Tips for Staying Healthy When Dining Out

August 24, 2016 by Johanna "Jo-Jo" Stefano, M.S.


Dining out can be one of the biggest challenges when changing your diet. The good news is that you do not need to sacrifice your social life to gain superior health!  We want to share with you some simple tips to keep dining out pleasant and stress free.

First off, remember that no one is paying as close attention to you as you might think. You might feel very intimidated when ordering your special request, and fear that others are listening and judging. You might feel that everyone is staring at your plate and questioning your choice of that BIG, luscious and colorful salad. But in reality, think about it, are YOU paying that close of attention to what the person next to you or across the table from you ordered? NO! So trust us, they aren’t that uber-focused on your choice either.

Try to get your “party” to agree on a restaurant before-hand so you have plenty of time to prepare. This will give you the ability to view their menu online prior to arriving. Take the time to look over the menu and find an option that meets your needs. This eliminates feeling overwhelmed and rushed at the restaurant. If you don’t see anything that quite fits the bill, GET CREATIVE! Do you see a dish that contains mushrooms? How about broccoli? And what about peppers, tomatoes, onions, or Brussel sprouts? If it’s on the menu, then they have it in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter to use his/her creativity to steam up a variety of vegetables and beans, without oil or salt and create you a delectable Nutritarian dish. Most will really appreciate the challenge!  Often vegetable side dishes are available and you can also ask for a few on one plate.

One of the hardest things for people to bypass at a restaurant is the bread basket. See if the group that you are with will agree to not have the basket brought to the table. If it is decided to have the bread and white bread is delivered, draw the line in the sand; white bread is unacceptable. 

Never arrive at the restaurant starving! This is when it becomes really hard not to want bread at your table. Arrive with a little something in your tummy. Have some fruit, raw veggies and hummus, something to hold you over so you are not ravenous upon arrival, while looking at the menu, or while you wait.

Always ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side. Just dip the tip of your fork into the sauce or dressing before each bite. This will give you plenty of flavor without overdoing any salt, oil and sugar that’s probably in it. Better yet, if you know you’re going to order a salad, plan ahead and bring your own Nutritarian dressing – or ask for some balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice.

Create your own little business card that you can hand to your server to pass off to the chef. On it, list your restrictions such as oil, salt, fried foods, cheese, white pastas etc. Also list your preferred foods, such as any raw or steamed vegetables, whole wheat pasta, beans, nuts/seeds etc. On the card, as mentioned before, invite the chef to use his expertise to create something that suits your needs.

BEWARE of food bullies! Some people may question your eating style and try to make you feel intimidated about your choice to improve your health. What it comes down to is it is none of their business. This is a choice that YOU have made, and no one has any right to question your path towards a healthy future. Be positive about your journey! If someone starts to bully you about it, end the conversation by suggesting they read one of Dr. Fuhrman’s books if they want to learn more. You do not have to teach or be made to feel uncomfortable. 

Keep yourself educated about the facts surrounding a Nutritarian diet. You don’t have to know every detail and every big word and every scientific study in order to understand why eating like a Nutritarian is the healthiest option for all people looking to maximize their health and longevity. Know the basics—where do you get your protein? Why should we limit animal products? What are G-BOMBS and why should we incorporate them into our diet every day? This way, if people are truly interested you can speak about it and feel confident in doing so. If people start to get too pushy and overbearing this is when you can politely veer them off topic, tell them how they can learn more if interested, and place the focus on something else.

Best of luck to you! This is one area that gets easier and easier with practice! You will begin to learn which restaurants are most accommodating and those will be the ones you will lean towards. However, there will be plenty of occasions where people want to go other places, and overtime you will feel plenty prepared to eat on course while still enjoying a meal out with friends/family. ENJOY!

 

Johanna “Jo-Jo” Stefano, M.S. is a Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and has completed Dr. Fuhrman’s advanced coursework in Nutritarian studies. Jo-Jo is highly trained in Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian approach making her well equipped to help you adopt this program into your current lifestyle. Jo-Jo's goal is to empower her clients to transform their relationship with food, their body, and their health. She guides and assists clients in attaining sustainable weight loss, reducing food cravings, increasing energy and managing stress. As a wife and working mother of two young children, Jo-Jo understands the challenges of developing and maintaining a healthful and balanced lifestyle and is committed to help you overcome the obstacles in your path.

 

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nancylepak

08/27/2016 01:34 PM

I am so much happier since I have been eating Nutratarian . My husband and I started in January. We are even able to go out and eat now. I loved your comments about how to order. I am finding that it's not as hard to eat out as I anticipated it might be. I only wish I had started this lifestyle when my children were all babies. Now I wish I could get all of them eating this way as adults.

H_Skov

01/03/2017 03:19 PM

For breakfast my go-to item on the menu now is poached eggs.  No worries about the fried oils etc. and  it is easy (and delicious) to add vegetables.  I always have a few home-made seedy-crackers in my bag should I get tempted to order any kind of bread.

BMNelson replies:

02/13/2019 09:35 PM

I don’t think eggs are good for you per Dr Fuhrman.

Lilic

01/05/2017 12:25 AM

Thank you for this great tips!!

I'll keep them in mine when dining out!! ;-)

JudyPokras

05/25/2017 01:30 PM

Good tips. But whoever is editing these posts, please note that women are chefs too. You need to change the following from "invite the chef to use his expertise" to "invite the chef to use his OR HER expertise." (I am the author of The Little Book of Raw Vegan Holiday Recipes.)

This comment was last edited on 05/25/2017 01:30 PM