6 Tips to Eat Healthy While Dining Out
One of the hardest things about maintaining a healthy diet or completing a juice cleanse is fitting it in with your existing social life. Most of us can’t just disappear for a week or two to ensure that we are successful.
I love eating out as much as the next person and a big part of my social life revolves around restaurants and bars. As a rule, when I eat out more than once a week I gain weight…fast. Plus I often become fatigued, foggy-headed and feel rundown. It’s been a big challenge since I started making sustainable healthy changes to my diet. But, I’ve been using these tips to help me keep up a healthy diet, my figure, my energy, and my social life.
Eat Out. Stay Healthy.
- Start off with a healthy breakfast. This is a sure-fire way to end up eating much healthier throughout the day. Fruit salad, raw juice, oatmeal, or organic eggs & veggies… these are all great options in the morning.
- Drink a green juice or a green smoothie each day. Leafy greens are the most important food group (Yes, they are a food group). Kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, parsley and more provide a high concentration of vitamins and minerals. Plus, leafy greens are by weight 20-35% protein and when consumed in combination (like in green juices) they make a complete protein. Is green juice the new protein drink? I think so!
- Order vegetables with everything when dining out. Salads are pretty much offered anywhere. There may be many more appealing items on the menu, but by sticking to a salad (sans the croutons & cheese) you can be sure you won’t pack on the pounds. Adding avocado, nuts, and fruit makes any salad more interesting. Be sure to skip the creamy dressings as a vinaigrette is generally healthier. When ordering dinner, if the meal comes with pasta, substitute with whatever vegetables the restaurant offers (and skip the butter... olive oil is healthier).
- Ask for substitutions. Most restaurants understand dietary restrictions so speak up! At a sushi dinner last week I asked if they could make the rolls without rice because I was on a 100% raw diet. The restaurant was happy to use daikon (an Asian radish) instead. I hardly noticed there was no rice and was happy I didn't have to turn down the dinner invite altogether.
- Say no to alcohol. Drinking tends to make you feel like garbage the next day, which makes making healthy food choices hard. If you have an event or business dinner during the week, try to stick to a 1 drink maximum, as any sort of moderate to heavy drinking depletes your vitamin and mineral levels. Your body senses the shortage and holds onto the fat. Combat any alcohol consumption with lots of hydrating, fresh juice.
- Flip your view. Change the way you see your relationship to food and your social life. This has been the most effective tool that helped me stay on the healthy train. I am often the only one at a party who is eating raw or on a juice cleanse, but to resist the temptations I remind myself that I will feel better physically and emotionally if I don’t overindulge. Don't beat yourself up. You can splurge a little every now and then, but you don’t need to eat cheese and crackers or mashed potatoes every day. You will get more satisfaction from being comfortable in your body than the blip of pleasure you'll feel when you eat one of your favorite but not-so-healthy foods.
Hope these tips help you get out there and enjoy yourself while staying true to your healthy goals!
Written by Jessica Rosen for Pravassa.com