Do you dread going out for a meal with your friends, colleagues or family as you have no clue what you are going to eat? A lot of clients struggle when they are in social situations as half the time they have to defend their meal choices constantly. So I have put together my favourite meal choices for my top 5 chain restaurants in the UK and my reasons for choosing them!
Eating out doesn’t mean you have to forget what your goals are, being able to enjoy social situations and eat well is a massive tool to add to your arsenal. So have a read and save this for future reference!
You can’t really go wrong, it’s the health conscientious person’s perfect restaurant!
For a starter I suggest the Spicy Mixed Olives.
Olives have high levels of monounsaturated fat and low levels of saturated fat which can contribute to reducing heart disease. Olives are also high in fat-soluble vitamins A and E as well as copper and calcium.
Chillies contain beta-carotene and capsaicinoids which release a heat producing compound found in the seeds. This stimulates the release of endorphins and increases the heart rate. Chillies also improve the body’s circulation and has been shown to kill cancer cells, reduce LDL cholesterol and alleviate stomach ulcer symptoms
For the main course the 1/4 chicken thigh with corn on the cob and a side salad is a balanced choice.
Chicken is easily digestible and is a high quality source of protein, the leg is a little fattier than the breast which makes it juicer and tastier. Chicken has essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make, like tryptophan. This is a precursor for serotonin which is involved in sleep patterns and brain activity.
Corn is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. A midsize cob offers a helpful 3-gram dose of dietary fibre.
This is where I went on one of my first dates with my husband. It was so hot in there and I made the mistake of wearing tights and couldn’t stop sweating! (Not an attractive look) I remember him being very disappointed that I didn’t leave any leftovers for him!
For a starter I suggest the Antipasto Sharing Platter has prosciutto ham, salami milano, salsiccia piccante, buffalo mozzarella, marinated olives, sun blushed tomatoes, rocket and ciabatta. This way you get to try a few things without having to order the whole dish, I would try not to fill up on bread too much.
Sun-dried tomatoes serve as excellent sources of minerals, especially potassium and magnesium. Potassium helps your nerves communicate and regulates your electrolyte balance, while magnesium maintains healthy bone tissue and aids in energy production.
Rocket is a hot peppery leaf packed with essential disease-fighting nutrients, it is high in vitamins A and C. It also contains fibre and sulfuraphane, a substance known to have potent anticancer properties.
Mozzarella contains niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin and vitamin B6. They are important to maintain healthy skin and vision and the formation of red blood cells. Mozzarella also contains fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E, which are important for bone growth, absorption of calcium and protection of cell membranes. It is high in fat content this is why I suggest a sharing platter so you get a little bit of what you fancy.
Despite the high fat and sodium content of salami, it does provide certain key nutrients. It does supply iron which helps protect your immune system and enables you to produce red blood cells. You also benefit from vitamin B12 which plays a role in red blood cell production and boosts the health of your brain.
Despite the saturated fat and sodium content of prosciutto ham, you still get certain key nutrients, though in small amount. Like salami it contains some iron which helps maintain your energy supply by transporting oxygen to all the cells in your body. The mineral also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells. Prosciutto also supplies trace amounts of zinc, niacin and vitamin B-12.
For the main choose Salmon with new potatoes, broccoli and green beans which will have you full without bloating.
Salmon is rich in omega 3 called EFA (essential fatty acid) which contributes to healthy brain function, the heart, joints and general wellbeing. It is also an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12).
Broccoli is high in sulforophane this has anti-cancer properties and may promote the elimination of potential carcinogens from the body. It also offers as much vitamin C as an orange, and is very rich in beta-carotene. Amazingly it also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc too. It is also high in fibre and low in calories. What a super food!!
Green Beans are rich in vitamin K this benefits the body by helping to speed up the process of healing. Like broccoli it is high in vitamin C which is important when it comes to cancer prevention. Green beans are also rich in manganese. Aside from relieving symptoms of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, manganese can also help fight premenstrual syndrome. SOLD!
New potatoes are a great source of energy they also contain vitamin B1 (thiamin), which our bodies need to help release energy from carbohydrates and is needed for healthy heart function. Potatoes contain other B vitamins too, including folic acid, vital for healthy cells and particularly important for pregnant women. Every cell in our body requires potassium to function, of which potatoes are a good source. The fibre content of potatoes, particularly in the skin, is also a great benefit and may help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Lots of great choices to pick from, when I go out I like to order foods that I can’t easily make at home. You are out and in the hands of a professional so enjoy!
