Eating out is a major part of our social culture. We all enjoy having scrumptious meals prepared for us in restaurants. For runners a breakfast out after a long and hard run is often the cherry on top of a good training weekend, but often it can also be challenging. Over indulging and making the wrong food choices can leave you feeling guilty and erase all the hard work and health benefits you gained from your long run.
However, eating out does not necessarily mean you have to over indulge. By simply making a few healthier choices you can stay well within the realm of a healthy lifestyle. Here’s how:
QUICK BREAKFAST TIPS
1. Portion control is vital. Listen to your body, eat slowly and don’t over eat. Remember, you can over indulge on healthy food. If the portion is too big, you are over eating!
2. Choose a mixture of both carbs and protein. It helps optimize muscle refuelling and repair. For example, choose scrambled eggs on toast versus a plain cheese omelette.
3. Avoid excess fat. Opt for low fat or fat free milk. Hold back on margarine or butter on your toast or oats. If you are having brunch, ask for salad, vegetables or a baked potato as a side dish rather than potato wedges or chips. Stay away from dressings, sauces and dips and opt for olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dress salads.
4. Fresh is best. Fresh vegetables and fruit juices have less preservatives, additives and colourants than artificial ones. Add fresh fruit rather than fruit syrups to foods.
5. Choose unrefined/high-fibre carbs. Choose health, rye or seed bread over white or brown. Opt for plain yoghurt instead of fruit yoghurt and choose bran muffins over scones/croissants/non-bran muffins. Remember, vegetable juices are lower in sugar and carbs than fruit juices.
How to order eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein, but can be very high in fat and calories. Order poached or scrambled eggs rather than fried eggs. Don’t bluff yourself with omelettes; they can be very oily depending on the restaurant and the fillings. Try ordering an egg white omelette and choose fillings such as grilled peppers, mushrooms, tomato and spinach.
How to order burgers: Choose chicken burgers over beef burgers. Remember, adding cheese, egg or bacon increases the fat amount so rather go without. If you want to add something, choose fresh tomato, lettuce or pineapple. Always keep in mind the type of place you are ordering from, for example, burgers from a coffee shop are generally lower in bad fats and sugar than burgers from fast food outlets.
How to order sandwiches: Open sandwiches are a great option. Choose health bread (without added margarine or butter) and toppings such as avocado, lean roast beef, tuna, chicken (hold back on too much mayonnaise), mozzarella and grilled halloumi.
How to order muesli and yoghurt: Though it sounds healthy, muesli and yoghurt is often not the best option as it is very high in carbs and fat, depending on the type of yoghurt and muesli. Ask for non-toasted Swiss muesli and plain yoghurt.
How to order oats: This is a great option, depending on what you add. Don’t add butter. Rather, add a bit of low fat milk, honey and cinnamon.
How to order a full breakfast: Almost all sausages are laced with unhealthy fats. Try substituting the sausage with baked beans, grilled mushroom, tomato or even a piece of grilled halloumi. Opt for grilled rather than fried tomato, mushrooms, onions, etc. Grilled tomato is very in high in the anti-oxidant lycopene.
The Dietician’s Choice
Use the key below to help you order a tasty and healthy breakfast at the following food outlets:
Brekkie to gogo (450ml): Banana, toasted muesli, honey, low fat milk or soy, TD4 vanilla yoghurt, ice and an energising booster.
Power Breakfast Wrapp: Boiled egg, bacon, sliced potato, mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise and chopped tomato (HINT: Replace the bacon with mushrooms and the mayonnaise with avocado).
Power Oats: Oats with almonds, banana and fat free milk (HINT: Don’t add butter to your oats).
Morning Riser: Free range scrambled eggs, cheddar, tomato, spring onion and green pepper served on a buttered roll (HINT: Replace the cheddar with mozzarella cheese and ask for no butter on roll).
MUGG & BEAN
Bowl of Warm Oats: Oats and almonds.
Delite Breakfast: Poached eggs and gypsy ham on health toast with cream cheese, cherry tomatoes and a slice of fresh apple (HINT: Replace cream cheese with cottage cheese and ask for no added butter on the toast).
Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon Bruschetta: Scrambled eggs on Italian bruschetta toast served with smoked salmon and chunky cheese.
Make Your Own Breakfast: Choose poached eggs, spinach and feta, grilled tomato and a slice of non-buttered low GI bread.
Open Vegetable Stack: Rocket, grilled halloumi, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and avocado on low GI bread.