Can you actually eat healthy in today's restaurants? Learn how to eat out, enjoy your meal and create vibrant health on the Body Ecology program!
Does it seem difficult to find a restaurant that serves healthy meals when you're ready for a night out on the town?
Do you fret eating out because you're certain it will ruin the healthy diet you've been following ... or do you eat out and later regret it because you didn't make healthy choices (or you didn't have any healthy choices to make)?
Well here's some good news -- you don't have to stay home to eat healthy meals.
In fact, you can follow our super-healthy Body Ecology program whether you choose to eat at home or in a restaurant...here's how!
Eating Out at a Restaurant: 6 Tips
- Be prepared. Any time you start a new practice, the key to success is planning ahead. After awhile, it becomes an easy part of your routine. On long or short trips alone, with friends or family, I now carry a few basic necessities in a travel pouch that fits inside my bag everywhere I go. This way I am ready for a healthy meal out anytime, anywhere.
Here is what I bring:
- Non-spill nalgene travel bottles filled with organic extra virgin olive oil or another favorite organic unrefined oil. Oils that do not have to be refrigerated like roasted pumpkinseed oil, MacNut Oil, pine nut oil work best for travel. Most restaurants use oils that are bleached, deodorized and refined. We call them "plastic" oils, and if you bring your own oil out to eat, your liver will be very thankful!
- Celtic sea salt- most restaurants have the poisonous white table salt, so carry your own small vial or a small shaker of Celtic sea salt to season your meal.
- Herbamare,a blend of herbs and sea salt, is another popular seasoning in our Body Ecology kitchens. A small vial of Herbamare helps you enliven anything you eat, especially vegetables and salads.
- Stevia - carrying Stevia is a great way to ensure that you can sweeten your beverages and foods on the go, anytime. Learn more about Stevia by reading: The One Supplement that Should Be in Everyone's Cooking Cupboard.
- Tea - I've noticed over the years that some restaurants only carry teas with caffeine or artificial flavorings, making it difficult to find a delicious hot or cold beverage out. I always carry our decaffeinated green and black tea concentrates in handy 2 ounce bottles. Learn more about the benefits of green and black tea by reading: Green Tea: The Greatest Benefits of This Ideal Drink.
Drink healthy hot or cold beverages with a touch of sweetness every time you are out!
Don't miss our Stevia, Green Tea and Black Tea Concentrate special.
- Recognize the mainstream for what it is. Once you've made a commitment to be healthy, you can't help but notice the unhealthy choices that make up our so-called "modern world" where our main focus is on convenience. We've moved far away from the traditional whole foods of yesteryear where foods were prepared with both love and respect for their ability to create energy and life.
Instead of getting frustrated, I invite you to accept what is while quietly going about changing things for the better inside yourself. Often, this brings a sense of peace, allowing you to stay true to your commitment with an open heart and mind. The world can be changed by each of us doing this...one person at a time.
You may notice, as I have, that little by little, more restaurants are already offering healthier meal choices on their menus. In fact, chefs are often in tune to a patron's desires. If you see that the restaurant uses extra virgin olive oil in their salad dressings, thank the chef and let him know you'll be telling all your friends about his restaurant.
I truly believe chefs have a mission to help the world heal right now. I am very proud of my two friends, Richard and Jim Thomas. Their restaurant, R. Thomas Deluxe Grill, in Atlanta, Georgia on 1812 Peachtree Street NW has amazing, properly combined Body Ecology meals. The food is prepared in coconut oil and organic unrefined oils are used in their salad dressings. It is still the only restaurant I know that offers organic quinoa and millet dishes. There are many vegetable selections (including ocean veggies) and cultured veggies are served with each meal. You can see a sample menu at http://www.rthomasdeluxegrill.com/dinner.htm
One of my greatest dreams is to see restaurants all over America offering real food, BED style, like this. I want to show people how great our food tastes and how fantastic they can look and feel.
