It can be difficult to make healthy food choices when eating out at restaurants, and so I wanted to give you some tips that I think can help you stay on your gentle shift to amazing health!
- Skip the pop, diet pop, and juice, and instead have water with a slice of lemon or lime. Or, ask for a shot of lemon or lime juice for added flavour. Not only will this cut down on the amount of sugar you are consuming, it will also save you some money! Another option: order club soda or sparkling water with lemon or lime juice. I often order herbal tea so I feel like I am having something other than “just water,” and certain herbal teas, like peppermint and chamomile, are great for the digestive system.
- Order a garden and vegetable salad and ask them to add a piece of salmon or chicken to it. You will ensure you are getting lots of vegetables, as well as high quality protein. Another tip: get the dressing on the side and just drizzle a small amount for a light flavour. I have found most restaurants are willing to give me a delicious and hearty salad with a large piece of lemon drizzled salmon. Not only does it fill me up, but it provides me with omega-3 fatty acids for my brain, heart, and skin!
- Skip the salt! Most processed foods contain high amounts of sodium, and restaurants often add more salt to their meals. So, you shouldn’t need to shake more on! Try to forget adding salt the next time you eat out and instead focus on other flavours of the food.
- Look for their health check symbols. Menus are giving us more and more information about the foods we are eating, so use it to your advantage. They often provide symbols next to meals that are better for your heart, meals that are lower in calories, meals that are vegetarian, and meals that .
- Read up on the restaurant before you head there. I spend time on the internet searching for new restaurants to try. I check out their menu ahead of time to see what I can eat. This is the perfect thing to do if you have a food allergy or sensitivity. Phone ahead and see if they have gluten-free meals. Call and find out if you can alter something on the menu.
- Pass on the free bread! The loaves and buns are usually made with white wheat flour, and they fill you up before your main meal comes. They also often covered with butter or margarine, and salt.
- Leave out dessert and instead come home and make our Banana Berry Ice Cream in your high powered blender or vitamix. Dessert in restaurants are generally very high in sugar, and provide no real nutrients for the body.
As a holistic nutritionist, I follow the 80-20 rule; eat well 80% of the time and you can indulge the rest of the time! It is all about moderation. There is nothing wrong with going out to eat; it is a time to enjoy great company with your family and friends. It can be a place to celebrate, or a place to go if you are just too tired to cook! But, it is important to make smart choices when you are on the path to healthy eating. Something as simple as skipping pop and dessert can ensure you feel great and it can also save the wallet! Do you have any suggestions or tips for eating out!? We’d love to hear from you!