Breaking Free From Approval Addiction by Sarah Shaffer

September 2nd, 2015 - Disordered Eating, Inspiration, True Beauty

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It had been building. My daily frustration and disappointment had been festering. Finally, without warning my angry, hurtful words burst forth toward my unsuspecting husband.  

Let’s rewind just a bit. When I delivered our second child I topped the scales at my highest weight ever. For six months after I’d worked really hard to lose weight. I was super disciplined about food and exercise. I hadn’t told my husband about my efforts, I just did it. And, exactly six months post-delivery I slipped on THE pair of jeans – sisters, you know the ones – they were perfect in every way and showed off all my hard work (plus, they were a whole size smaller than even my lowest goal). I was thrilled. Surely, SURELY today would be the day my husband would take notice of his slender wife. Surely he would lavish me with words of praise and approval over my “beaut-glutes”!  I confidently marched downstairs where we offered our good morning greetings and proceeded to go about preparations for the day – nothing. Hours passed and still, Not. A. Word! I was disappointed to say the least! I’d had enough, “You haven’t said anything – not a WORD – about how much weight I’ve lost! You’re so selfish! I can’t believe you haven’t noticed!” I shouted and stormed upstairs, tears pouring down my face. 

What happened next would forever change my heart and my perspective. The words that did come from my husband are still freshly etched on my heart. After giving me a little time to cool off, my husband gently came and sat next to me on the bed. He put his hand on my leg and said, “Of course I’ve noticed the change in you. You look amazing. But, that’s not what matters to me. And, more so, I know that my words could cause you stumble. I know you struggle with body issues, and I didn’t want my opinion to put undue pressure on you. You’re beautiful to me no matter what size you are.” 

NO WORDS. Humility left me floored and speechless. What I’d perceived as disregard, thoughtlessness, and indifference in my husband was actually a depth of love and honor deeper than I could have ever imagined. This man knew me well enough to know that his much sought after compliment and approval could have become a distraction, even an idol, causing me wrong motives. It dawned on me in that moment that my husband has never said much about my appearance – he didn’t say much at my lowest weight, NOR did he ever, ever say a single thing about my weight when I topped the scales at over 200 pounds in my 5’5” body. He loved me the same. 

What a revelation! My friends, this was an example of Jesus in the flesh. In that moment my husband loved me the way God loves all of us.  1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t look at how handsome Eliab is [his appearance] or how tall he is [his height], because I have not chosen [rejected] him. God does not see the same way [as] people see. People look at the outside of a person [appearances; the outward appearance], but the Lord looks at [on] the heart.” 

When we put our confidence in the approval of people, we are not only granting them far too much authority and influence, we are also setting ourselves up time and time again for searing disappointment. However, when we put our confidence in the approval of God, we experience freedom. Suddenly, pressure to maintain a certain weight is lifted (a weight that, like mine was, may simply be too low for us to healthfully maintain). The words that don’t come no longer leave us feeling deflated and defeated. Preoccupation with ourselves is diminished and our focus on God increased – we become less and He becomes more! 

Friends, if you find yourself relying excessively on the opinions of others, this blessing from Susie Larson is my prayer over you today!

“May you determine to be done with captivity! No more rehearsing your failures or rehashing your critics’ accusations. It’s time to remember God’s love, His faithfulness, and His heart of affection for you. It’s time to put all of your hope in the finished work of Jesus Christ. May you put a flag in the ground this day and declare, ‘My hope is built on nothing less but Jesus’ blood and righteousness!’ Rest in God’s grace. Rely on His love. And rehearse His promises because they’re true for you. Break free from the bondage of others’ opinions and walk free and full of faith today!”

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A Letter to the Girl or Woman who is Battling an Eating Disorder

August 28th, 2015 - Disordered Eating, True Beauty

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To the girl or woman who may be reading this who is battling an eating disorder… 

First I want to start by encouraging you! The world may tell you that it is impossible to ever fully heal or recover from eating disorders. However, I am living proof (among thousands of other women that I have spoken with) that have been healed and completely set free by the redeeming power of Jesus! The good news is, what God did for me He can and will do for you as well if you let Him, because the Bible says that He does not show favoritism, and what he does for one person, He will do for anyone who believes. (Acts 10:34). Everyones journey may look different, but with Jesus, freedom is possible! 

