“Eat out without freaking out”
by Madeleine Karlsson
I used to think that it was impossible to eat healthy when eating out, so I used to use it as an excuse to eat unhealthily. But these days I eat out nearly on a daily basis so here are a few of the tips I apply myself and share with my clients! Choose your restaurant wisely. Most restaurants offer healthy options but if in doubt, check out the menu online before you go.
Send back the bread basket. I used to love bread, and the only way I managed to get off it was to no longer have it in front of me. There´s nothing in bread that we need and eating it will fill you with empty calories; causing a surge in blood sugar levels leaving you craving for more. Order water and drink 1 or 2 cups before the meal arrives. This way you´re not confusing your thirst with hunger which reduces your chances of overeating. If you´re up for it, avoid alcohol, or try to stick with just one drink. Choose your favourite and savour every drop of it. Sip it slowly and make sure to alternate your sips of alcohol with water. Alcohol is dehydrating so drinking water is also a sure way to avoid a hangover! If you feel like a starter, opt for something vegetable based or with seafood like this calamari salad from Maya Bay (below left).
When choosing your main course, identify what protein you´re going to have first. Choose a lean source of protein as a main & order vegetables as a side (Sweet potato mash & Black cod pictured left), meat (preferably grass-fed), fish, seafood or a vegan source of protein like lentils, quinoa or chickpeas are all great choices.
Go for something that´s preferably grilled or steamed and avoid any foods that are deep-fried. Avoid anything with heavy sauces or ask for it to be put on the side so that you can choose to have a little of it. Alternatively, ask for olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper to flavour fish or opt for mustard if you choose meat.
Skip the starches and double up on the vegetables instead. So for example, if the fish you´ve chosen comes with rice or potatoes, ask them to be replaced with green beans, broccoli or whatever vegetable is in season. Aim to fill at least half your plate with a colourful range of seasonal vegetables. These are loaded with vitamins & antioxidants to keep you healthy & glowing.
If you can, skip dessert and opt for fresh mint tea. If you crave something sweet ask for some fresh berries or a scoop of sorbet. Berries are full of vitamins & antioxidants and low in sugar. Sorbet is a healthier version to ice cream as it contains some vitamins from the fruit, no dairy and often less sugar. My personal favourite is coconut sorbet with dark chocolate sauce. It´s probably not the as healthy as having berries, but it´s a good compromise and makes me feel like I´ve had something indulgent even though it´s not that bad at all.
Eat slowly, enjoy your company and stop when you´re gently satisfied, around 80% full. I´m not very good at this because I love food so much, but I always try to remember that this will not be my last meal and that it´s worth keeping room for the next one! Or for dessert! ☺
Stay tuned because next week I´ll be sharing my favourite places to eat healthy(ish) in Monaco!
I hope this inspires you to eat a little more healthy when eating out!
Inspiring international lifestyles based on the French Riviera