Happy New Year! Marcus is guest blogging this week to discuss healthy eating habits for the New Year. I’ll talk to you guys soon!
One phrase that tends to go missing in action from my vocabulary every holiday season is “No thank you”. Of course this is caused by the expertly executed culinary genius offerings of family and friends. New recipes, new versions of classics or new cultural cuisine all successfully tempt my culinary curiosity during the holidays.
Now that the holidays have passed, many people, including myself, are looking forward to a healthier start for the New Year and to shedding a couple of those extra pounds caused by indulging in the additional calories over the holidays. During my years in the restaurant industry, I observed many dietary resolutions of various patrons aimed at the previously mentioned goal. The most successful of them embraced new eating habits rather than avoiding their favorite dishes altogether. Some of those habits were focused on dining out, since it is often easier to manage “healthier” when you eat personally prepared food. The following are small habits in a restaurant environment that, over time, may help you reach your intended goals minus drastic changes.
- It is okay to have pasta, but try to eat it early in the day. There are more hours for your body to burn the included carbohydrates as opposed to dinner. If you still feel guilty, ask the restaurant server if they offer gluten free or whole wheat options for substitution.
- Skip the soda (diet, too), lemonade or sweet tea and stick with water. Steering clear of the sugar helps avoid the afternoon crash leaving you feeling like you need a nap after lunch. Ask for lemon or lime as they both aid with digestion.
- Dressing on the side does not mean less dressing and fails the intended purpose if you dump it all over your salad anyway. Instead, ask the restaurant server for a lightly dressed salad and opt for the least creamy selection.
- Resolve to park away from the front door. Although convenient, often it is a negative experience with the competition involved in finding a prime parking space. The added steps will aid in food digestion and the light stroll will keep your level of positivity intact.
- Skip the “doggie bag.” Half of the time leftovers are not eaten or the good parts of the dish were enjoyed the first round, not leaving much for the revisit a day later. Of course, there are exceptions, but the point is to avoid the justification of needing to take any home in the first place.
Eating “clean” is another way of adopting healthy habits. I personally try and follow this approach to consumption. Eating clean involves limiting processed foods, increasing vegetable intake, cutting down on saturated fats (butter), reducing liquor/beer consumption, reducing sugar intake, watching salt consumption, choosing whole grains, eating less meat, increasing fruit consumption and eliminating refined grains.
San Antonio is on the verge of a culinary explosion due to a change in diners’ desires focused around the notion of eating clean. The following restaurants are noted for their attention to eating clean and support various diets such as Paleo, gluten free, and Vegan without sacrificing taste:
With a new year brings new opportunities! I am excited to start new healthy conscious habits that hopefully will help with my dietary goals. I invite you to do the same.
Happy habit adopting,
Upcoming events to consider:
San Antonio Cocktail Conference – January 11-15
San Antonio Restaurant Week – January 16-28
Tater Tots & Beer Festival – February 4
Cocktails & Culture: Above and Beyond – February 22
5K Wine & Beer Run – March 18