Dr. G's EATING HEALTHY WHILE EATING OUT
Eating at restaurants, parties, or events can be part of the 90 per- cent or the 10 percent, depending on the choice of food or establishment. The best options are typically those that serve healthy organic options, farm-to-table, or local cuisine. If you’re a less adventurous eater, good health can be an excellent motivator for experimenting with and learning the experience of cultures and cuisine as well as celebrating with friends and family in a new way.
Harm Reduction Techniques for Eating Out:
Restaurants, airports, office cafeterias, and house parties aren’t always a mecca of good nutrition. Fortunately, there are ways to limit their negative impact. Try these guidelines:
- LOOK FOR RESTAURANTS THAT OFFER VEGETARIAN, OR LOCALLY GROWN INGREDIENTS, OR CHOOSE FAMILY-RUN ETHNIC SPOTS.
- IF ORGANIC ISN’T ON THE MENU, ORDER ENTREES MADE WITH LAMB, WILD-CAUGHT FISH, GOAT OR SHEEP DAIRY, OR VEGETABLES.
- LIMIT YOURSELF TO 1 CUP OF COOKED RICE, NO MATTER WHAT TYPE OF FARE OR RESTAURANT.
- FOR REDUCED OR NO GLUTEN, LOOK FOR THAI, VIETNAMESE, CHINESE, INDIAN, MEXICAN/SOUTH AMERICAN, OR MIDDLE EASTERN (LIMIT THE BREAD) MEALS.
- CHOOSE HEALTHIER FAST-FOOD OPTIONS, SUCH
AS VEGETABLE BURRITOS, FISH TACOS, MUSHROOM QUESADILLAS, FALAFEL SANDWICHES/PLATTERS, LAMB GYROS, SHISH KEBABS, WRAPS, SOUPS, YOGURT WITH TOPPINGS, OR SALADS WITH VEGETABLES AND PROTEIN.
- AT ASIAN ESTABLISHMENTS, ASK FOR NO MSG, AVOID FRIED ITEMS, AND GET DISHES LOADED WITH VEGGIES (TEMPURA DOESN’T COUNT!).
- AT THE MEXICAN CANTINA, SWITCH FROM REFRIED TO BLACK BEANS, AVOID SOUR CREAM, CHOOSE FISH OVER CHICKEN OR BEEF, ADD VEGGIES TO BURRITOS AND TACOS, AND PASS ON THE CORN CHIPS OR HAVE ONLY A FEW (I KNOW, YEAH RIGHT!) UNLESS THEY’RE BLUE CORN.
- IN ITALIAN PLACES, START WITH THE VEGETABLE ANTIPASTI, GO GLUTEN-FREE WITH RISOTTO OR ENTREES WITH VEGGIES AND MEAT OR FISH, OR CHOOSE LOW-GLUTEN ITEMS LIKE GNOCCHI OR EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA.
- AT BURGER JOINTS, SKIP THE BUN (OR USE LETTUCE, A TORTILLA, OR PITA INSTEAD), BAG THE FRIES FOR A SALAD,
AND CHOOSE ORGANIC MEATS OR WILD GAME IF POSSIBLE.
- OPT FOR MY FAVORITE ONE BITE WONDER—SUSHI. It’s perfect for detox and post-detox diets because: (1) ginger stimulates digestive enzymes; (2) rice protects the GALT; (3) seaweed pulls out mercury; (4) wasabi kills parasites; and (5) wild fish contains omega-3s and protein. Don’t forget to chase your sushi roll with a cup of green tea for an antioxidant boost.
- WHEN EATING GREEK, TURKISH, OR LEBANESE, LOAD UP ON HEALTHY APPETIZERS—THINK OLIVES, OLIVE OIL, HUMMUS, FALAFEL, BABA GHANOUSH, YOGURT DIPS, VEGETABLES STUFFED WITH NUTS OR RICE, WILD FISH, OR SALADS LIKE TABOULI, FATTOUSH, OR GREEK.
- SWITCH SODA FOR COCONUT WATER, GLASS-BOTTLED ICED TEA OR WATER, SPRITZERS WITH SODA WATER AND JUICE, OR FRUIT JUICES DILUTED IN WATER AT A 1:3 RATIO.
- CHOOSE BIODYNAMIC OR ORGANIC WINES TO AVOID THE PESTICIDES. Or have Italian, Spanish, or French wines, which are usually lower in pesticides, if organic is not an option.
- IF IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO NIX THE BREADBASKET, EAT THE YUMMY CRUST ONLY, AND WITH A LITTLE OLIVE OIL.