By Be Well Health Coach Jackie Damboragian
When you start to change your eating choices and habits, eating out can be a point of confusion for many. We see this all the time with patients at the office—they want to stick to their food plan because they’re feeling great, but they also want to be able to enjoy eating out with others and not feel like they are sabotaging their hard efforts. While it is helpful to pick a restaurant you know serves high-quality food, it’s not always possible to steer the ship.
In general, we recommend focusing your plate on roasted or grilled fish or animal protein, healthy fats like olives and avocados, and vegetables. For those of you on the Be Well Cleanse, you’ll find our cleanse-friendly tips below.
Go for the fajitas (shrimp, chicken, or beef) with salsa and guacamole, but leave the tortillas alone. You can add rice and beans on the side.
Cleanse tip: Keep it simple and get a salad (you can always ask for a double salad if it’s too small) with grilled chicken or shrimp, topped with avocado.
Steer clear of any dishes with heavy sauces and spicy rolls; instead, opt for the simple sushi like a salmon avocado roll, yellowfin roll, or any basic roll of your choice. Choose tamari, which is a gluten-free soy sauce, if they offer it.
Cleanse tip: Since you’re avoiding grains on the cleanse, opt for naruto rolls, which are wrapped in cucumber instead of rice.
You want to be sure to skip anything cheesy, fried, or breaded. Choose dishes like roasted chicken and brussels sprouts, grilled fish and asparagus, and shrimp cocktail.
Cleanse tip: Choose any type of fish or animal protein you’d like, and pair it with vegetables and/or salad.
We certainly recommend avoiding the pasta and any fried options. Instead, opt for grilled or roasted fish or meat, a salad, and a side of sautéed vegetables such as spinach or broccoli rabe. I’ll often order an appetizer of mussels marinara and pair it with a salad and veggies to make a complete meal.
Cleanse tip: Get simply prepared grilled fish with a salad and sautéed vegetables.
I find it really helpful to scope out the menu before I get to a restaurant and decide on what may work best. It can really help to take any worry out of your dining experience. Oh, and if you’re feeling like dessert, go for fruit!