Author Archives: Jean Choi

8 Tips to Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

No matter whether you are starting a sugar detox on your own, or you are joining a program like the RESTART program, 21 Day Sugar Detox, or the Whole30, one thing is clear: the best way to stay clear of hidden sugars and processed ingredients is to cook at home. However, the reality is that we all have busy lives or we still want to socialize at restaurants with our friends from time to time, and cooking EVERY one of our meals during the sugar detox may not fit within our lifestyle.

And hey, that’s totally fine!  One of the main rules of changing to a healthier diet or lifestyle is: Be kind to yourself. Don’t stress out about not sticking to the diet perfectly, but DO try to make the best decision possible with the options that you are presented with. If you are looking to learn how to do just that while dining out, follow these tips so you can still enjoy restaurant food while sticking to the sugar detox!

1. Pick the restaurant yourself and do your research.

If you have plans to meet with your friends, offer to pick a restaurant yourself. My friends know I have food restrictions so they just leave that up to me, and it usually turns out to be delicious!

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Yelp will be your best friend. I always filter my search with words like “gluten free,” “farm to table,” “organic,” or “paleo.” These restaurants will be more accommodating to your needs in case you need to make changes to the menu items. You can even call ahead to make sure they offer a flexible menu and talk about your restrictions.

2. Ask about ingredients.

This might seem uncomfortable and intimidating at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets! Ask if there are any hidden ingredients like breadcrumbs, cheese, soy sauce, or flour. If the server isn’t sure, she or he will just go back and ask the chef. And even better if the chef comes to talk to you directly, because they are usually willing to make a dish especially for you.

Another way to ask is if they have gluten free options on the menu, or even a gluten free menu. Half the work is already done for you if they do, and these menus are usually better about listing the ingredients in each menu item.

3. Salads are you best friend.

Almost any kind of restaurant will serve some type of salad, and this will be your go-to option. Make sure to let them know to leave out cheese, croutons, or any other ingredients that’s not on your sugar detox plan. Ask for protein choices that are grilled, and not breaded or fried.

If you are at a buffet, a restaurant with a salad bar, or see a build-your-own option, make sure to take advantage of that! You’ll have freedom with the ingredients you choose which will help you to make the best possible choices.

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

4. Sneak in your own condiments.

Some of the most offensive ingredients are in sauces and dressings. Avoid artificial sweeteners, gluten, and vegetable oils by bringing your own. I have brought tamari sauce to Japanese restaurant, and olive oil or dressing if I know I’ll be having a salad. I like using travel-sized bottles to keep these in so I can carry them easily in my purse.

5. Hold the rice, hold the bun.

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Don’t be afraid to let your server know that you don’t want certain items that come with your dish. It’s so much easier to avoid the temptation of eating them when they are not there, and the restaurant doesn’t waste food that way either.

If I’m at a Thai or Indian restaurant, I’ll ask them to tone down on the spiciness of a stir-fry dish or their curry, and say I don’t want rice. Making the dish a bit milder makes it easier to eat on its own. At a sushi joint, I’ll just order a shashimi or a salad that doesn’t come with rice.

Same goes with bread and buns. Just say no to bread baskets. If you are choosing a meal, burgers and sandwiches are a great option and it’s really easy get them bun-less (all the flavors are in the meat and fillings anyway!).

6. Ask for substitutions.

I used to be afraid to do this, but most restaurants are really accommodating about it and I have gotten quiet comfortable with it. I think food allergies are getting more and more recognized so it’s becoming easier to ask for substitutions while dining out.

Getting a burger? Ask for a salad as a side instead of fries. They’ll be sugar detox compliant with the dressing you brought from home! You can also ask for grilled or roasted veggies instead!

Don’t want to bring your own dressing? Ask if they can provide olive oil and vinegar instead. Fresh lemon is also a great choice to season your meat, salads, and more. If they have guacamole on the menu, I’ll order that on the side to use as my dressing and it’s delicious!

Do they use vegetable oils to cook their food? Most likely. Ask if they can use olive oil or butter instead. Most restaurants will have those two cooking fats.

Make sure to get creative! If you ask them to hold the rice on a dish, ask if you have extra veggies instead. There are so many options that can be easily accommodated once you start getting comfortable with asking.

7. Be super duper nice and friendly.

Seriously, be polite and grateful with your server and it’ll go a loooong way! Smile and be friendly because the restaurant will be way more likely to be accommodating with your requests. Also, be confident with what you are asking. As long as YOU look and sound comfortable, the people you are dining with and the server won’t make a big deal out of it either. Leave a good tip if you received exceptional service.

8. Don’t stress out too much.

Make sure to enjoy your meal and have a good time! If you weren’t able to stick to the sugar detox plan 100% with your meal, that’s okay. Stressing out about it will only impact your body negatively and you’ll have a much better result both physically and mentally if you can just practice gratitude for the food in front of you and enjoy it thoroughly.

Move on with your day, and keep practicing every time you dine out. Just like anything, you’ll get better and better the more experience you have!

