Eating out and eating healthy are not mutually exclusive. It’s totally possible to eat healthy when dining out or at a restaurant — yes, it may take some effort (depending on the restaurant), but it doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s usually as simple as kindly asking for a modification like swapping the feta for avocado, replacing the side of fries with a small salad, or asking for an off menu item like a grilled veggie platter. To be honest, we both prefer home cooked eats over restaurant options (we make plants taste really f-ing good), but if you are going out there is no need to stress about what to order! Most restaurants are extremely accommodating. If you’re trying to eat healthy but aren’t sure exactly how to do so when you’re not the one cooking, you’re going to l o v e this — our top 5 tips on dining out, navigating menus & choosing healthy options that are totally delicious.
HOW TO EAT HEALTHY AT A RESTAURANT: 5 TIPS ON DINING OUT, NAVIGATING MENUS & CHOOSING HEALTHY OPTIONS THAT ARE TOTALLY DELICIOUS
1. Check out the menu beforehand.
Always take a look at the menu beforehand, this way you can scope out options that appeal to you making ordering your dinner completely stress-free. If you’d like to you can even call ahead if there isn’t anything on the menu that appeals to you. Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate your needs.
2. Speak up for yourself.
Like we said, most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate your needs so please don’t be afraid to ask your server questions. We know you don’t want to been seen as a ‘difficult’ eater (neither do we), but it’s totally OK to ask questions to ensure that you get a dish you enjoy (you’re paying for it after all!). Eating in alignment with your values does not make you a ‘difficult’ eater, nor should it keep you from enjoying the experience of dining out. Therefore, please don’t be afraid to kindly and politely ask for what you want.
3. Get creative.
If a single dish doesn’t stand out to you, get creative! Order an app as a main meal, order two or three sides, swap the creamy alfredo sauce for a plant-based marinara. One of my favorite dishes ever was pasta primavera sans pasta on a bed of fresh greens. Was that on the menu? No.. but with a little help from my server and some creative thinking, I was able to build a dish I loved.
4. Be mindful of cooking methods.
The way a dish is prepared is just as important as the dish itself — so ask your sever! Steamed veggies are much better for you than deep fried veggies dripping in oil.
5. Dressing on the side.
Although we think veggies and greens are loaded with flavor, most restaurants like to add their own, and when they do they add A LOT. Some of the best and healthiest meals (i.e. salad), can become quite unhealthy by getting drowned in dressing. A quick way to avoid this altogether is to simply ask for the dressing on the side, or skip it altogether and go for an ‘underdressed’ salad topped with avocado or sub oil and vinegar.
6. Lose the guilt!
If you do order something that you don’t typically eat — enjoy it. Because what’s way worse than the occasional indulgence? Stressing out over it.
We want to know, do you find it difficult to dine out & eat healthy? Let us know by leaving a comment in the space provided below (we read and respond to every single one of them!).
For more tips on mindful nourishment, spirited nutrition & enlightened eating, check out our online cleanse course, Nourished By Nature (it includes everything you need to know to ditch the dieting & look hot!).
Erika & Jess
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