How to get the best out of eating at a restaurant on a raw foods diet
However when you are on a raw foods diet, you may think eating out is a challenge.
Here are my top tips to deal with eating at a restaurant:
- Book the restaurant in advance, this way you can research the menu and decide what you are going to have to eat. This will take away the stress of wondering if there is anything on the menu.
- If there is not a specific meal on the menu, read what ingredients the menu has and see if you can adapt it - for example they may have a salmon salad on the menu and another dish with guacamole, you could ask the chef if you could have an avocado salad.
- Before you leave for the restaurant have a piece of fruit or a green smoothie. This may seem counter intuitive but if you arrive at the restaurant hungry you are more likely to make unsupportive food choices.
- If you don’t manage to eat as you had wanted to, accept it and make different choices at your next meal.
Most importantly enjoy your experience!
10 Easy and Delicious ways to add more Raw Foods to your Diet
It’s much easier to focus on increasing the amount of ‘good’ food in your diet, rather than trying to avoid the ‘bad’ ones.
I love raw foods because of its simplicity. So here are my top 10 tips to simply add more raw food to your diet:
- Eat fruit or add fruit to your breakfast
- Make yourself a green smoothie – the ultimate fast food
- Add a large salad to your lunch
- Make a juice to snack on to keep hunger away
- Snack on soaked almonds or seeds
- Make a raw soup or green salad smoothie as a starter for your evening meal
- Have a large salad available for sharing for your evening meal
- Sprout your own pulses and seeds to add to salads, soups and rice
- Treat yourself to some raw chocolate
- Collect your favourite recipes and keep them on hand in the kitchen
You are not separate from nature
You are not separate from nature – You are nature
It has been easy to forget that we are nature as we have been brought up in a world where science and religion have seperated matter, spirit, body and soul.
Science denies the soul and religion will have your soul separate from the body and the spirit as regarded as ‘above’ the every day world.
We are taught separation in all aspects of our lives. Body from spirit and ourselves from nature.
However when you think about it you can begin to remember that we are connected to all things, this is particularly easy to see when you think about nature. Consider the following:
- How do you feel when you are in a forest or other unspoiled and natural area?
- How do you feel when you are in a built up environment with little fresh air or natural light?
- How do you feel when you eat fresh food full of life and vitality (raw and living foods)?
- How do you feel when you have eaten processed and refined foods?
Do you find that you can live enclosed and on processed food for so long, but after a while you begin to lose touch with your deeper self, your soul? You may start to experience lower frequency emotions and feelings and parts of yourself start to become dull or numb.
However when you stay in touch with nature, and eat lots of raw and living foods, you feel fully alive and in tune with your surroundings. You start to experience higher frequency feelings and emotions and become much more sensitive to all around you. Synchronicities become part of your life.
We must once again learn how to tap into our inner self and listen to our inner wisdom. We must take responsibility and listen to and trust our bodies and not seek ‘truth’ from external sources.
Keep a diary of how the foods you eat and the situations and people that you have in your life affect your emotions and feelings. Are there any patterns?
- Do situations or people have you reaching for particular foods?
- Do these foods numb, stimulate or heighten your senses and awareness?
- Do particular people or situations support you or limit your natural abilities and potential?
- Do different environments bring out different qualities in yourself?
How your diet reflects you
The food you eat is often a reflection of what is going on for you internally.
If you do not believe that the world is a nurturing place, therefore leaving you lacking inner nurturance, you may find yourself turning to food to provide the nurturance that you are looking for.
People who feel insecure may follow rigid diets and either feel guilty or punish themselves for their food choices, this can cause inner disharmony as they are eating out of balance for their body, mind, heart and soul. This may result in yo-yo dieting and following of the latest fads.
When we eat out of alignment with who we are in the world it can cause tension that can show up in all areas of our lives.
The most important thing you can do is listen to your true inner voice, honour it and enjoy the food that you eat.
Do your friendships support you to Shine?
“You look absolutely fabulous today!”
“I know that you are the perfect person for that job, they would be mad not to hire you”
“Oh she doen’t mind me calling her chunky – she knows I’m only joking”
“You – what would they want you for?”
The people that you spend your time with have a great influence on you and your life. The way they speak to you, the way they treat you, the way they support you and belive in you. With this in mind I want you to think about what three words that you would use to describe the following people:
- 3 close family members
- Your 3 closest friends
- 3 of your work colleagues
- The 3 people you spend most of your time with
Are these qualities that you want to develop in yourself?