The second thing I want to say is that if you haven’t already told someone you trust that you are dealing with this, it is very important that you do so. The reason it’s so important to tell someone is because satan would like us to keep everything in secret, because he knows he has power to work in the darkness. When we reveal things to the people around us that you trust (like your family, for example), it is brought into the light. It is only in the light where God can move and bring freedom. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! As a child of God, you have already been set free, but you must choose to step into that freedom! So if you haven’t already told people around you that you trust, that is the first step! You may need to seek professional help as well, and in this case, it helps to have someone to talk to so that you can have support when seeking help.

I want to also share that my healing process truly began when my sisters came to me and talked to me about what I was struggling with. It was at that moment that I finally admitted what I was doing to myself, and I saw the pain that it was causing those that I loved. I also began to talk to my mom and my family about what I was facing, which helped me break free from the darkness, shame, and guilt that the enemy was trying to keep me in. When I opened up to the people I loved and trusted, God was able to shed His light on these once dark places. My mom also made an appointment for me to speak with a Christian counselor and pastor, which helped me talk through a lot of things that I was facing emotionally… And although all of these things were important steps in my recovery, the thing that changed me and truly allowed me to heal was my personal walk with Jesus.

When I was walking through my own journey to freedom, the Lord showed me that there were four major steps to healing from the inside out. It all began with me making the choice to surrender everything to Him. After making that choice, He took me by that hand and led me one day at a time on a journey that led me to complete and total healing and restoration.

Here are some of the steps that the Lord led me through in my journey.

1. Submit everything to God. This is an ongoing process. It is a daily decision to trust that His ways are better than ours. It can be hard to do at first, but this decision is the first step to freedom, peace, and a truly satisfied life.

2. Recognize truth from a lie. Often times when we are believing a lie, we don’t see it at first. Ask God to search your heart and reveal anything that is not truth that you have been believing. Ask Him to open your eyes to the truth and to bring any area that was once in darkness into the light. 

3. Renew your mind. Spend time in prayer, praise, and God’s Word DAILY! Allow God’s Word to renew your mind to who He says you are. Spend time in fellowship with Him and allow Him to heal you from the inside out. 

4. Guard your heart. You are unique, original, and a beautiful masterpiece that God created for a specific purpose. Be careful to guard your heart against the customs and behaviors of this world and comparison to others. 

5. Spend time with Jesus. Last but not least, one of the most important things you could do is to spend time daily with Jesus! It doesn’t have to be complicated, He just wants to spend time with you, and to hear from you, and He also wants to speak to you! When I was going through this season, I remember asking the Lord to reveal His love for me. I know this doesn’t seem to connect with weight or eating disorders, but it’s only when you get a true revelation of His love for you that you can give control to Him and let go of the fear and control related to your weight. If you see yourself as He sees you, and you know His great love for you, it takes a lot of the fear away of giving Him control. In order to get a revelation of His love, all you have to do is ask Him to show you. I can promise you that He wants to reveal His love to you more than you want Him to!

Now, all that being said, the most important key to breakthrough in any area of our lives is the spiritual healing that only Jesus can provide. However, there is also a practical side to walking out freedom from disordered eating. As far as the physical part of this journey goes, I personally found that as I began to heal on the inside, the Lord put a desire in me to start to cooking and baking and to learn to have a healthy relationship with food again. After time went on, the Lord led me to different resources that taught me how to begin to listen to my body and eat intuitively, (such as the book, You are Not What You Weigh by Lisa Bevere). 

For me, intuitive eating began with me praying and asking the Lord to teach me how to listen to my body. I made the choice to trust to the Holy Spirit on the inside of me rather than my fears.  It took some time to relearn how to eat in a balanced way, so be patient with yourself! This is a huge step in giving up control, so don’t be alarmed if it seems scary at first… but know that God will not lead you astray or disappoint you when you are seeking His will and help! 

I want to also point out that as far as the healing process goes and learning to eat healthy again, everyone’s journey may look a little different. The good news is, God knows each one of us so deeply and how to get through to our hearts when we surrender to Him. The Bible promises that the Spirit of God on the inside of us will teach us, guide us, and lead us into all truth when we invite Him to lead (John 16:13). Surely if He created our bodies, He can teach us how to walk into the freedom that He provided for us!

And, last but not least, the last and most important thing that God taught me when walking out my healing was that I am not what I weigh, and guess what…Neither are you! I do believe that God wants you to be happy with what you weigh and He wants you to feel comfortable in your skin, and He will help you get there! But with that being said, I would encourage you to take a step back and realize that you are truly beautiful and wonderfully made by the King of Kings, and I am sure that you have SO much to be proud of outside of what you weigh! While you are traveling on this journey to finding complete freedom and peace in this area, be sure to realize at the end of the day one thing; You are so much more than what you weigh! 

