Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 6 - Dining Out

Yesterday Maggie had an interesting post about dining out and because it's such a large part of most of our lives it's worth discussing at greater length.

Cleansing is difficult enough 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 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. 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. And you might even 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 the menu online and devise an eating strategy long before you arrive. 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. Be sure to check into side dish options - many restaurants offer baked or sweet potatoes - if you can score a side of salsa you'll have a delicious, satisfying main course. Steamed and grilled veggies are a mainstay in most restaurants - pair them with the potato and you've got a tasty, nutritional meal.

If you're not sure of what you're in for and just want to cover your bases, fix yourself a hearty protein smoothie before you head out - that way you won’t feel hungry or deprived when you’re forced to order a dinner salad with no dressing.

I realize that 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. And 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 sunny Day 6!


  1. Hey Ivy,

    I appreciate the tips on dining out. after my experience on Friday, I will follow your advice!
    I had another 9 hours of sleep last night...this is getting crazy! It will be great on the day I wake up alert and fresh! I am grateful I was able to sleep in, though.

    Happy cleansing everyone!

  2. Hi, Maggie! I have a feeling tomorrow might be your day! Love your updates - keep 'em coming!

  3. Hello All, I had two challenges over the weekend. Friday night I went to a fashion event with a group of friends and could not get into the mood without partaking of one vodka. And, Sunday I was tooling around Chicago and just had to stop at Starbuck's. I forced myself to order a decaf w/soy milk. It tasted so bitter and thick that I took two gulps and threw it out.
    And, is anyone else having a change of bowel activity--can I put the subject of poop in any other way!?

  4. Hi, Suzie -

    I'd like to hear more about having that vodka. I know that, for me, the hardest thing to deal with in those situations is the perceived social pressure - that if I don't have a drink it will create an swkward moment for those around me. Or that I won't be as "fun" as usual. If you're up for it, can you share a little bit about what went through your mind as you decided to have that vodka? Obviously this isn't an AA meeting, but I'm so interested to learn the series of events/thoughts that led you to having a cocktail.

    And at least you went with decaf and soy at Starbuck's! Funny - I've gotten to the point where a decaf soy latte tastes so good to me that it's a special treat!

    And let's talk POOP! How's it...going?!!! Are you taking psyllium? How often? Let's start there but you can tell us anything you want.

    I'll break the ice - I don't usually take psyllium every day but decided to give myself a jumpstart during this cleanse. I've been taking it every single day and this weekend I couldn't be too far away from a bathroom - seemed like every two or three hours something would happen. I remember that happening the first time I cleansed as well. It's nothing to worry about - in fact, I think it's a good thing to clear the path, so to speak. It's just a little inconvenient while the things are getting cleaned out.

    Anyone wanna talk color and consistency? It's like diamonds - only with two C's!