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.
Pete Williams from London, United Kingdom
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?
PW: Yes. My wife is a Public health nutritionist and so our default is to see if the restaurant will serve the type and quality of food we expect and like. Living in London usually means you are spoilt for choice so that really helps with trying lots of different cultures but also to drive up quality.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in (or near) London?
PW: It has to be at Pied a Terre which was formerly Tom Aitkens 2 Michelin star restaurant in central London. We had the whole taste experience which I think was 8 courses and drink to accompany. I was so overwhelmed by the tastes, cleverness, and experience. It was just really beautiful food.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of London?
PW: My wife is Australian and when we were on holiday in Australia seeing her family, we took a water taxi from the north shore in Manly across the water to eastern suburbs and Catalina at Rose Bay. Great food and what a setting.
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
PW: I think we brits can be a reserved bunch and therefore can find asking restaurant staff a bit embarrassing. I think this is not such a problem in London as many restaurants list ingredients or not. However I impress on patients the importance of not having offending foods and to be more American in their ordering and asking “again" to the staff that they have understood. I have not had a patient issue yet.
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
PW: Has to be smoothies. I will use whey protein, with dairy free plant based milk, such as coconut, almond etc and add nuts seeds and usually berries. Mix up in the NutriBullet and you are done in less than five minutes.
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
PW: I usually do some kind of Frittata. Several organic eggs, red pepper, peas, mushrooms, and spring onions, or what else is hanging about in the fridge. Will fry in butter or coconut oil. Takes less than five minutes.
CA: Do you consume alcohol? Explain why you think it is or isn’t a good idea.
PW: Yes! But I am not a big drinker at all. Probably 8 units per week with the very occasional blowout. I have never been able to handle alcohol anyway, after a few drinks it really affects me and makes me feel toxic. This makes sense as I am an ApoE4/E3 genotype. This is a genotype that will find alcohol toxic. I have been trying NAC before going out and drinking and I think it does make a difference.
I do love the way alcohol makes you feel thou until of course, it makes me feel toxic. So two pints is my sweet spot. Alcohol also brings people together and that's a good thing.
The BMJ has just published new research showing that alcohol in any amount has no benefits to humans which is a disappointment if true.
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
PW: I am very lucky that I can eat a relatively high percentage of carbohydrate foods and have no issues with body fat, blood sugars or lipids. With that in mind, the wife makes this amazing granola which is mainly roasted nuts and seeds some oats but has mango and dark chocolate, coconut, maple syrup, sea salt and olive oil. I then use organic full-fat milk. It's just delicious.
A nationally recognised thought leader in applying the functional medicine model to chronic disease, executive health and fitness. An IFM certified practitioner, Pete has a private practise in central London, making difficult science simpler for the patient whilst on their continued journey to better health. He is also interested in optimal ageing, and specifically the influence of exercise and genomics on the ageing process.