Lunch dates…they are a pretty common thing, especially during the work-week when you may want to catch up with a girlfriend or colleague. However, so many of my clients always tell me that when they are trying to be healthy, they don’t eat out and abstain from hanging out with friends so they can keep on track.
Get this: there is absolutely NO reason to become anti-social when you are adopting healthy eating habits. If I can do it with my friend + ridiculously awesome food, music, + travel blogger; Ms. Kelly Rizzo (aka: Eat, Travel, Rock,) then you can eat out with just about whomever, wherever you want!
I love being able to dine with all sorts of people, anytime I want. It just takes some simple consideration and a determination to eat right while being a social butterfly! I managed to maintain my composure when Kelly ordered something that came with my biggest weakness: French fries (see below- doesn’t that fry look amazing?) And sometimes I have some fries, but this lunch was not my time to indulge. Yet, in the end, I did not miss them! Here is a glimpse into our meal + the main APL tips to eating out socially.
Where we ate:
BEATRIX – I am in love with this place because of its location, atmosphere, + menu choices. They also don’t have a bad playlist! Not only will it satiate your need for nutritious food, but can appease even the foodie’s palate. Thanks to full flavor profiles, normal-sized entrees, and farm-fresh ingredients, Beatrix is considered the APL rockstar choice of restaurant choices.
What I Ate:
I was desperate for the crispy kale salad, but I ran a crazy amount of mileage that morning and gone to my trainer at hardpressed, so I was hungry and needed fuel! I started with the amazingly fresh Yellow Tomato Gazpacho + followed it up with the Crispy Kale Salad with some grilled salmon, but without the Parmesan cheese. I ordered it how I wanted it, simple as that!
APL’s FAVORITE MENU ITEMS:
Although they have an entire menu of amazing items, I do have some faves:
- Simple “working” breakfast: Power Greens juice with Tomato + Avocado side dish
- Brunch + full breakfast: Quinoa Cakes w/ Poached Egg (no mayo)
- Lunch: yellow tomato gazpacho + Crispy Kale Salad (no cheese + you can add grilled salmon or chicken)
- Dinner: Pan-Roasted Sea Bass or 2 Grain & Arugula Salad w/ Miller’s Farm Chicken
I do have some simple rules:
1. Pick a smart place: put some thought into where…there are definitely healthier places to eat out. But, thinking about where your friend(s) might enjoy eating just as much where you want to go to be healthy, is a key strategy. Healthy does not just mean: salads, boring, unhip, simple restaurants. Having options for everyone you dine with is key; you don’t necessarily have to order the same things, right?!?
2. Think ahead: menu choices…restaurants nearly always have online menus, which are an amazing way to stay healthy by planning your order ahead and thinking a bit about the special instructions you may want to give to adjust your meal. It also ensures you have a plan that you will hopefully not deviate from.
3. Speak up: when ordering…yes, not everyone does this, which amazes me. With all of the dietary restrictions, food allergies, and more, restaurants are more open to changing meals to cater to your needs. Don’t hesitate to ask for it to be made (steamed vs sautéed, grilled vs fried, on the side, skip the potatoes + add more veggies, etc.) the way you want it to be made.
4. Pack it up…sometimes, most times, portions are HUGE. When in doubt, pack up 50% of your meal for another time.
5. Move it to lose it...I try to walk to my meals and then walk back home or to the office. Hoofing it a bit before and after can help you digest and burn some of your intake off.
In the end, my lunch was amazingly tasty, filling, + I had a BLAST. ood company doesn’t have to mean you don’t make smart choices.