Eating Out on a Diet in the
Greater Raleigh-Durham Area

Does eating out on a diet seem impossible?  Well, going out to eat is not recommended when trying to lose weight but there is a fine line between being extremely rigid and having no restrictions.

These past 2 weeks has been spent on a detox program that my clients and I decided to participate in.  Detoxes are great - but they are very restrictive.  Even though this was a whole foods detox (I never like any of those crazy juice fast detoxes….eliminating whole macronutrients is NEVER a good idea.)…..but even with a whole foods detox it can be challenging when eating out on a diet.

Plus, there MUST be some form of enjoyment while detoxing/dieting or the entire process can be unsustainable.  Now I am not saying to blindly walk into a slippery slope - like a bakery or a coffee shop!!  Now that is something I would have a HARD TIME resisting because sugar is my Achilles Heel.  But there are certain places that are pretty safe to go if you know what to order.

Where to eat in Holly Springs, Cary and Fuquay-Varina?

Last weekend, my husband and I went to Thai Villa in Cary (off of Buck Jones Road).  If you like Thai food this is a GREAT place.  I have been there many times before and would always order the Lemongrass Chicken but I wanted to try something different this time.  But like I said - detoxes are restrictive. 

  • No Beans
  • No Grains
  • No Caffeine
  • No Sugar
  • No Soy
  • No Dairy
  • No Wheat/Gluten 

So what does that leave?  LOTS!!!

Thai food is generally lighter than Chinese food and I like that flavors and spices used in Thai food better.  When looking at the menu there really was plenty to choose from but I did have to stay away from any type of Pad Thai since grains, wheat and gluten are not allowed.  Of course I avoided anything fried (but I normally would do that anyways.)  I avoided tofu because soy is on the no-no list.   My options definitely narrowed but my choice was still DELICIOUS. 

I chose Pad Bangkok which is my choice or a protein with mixed vegetables in a garlic sauce.  I did request that they not use soy sauce since Soy should not be consumed.  Of course my husband ordered the Spicy Catfish which is DEEP FRIED catfish smothered in a spicy coconut sauce.  I'm sure his was wonderful but I would never order that - detox or no detox.  I draw my line at anything deep fried. 

If you are eating out on a detox or just eating out on a diet definitely try Thai Villa.  The outside appearance may not be much but they sure make up for it with flavor and taste.  I have never been disappointed!!

thai villaThai Villa Cary, NC

But what do you order when eating out on a diet?

When eating out on a diet be sure to avoid:

  • Fried Foods
  • Carb Heavy foods (pasta, rice, bread, etc.)
  • Fat/Carb Combos (pizza, donuts, ice cream)
  • Heavy cream sauces (alfredo, hollandaise, etc.)

Below are some  "Jennifer Approved Thai Meals" including (but there are many more to choose from):


  • Fresh Basil Rolls
  • Num Tok - grilled marinated beef tossed with red onions, scallions and spicy lime dressing
  • Larb Gai - same as above except with chicken


  • Ginger Perfect - your choice of a protein sauteed in a yummy ginger sauce with onions, peppers, scallions and mushrooms
  • Cashew Chicken - tender slices of chicken tossed with cashew nuts, onions and scallions in a light savory brown sauce.
  • Pad Woon Sen - Choice of protein stir fried with onions, scallions, carrot, egg, peppers and mushrooms and cellophane noodles ( I ask for rice noodles).


  • Spicy Eggplant - Slices of eggplant stir fried with chili, garlic, bell peppers and fresh basil leaves


  • Nua Sam - Steak marinated in exotic spices and special sauces pan fried with ginger and veggies.
  • Hoi Pik Pow - for those of you who like mussels - this dish is great.  Steamed sweet mussels topped with sauteed hot chili sauce and sweet lemon sauce.

Thai Villa in Cary is also reasonably priced.  A full entrée would cost $14.00 at the most and the size of the entrees really can feed 2 people.  So for me this is budget approved PLUS it has plenty of healthy options. 

If you are looking for character and ambience.....well, bring some candles :-) but I LOVE this place and wish it were closer to Holly Springs so I can order me some take out!!

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