Tips for Eating Clean While Eating Out

Hey, it’s ok to interrogate your wait staff.

It’s your food, your health and your money…so do it without shame.

I say that because one of the biggest challenges for people on a weight loss plan, is where to dine and maintain a devotion to clean eating during their weight loss journey.

Here are some  simple ways to stay true to your mission and enjoy a great dining experience at the same time.

  • Identify Specific Types of Restaurants:  I always instruct my clients who travel for work, to always check out what healthy restaurant selections are available in the city they’re about to visit.  It can be vegetarian, juice bars, gyms with nutrition bars or traditional restaurants with “healthy options.”   This simple practice applies to your home town.  For example, in my smart phone, I have a list of restaurants for most neighborhoods in Pittsburgh where I know I can get good food without sacrificing my devotion to clean eating.
  • Interrogate the Wait Staff:  sometimes, you have to go where your business partners choose or where there is a gathering of friends.  Let’s say you don’t get a chance to fix your own meal before you arrive and you absolutely must eat something at the place where you’re gathered.  No problem!  This is the fun part.  Simply look for the side dishes and see what vegetables are offered.  Pick something you like.  Let’s say you want chicken, but don’t like how it’s prepared on the menu.  Ask the wait staff and chef to prepare it the way you want.  If you like a meat selection but the side items are not working, ask to swap out.  Take rice for example, if they’re serving white rice, ask to swap it out for brown rice.  Keep swapping, switching and deleting until you have an entree you know fits your eating plan.  The bottom line is that most restaurants can accommodate you and want to accommodate you because they want you to come back.
  • Tell Them How to Cook:  I visited a very popular sports bar in Atlanta to watch some football.  I checked out their side dishes and ordered mushrooms and broccoli with some sautéed shrimp.  The problem is that the veggies were cooked in butter so I sent it back and asked if they could cook it in olive oil.  They said yes and I was happy.  When I visit one of my favorite Thai restaurants, I always instruct them to lightly cook my vegetables and not over cook them.  They do it and I’m happy.

So take the time to scout out uniquely good places to eat or be prepared to take the time to work with your wait staff to come up with combinations that work for you.  Eating out can be just as rewarding as your homemade meals.

5 Wellness Theories to Avoid

The breathing is heavy, sweat running down her face, her expression carries the look of fierce determination, her workout gear drenched.

This is her routine, this is her world, it’s what she loves.

However, there’s only one part of this world she hates and wants deleted.

It’s that extra 20 pounds that sticks to her like glue, no matter how hard she works out.

She shares with me, how much she’s bothered by the excess weight that hangs around, regardless of her intense beast mode workouts.

So I ask, ‘how are your eating habits?’

She confesses, “not good”; in fact, they’re pretty bad.

I ask, ‘why do you workout?’  She responds, “so I can eat what I want.”


I conducted a workshop for a major healthcare provider and engaged in Q & A with members of the audience.

A woman shared with us her displeasure with a long-running dependency on blood pressure medication; not only that, but her doctor wanted to increase her dosages but could not provide answers on how to correct her condition.

I provided the answers, based on nutrition.

I often share those types of solutions to health conditions haunting people’s lives daily.

Here’s the kicker:  they sometimes say, let me check with my doctor first.

Those are just some of the theories and habits we adopt with health and wellness that prevent people from getting well.

Here are 5 wellness theories and habits to avoid

They hold people back from getting well and experiencing the best optimal health their bodies deserve.

