As the holiday season approaches most of us will start to relax and seek opportunities to "turn off" from the pace of life.
Usually that involves "eating out" and/or NOT preparing your own food as much
For me "eating out" means :-
NOT eating optimum healthy food
NOT being overly active
NOT drinking water
NOT breathing fresh air
Because I eat mostly vegetables ,pulses, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole food gluten free "ffours", etc when I go out to eat I get a little disappointed that I have to PAUSE my priority to eat healthily.
Sure, I could order a salad for a main and a fruit platter for desert but I have an issue with paying large amounts for the same salads I prepare for myslelf ( with much less flavour) PLUS I am left feeling hungry after PLUS I am sure it makes others feel uncomfortable when I exercise super woman discipline and order the healthiest option PLUS very few places really do provide very healthy options. P.S. I know too much about really GOOD quality food so "soft white sourdough bread doesn't fool me). I am startig to sound bad now I know - just being honest- too much knowledge can make one quite a bore!
So...WHAT DO I NOW DO?
Because I am eating really super healthy 95% of the time , the occasional meal out won't overly disturb my goal to use food choices to support healthy ageing. ( Unless I am eating out every week!) Therefore, on the occasional days I eat out I might do a morning fast or do a detox day the following day etc. Fasting can undo so many of the indulgences.
Because I feel really lazy/ tired/ wornout / too relaxed / food coma after an indulgent meal and socialising I don't want to exercise that day. In anticipation of this I will exercise before I go or increase my exercise on other days that week.
In the past some great advice given to me, that I used to follow often , was to eat a huge green salad before going out so you get your nutrients and you are not too hungry. Then it's easier to choose a smaller/ healthier meal which won't leave you in a food coma. This served me REALLY well when I was on the journey to optimise my health. Now that I am experiencing optimum health I am a little more lenient on special occasions.
When I was "stricter" with myself (as I was working really hard on reaching optimal health) I used to do very "naughty" things. I used to fill my bag with things like activated nuts , tamari toasted seeds , lovely raw salad dressings and other salad top up items . Then I would order the healthiest salad on the menu ( BIG size) and when the waiter left I would open my bag and top up the salad to make it bigger and more amazing! I did this for a few years. Eventually I had to bring toppings for my friend too! I also used bring my own veggie juice or home made kombucha and pour it into a wine glass. I know people who are fighting illness using food choices as part of the solution, who could really consider taking up this option . Take care though you have to be startegic as restaurants won't like it. Once while doing a liver detox I took the whole detox salad with me and ordered an empty plate. I got away with it.
The healthiest option in any restaurant is rarely healthy enough for me. Those of you who have come to my retreats or cooking classes will understand why. Therefore, I choose to eat out as little as possible as I really am certain that the food I choose to eat regularly will definittely impact on how well I age and how i feel long term.
Let me encourage you to examine your lifestyle options closely if optimum healthy ageing is one of your top goals.
By Gigi Neophytou
BA (psych),DipEd, Dip. Professional Counselling,
Certified Yoga Teacher, Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coach,
Cert. in Nutrition and a life long exprience in using food and
lifestyle as preventative medicine.