Please Note: The information provided here should not be considered medical advice and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional or treatment provider. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, it is important to tell someone you trust, so you or that person can get professional help to address the specific needs of recovery. 

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All About Sugar Substitutes & Natural Sweeteners

August 26th, 2015 - Food News, Healthy Lifestyle Tips

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To learn more about where to buy these recommended sweeteners, click here! 

For more info on sweeteners, and to learn how to get rid of sugar from your diet, click here! 

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Living a Healthy Lifestyle When Life Gets Busy!

August 21st, 2015 - Articles, Healthy Lifestyle Tips, Inspiration, Kids/Family

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When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, one of most common question I get asked is, “How can I still eat healthy when I am busy”? This is a great topic of conversation because being busy is certainly the norm in our society today. Although being busy while living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging at times, it certainly can be done!

Here are some of my favorite tips for living a healthy lifestyle while being busy: 

1. Plan Ahead. Meal planning has proven to be one of the best ways to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle in my own life. During busy weekdays, it is incredibly helpful to have healthy meals that are planned and prepared. Meal planning can also help save money because you will be less likely to buy things that you don’t need. 

I have also provided practical tools for getting healthy during busy times, such as recipes and a meal plan in my new book, Devotions for a Healthier You. The recipes provided in my devotional are wholesome, uncomplicated, and balanced, making it easy to incorporate them into even the busiest of schedules.

2. Be Prepared. Being prepared is essential when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle when you are busy. Being prepared can be as simple as carrying a small protein packed snack with you in your purse or car. It is also important to have ready to eat snacks in your house. These two preparations can prevent unhealthy choices when you find yourself busy and hungry.

3. Choose Wisely On the Go. You don’t have to let healthy eating fall by the wayside when you are on the go, at work, or at a get-together with friends. Filling up on healthy foods before you arrive to a social gathering is one of the best ways to stay on track when you are not at home. Another great option is to pack a meal to bring with you or bring a healthy dish to pass!

4. Be Active. Being active can be fun, and it does not have to take a lot of time out of your day. Taking a thirty-minute walk or doing spurts of activity throughout the day, such as taking the stairs, will benefit your health and give you energy.

5. Get Enough Sleep. Sleep is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. It is even more important that we get proper sleep when we are busy because our bodies are generally undergoing more stress during these times and they need the proper rest to recover. Our bodies do not work the way they should and we are less likely to make smart choices when it comes to our health if we do not get enough sleep. It is generally recommend that the average adult should aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night.

6. Be Well-Balanced. Living a healthy lifestyle should be something that is not only achievable, but is also maintainable long term. The only way that this is possible is with balance. I believe that one of the most important keys to living a healthy lifestyle is moderation. Too much of anything is never a healthy thing, even if they seem like a good thing. At Dashing Dish, my mission is to encourage others to enjoy life, make wise choices, and be motivated by health.

7.  Don’t Skip Meals or Snacks. When we are extremely busy, it is a common tendency to skip meals or snacks, which can create a potential problem of overeating later in the day. Eating a heavy meal at night can be very hard on our digestive systems to process just before bed. We can also severely damage our metabolism in the long run when we put our bodies through this all too common ‘feast and famine’ cycle. To prevent skipping meals, try to eat a healthy snack or meal every three to four hours.

8. Pick Healthy Options when Dining Out. When life gets busy, it may be easier to get food from a restaurant than prepare it yourself. There are some steps that you can take to make the healthier choices. For example, when ordering off a menu, look for foods that are baked or grilled instead of fried. And when possible, try to order foods that are prepared without sauces or dressings, or get them on the side so you can control how much actually goes on the food.

9. Strengthen Your Spiritual Muscles. Sometimes when we get busy, we have a tendency to get stressed and emotional, which could potentially result in emotional or mindless eating. I personally have found that there are three powerful weapons to combat emotional eating. These three things include spending time with the Lord, praise and worship, and praying the Word of God! In my book, Devotions for a Healthier You, I have included prayers based on the promises of God that are specific to building you up spiritually and emotionally. I have also included over 70 devotions that have been inspired by my personal journal entries, which are meant to encourage and inspire you in all season of life.

