Going out for dinner with friends or family, a work lunch or a romantic dinner date are wonderful social events that are deeply engraved in our culture. Unfortunately, it often doesn’t go hand in hand with our nutritional plan. In order to enjoy both worlds you need to have a firm strategy, and here are some of my guidelines to inspire you to develop your own:
Good planning- choose the restaurant carefully, check their menu ahead of time to see if it caters for you. Communicate your dietary preferences (like vegetarian, gluten free etc.) while making the reservation- very often the chef will be happy to make something special for you if you let them know ahead of time.
Don’t get there starving- have a large glass of vegetable juice, a cup of stock or miso soup or another healthy snack before you go out so you don’t find yourself munching on that bread basket.
Choose light- a salad or a soup as a starter, a small portion of fish or poultry with loads of vegetables. If portions are too big then order one dish or share with someone. Leave bread, pasta, potatoes and fries on the menu card, not your plate.
Go easy on the alcohol- virgin cocktails, lemon water or fresh juices will not leave you feeling deprived. If you go for wine with the meal, order by the glass so you don’t feel obliged to finish the whole bottle.
Skip dessert- go for a nice cup of herbal tea. Drinking coffee after a meal prevents the absorption of essential nutrients.