Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Detox dining

I remember the first time I went gluten and dairy free for three months and every time I ate out all I could have off most menus was steak and chips. Tasty but not so healthy!

How things have come on since then ... tonight I met a friend for dinner and gossip at Las Iguanas and there was so much suitable food on the menu that I was paralysed with choice.

Not only were there lots of gluten and dairy free dishes but there were also lots of detox friendly dishes. There were at least four gluten free vegan options, including the butternut squash paella I had, along with some very healthy fish dishes.

Now whilst it can be hard not to order your favourite item on the menu (which would have been a XimXim tonight!) when eating out, it's still worth remembering that just because you're on a detox or health kick that you don't have to avoid restaurants.

Infact you can turn eating out into a bit of a challenge, just apply a bit of thought to your menu choices and see how healthy you can be, feeling all virtuous whilst your dining companion piles into their less healthy choice.

Asian cuisine is the easiest option - naturally gluten free and, aside from curries, usually dairy free. There are usually plenty of dairy free vegetarian options on the menu and delicious vegetable side dishes. Go for rice or rice noodle vegetable stir fries or non-creamy curries, sushi and sashimi, avoid anything battered and cream based sauces and order plenty of vegetable sides such as dahl or edamame

Italian - my favourite cuisine which might seem strange with all the pizza and pasta, but the fresh salads, grilled fish and marinated vegetables are all detox friendly.

Middle Eastern - very meat focused however all restaurants offer vegetarian dishes and it can actually be a lot nicer to enjoy a wide range of vegetarian mezze than one heavy meat dish.

French - a real challenge for anyone on a health kick - the french eat healthily at home but when they eat out they want to indulge so it can be tricky to find anything gluten and dairy free on a French menu. Still the French do great soups and can serve up some simple fish dishes - I had a delicious tomato soup and poached red mullet with vegetables at a restaurant recently.

British - traditional pub fare - steak and ale pie, fish and chips, lasagna - is not very detox friendly. But most pubs now offer a few vegetarian options and usually a salmon dish with new potatoes and veg that is a good option. If all else fails have the roast without any meat - so all veg and a few roasties - that might sound sacrilegious, but if you're commited to a detox and don't want to suspend your social life there's always a way.

No comments:

Post a Comment