While we’re on our journey towards health, it’s easy to replace things at home with more healthy choices. Whipping together a smoothie or a salad is cheap and easy when we have all of our ‘regular’ ingredients at hand. Everyone loves getting together with friends, and this usually revolves around food. Trying out a new restaurant for a special occasion is something everyone enjoys. It’s okay to do it! Don’t get too hard on yourself, or stress about what you can and cannot eat… Here’s a few tips to keep you on your path.
When I know that I have a big dinner that night, I do my best to balance it out by eating very clean throughout the day, including a good workout. If you know you are going to be eating more than usual for dinner (perhaps some carbs?), don't fret! Keep it light with a banana maca and kale smoothie for breakfast, and a nice salad for lunch. Snacking throughout the day on fresh veggies helps too. This will keep your metabolism high for optimal digestion later.
Order a Salad, and Skip the Dressing
Getting a pre-dinner salad helps you to fill up on something healthy, and will prevent you from being ravenous by the time the main course arrives. This way you will get some fresh greens and good fibre into your belly as well! I always skip the dressing, as they can be very unhealthy and sometimes full of saturated fat and empty calories. Try using some lemon wedges instead, or ask for olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Both options are very cleansing!
Enjoy that dinner! Mindful eating is one of the greatest things I have learned, and has brought a great amount of joy to my life… I’m not kidding! I absolutely love food! Be grateful for each and every bite you take, enjoy each one with your full attention. You ordered this meal for a reason, because you love the flavours, right? By eating mindfully and with your full attention, you can allow yourself to get lost in this experience, and be fully present with it. This will reduce any amount of stress or guilt that may be surrounding the meal, and actually release pleasure chemicals and hormones in your brain. By slowing down, this also greatly reduces any chance of over-eating, and you will feel more satisfied.
Have Some Dessert
Yes, I said it. You can have dessert. Split it with someone, or share with the whole table. My philosophy is to not deny yourself of anything, as this may lead to cravings and binging later on. Have a few bites, and fully enjoy the taste (eating it mindfully). It’s really just the flavour experience we are looking for with dessert, not the nutritional content after all!
Get Back Into Your Routine
You can do this! After a night out with friends, we may feel a little more sluggish than usual the next morning (especially if there were a couple glasses of wine involved!) Don’t get down on yourself, or procrastinate. It’s a natural reaction to just say ‘Oh, I already went off track, I’ll just start again on Monday’. You can get right back into it. Don’t skip breakfast or starve yourself either! Keep your metabolism up by going for a nice walk if you don’t feel like working out, and snacking on something healthy throughout the day.
We get good at what we practice, so if we practice being mindful while eating, by not feeling guilty, and getting back into the routine the next day, then it will become easier each time one of these special occasions comes along.
Hope these tips help you! I know they help me. Share your thoughts in the comments section!