6 Tips For Eating Clean At A Cafe / Restaurant

I am a sucker for eating out. Despite knowing that I could probably make majority of the food i’m ordering, and without half the processed sugars/fat—It’s just waay more enjoyable when sitting out a quaint cafe or restaurant. Not to mention the coffee. I can’t make a good coff to save myself, so that I can justify. The rest however, my money could (definitely) go to better use…

What I can proudly say however, is that all this wining & dining (or latte’ing & dining) has taught me how to be a bit more vigilant when ordering out. Because if I were to get the french toast with extra maple syrup on repeat, i’m not sure i’d still be fitting into my jeans.

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Puffed Buckwheat and Millet granola—Mmm.

I know i’m not alone on this one, as it’s something people repeatedly ask me. ‘How do you order ‘healthily’ when eating out?’ Or, ‘Don’t you wonder what’s actually in the food they’ve prepared?’. So after umming and ahhing over this for a little while; I came to a conclusion. It made me realise that people (not all—but some) are still viewing eating clean as a diet rather than a lifestyle. This is where the problem lies. You see when you start to adopt healthier patterns and stick to them, it simply becomes apart of who you are and you wouldn’t want it any other way. But if you continue to view ‘healthy eating’ as a quick fix, it’s only gonna go in the wrong direction. And to be honest, that wrong directly is probably right into the giant stack of candy floss pancakes you ‘weren’t meant’ to order.

When you adopt a holistic lifestyle, well for me at least, you naturally opt for cleaner menu choices. Don’t get me wrong, ordering the pancakes every so often is 100% fine, in fact i’d be worried if you didn’t! But what I mean is having the ability to not order the pancakes without the disappointment that you’re missing out. Or in fact, ordering the pancakes without the guilt that you should’ve ordered something else. If you can’t tell, I don’t rate diets. I truly believe the way to a healthier mind and body is a holistic one.

So with that in mind, I thought i’d give a few tips for ordering out with ease:

1. Simple is better. Yep the eggs bene on hash browns with bacon and hollandaise does sound pretty frickin good, but there’s just so much going on with it that you don’t know about. Instead, order eggs your way on toast, add some bacon / salmon, avocado and whatever else you’re vibing and build your own DIY breakfast. You’ll know exactly what you’ve eaten and it’s without all the loaded extras.

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Scrambled Eggs on Rye Bread with a side of avocado and wilted spinach.

2. Skip the fried food. There’s a reason everyone says this and it’s because your body just does not digest battered food well. It’s like leaving a loaded missile in your stomach with a detonate button…It ain’t good and it upsets the system. Plus it adds a lot more calories to your meal. It’s a tough one I know, because a burger and fries is one of the best combo’s on earth. It’s just not something you wanna be eating on the daily.

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But make an exception for kumara fries, always.

3. High protein, low carb. This is an easy rule to remember when heading out for lunch. Omelettes are great choices but the bread they often pop on the side is pretty unnecessary, we just eat it because it’s on the plate. So ask the waiter to hold the toast if your willpower isn’t your strongest point. Even if you’re super hungry, a salad can be made a whole lot more filling by adding extra protein. Perfect for after a workout.

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Spinach and Feta Omelette with Multigrain Toast. See what I mean about the extra toast?

4. Dressing on the side. Another cliche but again, it has purpose. Grabbing a salad is what a lot of people do when they’re trying to eat healthier. But of course a restaurant needs to spruce it up a little, and the way they often do this is through the dressing. Olive oil and lemon juice is my favourite combo for a dressing, but when eat out just ask to have it on the side so it doesn’t come drained in sauce. The same said with butter.

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Date and Orange Scone. Butter on the side.

5. Drinks matter too. This is hard when deconstructed iced chocolates are a thing, so you’ll often find me devouring a few too many of these. But when trying to eat clean, it’s so important to drink clean too. Trim milk over full-fat in your coffee is better, or opt for soy or almond which most cafe’s stock now. It’s also important to make sure there’s plenty of water on the table. Too often we think we’re hungry when we’re really just dehydrated.

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Chocolate Chia Breakfast Cup alongside a Green Juice. All about that balance.

6. Check the menu beforehand. Yep, people actually do this. Sometimes it’s just reassuring to know that there’s an option for you on the menu. Or if you’re incredibly indecisive like me, deciding beforehand will save your breakfast buddy the impatience. Especially when everything sounds so, damn, delicious. Which is more often than not.

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My favourite DIY breakfast. Scrambled Eggs on Gluten Free Toast with Avocado and Portobello Mushrooms.

I hope this helped.

With love,

Bella. X


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