Your Holistic Guide to Dining Out

This weekend my friend (and fellow holistic nutritionist) and I packed our bags and took a road trip to the States to give a speech at a yoga retreat. It was a day packed with several sessions of yoga, kombucha, my first sweaty Zoomba class out in the rain and mindfulness meditations. We spoke about cardiovascular health and prevention to an enthusiastic crowd of women and of course, indulged in the smorgasbord of raw cleansing food from handrolled wraps (of which I now consider myself a pro-wrap roller) to humus to kale chips and everything in between.

on the road

Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly eat more, we hit the road home and suddenly felt the post yoga hunger kick in. So after an entire day of cleansing and seeing as we were driving through an unfamiliar  place, where were we to go? Cue the only place we knew existed there; the Olive Garden!
Rarely do I eat out and if I do it’s someplace like a raw food restaurant where we have meals such as this flavourful zucchini noodle Bolognese below.
Going to a restaurant like the Olive Garden was a complete change and a great one because here’s what came of it;
Your holistic guide to dinning out: 
1. Go green
  • I scoured that menu and could not find a single green item on it and resorted to asking the waitress for help. She pointed to a section at the bottom, buried amongst pastas and pizzas that consisted of two salads, bingo!
2. Stay clear of the meat
  • I’m not vegan, my coworkers joke that I’m a vegan who eats meat, but I go vegan when I eat out. At home, we visit the local farms where we get our meat and see the living conditions for ourselves. When eating out, you don’t know where the meat came from and I bet you wouldn’t eat it if you did.  To top it off, these animals are also full of antibiotics and hormones, not an appetising entrée is it? Needless to say, the chicken ceaser salad was out! Which left me with one option…
3. Get zesty with the dressing!
  • Dressings are hidden holistic disasters. Usually packed with sugar, dairy, soy, preservatives etc. This one in particular was an Italian dressing so I opted out of that and went for something a little more my style: I’ll typically ask for some olive oil and a zesty slice of lemon to squirt on it. Yesterday they brought over olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
And there you have it! The great thing is, I’m not always the best at making decisions when it comes to food (how am I expected to pick just one?!) but in this case, the decision was practically made for me 😀  The salad hit the spot and we were back on the road, driving straight into this hypnotic storm and scarlet  sunset on our way home.
With the long weekend it feels as though school does not exist, but it’s wrapping up. In a couple of weeks we will be done, which means plenty of blog posts are on their way to you!
Suzanne Eden

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