnosed conclusively with it. With so many people suffering from celiac disease, it’s reassuring to know that restaurants have begun modifying their menus to accommodate people with this condition.

 

(Source: CELIAC DISEASE, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness)

Restaurants in Sacramento: A Celebration of Japanese Food and Culture

Japanese food and culture are frequently celebrated in California, and nowhere is this fact more apparent than at the summertime festivals held throughout the state. USA Today, for instance, discusses the highly anticipated events like the Nihonmachi Street Fair in San Francisco (August 2, 2014) and the Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Los Angeles (August 9-10 and 16, 2014). Sacramento residents and visitors also take part in the annual Japanese Food and Cultural Bazaar held every August.

Aside from taking part in these festivities, Japanese food lovers can also grab a bite at Zagat-rated restaurants in Sacramento—like Mikuni Sushi—that offer traditional dishes from the Land of the Rising Sun, as well as Western-inspired variations. This is also a good opportunity to enjoy other mouthwatering Japanese culinary gems like sashimi (raw fish) and onigiri (rice balls wrapped in seaweed).

Teriyaki, in particular, is quite notable because of its special sauce, which has had various incarnations and iterations since it was first introduced in the West. The main ingredients are sugar, ginger, sake, and soy sauce, although various recipes have since given their own twist to this standard formula. Traditionally, teriyaki dishes consist of fish marinated in sauce that is either broiled or grilled to perfection. In the West, the term loosely applies to anything marinated in teriyaki sauce, be it hamburger steaks, squid, or even lamb, though it is most commonly used with grilled chicken.

During Nisei Week, festivalgoers had many opportunities to enjoy these dishes with friends. The first day lasted from 9AM to 7PM, with a parade taking place the day after. Fortunately, those who missed the opportunity to dine out at these festivals can still get their Japanese food fix at top Sacramento restaurants like Mikuni Sushi that host their own summertime events, like the 20thAnnual Mikuni Summer Golf Classic in August 2015.

Regardless of how one plans to celebrate the summer, it is always a good thing to keep up a festive spirit. Japanese food lovers should also keep in mind that sushi not the only type of Japanese cuisine worth checking out!

(Source: Summer suppers: Festive street fairs to find, USA Today, July 11, 2014)

Dishes in Japanese Restaurants in Sacramento That Pack a Health Punch

Over the years, scientific studies have been able to identify the healthiest food items, and the ones that could be detrimental to overall health. Sadly, many of the most mouth-watering or interesting food items (think of bacon) fall under the latter category. On the other hand, food items that don’t exactly spark appetites—like broccoli—are labeled as extremely healthy.

Luckily, things are not always as black-and-white as popular opinion dictates. There are a variety of interesting and flavorful foods that pack a legitimate punch in the health department. This is especially true for dishes in Japanese restaurants in Sacramento like Mikuni Sushi. The next time you feel the urge to eat Japanese cuisine and to eat healthy, here are a few suggestions on what to order:

Eel

At first glance, eel (a.k.a. unagi) may not be a very appetizing sight. People adventurous enough to try it, though, know that eel provides a unique and succulent flavor, which is why it has become a favorite among Japanese food enthusiasts. According to an article from AskMen.com, eel is one of the healthiest food options around:

As fish, they’re a fantastic source of mega-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain a good amount calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, manganese, zinc and iron. For the carb-conscious, eel does not contain any sugar, is low in sodium and high in phosphorus.

Sea Urchin

Sea urchin (a.k.a. uni) is another dish that doesn’t look very appetizing; that is, until you try it for yourself. It is rich in protein, so much so that it actually makes a good substitute for meat or legumes. Sea urchin also contains Vitamins A and C. The best part of sea urchin? It only carries 34 calories per ounce, making it a great option for those on a diet.

Flying Fish Roe

Flying fish roe (a.k.a. tobiko) is the tiny orange dots that cover California rolls. Most people often see it as an accessory ingredient, but did you know that you can order sushi that has the roe as the primary ingredient?

Since the roe is delicate, it is placed on a special type of roll called a gunkan that looks like a battleship. You can also choose to have a quail egg added to it. Flying fish roe is rich in Vitamins A, D, K2, as well as DHA fatty acids, zinc, and iodine.

One last healthy piece of advice for ordering Japanese dishes in popular Sacramento restaurants: pass up the mayonnaise. Although a generous serving of mayo can complete the taste of sushi, it can easily add unnecessary fat and calories.

Happy eating!

 

(Source: Junk Foods That Are Actually Healthy; AskMen.com)

Make Happy Hours Happier by Going to Famed Restaurants in Sacramento

After clocking out at work, you may not want to immediately head home. Maybe you want to wind down first after eight long hours of work, or maybe you want to avoid the traffic jam that will surely greet you on the highway. Besides, if the traffic is going to set you back an hour or two, why not spend the time enjoying yourself?

These are but some of the reasons why many people enjoy happy hours after work. Happy hours are great because they allow people not just to relax but to save money as well since many menu items are discounted during this period. Before packing up your briefcase and heading out though, take note of these tips to make your happy hour even happier:

Not Just Bars

Where exactly are you going for happy hour? While most people will head to bars, you should know that popular restaurants in Sacramento offer happy hours as well. Some even have weekend schedules for those who are too busy on weekdays to have a post-work drink.