Are you on the Whole30, 21DSD, or The RESTART program- Learn how to dine out during a sugar detox!

Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

Paleo Vegan Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

Happy Friday, you beautiful humans! I’m in such a happy mood today, because a lot of good things happened this week and I’m excited to share them with you! These are just a few things taking over my life right now:

  • We found a house to live in! We’ve been living in an Airbnb in Los Angeles until we find a permanent place to rent, so it’s a been a stressful week of house hunting. But our application got accepted for a BEAUTIFUL house with a HUGE backyard in Long Beach! Guys, I haven’t lived in a house in forever. It’s been apartment living for over past 10 years, and it’s so exciting to finally have a house to live in. We move in at the end of this month!
  • I’m a guest on a podcast for the first time ever! A few moths ago, Dr. Jon Rojjanasrirat, a chiropractor and an health advocate, approached me and asked if I would like to be on his podcast, and I had to say yes! You can tell I was nervous by how I stumble on some of the words, but I talk about topics I’m passionate about: sugar detox, stress management, and self love. Go give it a listen!
  • Beautiful springtime produce and recipes are on my mind! First up: this Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast!

Paleo Vegan Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

Paleo Vegan Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

Paleo Vegan Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

Sweet potato toast has been trending like crazy recently, so I feel like I’m late in the game but I had to try it out! My love for sweet potatoes goes deep so using them as “toast” to top with delicious things? Well, that’s a no-brainer for me. And refreshing and delicious bruschetta screams Spring to me. This is such a epic combo, you have to try it out!

Paleo Vegan Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

Paleo Vegan Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

Paleo Vegan Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

I’ve seriously been eating this Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast for the past several days because I just can’t get enough! The tartness of the bruschetta complements the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and I’ve been loving it for breakfast, lunch, and even as a snack.

I’m excited to bring you more delicious and fun recipes like this one this season so come check back often or sign up for my newsletter to get all the latest updates. Hope you have a beautiful weekend, friends!

Paleo Vegan Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast

Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large tomatoes or 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
Instructions
  1. In a big bowl, mix together all the ingredients, except for sweet potatoes. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  2. While the bruschetta marinates, cut sweet potatoes lengthwise into ¼ inch thick pieces.
  3. Pop the sweet potatoes slices in the toaster until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake them in the preheated 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  4. Top with spoonfuls of bruschetta, and serve!

Paleo Vegan Whole30 Bruschetta Sweet Potato Toast - Perfect for Spring!

80 Budget-Friendly 30 Minute Meals + EPIC GIVEAWAY

80 Budget-Friendly 30 Minute Meals + EPIC GIVEAWAY

Happy Spring, everyone! This season is all about new beginnings, the weather getting warmer, and the birth of all the vibrant, beautiful colors. It’s also a time to detox your home, your mind, and your body! Let’s talk about the last one a bit. I don’t believe in extreme diets or juice cleanses when it comes to detoxing (they are way too big of a shock to your system and can create more stress in the body), but you can AND should unload some toxins by switching to cleaner, better ingredients in your cooking.

One of the best ways to do this is by reducing inflammatory foods like gluten, refined sugar, low-quality dairy, and vegetable oils. However, it can be a daunting task to switch your diet, especially in this busy world that we live in juggling family, work, bills, friends, and ALL that we have going on. Who has hours to spend in the kitchen?

Well, I’m here to tell you that creating amazingly tasty and healthy recipes at home doesn’t have to be time consuming NOR expensive. 

I have teamed up with amazingly talented food bloggers to bring you: 30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budget: 80 Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Recipes ebook! I’m so proud of this project that I contributed to and I’ve already started cooking from it and I’m LOVING all the recipes, and how quickly they come together!

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This book is jam packed with delicious 100% gluten free, Paleo-friendly recipes and money saving tips that will have you feeding your family in no time while being easy on the wallet. The recipes range from comfort foods, soups, burgers, and zoodles, to “must have meals” like Tex Mex Sloppy Joes, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Crispy Sweet Potato Fish Sticks and a whole lot more! You’ll feel healthy and have more time and money to enjoy some warm weather activities with your loved ones.

Want to get your hands on the 30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budget ebook? Before you go to buy, I have a great deal and a discount for you:

For a limited time, get the bonus book, “Set it and Forget it: Budget Slow Cooker and Instant Pot® Recipes” for free ($9.99 value) with your purchase. No code necessary!

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But that’s not all! Head over to the purchase page and receive 30% off with the code: CHEAPEATS30

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And guess what? This book release comes with an EPIC giveaway!

There will be 8 winners  and the following is the list of the amazingprizes!

Grand Prize: a 6 quart Instant Pot®, a Year Membership to Thrive Market and a Month Membership to 20 Dishes!

2nd Runner up: A Year Membership to Thrive Market and a Month Membership to 20 Dishes

6 Runner ups : A copy of 30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budget
*If you win the book after purchasing it already, you’ll receive a FULL REFUND. This one’s a no brainer. Go enter!

30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budgeta

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Paleo Gluten Free Budget-Friendly 30 Minute Meals Recipes + GIVEAWAY