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Don’t ‘Give In’ When You ‘Take Out’

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One of my secrets to a clean, healthy diet is to prepare your own meals at home.  This way, you can choose only those foods that nourish, and none of the other stuff that won’t.  But I’m a practical person, and I know that so many of us are living on the go – working towards dreams, building the lives we want, and taking care of what matters most to us.  So many of the to-go and take-out options are loaded with toxins, sugars, preservatives, gluten, and carbs. But don’t give in to unhealthy eating when you take out!

Many of you have asked for a simple guide to healthier meals on the go, and I’ve made you one!  Here are my tips to making cleansing selections while you’re out and about in search of a meal.

1.) Choose establishments that boast local, organic ingredients.

As you know, we live in a toxic world. Commiting to organic, pesticide-free ingredients is a wonderful way to protect yourself from consuming toxins. Local ingredients not only support the hard-working farming community, but also makes preservatives unnecessary.

2.) Load up on green, leafy vegetables.

Many delis and pick-up windows have rows of pasta salads, creamy soups, and monster-sized sandwiches. Send your gaze to the greener options behind the glass. They will ensure a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.

3.) Supplement greens with a small portion of lean protein.

When you have the option, select an item with energy-boosting protein, like quinoa, edamame, legumes, beans, nuts, tempeh, or tofu. Make sure the tempeh or tofu is baked, not fried. Avoid sugary or salted nuts or refried beans. If you eat animal protein, ask about organic grass-fed, hormone-free options, because more and more places are jumping on this healthy bandwagon.

4.) Don’t be afraid to add some healthy fats to your selection.

Treat yourself to some sliced avocado, nuts and seeds, coconut, or olives.  A small portion will give you energy, help you burn calories, and keep you feeling satisfied. Embrace salads tossed in olive oil! Olive oil and leafy greens are a superfood combo, so when eaten together they allow better absorption of vitamins and minerals.

5.) Be mindful of your portion, and ENJOY it.

Many restaurant portions far exceed the amount of fuel we actually need. When I don’t want to feel tempted, I order an appetizer size. I’ve also found that when rushed, we eat so quickly that we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to taste our food, or even register the feeling of being satisfied.  That is why I recommend that you take your meal time to relax and eat with gratitude. Allow yourself the enjoyment of nourishing yourself. Notice the sensations of vibrant colors, different textures, and fresh flavors. Remember to chew slowly, and connect to the feelings in your body. Don’t wait until you are full to finish – stop eating when you are comfortably satisfied.

You’ll be able to follow these simple steps no matter your location. But for residents and visitors of Los Angeles, I’m sharing my favorite spots to grab healthful options on-the-go, and yummy menu selections at each.

1. Cafe Gratitude

I love this community of gratitude so much that I chose to design my I Am Cleansed program there!  While everything on the menu is nurturing and delicious, I love the I Am Whole macrobiotic bowl. Enjoy a nutrient-rich platter of sea vegetables, braised Garnet yams, adzuki beans, sauteed kale, house-made kimchi, and black sesame seed gomasio over your choice of local brown rice or quinoa, finished with a delicious garlic tahini sauce. So grateful for this one!

2. M Cafe

Our friends at M Cafe are pioneers in contemporary macrobiotic cuisine, and also host my original RESET Your Life cleanse program. When I stop in for lunch, I always choose the M Cafe Miso Miracle Noodle Bowl with a choice of Black Cod or Salmon. I discovered tasty noodles that have zero carbs and zero calories!

3. True Food Kitchen

The True Food Kitchen takes popular trends in cuisine and pairs them with healthy living, so you can enjoy all of the cutting edge trends with all of the nourishing benefits. I love that this place is family friendly, with a laid-back atmosphere and tons of menu options for every preference.

My favorite salad here is the Winter Ingredient Salad – loaded with roasted cauliflower, brussels sprouts, squash, and mulberry with a pomegranate, white bean, and horseradish vinaigrette. So healthy, so yum!

4. Real Food Daily

If you’re looking for creative, organic, plant-based menu items, Real Food Daily is the place for you. The complex flavor pairings are guaranteed to excite your palette!

I love the Sea Cake – a butternut squash, yam, and sea vegetable croquette topped with pesto and sweet chili aioli. It’ll blow you away!

When you are craving sushi and looking for a mercury-free alternative, try the Kimchi Maki Roll. Made of jade pearl rice, miso horseradish kimchi, avocado, asparagus, red pepper, scallions, and paired with a sweet miso dipping sauce, this one pleases every time.

5. Tender Greens

This is a fast, wonderful, accessible  spot to build your own salad with fresh, organic, farm-to-fork ingredients. There are menu options for the plant-based and those who wish to add animal protein – the choice is yours!

Their delicious Happy Vegan salad is a sweet and savory favorite of mine, as it features beets, green hummus, hazelnuts, and tabbouleh on a bed of fresh tender greens.  You will be happy as the name suggests, for sure!

The next time you are on-the-go and need of healthy fuel, I hope you will remember this list and choose a nutritious meal for yourself. And if you’re in LA, take a tour of my favorite healthy spots and leave a comment to let me know what you loved!

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