- Know your options. One of the keys for surviving a night out on the town is to find a few favorite places with at least one healthy meal on the menu. Some restaurants are starting to offer more than just one or two healthy meal options. I've noticed that there are many restaurants offering salads with organic mixed baby greens. Do a little research and find out which restaurants offer organic vegetables, organic pasture-fed beef and poultry and wild fish. Most of all, find the ones that use real oils, like extra virgin olive oil and fats like butter and ghee.
Calling ahead is a great way to find out what's on the menu. It's not uncommon for patrons to have a food allergy so good restaurants expect to get inquiries by phone. Imagine how quickly we could change the restaurant industry if each of us began inquiring at our local restaurants about their oils.
- Review the menu. Take a look at the entire menu and start to narrow down your options. If you see something that's close, ask the wait staff if it can be prepared the way you want it. If I see something I want on the menu, I will ask to have it prepared in a way that will meet my needs. For example, I may ask if I can have my vegetables cooked in real butter or simply steamed (since I'll be adding my own healthy, unrefined oil and Celtic sea salt!).
Some of my most die-hard Body Ecology Diet friends will bring cultured vegetables or a small amount of cooked Body Ecology grain-like seeds in a cooler bag or in their purse so that they can add a little flavor to their meal. In this way, if there are no great choices on the menu, they can order salad greens or steamed vegetables and add the quinoa, millet, or cultured veggies to what they brought.
And, of course, there will be times when you simply have to make compromises, like eating meats, fish and vegetables that are not organic. The fish may contain mercury, the meat may have hormones and the veggies may have been sprayed with pesticides. The good news is that your days of eating and drinking probiotic foods will serve you well. Cultured vegetables and probiotic liquids are full of beneficial microflora that negate or eat these up. In these situations, acknowledge yourself for sticking to an excellent program at home. Then enjoy yourself! Happiness heals!
Eating well is not about being perfect all the time. It is about developing habits and making wise choices most of the time.
For a great refresher on foods to choose, read: The Quick & Easy Guide to Improving Your Health on The Body Ecology Program.
- Enjoy sweet tastes. Most restaurants offer desserts laced with sugar, flour and other ingredients sure to feed pathogenic yeast (candida).Yet, many of us want the sweet taste in our meal. I have learned over the years that sometimes, all we need to satisfy a sweet tooth is a cup of tea with stevia.
IMPORTANT SIDENOTE::The current practice of putting sugar into your stomach after eating any kind of an animal protein such as fish or chicken will cause immediate bloating in your stomach. If you must eat sugar, have it alone on an empty stomach and follow it with a probiotic food or liquid rich in microflora that will help consume that sugar.
Even better, you can bring some CocoBiotic in one of your nalgene bottles and ask for a glass of sparkling mineral water and lemon or lime. Add a few drops of stevia and you have a delicious beverage that is sweet AND stops your cravings for sugar. If you really want something special, ask for a champagne glass. Don't be surprised if your dinner companions want to sample your drink for themselves!
- Change your perspective. We've all heard that life is more enjoyable with a "glass is half full" perspective and the same is true for eating out. If you read the menu and feel deprived, you may end up sabotaging your good intentions. However, if you focus on enjoying your evening with your friends instead of the food you may find that you have a better time than ever when eating out.
In fact, many Body Ecology followers report that their dinner companions are intrigued by their properly combined meals and want to learn more. You can be sure that the next day your dinner companions will wish they had chosen as wisely. In the end, you'll probably notice that you feel less bloated and more energized.
If you find it challenging to change your perspective about your eating habits and when you go out to eat you throw all caution to the wind, you would likely benefit from overcoming the emotional issues you face. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a great way to clear limiting thought patterns, addictions and negative thinking. I highly recommend you learn more about EFT and consider trying it if you haven't already.
Creating Demand, One Meal at a Time
Nothing looks or feels better than vibrant health. With our busy lives, it's a given that we'll be eating out fairly regularly. Learning how to eat out while following your healthy Body Ecology program is a great way to stay committed to creating energy and vitality, even in a world that has forgotten the link between food and health.
The more of us who join together and choose healthy meals, one restaurant at a time, the more demand will be created for not just healthy options, but healthy restaurants!
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