Bill Miller’s Nutrition: Healthy Options for Athletes
Bill Miller’s is a popular quick-service BBQ restaurant that athletes and teams frequently enjoy. It can be helpful for athletes to know what menu items at Bill Miller’s are healthy options that will support their sports nutrition needs.
Let’s take a look at some general tips for making healthy choices at BBQ restaurants. Then we will explore the Bill Miller’s menu to identify healthy options for athletes.
Making Healthy Choices at BBQ Restaurants
The tips below can help athletes with making healthy choices when eating at a BBQ restaurant.
Choose Lean Proteins
When selecting the type of BBQ to enjoy, athletes should aim to choose lean sources of protein. In general, sausage, pork ribs, and brisket tend to be higher in saturated fat than turkey, chicken, or ham.
If an athlete desires brisket, they should request an extra lean cut of meat. In addition, when eating the brisket, athletes should trim the visible fat off of the meat.
When ordering BBQ or rotisserie chicken, athletes should consider removing the skin, which will help reduce the saturated fat content of the entrée.
Limit Fried Foods
Athletes should choose entrees and sides that have been barbecued, roasted, smoked, or grilled over items that are deep-fried. Deep-frying increases the saturated fat content of the menu item, making it a less healthy option.
For example, choose a BBQ chicken breast over fried chicken. Similarly, aim to limit fried side items, such as French fries and onion rings, with the meal. Instead, opt for green beans, pinto beans, a baked potato, coleslaw, or a side salad.
Watch Portion Sizes
When eating out, athletes should be mindful of portion sizes. Often restaurants serve large portion sizes that may exceed an athlete’s nutrition needs in a single meal.
It is best to enjoy the meal in moderation and then have a healthy, balanced snack later in the day when you get hungry.
For reference, this calculates to be in the range of 20-40 grams of protein per meal (2), with larger athletes needing more protein than smaller athletes.
While athletes can consume and digest more than this amount of protein in one meal, they may be better off balancing out their meal with more carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables.
Choose a Healthy Beverage
Hydration is important for an athlete’s health as well as sports performance. At BBQ restaurants, choose water, unsweet tea, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice over sweet tea, sodas, lemonade, and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
Bill Miller’s Nutrition Healthy Options for Athletes
All the nutrition information included in this article comes from the Bill Miller’s website. Menu options and nutrition information may change as products are updated. For the most current nutrition and allergen information, refer to the Bill Miller’s website.
A Note on Sodium
It is important to note that many of the Bill Miller’s menu items discussed below are also high in sodium. In general, consuming sodium in the diet can help athletes with replacing the sodium lost in sweat.
However, athletes who have been advised to restrict sodium in their diet should work with a sports dietitian nutritionist to develop an individualized plan for meeting their sports nutrition needs.
Bill Miller’s Nutrition: Healthy Breakfast Options for Athletes
Bill Miller’s offers several breakfast options that athletes can enjoy for a quick breakfast on-the-go.
The Bill Miller’s carne guisada breakfast taco is a protein-rich choice for athletes. Carne guisada is a type of beef stew made by cooking beef in spices such as garlic, cumin, and chili powder.
Carne guisada tacos are particularly good on corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are lower in fat than flour tortillas and are a healthy choice for athletes. Thus, athletes should consider requesting corn instead of flour tortillas for their tacos.
- Carne Guisada Breakfast Taco on Corn Tortilla: 260 calories, 27 grams protein
If you prefer a more traditional breakfast taco, consider ordering scrambled eggs on a tortilla. Then top the eggs with pico de gallo and salsa for a spicy kick.
When ordering breakfast at Bill Miller’s, be mindful that bacon and sausage tend to be high in saturated fat; therefore, athletes should limit these breakfast meats with their meal.
Bill Miller’s Nutrition: Healthy Sandwich Options for Athletes
Bill Miller’s has several sandwich options on their menu that provide a good source of lean protein. The healthiest sandwich selections at Bill Miller’s include:
- Turkey Poor Boy: 450 calories, 38 grams protein
- Ham Poor Boy: 480 calories, 28 grams protein
- Small Bar-B-Q Chicken, White Meat Sandwich: 490 calories, 48 grams of protein
- Large Bar-B-Q Chicken, White Meat Sandwich: 670 calories, 88 grams of protein
The large bar-b-que chicken sandwich is a good choice for athletes who want to enjoy half the sandwich with the meal and save the rest for later.
