Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 16 - Dining Out

It’s difficult enough cleansing on your regular schedule. And chances are many of you are curbing some of your social activities just to make things a little easier. But you can’t live your life in a controlled environment – the reality is you’re going to have to learn to eat mindfully in the real world. At first you’ll probably spend most of your time and energy sidestepping all the landmines out there, but once you get your balance you can skip through it gracefully and have a good time doing it. And that means you’ll be able to do it whenever you choose – not only while you’re cleansing.

The first thing to remember about any event is – it’s usually not about the food. Let’s say that again – it’s not about the food. Instead, it’s about the people you’re with – your mate, your friends, your family, your colleagues. So concentrate on the people around you – and because you’ll be alcohol free and less focused on food you’ll be able to concentrate on what your companions are saying; you’ll be more engaged. You might just have a better, more productive time than you would have had otherwise.

When you’re headed to a restaurant it’s fairly easy to check most menus online and devise an eating strategy long before you get there. That way you won’t have to agonize over the menu while everyone else is watching. If you can’t find the menu online, call ahead and ask about finding something that will accommodate your needs. Most restaurants are very amenable to working with you to provide you a delicious, cleanse-worthy alternative. And if your destination isn’t able to help you, just fix yourself a hearty protein smoothie before you head out for dinner. That way you won’t feel hungry or deprived when you’re forced to order a dinner salad with no dressing.

I know most of you have sophisticated palates and take your dining seriously. However, this article from The Healthy Voyager calls out some national restaurant chains that have great healthy items or alternatives on their menus. Even if you don't patronize these particular restaurants, this article might spark your imagination about how to navigate a challenging menu.

For events that feature a pre-planned menu, you’ll have to be a little more creative. But you can usually expect a salad, and vegetables with the entrée. If you can, have a smoothie beforehand; if not, drink water to curb your hunger and then work with what you have. But chances are you can ask for extra vegetables or an additional salad so you won’t go hungry.

No matter what the case, when you’re cleansing it’s good to have some nuts or gluten-free crackers in your purse, pocket or desk drawer. Come to think of it, it’s good even when you’re not cleansing – keeping healthy snack alternatives on hand can keep you from making choices you might regret later on.

Here's to a smooth Day 16!

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