Your personal boundaries set the scene for how people in your life interact with you. To start reviewing your own boundaries think about how the people in your life people treat you:
- Do they treat you with respect?
- Do they take advantage of you?
- Do they support and encourage you?
- Do they use humour to put you down?
Our boundaries can be used to measure our level of self respect. Weak boundaries can leave us feeling vulnerable or allow other to take advantage of us. Whereas clear and strong boundaries will attract people who respect and support you.
Become clear on your values and re establish your boundaries, what you will and will not tolerate and affirm these with those in your life.
However it’s important to understand that it may be in some people’s best interest for you to stay as you are and they may not want you to change. This may be for two main reasons:
- Perhaps they feel better than you in some way and like this feeling
- If you make changes to yourself, it may cause them to look at their own choices and they may not want to or be ready to do this
However it is my experience that every friendship and relationship that is worth having will support you and not only survive your transformation, but support you to truly Shine!
Throw away your bathroom scales!
If you want to lose weight I would recommend throwing out your bathroom scales! Perhaps harsh, but it’s your relationship with food that is more important.
I have worked with people who want to lose weight for years and as a kinesiologist my testing and research has shown that much of the excess weight was not down to food, well not entirely anyway.
Sometimes people were allergic to certain foods - this lead to fluid retention – I get this with wheat. When I used to eat wheat, if I cut it out of my diet I could lose 7lbs in 2 days!
However what I have found over the last 8 years is that weight and the inability to get rid of it tended to stem from emotional reasons. Often people would be ‘protecting’ themselves from the world or past events. Often they would be turning to food to comfort themselves or using it to supress their emotions.
When people told me it was because they did not have enough ‘time’, after more investigation it came down to them not thinking that they were worth investing the time in.
So whilst throwing out the scales may seem a little radical, as it can be motivating to see weight come off, I believe our relationship with food is far more complex than just calories…
Why food matters
This week we have spent time looking at how you can connect to your true self and why this is important, so you may wonder how food fits into this?
I actually think that food is a key cornerstone in your life and your ability to live as the Real you.
Often people think of food as a fuel that is required so that they have energy to go about their daily life, you may even consider the nutritional value of food when you eat, most people think in terms of calories, fuel, rather than anything else – but food is so much more.
Take a moment to think about this statement:
We are nature
We are not separate from nature we are part of nature – we live and follow the same cycles as nature:
We are born – Spring
We grow – Summer
We mature – Autumn
We eventually eventually return to the earth – Winter
There is nothing in nature that does not follow this same cycle.
However because we have removed ourselves from nature – we live in our temperature controlled houses, drive around in our cars and can access practically any food at any time regardless of the seasons we have lost this sense of connection to nature.
Now don’t get me wrong I love my home, I especially love being able to turn up the heating when it is cold! And I am very grateful to be travel wherever I want very easily, I am not saying we should give these things up I am just suggesting that you think about your own connection to nature.
So what has this got to do with food?
Well… the food you eat creates you on a very fundamental level, if you think about the food that nature provides in it’s natural state it is fresh, vibrant, colourful and whole, the processed food that many people eat today is lifeless, stodgy and bland in colour (and flavour come to think of it – that’s why they need flavour enhancers etc).
So if your food creates you which would you rather be:
- Fresh, vibrant, colourful and alive?
- Lifeless, stodgy and bland?
As we are nature and food is nature it makes sense that when we eat food in its natural state that it supports us, completely nourishes us and connects us deeply to our true self, our true nature.
Next time you eat something take the time to consider the following:
- How has the food affected you physically?
Do you feel full, bloated, light, energised
- How has the food affected your emotions?
Do you feel calm, on edge, angry or clear
- How has your food affected you spiritually?
Do you feel connected and open for inspiration or do you think food is just for fuel?
You are important too
“I just don’t have time to do anything for myself” – Really, you couldn’t find 10 minutes in your day for just you?
“I will have a relaxing bath after I have put the kids to bed, done the dishes…” – Really, will you? Is there no one else that can help or can the dishes wait (dare I say it, even until tomorrow…)
“I would feel guilty spending time and/or money on me, what about everyone else?” – What about everyone else? – You are important too!!
The very thought of looking after yourself, either with time or money, may seem like a selfish attitude – however I do not agree. For a start if you don’t look after yourself then you will eventually find yourself in no state to look after anyone else.
How you care for yourself is creating the foundation for your life. It also shows yourself and the the world the true value you place on yourself and let’s face it if you could connect with something/someone in the world well cared for or in tatters what would you choose?
