We all talk a good game about how to eat, what to eat, and the importance of preparing our own food from quality ingredients. The truth is that everyone faces the same dilemmas from time to time. Whether it's travel, working late, business lunches, social outings, or simply not being interested in cooking, there are many reasons that eating that home cooked meal may not always be possible.
I've decided to pose a series of questions to our members on a weekly basis on what gets them through these situations. You might be surprised at some of the answers and others might be exactly what you expected — either way, I'm hopeful that this will help you navigate your way through the myriad of awkward, inconvenient, or simply lazy situations you find yourself in.
Franziska Spritzler from Huntington Beach (Orange County), California
CA: Do you put much thought into where you eat out? Or do you simply go anywhere and try to make do with what's on the menu?
FS: Most of the time, I do put some thought into where I eat. I prefer restaurants that offer organic or naturally raised animal products. But sometimes I'm invited out by others and have to do the best I can with what's on the menu. I know I can always order an entrée salad and modify it as needed.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in (or near) Huntington Beach?
FS: Delicious filet mignon topped with butter and a side order of grilled asparagus at Fleming's Steakhouse.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of Huntington Beach?
FS: Fantastic grilled salmon with arugula, pine nuts, shaved Parmesan and tomatoes, dressed with olive oil and lemon at Upper Deck Sports Bar and Grille in Hallandale, Florida.
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
FS: I advise calling ahead of time to specify your dietary needs, then confirming with your server that your meal will be prepared as needed.
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
FS: I always have nuts, seeds, grass-fed beef sticks, canned sardines, Quest bars, and dark chocolate with me. A combination of three or more of those foods makes a great meal!
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
FS: Plain Greek yogurt or hard-boiled eggs, 1/2 an avocado, arugula, and salt. Mix well and enjoy!
CA: Do you consume alcohol? Explain why you think it is or isn't a good idea.
FS: No, I don't, because I don't like the taste. I think a glass of dry wine or two is fine for those who enjoy it, but too much alcohol can cause all kinds of health and other problems.
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
FS: Quest bars! Yes, processed food, but I typically only eat them when traveling. They taste like candy even though they're sugar-free, low in carbs and high in fiber.
I'm a firm believer in the power of carbohydrate restriction for diabetes, prediabetes, obesity, weight management, and hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). A former court reporter, I became a dietitian in 2008 because I wanted to help people improve their health through good nutrition. My goal is to provide accurate, useful information and support people's efforts to optimize their blood glucose control and achieve a healthy weight, along with improving overall health and vitality.
I'm 49, and thanks to a low-carb lifestyle and gentle exercise, I feel better than I did in my 30s. I live on the Southern California coast and enjoy reading, writing, learning, cooking, walking, Pilates, and spending time with my wonderful husband, family, and friends.