If you struggle with staying healthy during busy times, I hope these tips help you on your journey to health. I believe that the very best place to start when it comes to eating healthy is to take the time to nourish both our bodies and soul. By honoring God and our bodies, we can live with passion and purpose in every area of our lives.

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Creative & Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

August 18th, 2015 - Uncategorized

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Packing your kids school lunches can be simple, inexpensive, and even fun! Here are some tips for making some creative and healthy lunches!

Here are my top 5 tips that I have for making school lunch prep easier:  

1. Get your kids involved in the planning and preparation of their lunches.

2. Meal plan for lunches before going to the grocery store each week.

3. Get your kids involved in the cooking and clean up.

4. Make all of the lunches at one time in an assembly line fashion.

5. Make sure meals get a balance of healthy protein, healthy fat, and healthy carbohydrate sources.

Now that we made have lunch time prep more manageable, let’s get creative and talk about some fun and healthy school lunch ideas that your kids will actually want to eat! 

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1. Build Your Own Mini Pizzas with Whole Grain Tortillas, Mozzarella Cheese, and Marinara Sauce.

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2. Build Your Own Tacos with Whole Grain Tortillas, Lean Ground Turkey (or Lean Ground Beef), Mozzarella, and Cherry Tomatoes.

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3. Quinoa Pasta with Parmesan Cheese, Zucchini Chips (or any veggie your child likes), and Chicken Sausage.

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4. Pinwheel Ham, Mozzarella String Cheese, and Hummus Sandwich on a Whole Grain Wrap, with a Side of Apple Slices, Almond Butter, and Baby Carrots.

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5. Breakfast Sandwich on a Whole Grain Bagel Thin, with One Whole Egg, and a Slice of Thin Cut Cheese, with a Side of Plain Low Fat Greek Yogurt with Berries.

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Creating Healthy & Balanced Back to School Lunches

August 11th, 2015 - Healthy Lifestyle Tips, Inspiration, Kids/Family

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A healthy back to school lunch is comprised of three main food groups which include a healthy source of protein, fat, and carbohydrate.

Lean proteins are important for maintaining, and building your child’s muscles, organs, and immune system. Healthy fats are important for developing your child’s brain and nervous system. Healthy carbohydrates are important for your child’s blood sugar levels to be stable, and gives them sustained energy levels. Complex carbohydrates (such as unrefined grains, fruits and vegetables) are also rich in fiber, which helps your child’s digestive system work well, and keeps them feeling satisfied.

Healthy Sources of Protein:

-Chicken breast (shredded, baked chicken nuggets, or grilled/baked chicken breast)

-Lean ground turkey, chicken, or extra lean ground beef

-Lean chicken or turkey sausage

-Plain low fat Greek yogurt

-Cottage cheese

-String cheese (or other lower fat cheese)

-Hard boiled eggs

Healthy Sources of Fat:

-Avocado

-Yolks of Eggs

-Almonds and Nut Butters (and other nuts/nut butters)

-Sunflower Seeds (and sunflower butter)

-Olive Oil & Coconut Oil (in moderation)

Healthy Sources of Whole Grains or Carbohydrates:

-Vegetables

-Fruit

-Quinoa

-Ezekiel Wraps and Breads

-Whole Grains (old fashioned oats)

-Whole Grain Breads, Wraps, Pastas, etc.

-Beans/Legumes (also a good source of protein)

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A Letter to My Biggest Fan, My Husband.

August 8th, 2015 - Inspiration, Kids/Family

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Today marks 6 years of being married to my very best friend Sean Farrell, who also happens to be the creative director, photographer, and graphic designer behind Dashing Dish!

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Many people do not know that Sean is actually one of the biggest reasons that Dashing Dish exists today. I will never forget the night that we sat on the couch in our apartment as a newly married couple, when Sean said to me, why don’t you share the recipes that you are so passionate about making online?! I had never even heard of a blog before, and had never visited a recipe website, so to me this was a foreign concept.

Although I didn’t know what this ‘website’ would look like, my husband encouraged me to sign up for a WordPress themed website, and share one of my favorite recipes. At that time I thought that this ‘recipe website’ would be a simple website where I would share a recipe every now and then, and perhaps those that I love (mostly family members) would visit from time to time…After all, I just started a full time nursing job, so I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to devote to it.

Little did I know that God had a beautiful ministry in the making, and it all began with the simple and sweet encouragement from my husband.

