Since I can't plan ahead because I don't necessarily know where I'm going, I have to be prepared to ask for what I want. Never be afraid to ask for something not on the menu. Unless it is a fast-food chain (which I try to avoid as much as possible, but if I can't I just order bottled water or coffee), there's really no reason that a restaurant shouldn't be able to accommodate your dietary needs. I have gone to a sit down pizzeria near my work with a client and saw virtually nothing I could eat on the menu. Everything was pizza or pasta. I saw the toppings they put on the pizza which included chicken, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini...etc. I asked the waiter if I could get a grilled chicken breast with a side of sauteed veggies and they were more than happy to accommodate me. You just have to ask. I ate with my client, and still stayed on plan!
One place I frequent regularly is the Mandarin. That is a Chinese buffet chain in Southern Ontario. Lots of really bad, high carb, deep fried food. But my clients LOVE it. The first time I went when I started my diet plan, I asked what kind of oil they use to cook with. It's canola...an oil I am allowed to use in my own day-to-day cooking. Although I can stay on plan when I go there, it is VERY high in sodium so I need to drink a ton of water during and after my meal. There are lots of food choices for me and I always leave feeling quite full. If you're following Phase 2 of the diet, there are even more options. I tend to follow Phase 1 when I eat out with clients even if I do eat Phase 2 regularly. It makes me feel better about eating out and not preparing the food on my own.
|My phase 1 friendly starter at the Mandarin.|
Shrimp, cucumber, mushrooms, hard boiled eggs.
The lemon is for my water.
|My main includes, grilled chicken, green beans, sauteed mushrooms, garlic broccoli|
and flank steak from the carvery. I usually go back for some seconds of the meat.
First I asked what the chicken was marinated in and was told that it was a lemon/olive oil/garlic/herb marinade. Something I could eat. The veggies were also grilled with olive oil and herbs. I asked them to hold the rice, tzaziki and garlic bread and changed the Greek salad to mixed greens with olive oil and vinegar. This is what my final meal looked like, minus the salad which they brought earlier.
It is tricks like this that have kept me on plan over the past 8 1/2 months. I don't exclude myself from social gatherings because of food, I plan for them. I have to live, and I have to eat like this for the rest of my life. Food is just fuel for my body and mind. It is no longer a recreational activity for me. We are all capable of making good choices. Ask yourself what is more important. Good health or a good binge. The health brings longevity, the binge brings nausea and guilt. I choose health!
The photo on the left was taken in Williamsburg, Virginia in July 2011, the photo on the right was taken on this past Sunday after the Weight Watchers Walk-it 5K.