Monthly Archives: April 2014

Celebrations: Eating Out

April has brought many reasons to celebrate. Which is a good thing until I realized how much it means that one ends up eating out. I celebrated second anniversary of my business, a successful event planning, a girlfriend’s birthday, my best friend’s mother’s birthday and this month not even over yet. Eating out has become part of our social culture and I realize how much of it can be mindless. While enjoying the company and the joy of the celebration it is easy to lose sight of the overall goal of maintaining a balanced diet. 

I employ some of these tricks of trade to keep a handle on my eating out:

1. Keep a record. I enter all meals eaten out into my calendar. This way I can track how many times a week (or month) am I eating out and where. It helps give me a perspective and plan better for the following week (or month).

2. Make two meals out of one. I ask for a box with my meal so that I can pack half the meal even before I begin to eat. This way I have the satisfaction of finishing everything on my plate and not wasting any food. Another way to make two meals from one is to share with your companion. It makes for great conversation choosing what to share.

3. Stick to the partial menu. While choosing the items I stick to only the appetizers/small plates and soup/salad menu. I can choose two small appetizers or a salad and an appetizer. That way I have a plate in front of me while my co-diners have their meal courses.

4. Drink water. This seems minor but makes a big difference. Keeps my mouth busy, hydrates me and fills me up a little too. especially if I choose to have a glass of wine with the meal, alternating between sips of wine and water stretches wine over a longer period of the meal.

5. Choose a drink or share a dessert. I have to make up my mind on this one as soon as I arrive at the meal so that I don’t get swayed. I often discuss this with my companions as part of discussing the menu. Sometimes I even joke that I start checking out the menu starting with the dessert section. If something strike me I will convince someone at the table to share it with me and skip the wine.

6. Don’t skip the exercise. When eating out is planned, I have to make sure that I don’t make any excuse for missing the workout. No matter what I end up eating a little more or not quite the MyPlate version my usual meals. 

A recent study has shown that when there are food restrictions, “reactive eaters” crave them more. Enjoy eating out as part of a balanced life. Don’t deprive yourself of indulgences. Be mindful of your choices and enjoy the celebrations of life.

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March Madness in April!

As I am watching the NCAA Championship game I realized the March madness has extended into April. There is another kind of madness that comes with April. We all know “April showers bring May flowers” but what about all the tree pollen that comes before? April showers are welcome to wash away the yellow covering from cars, roads and everything else outside.

Do you suffer from spring allergies? North Carolina is the allergy capital. Even if you never had any seasonal allergies before once you move here they become a part of your life. What can you do to hep alleviate or at least reduce the effects of these allergies? Well there are a few things that come to mind.

1. Drink plenty of water. Your body needs extra as the temperatures warm up and to wash out any inhaled/ingested allergens. Plus, your body secretes more fluids through your nose and eyes to keep the pollen out. We need at least 8 cups (64 oz) water daily routinely. Make that 10 cups (80 oz) during allergy season.

2. Include foods high in Vitamin C daily. Citrus fruits, berries, or even a vitamin supplement like EmergenC. Vitamin C helps your immune system.

3. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep not only rejuvenates you but also improves your immune system’s ability to handle allergens. Maintain an evening routine to help get you to the slumber easily. Keep the sheets and pillowcases clean and keep the room temperature cool.

4. Add some anti-inflammatory foods and spices to your usual foods. Add fresh ginger to your daily smoothie or stir fried veggies. Add turmeric to warm milk or almond milk, make curry with coconut milk and add extra turmeric to it. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your cereal or fruits.

5 Try a neti pot. Neti pots are easily available at health food stores. They offer an easy way to keep the allergens out of your nasal passage. The process takes a little getting used to but it can be done easily. Use warm water with a little salt in it.

6. Exercise: Do we need another reason to move? Sweating is a great way to detox your body. Don’t miss your exercise even if you have a runny nose and itchy eyes. Take some extra facial tissues along.

And most important of all, wash your hands often. Enjoy the Spring! Before you know it, it will be too hot.

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