Order Snacks as Dinner

You already know that happy hours can net you big savings on beverages. However, you can save even more money by ordering snacks as dinner. Sacramento restaurant Mikuni Sushi, for example, offers filling and affordable “dollar bite” items, such as veggie tempura and spicy tuna hand roll. Another perk of turning happy hours into dinnertime? You no longer have to cook dinner when you get home, or do the dishes after eating.

Make it Social

Happy hours are made for socializing, so why not enjoy it with your officemates? As this article from AskMen.com states:

Getting to know Larry from accounting or Louise from sales will not happen during work hours. It also won’t happen at company picnics, parties or team-building exercises. Most employees keep their professional masks on for anything involving their jobs. Account executive Todd’s affinity for The Pixies or vice president Martha’s love for Irish whiskey will never come out by the copy machine. Once you connect with coworkers at happy hour, your job will be more fun because friends surround you, friendly rivalries are built and you’ll learn how to exploit them for your own benefit.


(Source: Top 10: Reasons To Go To Happy Hour, AskMen.com)

First-timers’ Guide to Dining at Japanese Restaurants in Sacramento

To the uninitiated, Japanese cuisine can be a wellspring of delightful surprises. Even casual dining at Japanese restaurants in Sacramento can easily prove to be an exercise in sophistication. The key is to come prepared and have an idea of what one can or ought to order beforehand.

For instance, people who are averse or allergic to certain types of fish would do well to learn a thing or two about the way certain Japanese dishes are prepared. Those who are eager to try new types of sushi in particular may be interested to know that maguro nigiri is sushi made with raw tuna while sake nigiri is made with raw salmon. Ebi nigiri is a bit different, because it is prepared with cooked shrimp meat—a feature that makes this dish especially appealing to pregnant women for whom any type of raw meat or seafood can be harmful.

At any rate, Japanese cuisine is all about using fresh and high-quality ingredients. Cassie Kifer, writer for food and travel blog Ever in Transit, noted that Japanese chefs use minimal seasoning in order to let the flavor of each ingredient shine. She adds that condiments such as wasabi, soy sauce, miso, pickled vegetables, and light dipping sauces are often served on the side to provide contrast and diversity.

Some sushi restaurants on this side of the Pacific often add a whole new twist to Japanese cuisine to come up with something fresh and exciting. For example, hip Sacramento restaurants like Mikuni Sushi serve gluten-free versions of popular Japanese dishes like teriyaki as well as more than a few mouth-watering options for vegetarians.

Meanwhile, people who don’t know how to use chopsticks can certainly ask for familiar utensils when eating at sushi bars or Japanese restaurants. Chopstick users, however, are expected to practice proper dining etiquette, such as not waving or pointing with chopsticks in hand. It is also considered disrespectful for people to pass their food to someone else using chopsticks, as this gesture holds certain similarities with Japanese funeral rituals. When getting food from a shared plate, it is customary to use the blunt end of one’s chopsticks.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a frequent sushi connoisseur, it is advisable to order wisely and observe proper dining etiquette at Japanese restaurants.

 

(Source: 21 Things You Should Know About Japanese Food, Ever in Transit, March 19, 2014)

Healthy Sushi Options Offered by Japanese Restaurants in Sacramento

It is no secret that fish and other seafood are some of the healthiest food on the planet. In fact, many nutritional experts recommend eating a portion (roughly 140 grams) of fish at least twice a week. Other experts even recommend eating up to a maximum of four portions.

Japanese restaurants in Sacramento like Mikuni Sushi offer customers a wide variety of seafood in the form of sushi and sashimi. Although all the seafood options in Japanese restaurants are healthy, the healthiest options include:

Uni

Uni is the Japanese term for sea urchin. Although its unflattering appearance and slimy texture might deter people who do not regularly eat sushi, connoisseurs will absolutely love uni’s rich and creamy flavor. According to an article from Live Strong, sea urchin meat also provides a host of health benefits for people who are on a diet:

Sea urchin sushi is low in calories, with about 34 calories per ounce. This makes it lower in calories than other types of sushi, such as sushi made with salmon, albacore tuna or mackerel…

… Each ounce has just 1.1 grams of fat, which is the most energy-dense nutrient with nine calories per gram…

Another health benefit of sea urchin sushi is that it derives most of its calories from protein. Each ounce of sea urchin sushi contains 3.2 grams of protein, which is more than half of what an egg contains. Protein is an essential nutrient that provides your body with amino acids, the building blocks of muscle.

Albacore Tuna

Albacore tuna meat is often white in color, which makes it stand out when compared to other types of tuna. It has a very soft and buttery texture and has a milder taste than what Bluefin tuna consumers are used to. This tuna is also low in fat and has a very low mercury contamination rate.

Salmon

Salmon is one of the most commonly used fish by reputable Sacramento restaurants for sushi and sashimi—a very good thing for those looking for healthy sushi. Salmon is very high in omega-3 fatty acids that significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. At the same time, omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to help improve eyesight.

 

(Source: Health Benefits for Sea Urchin Sushi; Live Strong)