Friday, 22 June 2012

Eating Out (While Eating In)


Guest wrote on a friends blog about a month ago... 


"A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.”
- Dr. Samuel Johnson

One of the golden rules to watching your weight is: ‘eat home cooked food’. Another one, which is pretty much the same thing, is: ‘don't eat out too often’

Ok. Awesome that's easy enough to do right? WRONG!! 8 times out of 10, we order in.

You want to sit back, can’t be bothered to eat what’s in the fridge, so you reach out and pick up the phone. Chinese food, Indian, pizzas, burgers and sandwiches are my staple. Wait – that's everyone’s staple.
So how do you manage to eat right when everything on the menu is wrong?

a. Go online and LOOK at menus
Never rely on your friends saying ‘oh there’s nothing else to eat there’ – go online and see for yourself. There usually is. It’s easy enough to do now, all you have to do is take out your (my) trusty blackberry and do a Google search. Zomato, burrp and a few other sites usually have the menus accessible.

b. Be smart
Order from places you know you can get food. Unless you’re allowed to eat cheese and bread, or it's a cheat day, or you just cant help it, or you’re horribly hung over and need the cheese, don't order from Dominoes, Smokin’ Joes or Pizza Hut. With all respect to the drool the thought of a margarita pizza with sausage is creating, there is nothing you can order there that is good for you, or part of any diet whatsoever.
If everyone around you is set on a place you cant eat from, order from somewhere else. The minimum orders at most places are 250 bucks. I’m sure you’ll manage to order enough to cover that.

 c. Order soup (if you must)
Stick to clear soups or broths. If you must have a thick soup ask for the soup without corn flour. Yes, I know its depressing but it's a lot less depressing than not being able to button your jeans six months down the line. Most places are very accommodating and will happily do this for you (I love you, Lings Pavilion).
Easy options: Tum Yum soup, clear soup with veggies and chicken if you’re eating protein.

 d. Try and stay away from salad
I have ordered salad from so many places with the best intentions. My resolve lasts only as long as I take to open the container. Salads are supposed to be fresh and light, they are not supposed to look like two-day-old produce that has been put out to pasture. 

Salad wilts when put into containers (big green leaves become small soggy mush), especially when placed in a bag with other food that's hot.I don't know about you, but I need to eat food that LOOKS good – I can’t do that with light green to moldy brown leaves that have been sparingly scattered with tomatoes and olive oil.
If you must have a salad (you were warned!) ask for the dressing separately, so you don't get a depressing soggy mess in a foil container. Subway is the best place to order salad from, if you really really have to.

 e. CONTROL YOUR URGES
If you’ve ordered Indian food, don't order something that's swimming in oil. I know, you’re thinking ‘what’s not?’ Order tikkas, order PLAIN TANDOORI ROTI – not naan – and avoid most of the veggie options they give you.

I like to pick bits of chicken out of the gravy and then eat them. Or straight out of the biryani- this way I get the flavor of the food and I don't care about all the rice that's left in the boxes. A few grains stuck to chicken don’t matter, and it’s infinitely satisfying. Just because you’re ordering out doesn't mean you have to go crazy. Don't order butter naan, avoid chelo kebabs and ease up on the kaali dal (A part of my soul has just fainted at my own suggestion). You can eat good Indian food without burping the rest of the night. The answer is TANDOORI!

Its not really difficult to watch what you eat if you’re ordering in. You have to stay strong and not give in J That being said, I ordered pizza last night and will spend the rest of the weekend wishing I hadn’t!