  1. “I Workout to Eat Whatever I Want”:  you may be fit but are you healthy?  The notion that good health and optimal wellness is gained primarily by working out in the gym, running, cycling or any other fitness activity is just flat out wrong.  The first form of wellness is cellular nutrition.  Why?  Because each of us is made up of more than 100-million cells and they need to be fed properly.  So busting your tail in the gym while eating poorly will just keep that extra weight right where it is.  Most importantly, you may have an “eye candy” physique or figure but internally, you could be all jacked up.  Ever hear of workout fanatics dying young due to chronic illnesses or cancer?  If you ignore nutrition, you’re ignoring true wellness.
  2. Consult with Doctor About a Wellness Plan:  doctors have a supremely valuable place in society, especially when it comes to acute care to repair injuries.  However, the truth is that doctors know very little or next to nothing about healing the body with sound nutrition.  The problem is when it comes to dealing with a chronic illness, a doctor will prolong your stay on pharmaceutical meds rather than fix you up with a solid eating plan to heal your condition.  Food is medicine, just ask my clients who’ve scaled back on their medications after changing their eating habits.
  3. Counting Calories:  when it comes to diets, this method is seriously ancient, ineffective and unsustainable.  More than 100 diet theories are floating out there, leaving people confused.  Many focus on simply minimizing the amount of bad food you eat, therefore, count the calories of those foods so you don’t surpass your daily limit.  That’s nuts!  Here’s the truth:  if you’re eating sound, whole, living, sprouted foods that work with your body, you don’t have to count calories.  My clients don’t count calories, they eat some seriously good food.  You eat as much as you want.  I can drink a breakfast smoothie that carries 400 calories of whole foods and be much better off than someone eating a 300 calorie meal comprised of a traditional breakfast.
  4. Everything in Moderation:  I laugh whenever I hear this phrase.  It’s actually true, but what humors me is that people use that notion as a green light to eat poorly, so it goes from moderation to a daily habit of bad eating.   That phrase relates to eating clean 80 or 90 percent of the time.  When clean eating is embedded in your lifestyle as a culture, chances are, “everything in moderation” is pretty cool.  Why?  It’s not a habit, it’s a diversion.
  5. Fat Free – Sugar Free:  whenever a product promotes fat free and sugar free, just stay clear.  It’s wise to stay away from all processed products and pre-packaged meals.  Our bodies need fat (especially omega 3 fatty acids).  Even some forms of saturated fat is needed for energy.  Sugar is needed by our cells for energy.  The problem is that our commercial food source is saturated with the wrong types of fats and processed sugar.  It’s so bad, they’re making people sick.  It’s all about being selective about your food source to insure the proper forms of sugar and fat and the right amount.


8 Benefits of a Holistic Health Coach

What is a holistic health coach?

What separates a holistic health coach from a simple health coach, dietician, nutritionist, personal trainer, doctor or therapist?

Let’s check out the later group and what they’re all about.

That group focuses on a variety of goals, like a nutrition-based foundation to achieve a healthy lifestyle, used by nutritionists and health coaches.

A dietician is legally registered and board certified in the area of dietetics, an academic approach to prescribing what foods to eat  according to dietary guidelines for groups and public policy.

Doctors, particularly those that practice western medicine, identify a problem and symptoms and generally prescribe medications to suppress the symptoms but not reverse the cause, thus a lifetime dependency on pharmaceutical meds.

Personal trainers are concerned primarily with fitness and muscular development.  However, some have chosen to broaden their perspective by adding an emphasis on nutrition, which is good.

The Uniqueness of a Holistic Health Coach

Here’s the deal with a holistic health coach; you get the milage of a vehicle specializing in fuel-economy but the power of a vehicle sporting a v-8 engine.  That’s the simple truth!

Basically, a holistic health coach is multidimensional, combining much of what you get from a nutritionist, dietician, therapist and in some cases, personal trainers.

However, holistic health coaches go even deeper in scope by addressing emotional, mental and lifestyle components that drive our eating habits; like stress, relationships, careers, family…overall balance.

A holistic  health coach who is rooted in nutrition offers a dimension doctors don’t because doctors are not trained in the area of nutrition.

A holistic health coach sees natural, whole foods as sacred and have a fundamental belief that food is both fuel and medicine.

Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of working with a holistic health coach.

8 Benefits of a Holistic Health Coach

  1. builds lifestyle balance: nutrition, fitness, emotional strength, relationships, personal care, careers, goals and environment
  2. uses nutrition as a building block
  3. can reverse chronic illnesses
  4. focuses on the power of food
  5. reduce dependency on medications
  6. anchor of emotional support & motivation
  7. elevates confidence and self esteem as a coach/client team
  8. truly cares about the person

To learn more about why I become a holistic health coach, I’m featured in this article that appeared in Edible Allegheny. Please check it out–Why I am a Holistic Health Coach.