People often complain that they can’t stick to a diet because they have to eat out a lot for work, business meetings and for client entertainment. I always feel this is an excuse to set your self up for failure. There are many things that you can do to make the right choices when you are “dieting” or on a healthy eating drive to avoid the pitfalls of ordering junk food…
You can’t go too wrong at Nando’s as it’s mainly a chicken restaurant. Just be prudent with the sauces and sides and avoid the burgers and wraps. Try a Flame grilled chicken breast (don’t eat the skin if you are super healthy) or half a chicken with a Mediterranean Salad or mixed leaf salad. The chicken is a good source of protein that will help to build and repair muscle after the gym and the salad is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The lamb stew, free range chicken and the fish dishes will be best here. Just ask the waitress if the fish is coated in flour before it’s cooked. You might want to avoid it if it is. The pasta dishes might also be best avoided. Pasta and flour are made from wheat which in some people can cause problems such as bloating, gas and inflammation in the gut. Plus there is the extra carbohydrate in the pasta that you might want to avoid if you are trying to get super lean.
Sushi and sashimi can be quite a good choice as long as you are carb sensitive. The raw fish is rich in proteins and essential fats such as omega 3 which is important for eye, brain and nerve function. Try the beef and salmon tataki or tuna sashimi as well as the California rolls or hosomaki. Japanese foods are great for raw vegetables as well which will retain many of their nutrients. The ginger beef and coriander salad would also be good.
At Pret the best choices might be the sushi, salads or soups. They have made a good effort to provide products that are GM, wheat and dairy free which is quite good if you are health conscious and out and about during lunch time. Soups such as Broccoli and Italian cheese or Sag Aloo soup are good choices, they have a base of green vegetables that are important for liver detoxification. You might just want to add a tin of fish or a boiled egg from the super market to up the protein content. The super food salad would be a great base to add a tin of sardines to for a quick and healthy lunch – just hold the French dressing.
Quite a good choice for breakfast and lunch. You can choose porridge for breakfast. It is perhaps the best breakfast cereal that you can eat as it’s low GI and is not full of sugar like many of the branded cereals. Tyr the porridge with blueberries and seeds. The berries add taste and phytonutrients and the seeds add a little protein and healthy fats. The poached Scottish salmon salad, roasted chicken lunch box, or one of the rice boxes (made with brown rice) would fill you up.
Beyond these specific restaurant remember these basics…
- You are in control – ask the waitress to replace the chips with a salad, have the dressings and sauces on the sides and not to bring the bread. If they don’t accommodate you – don’t eat there again.
- Stay away from the wine, instead have sparkling water – just say you are driving…
- Don’t bow to peer pressure – you don’t have to eat a dessert.
- Make healthier choices – avoid pasta and pizza. Even in an Italian restaurant you can get nice meat, fish and vegetables.
Just ask yourself what is more important – this moment of culinary pleasure or not complaining that you are fat, bloated, depressed, tired etc…