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About six months after starting Dashing Dish, I started to receive hundreds of e-mails from women of all ages, from all around the world. Whether it was about losing unwanted weight or finding freedom in the areas of eating disorders, each woman had their own story. I started to realize the great responsibility that God had given me with this website and that it was meant to share much more than recipes. I felt the Lord prompting me to share about the freedom and joy that can only be found in Him and to teach women how to find their true beauty in exchange for the ashes of their life (Isaiah 61:3). I came to a place where I knew beyond of shadow of a doubt that this was my calling and it was confirmed to me many times over.

Despite knowing my destiny was awaiting me, I started to have doubts. How could I have spent five long years in nursing school, and have the job of my dreams, and give it all up for something that wasn’t yet even established as a business or ministry!?! I began to wrestle with what my heart was telling me and I second-guessed myself at every turn.

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This is where my incredible husband came in again!

One night as I sat I sat in our bed rolling over the weight of the decision that I knew I was facing, my husband came in to pray with me. Tears poured out for the women that I knew God was calling me to reach…Yet at the same time, my thoughts and analytical brain was racing in every direction. My sweet husband grabbed my hand and said Katie, what is in here, and he pointed to my heart. He said, stop listening to all of the thoughts that are so loud right now, and all of the analyzing and rationalizing, and look at what is in your heart. What is God speaking in here?!?

I will never forget the evening that my husband spoke the words to my heart that encouraged me to take the step of faith.  That was the moment when I felt that I could be ‘brave’ enough to do what God was calling me to do, because my husband encouraged me to lean, trust, and depend on Him.

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As I approached this huge next step in my life, Sean, (who is a graphic designer) began to create the new Dashing Dish website, (as you see it today), and he ended up spending one full year creating and developing it! So, not only would this ministry not even exist today without Sean, it also wouldn’t be the easy to use, beautiful, and family friendly, ad-free website that it is today, (I have to brag on him a little!) ;)

Fast forward 5 years after starting Dashing Dish, I look back and am in awe of the journey that the Lord has taken us on…and the way that the Lord used both my husband and my talents to reach people with His love in this unique way.

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Not only did Sean encourage me to start, step out, and design the Dashing Dish website, there are so many things that he does so humbly behind the scenes. He encourages me to dream big, and to do everything with excellence. He listens to my countless hours of practicing for videos, speeches, seminars, etc…and then he comes to every speaking event with me, (and might I add, they are mostly women’s events, and he is the only guy, but he sure can hold his own in a crowd of hundreds of ladies, all while carting around my books). He prays for me daily. He has the most generous and giving heart. He pursues the Lord daily in his personal life. He answers countless ‘technical’ emails, he designs every beautiful creative image we have on Dashing Dish, and DD’s Facebook page…and the list could go on and on.

The one thing that he does that really blesses me, and makes Dashing Dish possible, is that he shares my heart for each and every one of you! He prays for each person that visits DD on a daily basis, and he is constantly listening to my heart and what God is showing me for the women that visit.

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{Sean helping me prepare 6 dishes at 11 pm in a small hotel room for the Fox & Friends show in NYC on New Years Eve}

And for those of you who don’t already know, my husband has also been behind the scenes for the past year and a half, spending countless hours (on top of his regular work), designing a new and much improved Dashing Dish website and i Phone app! He has been working when he should be resting, in order to make the dreams that the Lord has been placing in my heart for this ministry for the past few years come alive! We are so incredibly excited about this new season of Dashing Dish, because we know that it was birthed by the inspiration that God gave us to make living a healthy lifestyle effortless!

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{Sean & Dan (our amazing developer here at DD) working together on the newest version of Dashing Dish}

I share this story today on Dashing Dish, because many people do not know the man behind this ministry. He not only is the reason that I started this journey, but the reason that I am brave enough to say ‘yes’ to each new step that the Lord brings our way. I stand here today in total and complete amazement to think of how the Lord had it all planned out from the very beginning when we met at the ripe age of 16 and became high school sweethearts!

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Sean, today I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a man after God’s own heart. Thank you for encouraging me to dream big, to step out, and to keep on running after Jesus. It is because of your obedient, sensitive, strong, and brave heart, that God is able to work in and through Dashing Dish the way He does…and I know that there are countless lives that will be touched because of it. You always tell me how proud you are of me, and now I want to tell you!

To my husband, I thank you for being my personal hero, and for being my biggest fan! Happy Anniversary! xo

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Top 10 Clean Eating Zucchini Recipes on Dashing Dish

August 7th, 2015 - Recipe Round-Ups

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How to Use a Vegetable Spiralzer

August 6th, 2015 - Food News

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You can find out where to purchase this product, as well as a list of my other favorite products here!

