How To Make The Best Choices When Eating Out?
Written By: Angelica Pupillo
For me, eating is about sharing, celebrating, talking, family, friends and of course FOOD! I won’t lie the food is one of the things that I look forward to the most out of life.
Every year at Christmas I help my nonna make Struffoli and Pizza Figliata (Naples traditional Christmas cakes) and over the course of December and January consume a fair portion of it. I love that my family gatherings are centred around the food we are eating and that we spend most of the time we are together sitting around the kitchen table. This pure pleasure was taken away from me when I let the guilt of messing up my diet and fatigue creep in.
Yesterday at work as a waitress in my favourite café I was taking an order of two young women. They had come straight from the gym and were after some lunch to refuel them for the afternoon. I took their order and when I came back to the table one of them asked what brand of bread we use so she could put it on her fitness tracker. I told her the name, and she slightly panicked. She said to me that the brand we use isn’t in the system, which would mean she could not accurately track her macros. I gave her the name of an alternative to put in her tracker. After they finished eating, I asked if everything was okay with the food, and she replied, “It was so delicious, but I stuffed up by not asking for there to be no butter on my bread.” She went on to say “now I have to track the butter and I won’t be able to eat as much fat later.” I can honestly say that I knew how that girl felt. The look of guilt and disappointment on her face broke my heart.
I want to make it clear that I understand that people, myself included, like to make the best possible decision for their body when they are eating out. I even understand the need to write down the food we sometimes eat during a fitness program to ensure we are getting enough of the right nutrients to replenish our energy stores. There is nothing wrong with that. For me, the issue is when the guilt begins.
The reality is that people want to get together and eat out and this is not always going to be at the healthiest location. In the past, if I knew that I was going to have dinner out or at a friend’s house I would restrict myself for the entire day to ensure that I would have enough calories remaining at the end of the day. I would train like crazy for the week leading up to the event to make sure that any cake consumed on the night would not make a difference to my physique.
Last night I caught up for dinner with two of my close girlfriends. We sat and sipped Spritzers, made dinner, laughed, drank tea, shared our thoughts on life and ate some gingerbread cookies and protein balls I made. We spent nearly four hours just sitting around the kitchen table together. I didn’t feel guilty or stressed. I didn’t track how much I was eating. I was at peace with my body and my decisions. I trusted that my body knew what to do with the food and that I would feel nourished and content. I know in my heart that the people that want to catch up with me at this time of the year don’t want to do so because of the way I look but rather for my company. Dinner hosts are not putting food out because they are jealous of your fitness progress or want to see you fail. They invite you over to be together and share their time with you.
The message I want to get across is that it is okay to indulge. You are not going to be punished for reaching for that extra piece of cake or consuming a slightly larger than average bowl of pasta. My advice to you if the guilt does start to creep in is, before you leave the house, to take a moment to close your eyes and say the mantra:
“I am enough. I am beautiful and have been wonderfully made. I am worthy of indulgence.”
There are precious times to be enjoyed with friends and family; to celebrate new life and new beginnings. As we always say at Cazinc, balance is vital; tomorrow is a new day.
If you are a regular reader of our articles, you will see we love food. Our team love to cook and eat out regularly. Often our conversations are about what and where we are eating.
Do you love food, cooking and eating out too?
Angelica Pupillo is a bundle of energy and health. She has now completed her Law/Arts degree at Deakin University. Her arts major was journalism and she completed law with honours. Angelica is currently following her passion of health by doing a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) at Endeavour College.
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Please leave comments below or email Carolyn@cazinc.com.au.