Do you always know what’s in your food when you eat out? Does the menu really tell you all the ingredients within your food? The obvious answer here is NOPE!
I always love eating out and am huge on Yelping for new places to eat. First off, whenever I eat out I always ask for a glass of water with NO ice. I’ve noticed that drinking room temperature (or cold) water compared to ice water significantly helps me with my digestion. When it comes to ordering food, I have to be careful about reading ALL the ingredients. Not only that, but I also have to ask the server (or chef) about details as to what is listed in the menu. For example: does the dressing have dairy? Sugar? Is there a gluten-free option for that? Although it can seem annoying, it’s important to ask these questions in order to avoid hidden sources of dairy, sugar, and gluten in your food.
However, I must say that you don’t ALWAYS have to be so picky. There’s a point where I draw the line and decide to give in to my eating habits for the sake of everyone else. I have had instances in the past where I will ask for no cheese and they might forget. If it’s not a significant amount, I will go ahead and eat it while trying to push as much of it as I can to the side. Another time I asked for no dried cranberries (HIDDEN SOURCE OF REFINED SUGAR) and due to a miscommunication between the server and the chef they put dried cranberries on my pizza. I didn’t want to make everyone wait for me to order another pizza! So I just picked them off as much as I could and ate the pizza.
It can be surprising to find things like dairy, refined sugar, and gluten in places you’d never expect. I’m a huge fan of Pressed Juicery, as many of you already know. Ever since they came out with their Freezes, it has become one of my favorite desserts! However, I decided to do a bit more research into the ingredients they use. I asked to see what kind of almond butter they use because it was just so good. They showed me the jar and I read on the back that the ingredients included cane sugar! I realized that I can’t always assume that some brands will exclude certain ingredients from their food, and I must be sure to always ask for the ingredients.
Another very important point, as I have said before, is that I NEVER restrict myself because I don’t consider my eating habits a “diet”. This is a lifestyle choice and I will continue it as long as I am happy and feel satisfied with the food I eat. Therefore, if I suddenly crave something, I will go ahead and order it! We must be careful though because our body may not react so pleasantly to the food, as mine did when I suddenly ordered a chocolate mousse for dinner one date night. The amount of refined sugar was unbearable for my body, especially since I had cut out refined sugar for a year, and I ended up feeling very sick the next day. I don’t regret the decision I made that night because as soon as I took a bite of that chocolate mousse, I realized how sweet it was and it didn’t even taste good to me! That experience made me realize even more how much my body does not NEED these sugars and how “addicted” to refined sugars I used to be, only a year ago, craving something sweet like that after a meal.
I love eating out, finding new places, and recommending them to other people. But to me it’s not just about the amazing food and the new flavors I get to try, there’s also a social aspect to it. Eating out always brings people together and sparks new conversations (as long as we can detach from our phones for just a little while). I admit that I for one take LOTS of pictures of my food so detaching from my phone is a big challenge for me. It's always important to see what works for you, do your research, and inform those around you about what you learn! The main point here is to stick to your own promises and remember to always listen to YOUR body. Never force your body to do something it doesn’t feel comfortable doing and don’t be afraid to try new things when it comes to your health!