So this is an area that I’ve struggled with immensely. How to eat clean when you go out to eat? Its so much easier to cave in and get those fries (and believe me sometimes I do!) and sometimes thats fine. But on a general basis, how do you stay feeling healthy and clean when you’re going out to eat, especially if multiple times in a row, such as when you’re on a trip? Heres what I’ve discovered.
SALADS. Yes, that’s kinda a given. Almost any restaurant anywhere will have at least SOME type of salad on their menu. But that can get old.. just eating salads. So here’s my little tip. Go for a different type of salad with ingredients you might not normally use at home! It will spice things up and make eating out exciting again. The other night John and I went on a date to FlatIron in Davidson, and there weren’t very many options for me as a vegetarian. So this is what I got:
Its an Asian themed salad! Sesame seeds, the little crunchy strips, carrots, cucumbers and a delicious soy ginger sauce all over a bed of spinach. So simply and healthy but so fun and absolutely delicious. This is not a salad I would make every day at home so it still felt like a treat meal, and I felt so good and clean afterwards!
If you are like me and like sushi, that is a GREAT clean eating option when you go out. Obviously you’re gonna have to go to an Asian restaurant for this and not every restaurant will serve sushi, but this is a really delicious break from salads for eating out.
Another thing I’ve discovered is a lot of restaurants have soup! Not necessarily the first pick at a restaurant but they can be really delicious and healthy! You have to be careful here as a lot of soups are cream based and that’s gonna be a lot of fat and dairy and will not leave you feeling clean at all. Look for the veggie soups with broth bases.. you can always ask your server which soups are not cream based. These types of soups are not always the most filling, so its a great idea to pair this with a half salad maybe a side of veggies or rice pilaf or something so you aren’t sitting there feeling very empty.
If you’re like me, you love your lattes and cappuccinos. But both of those have milk which isn’t really a beauty food. You can skip the coffee altogether when going out with a friend and have a cup of tea instead, or when you really need that coffee, a lot of coffee shops have the option of soy milk and some really cool ones have the option of almond milk instead. The taste and texture are different than dairy, but it’s easy to get used to.. and I’ve learned to almost prefer it. Often the soy is flavored vanilla which adds a really fun twist to a chai latte or even your coffee.
One of my favorite ways to eat clean when eating out is to order a smoothie! Not a lot of places offer good real fruit smoothies, but a lot of breakfast places, cafes and coffee shops do. It’s a great breakfast and so much better for you than most breakfast dining options with eggs and cheese and lots of white flours. Be careful when ordering smoothies though as a lot of them aren’t much better than a milkshake! Make sure they use real fruit or at least real fruit concentrate vs fruit flavoring, and that they use juice and yogurt vs milk. I love smoothies and normally have 1-2 a day. They’re also pretty filling so its a great breakfast when you’re out!
Just keep your eye out on the menu for healthy alternatives. One of our local Italian restaurants has a whole wheat option on their pasta. Lots of restaurants have lighter options and some will even have special sections in the menu where the food is lower fat, no dairy, etc. Depending where you live you might even be able to find healthy restaurants in your area which are so much fun and you can order anything off the menu! I LOVE restaurants like this, as I mentioned a few posts back that I have a digestive illness, and often “splurging” on a treat meal isn’t even a choice for me as I react pretty strongly to most dining options.
Let’s face it though, sometimes you are at a restaurant that maybe your friend picked and there really isn’t anything on the menu that is super good for you. The way I’ve learned to handle this is one of two ways. Just enjoy it as a treat meal and don’t let it bother you, or eat just a little bit of something and then fill up at home on some clean food.
So what about you guys? Do you have any tips or tricks for eating clean when eating out? Please share them in the comments!
Peace and Love,