After 2 exciting weeks of showing my aunt around NYC, I am finally back to clean-eating and meal-prepping. My aunt is from Hong Kong and this visit was her first time back to NYC in 6 years! The sweetheart came specifically to attend both mine and my little sister’s graduations; so of course, I had to show her a good time in NYC!
Throughout the past 2 weeks, we had been mostly eating out for our meals; although she was able to get a taste of the different varieties of cuisines and flavors of NYC, it inevitably wore down our digestive system with the added MSG, fat and salt. Don’t get me wrong, I love a scrumptious meal out and about in the city, but when it becomes a daily habit, there definitely are some negatives that I would like to highlight.
- Why does an outside meal sometimes taste so delicious, incomparable to a meal made at home? Quite often, meals prepared at restaurants use a larger quantity of fats, salts, sugars and flavoring to enhance the taste of each dish. In doing so, eating out frequently presents a larger quantity of sodium and cholesterol that you are adding to your diet.
- You are never 100% positive about the full list of ingredients that are incorporated into your meal! Although the little description caption below the name of each dish might give you a pretty clear idea of what you are about to ingest when your food arrives, how certain are you to be able to name every ingredient that is in your dish? Yes, I won’t deny that in certain dishes like salads and some less elaborate dishes, it may be possible to tell every spice and ingredient that you are eating, but for the most part, dining out removes your ability to precisely know what you are putting into your body.
- Portion control becomes a bit more difficult… unless you are eating at a French restaurant where dishes are typically smaller in portions, in a typical American restaurant, dishes provide quantities of food that exceed the RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowances) as defined by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine.
- As shocking and unfilling as it sounds, a “portion” of steak is actually only 3 oz. which can be estimated by the size of a deck of cards… what we normally get when we order a steak dish in a restaurant can be anywhere from 1.5x the size of this portion or more. Over-eating portion sizes can result in excessive intake of cholesterol and and fat.
My normal routine after returning from vacation or dining out for multiple events during a short period of time usually includes a combination of salads, teas and fruit/veggie smoothies to help “detox” my system. I am not a heavy meat-eater, so during these “detox” days (3-4 days), I choose to avoid or limit the amount of meat intake as well, just to give my digestive system a break.
- For breakfast during these days, I usually have either a Chobani yogurt with an 8 oz. homemade veggie/fruit smoothie OR a large cup of cereal soaked with almond milk and a whole sliced banana. I love soggy cereal and yes, I like eating cereal out of mugs rather than bowls.
- For lunch: I’ll opt for a salad. In the picture above from today’s lunch, I had a mixed greens salad with peas, corn, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, avocado and cucumber, topped with heaping loads of black pepper, croutons, a cut-up slice of ham and a Tuscan Italian dressing.
- For snacking: I had rice crackers and a slice of multigrain toast with 1/2 avocado, sprinkled with some salt and black pepper.
- For dinner.. I “cheated”… My parents wanted to go out for dinner so I tagged along for some quality time with my folks and chose the vegetable lasagna entree to continue with my no-meat streak. Instead of being stuffed with meat, it had an elaborate mix of eggplant, mushroom, and zucchini. I normally LOVE cheese but because I was trying to limit excess fat intake, I did scrape off some of the mozerella from the top and the cottage cheese from the interior of the lasagna. Overall, all I can say was… DELICIOUS! Will be back for more!
- For dessert, I was craving something sweet, so I made another 8 oz. fruit/veggie smoothie when I got home.
After all that…. boy was I stuffed, but it definitely felt nice to have eaten a few meals at home yesterday!
Do you guys have a preference for home meals or dining out?
Also, if you guys are interested, I can share my other salad and/or smoothie recipes in the upcoming posts. 🌱 Just comment below!
Thanks for reading! Have a lovely day everyone! 😎
I just have to share the very cheesy vegetable lasagna from dinner 😍