Eating Out at Restaurants and Staying Healthy

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Eating Out at Restaurants and Staying Healthy, Eating Out at Restaurants and Staying Healthy, Dr. Nicolle

It’s Wellness Wednesdays! We’ll talk about eating out at restaurants and staying healthy. Restaurants are notorious for sneaking in unhealthy ingredients. Some people think that the only way to remain truly healthy is to avoid eating out at most restaurants altogether. Or perhaps you can only eat at restaurants that are geared solely towards maintaining health. This simply isn’t true!

 

The truth is that with a little research and smart thinking, you can enjoy most restaurants from fast food joints up to four-star establishments and still maintain a balanced diet.

Eating Out at Restaurants and Staying Healthy, Eating Out at Restaurants and Staying Healthy, Dr. Nicolle

Here are some important tips to keep in mind as you continue to enjoy eating out:

 

1. Look for the light menu. 

Every restaurant won’t have a light menu, but a growing number of chain restaurants are promoting light alternatives without much searching. You may even find light menus up on the fast food board. You’ll soon find that light doesn’t always mean you’ll be giving up flavor.

 

2. Take half your dinner home. 

Dinner is served in larger and larger portions all the time. Sometimes your meal won’t be unhealthy, but your portion size will be. To avoid overeating, you can simply ask your waiter to serve you half the meal and box up the other half for you to eat for lunch tomorrow.

 

3. Go grilled. 

One way to eat smart is to opt for grilled instead of fried items. Fried foods have gobs of additional calories and fat. Grilled chicken or fish make great choices because they’re lean proteins as well.

 

4. Avoid drinking extra calories. 

If you’re watching those calories, don’t forget to count the calories that you drink. Drinking soda products or alcoholic beverages while you’re out can add calories quite quickly.

  • Choose water as an alternative and then you’ll only need to worry about the calorie content of your meal.

5. Be salad smart. 

You can choose a salad as your main dish as a way to eat smart. You’ll probably find that there are bigger salads on the menu beyond the house or side salad. Many of them contain a bigger vegetable variety or meat such as chicken.

  • Ask them to serve your salad dressing on the side rather than on the salad. Then the amount of dressing you put on the salad is up to you. When it comes to dressing, a little bit can go a long way. Here’s a tip: avoid the creamy dressings. That’s the fatty stuff!

6. Appetizers can make the meal. 

If the restaurant serves tasty appetizers, you can order an appetizer as your main dish. If that’s not enough food, you might want to order two appetizers. Many times two appetizers will still be less food than a main course selection.

 

7. Choose healthy sauce. 

Be aware of how the sauce is made in the dish of your choosing. If you’re eating Italian, for example, choose an option with a tomato-based sauce. This will provide you with a bigger benefit than a cream based alternative. This is also the case when it comes to choosing your soups; avoid the cream based ones if possible.

 

8. Include fruits and veggies. 

You know that fruits and veggies are an important part of your diet at home, so you should continue to seek them out when you’re making your selections at a restaurant. Steamed vegetables can be a great side dish, and fruits can likely be ordered in place of a dessert item.

 

Keep in the mind the same healthy information you use when building your home meals while you’re out. Don’t be afraid to indulge yourself from time to time, but maintain an awareness of your eating habits and portions and you can’t go wrong.

I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your overall wellness. Click the button below to receive your gift.

 

Eating Out at Restaurants and Staying Healthy, Eating Out at Restaurants and Staying Healthy, Dr. Nicolle

 

I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.

 

I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.

 

Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?

For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.

 

If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.

 

But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.

 

Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.

 

Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.

 

So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.

MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle

 

These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.

 

For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).

 

Weight Monitoring

Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).

 

Physical Activity

Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.

 

I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.

 

Yoga

Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.

 

Resistance Training

Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.

 

Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.

 

Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Dr. Nicolle

 

PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.

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