When making a diet/lifestyle change there will be some difficult moments, nobody wants to be left out, but heading to a Restaurant or getting a takeaway may cause some stress. It doesn’t need to be especially in our modern day society.
There are so many healthy options to choose from, of course willpower will be needed but with a few little tweaks to your meal you can still enjoy yourself with out any issues.
A good rule to follow is the 80/20, so on your chosen evening use this as your “20” and with this in mind you can be relaxed and enjoy yourself . As long as you’ve been eating clean and training hard, one night out or takeaway meal at home -isn’t going to ruin your hard work. Besides, what I’m going to explain here is how to make the right choices so you don’t have to feel bad!
Before you go/order
-The first tip is pretty simple and that’s to preview the menu beforehand, that way you will know what’s available and if there are no healthy options then you can choose an alternative.
-If the choice has been made, ring ahead and see if changes can be made. Gluten free options are always good!
– Have a small snack-fruit/nuts etc beforehand- as this will stop you from overeating and also we can sometimes make the wrong decisions when we are really hungry.
Trying to decide:
– Finger Foods are a big “No-No”-They are usually deep-fried, breaded or include everything your trying to avoid!!
-Anything grilled/steamed/baked or broiled is usually a good start.
-Anything that comes with chips or bread on the side ask for a salad/vegetables instead.
-Don’t be afraid to ask questions- e.g As much as we all get excited when we see Sweet Potato on a menu, it can often be coated in flour so be sure to ask if this is the case, especially if you have allergies!
Now lets take a look at the options:
A lot of people rule out Indian food almost immediately- the first thing that comes to mind is heavy cream based sauces/naan bread/poppadoms etc. but Indian food can be a great choice, firstly avoid the naan bread and the rice, there is usually some vegetables sides that you can choose instead. Avoid Korma, Biryani,Tikka Masala type dishes and instead choose Tandoori, Saag, Rogan Josh or some healthier sides.
Traditionally Indian cooking uses Ghee but this may have changed in some cases, be sure to ask that Ghee is used instead of cheaper vegetable oil. Explain your diet requirements to the server and they can help point out what options are available, my local Indian has a Paleo menu so it makes the decisions a lot easier!!
For me Thai is the best option-Like Indian, Thai is a great choice as dishes are made from scratch and there are a lot of gluten free options available. Choose curry dishes and coconut milk based dishes, avoid the rice and choose stir fried vegetables instead, usually these can be cooked in soy sauce so depending on how strict you are you may want to avoid this.
If you want to have some noodles choose the rice/vermicelli noodles, definitely avoid the egg noodles. To add having a small bit of rice every now and again isn’t the worst thing in the world, so if you can tolerate it then go ahead and enjoy it but always pay attention to how your body feels when you have this.
This is where is will get a bit more difficult but don’t worry there is still some options available. Avoid bread & pasta dishes- if you wish to have pasta ask if there is a gluten free version available. Choose grilled or baked meat/fish with a salad. A good choice is an Antipasti-ask for extra meat & less cheese. If you making it at home why not swap pasta for courgette noodles?
The ones to avoid would be tempura or anything deep fried! Avoid sauces that say sweet before them, they will be high in sugar.Ask if there is any gluten free dipping sauces as the Soy may not be suitable for everyone.
The miso soup is made from legumes, so avoid if you are strict. The best option to go for would be Sashimi and look out for the options without rice. There are even some rolls without rice, just ask!!
If you’re OK with rice then you will have more options available. If you choosing a noodle dish got for the buckwheat soba noodles as they are gluten free.
Sad faces all round- There really isn’t a “healthy” option when it comes to pizza. The ingredients used are probably the lowest quality available, if you are really craving Pizza, then choose the gluten free option. If this isn’t an option then choose a salad with the dressing on the side. There are so many wonderful paleo/gluten free recipes available on-line so if you have a craving for a pizza- make one at home, invite some friends around and watch their surprised faces 🙂
No, No and No!! I’m sure in China there is some great food available but what we have here is just not good. It is loaded with MSG, Salt & Sugars, the meat is low quality and almost everything is breaded and fried. Make this one at home!
I hope this information helps you in future when choosing a Restaurant or Takeaway- We cant be strict 100% of the time so enjoy yourself aswell, if you eat something you wouldn’t normally eat then just get back on track the following day!
Now all that food talk must have you hungry!! Here’s an easy recipe for a take away style curry:
-2 chicken fillets sliced
-1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger
-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
-2 teaspoons garam masala
-2 teaspoons ground cumin
-2 teaspoons ground coriander
-1 teaspoon turmeric
-½ teaspoon sea salt
– 1 tablespoon black pepper
-2 tablespoons tomato puree
-1 fresh red chilli
-1 small bunch fresh coriander
– 2 tomatoes chopped
-1 onion finely chopped
-1 tablespoon greek yoghurt
-1 gluten free wrap
1. Peel the garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on a high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them, then remove the pan from the heat.
2. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind, mix all together until you get a paste,put back into the pan & add the chicken. When the chicken has been sealed add the onions and tomatoes-simmer for about 10-15mins.
3. Just before you turn the curry off, brush the GF wrap with oil, sprinkle with paprika and place in the oven for 5 mins or until golden.
4. Add the curry to a bowl, tablespoon of greek yoghurt on top and then add the fresh coriander to the top-serve with the wrap.
A recipe I previously made which felt like a cheat meal even though it was paleo: Chicken Dippers & Sweet Potato wedges.
You can check it out here.
Hope you enjoy!