Dining in Style

Paradoxically there is no greater pleasure/ challenge as dining out.

I absolutely LOVE eating out. 

The ambiance

The conversation

Not having to cook....

The problem with dining out is the limited control you have over your food. You can read the menu and ingredients lists and STILL get it wrong because in reality EVERYTHING (or at least 99% of things) cooked in restaurants are cooked in butter or oil.

It's not that foods can't be adapted.

THEY CAN

And I will teach you (promise!)

But I'm also here to tell you the truth and the truth is, if you really want to stick to your diet, eating out can be a pain in the hole!!

Usually, because I only go out once a week or so, I just wait and eat out on my cheat day.

Mainly this is because I want a cocktail anyways (have I mentioned that you can't drink everyday if you want a bikini body? Alcohol is DEFINITELY a cheat!) so combining a meal out with a cheat day is what works best for me.

What if I Just Order a Salad?

Well, it all depends on what is in a salad. Most restaurants like to dress them up with nuts, cheese and oil or cream based dressings.

Say you order an arugula salad with goat cheese, pecans and balsamic dressing.

1 oz goats cheese= 103 calories

10 pecans= 196 calories

2 tbsp balsamic dressing varies from 90-150 calories

A Caesar Salad is 481 calories

A mini pizza is only 358 calories

( https://www.nutritionix.com/ )

Now please understand

I AM NOT ADVOCATING PIZZA!!

But you can see how easily calories add up and why a salad is not automatically a lean option.

Things You Can Do.

If you plan to eat out and wish to minimize the damage you can

* Avoid Alcohol

* Avoid Sugary Drinks

(basically avoid all fun, sweet drinks and stick to water, vegetable juice, kombucha or herbal tea)

Sparkling Water with a bit of fruit juice to sweeten is OK (us bikini girls are wild!!)

*Dumb Down Salads.  When ordering salad, ask for any avocado, cheese, nuts, seeds, or olives to be removed.

Order with no dressing and flavor with a slice of lemon, soy sauce, hot sauce, mustard or other fat free sauce option.

* Steamed Vegetables are great as a side or can be ordered as a main at most restaurants. I often order steamed vegetable with brown rice (if available) and flavor with soy and sriracha

* Leave Out the Fats. Most meats and fishes are cooked in butter or oil. You can specifically request a restaurant not to cook with fat but there is no guarantee they will listen.

* Get Down with Sashimi. Can you believe that a California Roll is 349 cal??

This is one of the most basic rolls!! 

Despite their good reputation, most sushi with its tempura, avocado, white rice and cream sauce is NOT part of a lean diet.

(Eat the Fish, Leave the Rice)

 

Enter Sashimi

(bite sized pieces of raw fish). On it's own, fish is a great source of lean protein so eat away!

* Soups in a vegetable or miso broth can work. Just be sure to ask if any butter or oil is added and trust your tongue! After following a low fat lifestyle for a time, I can now taste if oil has been added.

Needless to Say

NO CREAM/ COCONUT BASES!

* Sometimes if I want just a minor cheat (please don't over do this, it's still a cheat!) I will order a fish taco on corn tortilla, no guac, no cheese, no cream sauce and nothing breaded or deep fried!

I do this because over all a good quality fish taco is light, fresh, interesting and full of veg.

Steamed shrimp and veg is another option.

Neither are a pre competition food, but they are, WAY more fun then a bowl of lettuce!!!

Given the choice I love going to hippie/ vegan/ raw places because their salads, and use of veg over all, is much more widely varied which equals more choices for me!

I simply find the leanest thing I can and ask them to leave out the nuts or avocado (whatever is adding fat to the dish)

Make no mistake, if you are not on a cheat, you will be asking for adaptations to most dishes (and still end up compromising).

I know this can be awkward if dining out with other people but, in my experience, if I don't make a big deal of it then neither will they!

As Always 

Feel free to post any questions or comments.

I'm here to help!

And, if this whole Lean Lifestyle is starting to feel too hard to be worth it, 

THINK AGAIN!

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