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.
Dr. Anastasia Boulais from Christchurch, New Zealand
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?
AB: I am fortunate to live in New Zealand where most cafés and restaurants provide healthy options. It helps that I don't go to KFC.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in Christchurch?
AB: A birthday dinner at Tequila Mockingbird, latin fusion bar and restaurant. We had a collection of small and large plates which we shared tapas-style. Sharing meals always carries a special appeal to me as it turns a dinner into a social occasion. Plus plantain chips!
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of Christchurch?
AB: Botswana Butchery in Queenstown (alpine resort town in the South Island) where we had slow roasted NZ lamb shoulder for 2. My partner Jamie and I powered through the 3 lbs of deliciousness. I can't remember having dessert but it was all a bit of a blur after the lamb.
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
AB: Notify the restaurant when making a booking and repeat it to the waiter/server when you arrive. Being assertive but courteous is the key. Thanking the staff for extra effort after the meal is a nice touch too. We do not tip in New Zealand but I would ask the waiter to send my thanks and compliments to the chef if we had an exceptional meal which required some extra fiddling.
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
AB: It's always easy to get fruit, bars, date balls and other snacks on the road. But protein is a precious commodity. I generally take a pack of Biltong (South African jerky) or sliced salami to keep hunger at bay.
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
AB: Lamb shoulder chops with golden kumara (NZ sweet potato). Sprinkle cajun spice on the chops, cut kumara into wedges. Lightly cover both with olive or avocado oil and stick in the oven at 200ºC (395ºF) for 30 minutes. I like my lamb crispy.
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
AB: Ice-cream - NZ dairy, sheep, goat or coconut. I love to have it on special occasions, always shared - experience, not the portion.
Dr. Anastasia Boulais was born and raised in Russia, she moved to Australia at the age of 17. With science being her first love, she completed a Diploma in Pathology and a degree in Medical Science, majoring in microbiology and anatomy. Working in the clinical microbiology labs sparked her interest in the medical aspects of science and Anastasia took a plunge to become a doctor. Dividing her time between medical school lectures and working as a part time fitness instructor gave her good understanding of the importance of preventative medicine and the challenges involved in the application of diet and lifestyle advice. Anastasia became interested in evolutionary medicine and got involved in the Ancestral Health movement while still a medical student, first writing a successful blog and then traveling to the US to attend and later present at the Ancestral Health Symposium. With her partner, nutritionist Jamie Scott, Anastasia formed an alliance with Whole9 and became Whole 9 South Pacific, promoting Good Food and running public nutrition seminars in Australia and New Zealand. In 2014, together with a passionate group of health professionals, researchers and educated laypeople, they formed the Ancestral Health Society of New Zealand of which she is currently the Vice President.
Now residing in New Zealand, Anastasia works in a busy acute care medical clinic. She spends her free time volunteering for the Society, studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Medicine, exploring the stunning natural environment of New Zealand, and trying to stay upright on her new mountain bike.