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.
Lisa Bailey from Aberdeenshire, 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?
LB: It really depends on the reason for eating out. If someone else has done the organising, I really don't stress about it as there is usually something on the menu for me — most places serve meat or fish, and salad and veggies. I just make sure that I don't have any dressings and that the food is gluten free. If I am organising a meal out then I am much more likely to be choosy about where we are going :)
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in (or near) Aberdeenshire?
LB: In Aberdeen there is a Brazilian restaurant that serves a wide variety of meat and offal — all cooked on huge skewers and brought round the tables. You can have as much as you want (dangerous!) and there is a great salad bar too. I don't go too often but really enjoy it when I do! My husband and sons are always pretty keen to go there too!
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of Aberdeenshire?
LB: Probably in Dubai. I was there visiting my sons a couple of years ago and a new bike shop had set up business and had a cafe/restaurant on the side. Not just any old cafe though - it was paleo based, which meant that I could have literally anything on the menu! I didn't know where to start! My sons thought it was very funny as I was in foodie heaven! It's nice to feel that you have such a wide choice occasionally!
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
LB: I think most places are very good these days. There are so many people with different food intolerances that staff are much more aware — and generally very happy to help. If it is a big event you might want to contact the restaurant ahead of time just to give them some warning and find out what they can do for you. Otherwise I think just politely asking them for a variation of a dish — and a short explanation — will usually get you what you need.
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
LB: I often take emergency food with me when I travel as it is quite hard to get decent food on trains, planes and in airports. I travel frequently with avocados, hard boiled eggs and nuts as a good standby! I have a dehydrator so usually make sure I have some jerky to hand too.
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
LB: Very simple — I love grilled salmon and salad! Whilst I don't overcook it I do like to have the skin side a little crispy — yum! I usually make a big salad with plenty of different leaves, cucumber, peppers, cherry tomatoes, onion and avocado (this is making me drool as I type!) and drizzle olive oil and apple cider vinegar on top. I also have a fridge full of different fermented veggies, sauerkraut and kimchi that I make regularly, so I tend to have a spoonful of one of those on the side too.
CA: Do you consume alcohol? Explain why you think it is or isn't a good idea.
LB: I do have a glass of red wine occasionally at the weekend. I used to drink more, but found that I started to get a headache after a couple of glasses and swelling in my hands and sinuses the next morning. I think it can be a nice thing socially, but my worry is that we have become a society where drinking a lot is now the norm — and I am seen as a social misfit because I don't. There can be quite a lot of pressure socially to "conform". It doesn't worry me any more to just say "no thanks", but I used to make sure I was always the "designated driver" so there were no questions or arguments!
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
LB: I make a gorgeous hot chocolate most nights! I use coconut milk, raw cocoa powder, a little cinnamon and ginger, and I pop some collagen in — to get to work overnight and help repair the cartilage in my knee. It's delicious — and a bit addictive!
Following my own bouts of ill-health, I began my journey to wellness through nutrition & fitness. Whether you want to reconnect with real food, recover from a injury, start a fitness program, discover the joy of easy movement, learn how to relax or develop positive mindset, contact me today to start your personal journey to health.