There are many tricks to navigating eating out while still eating healthy, and it is lightyears easier than it was when I first started. The first thing to remember is YOU CAN DO IT!
A tremendous amount of social anxiety around eating healthy is still prevalent today despite so many more people making strict dietary choices. The feeling that you’re the only one, you won’t have anything to eat, or you won’t have your guy nights, tennis luncheons, or family brunches! But, I am here to say No; you are certainly NOT the only one, and YES, you will have all those events. They are just going to look a bit different.
Start by going to Google Maps, search “gluten-free restaurants,” and it will populate everything in your area that has options you can have! Learn between the ones doing this right and the Waffle House claiming gluten-free but has gluten contamination in everything.
Most restaurants now actually have allergen-friendly menus. If not, they at least have allergen tags alerting you to what is in each menu item. Looking at the menu beforehand, suggesting specific restaurants, and knowing what you CAN eat are huge power plays. I greatly support knowing your order before even stopping at the door, especially at the beginning of this journey! Sometimes, I will even call during their slower hours, asking to speak to a manager to highlight items I can eat, getting an idea of what the kitchens can modify, add to or take out of their dishes! The best time to call is typically between 2 pm and 4 pm when staff/management is usually free and available to answer all your questions. Making your specifications clear to your server at the beginning of your meal is also a great way to ensure your requests are respected.
Another thing I have gotten in the habit of is to-go seasonings/ sauces. You can find a small Redmond’s Real Salt vial in my purse anytime. Salt is a crucial step in enjoying my foods, and those regular salts are full of pretend minerals and usually bleached to be the “perfect” salt color…. Yuck! Additionally, I carry on-the-go salad dressings. Tessamae is my favorite, but you also can make your own! Unfortunately, dressings are a way to hide gluten and GMOs. If you know where you’re going ahead of time, you can pack an appropriate dressing. And it doesn’t have to be for salad! You can use it for meats, potatoes, dips, or anything else!
Research shows the consequences can last for six months with wheat, so as much as it may be tempting, just one bite negates all your hard work. That’s six months of hormone disruption, six months of gut issues, and six months of mental fog or anger issues.
Sadly, another part of the healthy food journey is knowing what to do when you accidentally slip up. You must prepare to handle those not-so-fun moments when you’re not the one in the kitchen making everything 100%. If you’re clean eating and get sneak poisoned, there are a few ways to jump on the defense. Step one, don’t cheat on your routine. You may be tempted to sleep it off, but get out and walk or work out. The second step is going to be supplements and oils. Digize Vitality Essential Oil is my favorite oil to grab for all things tummy related. Just a drop under the tongue starts to calm the wrath. GI Absorb is the next one I grab to assist in pulling the toxins out of my gut. Then I ensure I eat lots of fermented foods and keep low sugar for the next few weeks. Lastly, I pay strict attention to my temper and moods. I know that wheat affects me in those two ways, so I make sure my filter and 30-second “think about what you’re going to say” rule is in place.
With these tips, you will find that eating out can become an easy, fun event that your clean eating doesn’t have to sacrifice. Who knows, you might even become friends with a few restaurant owners and influence what they can bring to the table!