Everyone wants to go out and enjoy a nice meal from time to time. It is always nice to have someone else doing the cooking and cleaning. After conversing with friends, family and clients, I realize that most people struggle with how to keep it clean when there are so many social pressures and temptations at the restaurants. Therefore I decided to write something to alert the clean-eating newbie to hidden threats and how to maneuver around them. There are several things to think about to ensure that your dining experience goes smoothly and does not turn into self-sabotage.
Here are some key points to take into consideration to keep your eating clean while you are dining out:
- Access the Menu in Advance. The Internet is an easy way to do this. By looking over the menu before you even arrive at the restaurant, you will be able to decide with a clear head what the best choices will be. This will make you less likely to be distracted by what others around you might be ordering. Make up your mind beforehand, and stick to your decision.
- Ask the Wait Staff Questions about how menu items are prepared. Be specific when asking questions and remember there is no limit on how many questions you can ask your server. This includes asking questions like, “What do you put on your sweet potatoes?” Often, restaurants will put butter and brown sugar on sweet potatoes, turning them from a healthy, vitamin-packed part of your meal into a fatty, sugar-laden indulgence that you did not plan for.
- Make Special Requests. If the food preparation does not fit your dietary needs, then make a special request to have it prepared your way. For example, if the cobb salad comes with fried chicken strips, but you see that other salads have grilled chicken, then ask them for the grilled instead. Asking for dressings and sauces on the side, or having them excluded altogether, is another request that is both easy for the kitchen and easy on your waistline.
- Be Polite and Patient. The key to getting what you want in a restaurant is to be polite and patient when asking favors from your wait staff, and tip them well. They will in return go out of their way to give you what you would like. Remember, building a good relationship in a few restaurants close to home is always a good idea.
- Turn Away the Bread Basket. If you need food immediately when you sit down, then order a side salad with the dressing on the side or a shrimp cocktail appetizer.
As you can see, there are many ways to keep your meals clean while enjoying a night out on the town.