CLEAN UP YOUR RESTAURANT
Healthy foodie Jenna Hope explains how you can eat out and still eat clean
For years I’ve been politely smiling whilst quizzing every waiter, chef, and restaurant host about what’s in their meals and how I can adapt them. Despite following an extremely healthy diet I am an avid restaurant attendee and potentially even a polite restaurant snob. So I feel well equipped to share with you my tips for enjoying the best restaurants whilst ensuring you don’t undo weeks of motivation and self-restraint in one meal.
1: NEVER BE EMBARRASSED. Admittedly, it can be a tad awkward to shout across the table ‘Is this gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free?’ Order last (this prevents starting the waiter off on the wrong foot). Start with: ‘I’m so sorry, I’m need to ask a few questions,’ and then ask away in your most polite voice with a huge smile. As allergies and intolerances are the latest trend you’ll find most restaurants pretty accommodating. Don’t be afraid to ask for swaps, even if they are going to cost you more. You cant put a price on health.
2: PASS ON THE BREAD. It’s so easy to mindlessly consume the whole bread basket. Your best bet is to politely turn it down. However, if this causes table wars just make sure the basket is far enough away from you to prevent temptation.
3: SHARE, SHARE, SHARE. I’ve always been baffled by the concept of eating dinner number one whilst waiting for dinner number two. If you can avoid having a starter then do, but if you can’t, at least share it. Same with dessert – avoid or share.
4. AVOID THE SAUCE. Many sauces have a variety of unhealthy and fattening components. Ask for the sauce on the side. When the dish arrives, if you REALLY want to, spoon out a small amount onto the plate and send the rest back.
5: SKIP THE COCKTAILS. Don’t stress! Alcohol isn’t totally forbidden, but try and opt for less sugary drinks. A clear spirit, fresh lime and sparkling water is much ‘healthier’. With some crushed ice, mint sprigs and lime slices you won’t even know it’s not a mojito. If this is a step too far, simply ask for the cocktail without the sugar syrup and when you’re choosing wines, opt for the dryer wines to reduce your sugar intake.
Jenna is currently studying for a Masters in nutrition and writes a blog on health, wellness, food and exercise. She loves food and believes that being healthy should not mean that you have to compromise on the enjoyment of eating. Jenna follows the Paleo diet. www.primalhopeuk.wordpress.com