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.
Tamsin Lewis from London, UK
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?
TL: A combination of the two really. It's always nice to dine out some place where you can guarantee a healthy whole foods meal. Having said that, I enjoy the challenge of dining out and taking the menu 'off piste' ! I almost always find that chefs are extremely receptive to adapting dishes and accommodating requests here and there. A shot of Apple cider vinegar pre-meal to boost digestive enzyme function and nutrient assimilation… extra greens, extra dark olive oil. I like 80% of what I eat to be nutrient dense as a buffer to the 20% ‘fluff’ food as I call it, especially when busy or travelling.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in (or near) London?
TL: I really like Roka — for sushi and a Rose Petal Martini but it tend to break the bank so best for special occasions or business dinners ‘on account’ ;). Daylesford Organic — where I took Mike Mutzel of High Intensity Health for lunch when he was in London recently is a wholesome, well sourced choice. Their bone broth is certainly intense!
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of London?
TL: Thai Food. The spicy ‘Larb Moo’ chicken salad.
The fresh seafood and coconut rice are second to none! (Mango and Sticky rice was my high-carb choice post hard training sessions when I was an athlete training in Thailand under champion Coach Brett Sutton). Fresh Coconut water — straight from the tree. Superb rehydration and refreshment.
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
TL: Increasingly restaurants are improving their catering to meet consumer demand for dietary ‘adjustments' such as gluten and dairy-free.
However, it doesn't hurt to call up before hand and check in with the chef, especially if there's more than one person with specific requirements in the party. Most establishments are keen to cater for everyone but it never hurts to challenge the chef! (As long as you compliment him on the day of course ;)
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
TL: Emergency meals tend to include activated wasabi nuts, (taste great) a whole avocado (like an apple) and kombucha! Afternoon boost with Raw chocolate pie.
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
TL: Sauteed greens in garlic with lots of olive oil alongside some organic chicken thighs or wild Alaskan salmon. Occasionally some sweet potato chunks or quinoa depending on my activity level for the day.
CA: Do you consume alcohol? Explain why you think it is or isn’t a good idea.
TL: Red wine most nights with my evening meal. Just one glass — with a chaser of milk thistle and NAC/Alpha Lipoic Acid to support my liver to keep up!
I find red wine relaxing in moderation and with good company. If I drink over and above 2 small glasses I will have activated charcoal and more NAC pre bed as damage limitation.
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
TL: Dark chocolate and Raw Chocolate Pies :)
Dr. Tamsin Lewis is a successful former elite athlete and through this experience learnt the importance of nutrition and lifestyle interventions in maximising optimal performance.
In 2012, she founded Curoseven.com which extended this ethos to health optimisation in a more general capacity and the journey of re-learning along a functional and integrative paradigm began. Having suffered herself from mental health problems from her teenage years and a severe head injury in her 20’s Tamsin’s passion to educate about the innate capacity of a correctly supported body to self heal is compelling.
After a 4 year hiatus from NHS practice — Tamsin returned post baby – to part-time practice, in order that she fulfil training years needed to reach consultant level but has increasingly become disillusioned by the heavy handed pharmaceutical approach to mental health encouraged within the NHS and the lack of resources deployed for lifestyle interventions.