The phrase “clean eating” has taken on a life of its own. So as an Integrative Health Coach I use Clean Eating to refer to a diet that consists of lots of whole real foods as close to nature as possible. I’m talking veggies, fruits, whole
grains, certain animal protein, plant based protein, nuts, seeds and oils that don’t promote inflammation. Of course if you can dive deeper and go organic, non-GMO that’s even better. Clean Eating also implies that foods are not heavily processed, fried or sugary and that you avoid foods that cause health disturbances for you. Many people choose to omit dairy, gluten and alcohol from their diet all in the pursuit of health. My philosophy is to eat in alignment with where you feel your best (with many veggies along the way). That said, how do you maintain the choice you have made to “eat clean” while enjoying a meal out with friends? You want to enjoy your life, and healthy eating is not punishment. Rather, it’s a glorious celebration and tribute to the best you.
- Decide what you will eat before you even look at the menu, then scan until you find a selection close to what you want.
- Some restaurants will modify the menu choices to suit your needs. So ask for the grilled chicken without the barbecue sauce to avoid extra sugar
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want even if it’s not on the menu. Many restaurants are open to a little personalization to suit their clients.
- If your order comes with French fries ask for extra veggies on the side instead.
- Skip the corn. Most corn around is GMO and GMO typically means more toxins. It’s an easy elimination to up your gut health.
- Start every meal with a salad being mindful of what is going on top of the salad. A leafy green salad is best. Skip the feta and sugared nuts. Also watch out for salad dressing. I am amazed at how many places put sugar, honey, maple syrup in their salad dressing. Name it anything you want, it’s SUGAR. If sugar is not added you have to be wary of the oil quality. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the only way to go.
- Ask what’s actually in your food. If you are giving up gluten you need to ask what’s in the soup. If your chicken has a delicious mushroom sauce ask what was used to thicken it. Corn starch is acceptable, flour is not. Eat Clean While Dining out
- Most importantly ENJOY YOUR FOOD. Don’t do guilt. Remember better is better, so focus on better choices not perfection.
- Sparkling water saves me every time. Out with friends celebrating?
- Have your sparkling water in a champagne flute. Partying? Try a squeeze of lime in a rock glass with soda water and a skinn straw. With these “tricks” it will feel like you are having a cocktail, without the inflammation (or the hangover).
- Keep your grains whole. Choose brown over white rice. Quinoa is a fabulous choice. Not available? Chose a natural starch like sweet potato instead.