Do you treat yourself with kindness, love and compassion you would wish to show others?
If you neglect yourself, what does that say about your interactions with others?
When we are good to ourselves then we can bring out the best in others.
Small changes can make a big difference. Why not start by committing to yourself that you are going to set aside 20 minutes each day to do as you wish, to engage with activities that you enjoy, that make you come alive. I do not believe that you cannot find 20 minutes in a day – so no excuses.
Activities that I love to do to look after myself range from 5 minutes to whole weekends, just find what’s right for you. My activities include:
- Skin brushing in the morning before I have a shower (less than 5 mins)
- Starting the day with hot water and lemon (2 minutes)
- Having a green smoothie every day (2 minutes)
- Going for a walk in the fresh air (5 minutes – 3 hours)
- Having a relaxing bath (30 minutes – 2hours – yes it has been known…)
- Indulging in new skin care products (as above)
- Reading a book (20 minutes – hours and hours…)
- Going to a spa (1hr – 2 days)
- Completing regular cleanses (24hrs – 33 days)
- Connecting with friends (15 minutes – hours – well you know what it’s like)
- Dancing (1 minute in the kitchen or hours with friends)
And so the list goes on.
It doesn’t have to be timely or costly, it is just important that you be good to yourself!
So what are your favourite activities and what are you going to commit to?
I am talking about you
I have absolutely no doubt at all that everyone has incredible potential and that they are not only amazing but limitless in what they can achieve. I am not talking about high achievers, the people in the movies or in the pop charts, I’m not talking even about people that own empires or run countries; I am talking about you!
Each of us has an abundance of key qualities that can enhance our own lives and that of others, however for most people these qualities are played down, unacknowledged or undeveloped.
Sometimes people feel that they are boasting if they do something well, some are worried how others will feel if they do better than their friends or family, some may feel shy and others may not even believe that they have any qualities to offer the world.
Our key qualities are whatever we are good at, they can be about pleasure and accomplishment and they come easily to us. Because they come easily, you may well assume that they also come easily to others, therefore think that they are not special or worth sharing - this is not the case.
When thinking about your key qualities it can help to break them down into the following categories:
- Personal – These qualities may include being optimistic, generous, loving and caring
- Work – This can include paid and unpaid work, they tend to be skills and can include planning, communication or solving complex problems
- Play – This is often left out but is equally important and can include creative activities, competitive sports, social activities, just about anything you enjoy doing
- Spirit – This can include any practices that you do and the reason that you do them, including devotion, dedication and wisdom
As you look at these four key areas of you life are there any common themes and can you identify any gaps? When you identify themes and close the gaps you make it possible to transform your life and create one full of all that you have dreamt of, as you do this you inspire others and most importantly give them permission to do the same.
This year I’m going to…
This year I’m going to lose weight, find my ideal job, get the perfect relationship, learn Spanish and take up ball room dancing.
Oh hang on isn’t this what I said last year, and come to think of it the year before was pretty similar – but I didn’t have the dancing then…
Unfortunately the above is a typical scenario, the new year starts and we see this as an opportunity to change, to start a new, to become the person that we know we could be if only we could lose weight, find my ideal job, get the perfect relationship….
The problem is there are so many choices and possibilities available to us it can seem overwhelming and ironically when there are too many options we tend to choose none.
So how do you choose a new direction, the one that is going to bring you happiness, connection and feelings of joy?
Often we feel that our life should be a particular way, this may be from influences from friends and family or from the media, however how do you know what is right for you, I mean really right?
Ask yourself the following questions to really get a sense of your passion:
- When you have moments to yourself, what is it that you find yourself daydreaming about?
- What experiences do you find yourself fondly thinking back to?
- If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would that person be?
- Write down the last 5 books you have read
- What were the last 5 films that you watched?
- What are the things that irritate you in your daily life?
- What are the characteristics in people that annoy you the most?
The answers you give to these questions can reveal a lot about the life that you would really love to be living.
Your daydreams and previous memories that you reminisce over can provide valuable clues as to what you are yearning for in your life right now.
The qualities of the people you admire and the themes from the books and films that you choose to watch can offer an insight into what you value in your life. For example are there themes of romance, comedy or heroism?
We can learn as much, if not more, from the things that we don’t like as this can lead us to create a vision of what we would like our life to be filled with and how we would like to live it.
So taking the above into account, complete the following sentence:
This year I am going to….