Choosing healthier options on the menu
Post-Cup Match blues anyone?!
Who doesnít love a four-day weekend? Itís so nice to have the extra days to unwind.
While Iím pretty sure that a four-day weekend would be a good long-term strategy for our mental health, it might not work the same for our financials ó although the restaurants would appreciate it.
Itís been wonderful seeing Bermuda bubble back to life in that respect. I was doing a little work down at Harryís earlier this week and it was great to have that reassuring chatter and hum in the background.
As people begin to venture out in the community more regularly, Iíve had a lot of questions come in about how to handle restaurants in a healthy way.
Many of us are dealing with a few extra Covid-19 pounds and itís hard to balance the resolve to tackle it, alongside meals (and drinks!) out. Itís especially hard when you havenít seen your friends or family for a while. It doesnít seem like the right occasion to start being ultra-strict. However, there are a few really simple tricks to making your restaurant experience a healthier one. Here we go!
1, Do it because you want to
Lots of you will know and love Reid Robinson who owns Spine&Sport chiropractic clinic (formerly Inside Out Wellness Centre). Something he said at a talk once really stuck with me: ďDonít give it up until you want to.Ē
He was basically saying that thereís little point forcing yourself to give up something unless youíre 100 per cent into it. Otherwise, it just wonít stick. Iím a big believer in this too.
During Nutrifit, my six-week optimum nutrition programme, the goal is to get people to make changes because they want to. That comes from really understanding the value of those changes and the health/body benefits on the other side. At that point, education turns into action. Then, once people start feeling better, it becomes self-perpetuating.
My point here is, donít make yourself miserable at a restaurant by going with the mindset that you ďcanít haveĒ any of the things you like. Youíll be depressed and thatís not healthy either. Instead go with the mindset that because you want a healthy body, youíre taking positive steps to choose healthier things. Do it because you want to!
2, Salads to start with!
Try and stay on track by picking a salad as a starter so you donít go too carb-heavy. Itís a great way to get lots of greens in. Plus chefs are being so much more creative these days.
3, Order extra veggies on the side
Generally speaking I would recommend that one quarter of your plate is protein, one quarter carbs and half would be green, non-starchy vegetables. Itís rare to find a restaurant that serves portions that way round, so pad out your order with some extra vegetables or a salad.
4, Consider your total carbs
If you have bread while you wait, pumpkin soup as a starter, potatoes with your main and then some kind of sweet dessert ó well thatís a quadruple dose of carbs right there! Skip the bread, have salad to start and then if you do want dessert, skip the carbs with your main (just pick protein and veggies). Then you can go ahead onto dessert without overdoing it. If youíre skipping dessert, then carbs with your main are fine.
5, Get it to go!
If youíre ordering extra veg on the side you really might not need everything else they give you. If protein/carb portions are large (especially likely when it comes to pasta/pizza dishes), then take some home! Try not to eat yourself into a Christmas Day-type coma as it doesnít feel amazing ó especially if you donít have Boxing Day to recover!
6, Easy on the drinks .
Sweet cocktails are heavy on the carbs (sugars), too. Try to pick cocktails which are lower in sugar. When drinking spirits, replace sugary soda or fruit juice with soda water or sparkling water. Wine is less sweet than most cocktails but itís still important to take it easy. If you can pick an organic wine (eg, Seresin wines) then that helps to reduce your pesticide exposure (one less thing for your liver to worry about). Make sure you drink plenty of water as well to stay hydrated. Dehydration will throw off your appetite. Many people keep eating because they think they are hungry but actually theyíre just thirsty!
ē Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram
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