One of the most frequently asked questions a client will approach me with is, how can they make healthy choices when dining out on business or when meeting with friends? Many of us lead very busy lifestyles and often meet with clients, friends or family several times a week. These meetings can be stressful or relaxed, and induce some sort of emotional reward system in our food choices! After all we are living in the moment of our emotional needs/cravings, aren't we? In this blog I provide tips, tricks, and restaurants for making healthier food choices. So let's get started!
Go to the gym - Going to the gym before your dinner date keeps your head in the game and helps you focus on making healthier food choices.
Plan ahead - Use phone apps or the internet to review healthy restaurants near you. Does the restaurant provide a website? and if so, is there a menu? Call ahead, can you modify a meal to your needs? Find out what ingredients are used in the meals provided. (Great for those with food allergens etc.) Look for websites like "yelp" for customer reviews.
Portion control - It's your cheat day and you just got to have it! Portion control is your friend here, after all we know too many unhealthy foods in excess can set back your weight-loss goals for the day. Request a specific serving size of side dish items such as fries, potatoes, breads etc. Ask wait-staff to serve salad dressings and sauces in a small dish on the side. Click here for a printable wallet portion control guide.
Order a salad as an appetizer -Starting with a salad can contribute to a number of healthy steps. 1. Eating your greens first can control blood sugar levels. Fiber in vegetables act as a time release energy provider and prevent insulin spikes; by slowing down release of sugars into the blood stream. 2. Plant enzymes are great for starting up the digestive process and help prepare digestion for your main meal. 3. A bowl of mixed salad greens will provide you with important vitamins such as Vitamin C, K, B and A. 4. Salads also help you feel satiated and support portion control.
Drink water before meals - 1 glass before meals helps you feel satiated. Try not to drink too much during your meal as you will dilute important enzymes for digestion.
Choose - healthy lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and the good fats.
Look for key words - baked, lightly steamed, and grilled. Stay away from fried, blackened, and boiled. Over boiling/cooking your foods can cause nutrient loss in your meals. The longer a vegetable is boiled sugar content is also increased.
Alcohol - causes insulin spikes, invokes cravings and late night snacking.
Some of my restaurant picks:
1. Crave Healthy Restaurant - www.ucrave.ca/
2. Eat fresh be healthy - www.eatfreshbehealthy.com
3. Hibiscus - www.hibiscuscafe.ca/
4. Urban herbivore - www.herbivore.to/#home
5. The peoples eatery - www.peopleseatery.com/#heythere
If you have tips or restaurant recommendations feel free to add them in the comment box below. Thank you for reading! Valerie.