Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Dining without

Something I get asked about a fair bit, and can be a problem for people trying to improve their diets, is how to cope with eating out when on a restrictive diet, particularly on holidays. So now seems like a great time to cover this off with a bit of a food diary from my trip.

It might help to first explain what I don't eat to give some context to my choices, but as with all nutritional programmes this is specific to my health needs so won't be the best list for everyone. This also applies about 80 per cent of the time and the other 20 per cent I'll eat whatever I fancy. It's worth noting that I can do this as most of the foods I miss out are intolerances rather than tru allergies. If you have a true allergy you should avoid the food altogether and also double-check when ordering if any of the foods you are allergic to will be in the dish.

My preference infact is to eat a vegan diet most of the time but I tend to eat fish and seafood when I eat out. If also avoided fish and seafood altogether I know that eating out would be a lot more difficult.

I totally avoid
Gluten (includes wheat) (intolerance)
Dairy (Intolerance)
Coffee + tea
Oranges (allergy)
Raw onions/raw chillies (intolerance)

I generally avoid:

So with this in mind here are the choices I made - you'll see I have a bias towards Asian cuisine, which is mainly because I love it, but also because it's the most gluten and dairy free friendly cuisine available.

Thai cuisine:
Tofu and aubergine curry with rice

Broccoli and shrimp stir fry with rice noodles (sauce had some sugar in it)

Vegetarian ramen soup - I asked for rice noodles instead of soba noodles which contain wheat - most japanese restaurants will happily make this switch for you

Veggie mixed starter with veggie skewers, vegan summer rolls and rice dumplings, followed by mixed vegetable curry with brown rice (the tofu on the menu was battered so I gave it a miss).

Jack Lallane veggie burger in a gluten free bun. I couldn't believe my luck when I saw this on the menu at Ellen's Stardust diner on Broadway.
It was delicious as were the waffle fries it came with and felt totally indulgent despite having half the calories and hardly any of the fat of hot docs cheeseburger! And of course I was delighted to see Jack honoured in this way - what a legend.

Minestrone soup (in the states this is just veggies no pasta) followed by steamed sea bass with courgettes and fennel - delish

Spinach salad followed by salmon and asparagus risotto - this has to count as a 20 per cent exception as risotto is made with butter.

Modern European
Scallops with apples and watercress followed by plaice with artichokes and new potatoes.

Lunches on the go:
When you're playing at tourist you generally don't want to stop for a long lunch so these were more like my city lunches:
- pret, sushi box
- au bon pan, tuscan bean soup
- mangia, green smoothie and tuscan bean soup
- kelley + ping, veggie pad thai (had eggs and a little sugar so was a 20per cent exception), with ginger pak choi and summer rolls

Breakfasts in nyc:
Brunch in america is an egg or dairy laden affair so pretty tricky for me. Instead I headed to the wonderful Wholefoods Market and got myself some gluten free bagels which I had each morning with no sugar peanut butter - yummy and kept me full til lunchtime.

To be completely honest in this diary I have to fess up to my indulgences of the week which were half a slice of new york cheese cake - delicious but too sweet to finish! and two squares of a godiva dark chocolate truffle bar - divine!

Still if I had to stick to my diet more strictly and hadn't had these I wouldn't have felt hard done by - despite sticking to my healthy rules I still felt I'd indulged thoroughly and enjoyed all my meals.


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