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"Restaurant Challenge" Offers Up Healthy Dishes

<span style="FONT-SIZE: small" mce_style="font-size: small;">"It's a really great opportunity for people with diabetes, since it's American Diabetes Month, as well as anybody that wants to eat healthy." <br></span>

FREDERICK, MD - Eating right can be hard for some people, but it's even more of a challenge for diabetics.

Eating out at a restaurant isn't always easy for Terry Collins.

"The problem with eating out for someone with diabetes understanding what you're actually consuming when you've ordered," says Collins, a diabetic. "Most restaurants don't give you a list of nutrition information that's in the meal."

Now diabetics like Collins can eat out without worry at eight places in Frederick for the Restaurant Challenge.

All meals must have less than 550 calories, no more than 18 grams of fat, and less than 60 grams of carbohydrates.

"It's a really great opportunity for people with diabetes, since it's American Diabetes Month, as well as anybody that wants to eat healthy," says Jan Drass, chairwoman of the Frederick County Diabetes Coalition. "To be able to go out and enjoy great Frederick cuisine at its best and not feel guilty when they go home."

Firestones is serving up pinot noir cod. The fish is poached, and the dish also includes lentils and local vegetables. Those at Firestones hope it shows people a reflection of healthier eating.

"There's a lot of people that their health requires them to eat certain ways, and we always try to accommodate that for people with diabetes for one and then food allergies as well," says Andrew Mayers, a sous chef at Firestones.

Sous Chef Desiree Garcia came up with a bison chili recipe at Brewer's Alley. It features rice, vegetables, and sweet spices.

"My grandmother is actually diabetic, and she likes very sweet dishes," says Garcia. "She likes a traditional chili, but I wanted to come up with something that was very high in protein and very lean in fat."

The challenge runs through the end of November and will allow people like Collins to eat out with more peace of mind.

People who take part in the challenge can fill out a questionnaire and win one of 20 prizes, including a gym membership, and restaurant gift card. The winning restaurant will also receive a plaque.

For a full list of the places participating in the Restaurant Challenge and to see their menus, click here.

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