Bill Miller’s Nutrition: Healthy Bar-B-Q Options for Athletes
Bill Miller’s offers a variety of lean BBQ selections that athletes can choose. I would encourage athletes to select from these proteins when building a BBQ plate.
The leanest BBQ protein options at Bill Miller’s include:
- Bar-B-Q Chicken, ¼ White: 280 calories, 39 grams protein
- Turkey, 1 serving: 160 calories, 34 grams protein
- Ham, ¼ pound: 173 calories, 20 grams protein
If an athlete desires pork with their meal, Bill Miller’s pulled pork is a leaner option than either the sausage links or pork spareribs.
Brisket tends to be high in saturated fat. However, if an athlete wants brisket at Bill Miller’s I would recommend asking for an extra lean cut. In addition, the athlete can order a smaller portion of brisket and then balance out the meal with one of the leaner protein options listed above.
Bill Miller’s Nutrition: Healthy Soup and Salad Options for Athletes
Bill Miller’s vegetable beef soup is a tasty, protein-rich option that athletes can enjoy with their meal. When ordering the soup, I suggest requesting Spanish rice be added to the soup. This will boost the carbohydrate content of the soup and make for a more filling meal.
- Bill Miller’s Vegetable Beef Soup, 1 pint: 160 calories, 22 grams protein
Along with the soup, athletes can consider ordering a side garden salad or baked potato to further boost the nutrient content of the meal.
Soup is a good addition to a post-game meal for athletes, helping athletes with replacing the fluid and sodium lost in sweat. The vegetable beef soup at Bill Miller’s is a high-sodium option, providing 1,070 mg of sodium.
Bill Miller’s Salad De-Lite
The Salad De-Lite can be a healthy salad choice at Bill Miller’s for athletes. It includes a garden salad topped with an athlete’s choice of protein. Topping the salad with the turkey or BBQ chicken are both great options for athletes.
To help limit the fat content of the salad, athletes should consider ordering the salad dressing on the side. This will allow the athlete to control the amount of dressing added to the salad.
Athletes can enjoy a baked potato, side of Spanish rice, or rye bread along with the salad to boost the carbohydrate content of their meal.
Bill Miller’s Nutrition: Healthy Side Options for Athletes
Bill Miller’s offers a variety of healthy side options that athletes can enjoy with their meals. When ordering a combo meal at Bill Miller’s, athletes should consider selecting from the side items below.
The healthiest side item options at Bill Miller’s that I recommend include:
- Green beans, 1 serving: 40 calories, 2 grams protein
- Pinto beans, 1 serving: 150 calories, 9 grams protein
- Coleslaw, 1 serving: 70 calories, 1 gram protein
- Spanish rice, 1 serving: 130 calories, 3 grams protein
- Garden fresh salad, 1 salad: 45 calories, 3 grams protein
- Baked potato (plain): 150 calories, 6 grams protein
The green beans are my personal favorite side item at Bill Miller’s. They are cooked with tomatoes and seasoning, making them a flavorful, healthy side choice.
The baked potato is a high-carb choice that athletes can enjoy with their meal. When ordering the potato, athletes should request the toppings be provided on the side. This will allow the athlete to control the amount added to their potato.
Bill Miller’s Nutrition: Healthy Catering Options for Athletic Teams
If you are in charge of planning a team dinner, Bill Miller’s catering can come in handy. Their catering options include BBQ plates as well as Poor Boy sandwiches.
When making your catering selections, make sure to choose the lean protein options, healthy sandwich selections, as well as nutritious side items discussed above.
Bill Miller’s also offers a fajita dinner catering package. The fajita dinner comes with a choice of beef or chicken fajitas, Spanish rice, charro beans, tortillas, and all the fixings. This makes for an easy team meal that athletes will enjoy.
Bill Miller’s Nutrition: Healthy Options for Athletes
You now have a variety of ideas for healthy choices that athletes can make at Bill Miller’s to support their sports nutrition needs.
For additional dining out tips for athletes, check out my blog: Fast Food for Athletes: Healthy Eating Out Guide.
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About the Author
Mandy Tyler is a Sports Dietitian Nutritionist in the San Antonio, TX area. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Licensed Athletic Trainer, and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. Mandy has experience working with athletes at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. She believes the key to reaching one’s full potential, both in everyday life and in sports performance, relies on a healthy nutritional foundation.