I have been asked some great questions this week- I chose these questions to answer publicly because so many of you will be eating out on holiday and may struggle with how to make healthy choices.
When you eat out, where do you go and what do you choose;
I grew up (and now live again) in Asia. When I moved to London for university when others reached for roast dinners for comfort food- I always went for Dim Sum or Thai/vietnamese food. It is still my food of choice when eating out.
When we eat have dim sum so I generally have a veg dish (choi sum/bak choi in garlic or the beans with pork) and a couple of meat dishes (like stir fried beef or chicken). We also love prawns and broccoli. I am grain free for now, to reduce some inflammation but we always have a couple of dumplings (shanghai, har gau, char sui so being our favourite) However I don’t miss them and feel a lot less tired and foggy after the meal without them. I have not been eating the rice or noodles anymore. However when I am only gluten free I love a pho with rice noodles.
I eat a lot of vietnamese and thai food without the rice- so we have lots of the pork lettuce rolls, sweet chilli squid, coconut based green/red/yellow curry’s without the rice and satay. We also love the pomelo and papaya salads.
If we have japanese food I will have miso, sashimi, I can rarely turn down a soft shell crab and mango roll! We also have asparagus rolled in pork at our favourite restaurant. I also love the curry sauce beef and noodle soup. The udon noodles have wheat flour so I generally leave them!
If we go to a pizza/pasta place I generally will have a steak or ribs. There is almost always a meat and veg option. I tend to also avoid potatoes and ask for some broccoli (most restaurants have broccoli!) However if I fancy something I generally have it- but I since I feel so crappy and tired after it I generally don’t fancy most of it anymore! I don’t find restaurant salads filling enough so I may order a side to go with it. However there are so many great places to eat nowadays that have yummy options for those looking to reduce refined carbohydrates (especially bread and pasta).
Lunches are normally salads- when I get a salad I want a good source of protein- normally smoked salmon, steak or chicken is available. Then I choose a nut/seed like pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds. A salad will also always have avocado in it. I also love beets, artichokes, pumpkin, broccoli and maybe a feta cheese. Dressing wise- lemon vinegarette is normally enough for me and I use these coconut oil sachets too to boost the oil content! This way if I get stuck I can normally find something to eat.
I am not celiac so these choices may not be suitable for those who are celiac- however I ensure that the days I eat out I compensate for with my other meals and I increase my kefir/kombucha consumption on these days. I realise there will most probably contain wheat in these meals- in the sauces and fillers- I make sure I enjoy whatever I choose as his is important for digestion and realise that giving myself a hard time or stressing about what to eat can actually cause more harm than good. I live by the mantra- I look after and am mindful about my food 80% of the time and for the remaining 20% can look after itself. Most days I eat 100% mindful.
Can you recommend some foods I can take with me on holiday? I find breakfast is the hardest to eat healthy when away.
There are certain things I always take with me. I always have a ziplock bag with chia in it. This can be sprinkled over fruit to help create a balanced meal. I also like to sprinkle this gelatine in the kids juice and over their fruit. This can minimise the sugar impact. Also great in tea or coffee. Although I always bring my own Tulsi and Rooibos tea bags. I also take some of my grain free granola in a bag for the kids. They generally have bircher muesli in most hotels but my kids (i really mean just my daughter) can be really particular about what she will eat in her muesli!
I normally have an omelette (see above- I love it with extra butter) or ask for fried or poached eggs (if you are worried that it is a reconstituted egg mix they are using for the omelettes this is a good option). I also always travel with my kefir grains (normally my water grains) as I can use them to ferment milk and water kefir. This way it is easy so I won’t worry too much about consuming dairy as normally the dairy substitute is soy (I would actually prefer milk over soy milk any day- heres why!).
To make the kefir I either buy some juice (normally pineapple or coconut water), or I bring coconut sugar in a ziplock (I also use the cane sugar in the hotel or place I am staying), and I have a mini tea strainer to strain the grains. It is so simple to continue to ferment whilst away (and it really helps with jet lag too).
I always dry fruit to take with use for the kids to snack on- it is normally easy to find fruit/nuts for them when away but it is always useful to have something in the room if you don’t want to go to breakfast straight away. Beef Jerky fills that hole really well too and travels really well since it is also fermented (I use Kefir in the marinade) I also make energy balls as they travel well. Popcorn is another great travel snack (here is our favourite flavour), However my favourite one are these individual coconut butter (here and here is a chocolate one), individual peanut butter or almond butter sachets which are perfect on their own or on some apple. Also if there really only is bread- at least these will add some much needed nutrition!!
I hope this helps and let me know your questions…