Thursday, March 21, 2019

Week 4 March Makeover 28-Day Challenge

Week Four (March 21 - March 28)

We're at the home stretch. Now that you've locked in a new healthy lifestyle doing the Challenge, what do you do when you’re on vacation and eating out? Good news! Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen lots of changes in restaurant menus that accommodate vegan diets.

Besides avoiding fast food, here are 10 Survival Tips to make eating out work for your Healthy Lifestyle:

  1. Plan ahead. Where will you be eating? Consider what meal options are available.
  2. Go online and explore the menu to discover possible selections. Look for a section of healthier choices.
  3. Ask for smaller portions. Restaurant portions are typically too large.
  4. Split your order. Share with a friend or spouse or take half home for another meal.
  5. For a lighter meal, check out the appetizers. I find many a yummy, healthy meal in the appetizer section. Warning! That's where all the fried stuff can be, so be wise.
  6. Order toppings and dressings on the side. Most dressings have added sugar, so drizzle on sparingly.
  7. Don't be afraid to make special requests. Keep them simple. At a 5-star restaurant I asked the waiter to have the chef lightly steam whatever veggies they had. They brought me a huge plate of lovely, assorted veggies.
  8. Tell the waiter to nix the bread or just take one piece and have the rest removed from the table. Remember! Bread is like sugar, especially white bread, and it ends up around your middle in the long run.
  9. If you've eaten healthy for the day (sticking to plant-based, non-processed foods) then don't fret too much over your meal out. It's not the amount of calories you consume, but the KIND of calories that matter. All calories are not equal.
  10. Limit any alcohol to one drink. It's empty calories and tends to increase your appetite.
It's not the amount of calories you consume, but the KIND of calories that matter.
For vacations and other occasions, bring your own food:
  • Bring homemade Trail Mix and healthy plant-based meal bars (e.g. Epic, GoMacro, Amazing Grass) on trips.
  • For potlucks, bring a dish that fits your eating needs so you have at least one thing you can eat.
  • Eat something before going to events so you’re not hungry. You can pick and choose appetizers and plate items that fit your diet.
Do a search for vegan restaurants in your area. You may be surprised to find a few you never knew existed. Then go out and support them.

This is the last step in the March Makeover 28-Day Challenge. If you stuck with the plan, CONGRATULATIONS! If you did this Challenge to make health changes (heal a chronic disease or lower your cholesterol or blood pressure), you might want to make an appointment with your doctor and have your "numbers" checked. The results could make your doctor a believer—Food is Medicine

For further reading and education, you might want to pick up Dr. Greger's book How Not To Die and his cookbook by the same name. Also, watch movies and videos on the subject on NetFlicks, Amazon Prime Video and iTunes. Watch movies like Eating You Alive, Plant Pure Nation, Chow Down and if you have not seen it, the classic Forks One Knives.

And with that, I hereby claim you are now plant-based certified. Go and spread the word.

Tell me what did you find most difficult during the challenge and what did you find was easy?

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