When the new year strikes we all inevitably vow to eat healthy, exercise more, drink less; just be healthier. The first week you’re killing it: A regular at the gym and no carbs or booze during the week. But then life happens – you have a stressful day at work, and heck, you’re just really craving some pizza. Have no fear, there is a way to stay on the healthy eating wagon without sacrificing flavor.

Enter, Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin, pizza pioneer and food lover, who also knows how to eat right. Chef Mahin walks us through some tips and tricks for how you can be more health-conscious in the New Year and still eat out at your favorite restaurants.

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid of food.
Most diets scare people into never eating a lot of things.

“Nearly every diet I have seen cuts things out completely, which for most of us is not realistic. Our bodies are meant to eat, they are also meant to move. Find the balance between exercise and eating and remember health is a state of mind more than anything else.”

Shot from Jeff Mahin's Instagram of an Avocado Pizza

Tip #2: Eat cleaner (and leaner).
“When it comes to food, the less processed and the cleaner the food, the better it is for you. I eat grass-fed steaks, free-range chicken, wild-caught salmon and cage-free eggs. The more we consume real foods, the better our body processes them. This is the best tip as it relates to eating out in a restaurant. Look for the menu item that’s the most simply prepared, this usually means it’s the best for you.”

Post from Jeff Mahin's Instagram of a grilled steak over brussels sprouts

Need a recipe idea? Here is Chef Mahin’s recipe for Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette.


Tip #3: Eat Breakfast a big breakfast.
Yeah yeah, mom always said to eat breakfast. BUT, what’ I’m saying is eat a fulfilling breakfast.

“Make sure your breakfast has a good balance of complex carbs, healthy fats – like eggs or oatmeal. This will give you energy and fuel to burn to kick-start your day.”

Jeff Mahin Instagram with overnight oats recipe to make for breakfast

Tip #4: Eat what you like, and listen (in moderation) to your cravings.
“You will never be successful if you don’t enjoy everything you eat. If you want to eat a cookie, you should do that, just eat a small portion – that way you won’t be left wanting a larger portion later. It’s important to listen to your body on not only how you feel but also what you need; so if you are craving sugar, give your body a little sugar – just in moderation.”

Screen shot from Jeff Mahin Instagram of Yes Cookie in front of a sign that says Yes

Tip #5: Get out and move.
Exercise takes time, some people like it, others don’t. Find a form of exercise that gets you excited to work out, for Jeff, it’s riding his bike.

Jeff Mahin Instagram of him on a Bike

Eating healthy does not mean your social life has to suffer. The most healthy way to eat at a restaurant is to order the most simply prepared items, where there are no hidden ingredients, just a great quality product. For example, a piece of grilled fish or steak with a roasted vegetable side is still delicious and health-conscious. The idea is to embrace just feeling good (that’s the whole point of eating healthy) the ability to feel better but still enjoy what you’re eating.

Here are some dishes to order at some of Chef Mahin’s restaurants.

Summer House Santa Monica:

Try the Avocado Toast for brunch.

Two slices of avocado toast with poached eggs served with a green salad
Avocado Toast from Summer House

Beach Club Salad with Grilled Chicken for lunch

overhead photo of a salad with pulled chicken tomato and greens
Beach Club Salad from Summer House

Roasted Cauliflower and the Simply Grilled Fish Specials from the Wood Grill

Whole Roasted cauliflower with jalapeno Pesto on a white plate with olive oil drizzle
Roasted Cauliflower with Jalapeno Pesto


Grilled fish with a glass of white wine
Simply Grilled Fish at Summer House


Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar:

The Rossa Pizza with tomato jam, wild arugula, herbs, basil and olive oil

Cheeseless pizza with basil on top
The Rossa Pizza at Stella Barra comes without cheese and is a great dairy-free alternative.


Hub 51:

For lunch, order up the Brussels Sprout Salad.

Brussels Sprout Salad at Hub 51
Brussels Sprout Salad at Hub 51

And for dinner, try one of tacos. Choose from Chicken Tacos with simmered chicken with veggies, Grilled Steak or Grilled Fish. It’s a super hearty and flavorful dish that is actually pretty healthy, too!

One plate of grilled steak tacos with beans, salsa and grilled fish tacos plate in the back.
Tacos from Hub 51

Remember, restaurants want to make the food you want to eat, so when you go out, don’t be afraid to ask for modifications. We are in the hospitality business and always want to make our guests happy.

Now you’ve got your guide to eating healthy and sticking to your New Year’s resolution, from one of our most health-conscious, chefs. So happy eating!

Looking to cut back on the booze in the New Year? Here are some restaurants serving up some delicious mocktails as well as zero proof cocktail recipes to try at home.