For starter I would go for the Mussels alla Mariana. I can cook these at home but it’s a lot of work cleaning and de-bearding them.
Mussels contain high levels of highly desirable long chain fatty acids, these fats have many beneficial effects, including improving brain function and reducing inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. Mussels are also a brilliant source of vitamins. Plus they give you a dose of important minerals, such as zinc, which helps build immunity. Mussels even contain levels of iron and folic acid to rival red meats.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, this powerful antioxidant has been linked with prevention of cancer in the prostate.
For the Main course I would choose Seabass Al Forno, which is seabass fillet baked in white wine sauce with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and new potatoes.
Seabass is excellent source of protein, selenium and essential omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of cholesterol. It is quite high in mercury content which needs to be limited for pregnant women.
There are several types of mushrooms, I will use the most common white mushroom which has extremely high levels or the powerful antioxidant, L-Ergothioneine. Benefits of this have been linked to cognitive function, eye health, immune modulation, lung health, reproductive and skin health.
Spinach is a superb source of cancer-fighting antioxidants and has an impressive vitamin and mineral content. It contain 4 times as much beta-carotene than broccoli and also has very high levels of lutein and zeathanthin, which are both found in the lens of the human eye. It contains good levels of iron and a high amount of vitamin K, essential for the blood clotting process.
This is a great posh pizza place which keeps the other half happy and means we don’t have to go to Dominos for a date night! What is it with men and pizzas? Anyway….
So for starter Leggera Gameretti Piccant, which is prawns in a passata sauce, with chilli flakes, garlic oil, spinach and santos tomatoes, finished with parsley.
Prawns are a great source of protein as well as well as a good source of unsaturated fat, which makes up the majority of its fat content. Unsaturated fats can help improve your blood cholesterol levels when you eat them in palce of saturated fats and trans fats. Prawns are also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids (EFAs)
Parsley provides nature’s best carotenoids and is a nutrition powerhouse of a few known anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and flavonoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, apiole, rutin and apigenin). This tiny-leaf plant is rich with chlorophyll, vitamin A, B, C, and K, folate and iron. It has high beneficial mineral contents like calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vanadium, and zinc. Make sure you get some fresh parsley for at home, it’s not just for white sauce you know!
For the main course a great option would be Leggera Padana which is a very thin crust pizza witha a hole cust out of the middle and filled with salad. The toppings are goats cheese, spinach, red & caramelised onions, garlic oil and all under 500 calories!
Goat cheese, is easier on the digestive system and lower in calories and cholesterol and fat than its rival cheddar. It is also a good source of calcium, protein, vitamin A and K, prosphorus, niacin and thiamin.
Garlic is rich in organsulphur compounds, which are converted to allicin. These compounds have been shown to decrease the production of cholesterol by liver cells, have anti-inflammatory effects, prevent clogging and act as vasodilators of the arteries WOW!
Onions are another good source of allicin, in addition red onions are also packed with antioxidant flavonols like quercetin, a very active compound which as shown anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Frankie and Benny’s
This is probably a favourite of mine! I love the atmosphere here in this place and the staff are so helpful.
If I were going for lunch I would only have one course, however if in the evening you are going and others are having a starter I would opt for the Tomato and Basil soup.
Basil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. It is said to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
For the main course I was torn between two dishes (chicken or steak) so I went with a steak dish as we haven’t had one yet!
I would suggest the 8oz sirloin steak served with roasted tomato, flat mushroom and a fresh watercress. I would select a jacket potato if I hadn’t had a starter and a salad if I had.
Sirloin fillet is approximately half of your daily recommended allowance of protein, it contains all the amino acids necessary to build muscle and repair tissue. Red meat provides a good amount of iron that your body needs for your red blood cells to transport enough oxygen to all the other parts of your body. It also provides zinc which helps build muscle mass, strengthens your immune system and helps promote a healthy brain. It contains naturally occurring B vitamins which is important because it helps promote a healthy body
Watercress has cancer-fighting properties due to the presence of sulphur. It also contains beta-carotene and lutein, both of which are powerful antioxidants. Rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium, manganese and potassium it’s a great addition to any salad or a sauce. It doesn’t keep long so if you need to use it up you could always make a super powered soup to freeze for another day.
There you have it, the best meals to pick while eating out and still keeping on track with your goals. Some of the ingredients are duplicated between the dishes, so if you notice that your dish has tomatoes in and I haven’t discussed it will be above in another dish!
I love working with busy women and showing them ways to incorporate healthy changes in to their lifestyle and giving them their body confidence back. I offer online coaching if you would like to find out more message me here >>
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