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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
Try the Avocado Toast for brunch.
Beach Club Salad with Grilled Chicken for lunch
Roasted Cauliflower and the Simply Grilled Fish Specials from the Wood Grill
The Rossa Pizza with tomato jam, wild arugula, herbs, basil and olive oil
For lunch, order up the Local Tomato Salad
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!
For breakfast, The Original Breakfast Sandwich with eggs, your choice of protein or avocado on a housemade English Muffin.
Salmon Quinoa Bowl with Grilled Organic King Salmon with brown rice and red quinoa, baby choy moy, carrots, green onion, ginger teriyaki glaze
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.