Can You Really Survive at a Restaurant?

If you are anything like me and 90% of most people, we all have one thing in common: we are always on the go! I know myself, my busy lifestyle and my traveling schedule sometimes requires me to surrender to a whole lot of restaurant eating and finding healthy options outside my own refrigerator.

But sometimes this is easier said than done. I know you can relate.

Before I travel anywhere I always do a little bit of research and see if there is going to be some heatlhy food nearby. But what is this healthy girl supposed to do when there is no Whole Foods nearby and no kitchen in the hotel? This means I will have to surrender to restaurant eating the whole time. (Houston, we have a problem).

I love vacations just as much as you do, but when I end up coming home feeling bloated and fat instead of relaxed and refreshed, I don’t love it as much anymore.

Here is my plan of attack…

I do what I call “damage control”: Do the best I can, with what I’ve got and have an awesome time on my trip!

Prepare my “emergency kit”. I will pack and take with me: walnuts, almonds, almond butter, organic turkey and beef jerky, apples and pears. None of these need refrigeration, so they will keep well all weekend. If I’m in a situation where there is no protein handy (like when it’s time for a snack), I’ve got my nuts and jerky to tie me over. If you don’t have something handy, you just may find yourself grabbing pretzels and potato chips (or whatever other horrid food people eat while away).

Breakfast – There is always a protein on the menu, no matter what. Omelets, or smoked salmon are my favorite choices, but I’ve even gone to places that now carry turkey bacon and turkey sausage on the menu. Stay away from the heavy and deadly pancakes and waffles. This is a blood sugar disaster waiting to happen. Eating a sugar loaded breakfast like this will only set you up for hunger and cravings the rest of the day. And, just may ruin an otherwise great day.

Lunch and Dinner – I have said this before. Most of us know what is healthy on the menu, but we still continue to order the crappy stuff. Yes, I do believe in a treat and a cheat meal once or twice a week, but definitely not every night of your vacation. Some people eat and choose items off the menu like they are being sent to starvation camp when they get home. This is not an “all or nothing” deal. You’ve committed to eating healthy for a lifetime. Don’t worry. The food will always be there whether you eat it all at once or space it out over a lifetime.

Ok, back to my point. First, items on the menu that you know are drenched in heavy sauces are an instant No-No. Fettuccine Alfredo? Come on now. Are you serious? Can you get the steak, veggies and salad instead and be just as happy? Or, the Chicken Cacciatore with a side of broccoli rabe? (Yes, we’re at an Italian restaurant). Often times, our taste buds are really just as happy with  a healthier choice. No, this is not deprivation. This is choosing to feel good, be healthy and eat good food at the same time. Comprende?

Desserts – I love desserts too and I will definitely get myself a yummy piece of apple pie or chocolaty treat while I am away. If the piece of dessert is bigger than the size of my head, I will not eat the whole thing. There is no need. My taste buds are just as happy with a few bites (and my body is happier too). Remember, we’re not going to starvation camp after this. Trust me, there is enough apple pie, chocolate or (insert your favorite dessert here) to have a small amount at a time for the rest of your life.

The Trolls – The who? Yes, you know who the trolls are. Those people who tell you to “just eat what you want”, or “don’t torture yourself”. These people always seem to come out meizitang of hiding when dining with you at a restaurant. (They are also present at parties and family functions. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid). Don’t let anybody else tell you that taking care of yourself and feeling great is a bad thing. I don’t mean to talk bad about your family and friends, but chances are they are not too thrilled with their current weight and health and really just upset that you actually started to eat healthy and take control of your life.

Remember, there is no need to avoid restaurants and vacations (but please do avoid fast food joints). You just need to focus on the healthier options and have a great time!

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