The Salad Stigma: How to Go Full Camouflage
Fitness Rules for Eating Out
Have you ever been judged, made fun of, or stigmatized for ordering a salad when you go out to eat? I hate it when I go to a bar or restaurant with my “normal” friends who eat “normal” foods and I am given the raised brow or eyeball-roll for ordering a salad with dressing on the side. Not cool. Since I can’t replace all of my friends or turn them all into fitness freaks, I sometimes choose to go full camouflage. By disguising my “healthy” meal as a “normal” one, I can trick my friends/dinner date into thinking, that I too, am “normal”. My camouflage technique for eating out without having to really compensate later on, is simple. Its called, The Rule of 3. By making 3 simple modifications, I create the illusion of being your average everyday eater while staying on track with my hardcore fitness goals.
RULE #1: Modify the Starch
Ok, so the obvious health advice is to choose a green veggie option as your side/base OR choose a high-quality fiber filled carb, like sweet potatoes or whole wheat. My upgraded ‘modify the starch’ trick is to order a french-style sandwich. This is an open-faced sandwich with ONE-slice of bread instead of TWO. This is a GREAT trick because many people can understand the difficulty of biting into an enormous sandwich that can’t even fit into your mouth. Plus, who doesn’t adore the idea of eating french style? Bon appetite! After explaining this to people, they might even make the same single-slice choice. You can even make the argument it’s more sanitary, since this allows you to eat the sandwich with a knife and fork instead of germ-ridden hands. It’s a win-win on multiple levels.
RULE #2: Modify the FAT
Many times, there are multiple fat sources in your restaurant meal, which shoots the caloric intake WAY up into the super-size me zone. The best way to modify your fats is to choose one fat source and eliminate the others. For example, a sandwich/burger make come with cheese, mayo, avocado, and pesto sauce. Choose 1! Then politely ask to leave off the other fat sources. Many times, I choose to leave off the mayo or cheese and go for the flavorful herb & oil dressing (I have a hypothesis that I am slightly dairy intolerant, so this choice vibes well with me).
RULE #3: Modify the Protein
This one is basic. Go for the lean protein source, white meat or seafood. Eat your red meats or dark meats at home where you can control the cooking method, fat content, and portion size. Or, you can choose to ADD a lean protein to a meal! I often like to “add chicken breast” to a vegetarian option. This is simple to do since many restaurants offer vegetarian options, as well as chicken-breast add-ons. You get the delicious health benefits of eating a high-veggie meal, as well as lean protein goodness from an add-on. Best of both worlds. Except for the poor animals, RIP chickens.
Good luck going full camouflage, without the salad!