Balancing Eating Out With Cooking At Home

Relying on restaurants to provide basic sustenance is becoming entrenched in our American “on the go” way of life. In fact, according to the USDA, for the first time in history people are spending more money in restaurants and on takeout than eating at home. Considering that many of us live in food swamps—fast food restaurant dominant areas—eating out and still eating healthy can be a challenge. My clients often confess to straying from healthy eating plans when, for one reason or another, they find themselves eating the majority of their meals away from home.

People eat out often for various reasons. Perhaps, like me, you fit into one or two of the following categories:

Reasons for Eating Most Meals in Restaurants 

1. Travel a lot

2. Overly busy

3. Social life revolves around meeting up for meals

5. Addicted to fast food trifecta of fat, salt and sugar

6. Use eating out as an excuse to overeat

7. Don’t like their own or their mate’s cooking

8. Don’t know how to cook

Dining out is part of my social life. It provides a chance to connect with friends, try new foods, and NOT spend time planning, preparing, and cleaning up after meals. Although admittedly challenging, it is possible to dine out and eat well. 

Strategies to Avoid Overeating in Restaurants 

1.  Focus on protein and produce

2.  Limit or skip the bread basket and other refined carbs

3.  Ask for extra greens instead of fries

4.  Box up half the meal for the next day’s lunch

5.  Dine with company. Eating with others slows you down and makes meals more enjoyable.

6.  Choose healthier restaurants—check out these restaurants coming to your area soon:

Become Adept at Preparing Meals at Home

Studies suggest that people who prepare and eat most of their meals at home are usually healthier, happier, and slimmer. Blue Zone cultures, i.e., centenarian rich ones, attest to this. These experts at happiness and longevity spend time cultivating vegetable gardens, preparing the majority of their own meals, consuming most meals in company, and saving restaurants for special celebrations. Preparing your own meals puts you in charge of quantity and ingredients as opposed to being subjected to questionable fillers, added salt, hidden sugars, and even double fried food.

The following article provides information about how cooking at home is part of Blue Zone cultures:

Today farmer’s markets and grocery stores make preparing meals at home easier than ever. Instant Pots, bagged and cleaned greens, salad bars, pre-cut and skinned meat, all decrease prep time significantly. Still, for some of us, lack of confidence in the kitchen is the main stumbling block to becoming self sufficient in our nourishment. Need help learning how to prepare fast and healthy meals? 

Check out Yogalift’s online cooking classes with chef Jenny Breen.

Register for the Learn To Be Lean Cooking Series at Whole Foods Market Lake Calhoun with Chef Ani—coming in June 2018!   

Mondays June 4,11 & 18 6-8pm

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Phone: (612) 869-9315

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