I wrote this post a few weeks ago and boy do I need this advice myself. STAT!
I’m celebrating my 32nd wedding anniversary in Hawaii and there are ample opportunities to eat out. I have a small galley kitchen where I can prepare simple meals but it’s soooooo easy to go out to eat. In preparation for this trip, I packed my favorite knife and a few spice mixes. I made a rough list of meals that can be made simply and I will shop at the local farmer’s market and the local fish market. We are celebrating so I’ve made two reservations at spectacular ocean front restaurants and I will indulge from champagne to dessert. However, every meal is not a celebration and forgetting my wellness goals for 10 days is not an option. With the beautiful scenery and lovely climate I will have no problem walking and hiking every day. Here is my advice for eating out and staying true to your goals without deprivation.
Let’s be honest, don’t you feel better when you eat well?
Have your health goals firmly in mind before you step into a restaurant. Confirm out load or in your head your dietary convictions.
– A vegetarian is never looking at the meat dishes and no one second guesses her requests. Make the menu work for you. A vegan’s choices are limited and she has probably done her homework before she picked a restaurant. You can learn from friends with strong dietary convictions. You have every right to have your own dietary convictions.
– People with real gluten allergies never ask for bread or pastas.
– Paleos never look at the pasta, breads, dessert menu, or alcohol. (Although, I think even a cave woman would have liked a glass of wine and dark chocolate occasionally. Just saying)
– Personally, I eat a low carbohydrate diet, with an abundance of vegetables, fruits and fish. I choose not to eat simple carbohydrates or deep fried foods so I never eat pasta, bread, sandwiches, pizza or fried foods.
Limiting the menu IN ADVANCE to a few choices, based on your personal wellness goal or dietary limitations, is a low stress way to avoid land mines. If you wait until you see the menu before you set your goals then you will probably succumb to the temptation of eating foods that don’t further your wellness goals.
Share an entree or have 1/2 boxed up before you sit down to eat it.
How many times have you eaten everything on your plate knowing full well that you would have eaten 1/4 or 1/2 of that amount at home? You feel stuffed and disgusted with yourself.
Have a “go to meal” before you look at the menu
– My “go to” is Caesar salad with chicken or fish, with dressing on the side or lemon wedges.
– Vegetable based soups or side dishes
– Grilled fish or chicken with no buttery sauces
Don’t drink your calories.
Ask for water and drink a full glass before your meal comes. Limit alcohol to non-sweetened drinks and set your limit before you go out. “One and Done”
Be mindful and savor every bite.
Put down your fork and talk with your companions, put away your phone, people watch, enjoy the music or artwork. Dining out should be an experience to treasure not an excuse to overeat.
Need I say this? NEVER EAT IN THE CAR. It’s bad for your upholstery, your driving skills and your waistline.
I leave you with a warm Aloha (the breath of life)