Thursday, September 27, 2012

Always Bring Your Own Food

Just in case!                                                 By Catherine Cleveland

When you have committed to a nutritionally healthy lifestyle, you know what it is like to eat anywhere other than your own home. Restaurants use an excessive amount of fat, sugar and salt to flavor foods even the ones they deem healthy. Large events and festivals that have food venders are impossible to get anything healthy from.  Friends and family although well meaning, have usually never prepared vegan dishes and all you end up being able to eat is the salad with to much italian (fat) dressing.

So what do you do?

Even one cheating high fat restaurant meal can sabotage a weeks worth of weight loss.
When ever I go somewhere that I will have to eat other people's food, these are some different things that I do:
Eat before I go
Pack food and take it with me
Call ahead to the restaurant and see what's available. Otherwise order a plain baked potato or rice with steamed veggie and a salad with vinegar on the side.
If you are going to a dinner party call the host and politely explain your dietary needs and offer to bring your own food as to not inconvenience them. Or do what I do and eat before you go.

Thanksgiving is impossible at my and my boyfriends family's. Everything has got butter and gravy on it or loaded with sugar. They also think that we are nuts even though they are severely unhealthy (cancer, diabetes and heart disease) and they are also all overweight at varying degrees.  The funny thing is that when we bring our own food consisting of non-fat bright colored vegetables dished and healthy desserts, they seem to get gobbled up first. Every family is different, they might mock you and shun you but deep down inside they know you are right. What bothers them the most is that you have the strength and perseverance to change and they don't.

If you are gaining experience as a whole foods plant-based chef, you know that preparing food to take with you is not as time consuming as you might think.  It takes me an hour and a half to prepare and pack my meals for 3 days of being away from home.
I bring oatmeal in bags and frozen fruit (in plastic containers because it melts) for breakfast, rice, pasta, or quinoa with veggies for lunch and dinner and maybe even my crock pot with soup or stew. I pack plenty of fruit like oranges, apple bananas (or what ever is in season) for snacks. I might even pack some hummus and some Mary's Gone Crackers for additional snacks. Bring plenty of water! I always end up with plenty to eat and I save a lot of money from eating out.

It's not always easy to adjust to a plant-based lifestyle, but easy is rather unhealthy, it makes you fat and that is very difficult and expensive to live with on a daily bases.

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