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Healthy Eating Out Tips

August 5th, 2015 - Food News, Healthy Lifestyle Tips, Inspiration

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One of my favorite ‘date nights’ is spent going to Mongolian BBQ and getting frozen yogurt with my hubby. This isn’t something we do every day or even every week, and when we do eat out I still make healthier choices (like choosing lean meats and veggies to fill up most of my plate, and frozen yogurt). And because we don’t do it often, we enjoy it all the more when we do go out to eat!

Because I live a clean eating lifestyle, many people may think that this means that I never enjoy anything outside of my recipes and ‘clean eating’ foods, but this is certainly not the case! My theory is that all things can be enjoyed in moderation, and I think that it also helps that I actually enjoy the ‘clean eating’ foods that I make at home and eat on a daily basis.

And you know what!?! This mindset is what keeps me on track and living a healthy lifestyle year after year, because I never feel deprived, or like I ‘can’t’ have a certain food/food group. I believe that living a healthy lifestyle all comes down to what God created us to do, which is make good choices, and living a life of balance.

Many people think that it’s impossible to ‘eat out’ while maintaining their commitment to live a healthy lifestyle. While it can be a bit of a challenge at times, if you plan ahead (when possible), and keep a few tips in mind when placing your order, you can enjoy the best of both worlds! The great thing is, a few simple ‘requests’ can save you hundreds of calories that you’d never even miss!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you eat out that will allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  • Be prepared. If possible, go online before going to the restaurant to see what options there are that sound good to you that are reasonably healthy as well! A lot of restaurants offer nutrition information online now, and if not, the calories for specific dishes can often be found using search engines! Try to looking for something with around 500 calories or less for one meal, (unless you plan on splitting an entree with someone).
  • Fill up on the veggies. When looking at the menu, try to steer clear of dishes with anything ‘white’, which is ultimately just empty calories. Whether it be white pasta, bread, rice, or buns. Instead, try to choose options that fill the plate with veggies and lean sources of protein. You could even make a special request to have a lean turkey burger without the bun, or wrapped in lettuce, or you could swap out a side of rice with a side of steamed veggies, (just make sure to order them without butter).
  • Watch portions. Most restaurant portions are double what a ‘normal’ portion size should be. One way to mind your portion size while eating out is to eat slowly, paying attention to when you are truly satisfied, (not stuffed), and getting a to-go box to take the leftovers home. Another great way to portion control is to split an entree with someone!
  • Beware of salad dressings and sauces. If you order a salad, always ask for dressing on the side, and ask for a low fat dressing if possible. If low fat dressing is not an option, dip your fork in the dressing before each bite. As far as sauces, you may be surprised how much sugar, calories, and fat can be added to your food with just the sauce alone. Make it a practice to order dishes without the sauce, or ask for the sauce on the side so you can control how much goes on your food.
  • Look carefully at salad toppings. When choosing a salad, make sure none of the ingredients are fried, (if they are, ask them to leave them off). Also ask for high fat ingredients such as nuts and cheeses on the side, this way you can control how much goes on.
  • Skip the bread basket. The bread served before meals is truly nothing but empty calories, and generally a lot of empty calories at that, (with butter it could easily add up to 500 calories, which is the calorie contents of a meal!)
  • Skip the fancy drinks. Ordering drinks to go along with your meal can add up to as many as 200-500 calories to your meal, (which is a meal in itself!) Instead of ordering a drink, ask for water with lemon. If you squeeze some lemon juice in your water, and add a packet of stevia, it tastes almost like lemonade, and it will save you money as well! You could also bring Tru Lemonade packets with you and add them to water, or stevia packets and add them to unsweetened iced tea!
  • Don’t drink your calories. Stick with water, seltzer, or a diet soda. If you must have alcohol, limit yourself to one drink. A glass of wine, a light beer, a shot of hard liquor mixed with club soda all have around 100 calories, (which is much better than mixed drinks, which can contain hundreds of calories for one drink!)
  • Know your terms. As a general rule, order foods that are broiled, grilled, roasted or steamed. Steer clear of foods that are fried, and sautéed, (which means that are cooked in a pan with oil).
  • Don’t be embarrassed to make special requests. With all of the allergies out there today, you can be sure that wait staff and cooks are very used to getting special orders! If you ask for ‘no butter’, sauce on the side, or steamed versus sautéed, you could save yourself hundreds of calories that you would never even miss!

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