Friday, 2 November 2012

Discovering healthier take-away/ eating out options

For the past few weeks, Mo and I have been to gym more regularly than we have since signing up. Also, our workouts are more intense and focused (unlike before, when our aim seems to have been to stop exercising just before breaking a sweat).

Happily, we are both seeing results. His energy levels are higher (although he has not dropped a pants size at all, since he finds it difficult to stay away from unhealthy foods at work). I, on the other hand, seem to have dropped a few centimeters  millimeters (as judged by the looseness of my clothes and not that horrible gym scale that just refuses to budge from the 59kg mark).

Although changing my eating habits has been more difficult than incorporating an exercise routine, I have been making some positive changes. We have increased our intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, reduced our intake of refined carbs (this one is difficult though - we have not been completely successful in this regard) and increased our intake of wholegrains and some proteins.

The challenge arises on those few occasions during the month when the budget allows for eating out / takeaways. In the past my idea of a healthy take-out had been removing the top bun from my quarter pounder Mcdonalds burger - in an effort to reduce my carb intake.

But now that we are seeing the positive effects of the healthy eating programme which we've introduced at home, we are slightly more reluctant to relapse when going out (by buying unhealthy takeaways) and, so doing, undoing all our hard work.

Which is how we ended up at Kauai last week.

Now, you must understand that in the past, Kauai had always been nothing more than a landmark I'd use to explain to someone how to get to the ladies restroom in Canal Walk. ''Facing Pick 'n Pay, you'll see Kauai on your right. Take the first right and you'll have arrived at the ladies/men's/kiddies' bathroom''.

Deciding to actually venture into the land of goji berries, bean sprouts and wheat grass from our comfort zone ( where greasy artery clogging processed foods filled with preservatives abound) was a huge step. Upon entering, Mo eyed the menu suspiciously. How could anything that healthy also taste good?

We both ordered the Hawaiian chicken wrap which was described as '' sweet chilli glazed, grilled chicken breast, fresh pineapple, crisp salad mix and a honey sesame dressing''.
That seemed familiar/harmless enough, so we sat down - not expecting much. We'd probably still be hungry at the end of the meal, we predicted.

Image obtained here
And how wrong we were. The food, which was not only really tasty, was actually quite filling too. In fact, I finished all my filling and left much of the actual wrap behind, as I was that stuffed. I was pleased. This healthy takeaway/eating out was not turning out to be as horrific as we'd thought.

So, feeling confident from our first healthy eating-out experience, we ventured out last night to do the same. This time we chose to try something from Simply Asia - Thai Food and Noodle Bar. I was impressed by the emphasis on incorporating fresh vegetables in their dishes, as well as the fact that some of their specialised ingredients were sourced directly from Thailand. Not to mention the fact that they don't add any MSG to their dishes.

Not feeling adventurous enough to order duck just yet, I settled for Geang Khew-Wan (Green Curry). It was described as having been ''Made the traditional Thai way and flavoured with lashings of coconut milk and green curry sauce wokked with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and basil leaves.'' I chose to have mine with chicken (the other option was beef). As I always do when given the choice, I chose the hottest option available.

Please excuse the poor picture quality - it was taken with my crappy phone, as my camera lay at home with an uncharged battery.
View photo in message
Geang Khew-Wan - really, it tastes so much better than it looks on this picture
This meal totally hit the spot. The mingling of the interesting flavours of this dish had me moaning with ecstasy for the first half of the meal. But then, as usually happens, the chilli become too much for me and I spent the next part of the meal reaching for tissues, wiping away tears and snot and wishing that I'd gone with the medium chilli option instead. However, the fact that my eardrums were throbbing with pain did not detract from the absolute deliciousness of this meal. And the added bonus was that I did not have to feel guilty about having consumed an unhealthy meal completely devoid of nutrition.

Mo ordered the Ba-Mee Phad Sie-Eiuy (Sweet Soya Noodles). This was described as ''A mix of cabbage, cauliflowers, broccoli and spinach stir-fried with egg and fried garlic in a combination of dark sweet soya and stif-fry sauces with yellow noodles.'' I asked him if it tasted similar to the beef chow mein we usually order when we opt for Chinese takeout (since it looked similar to me), to which he responded, ''It's different. Also nice, but different''. I guess I'll have to try it myself. He, too, will definitely order that dish again in future.

View photo in message
Ba-Mee Phad Sie-Eiuy
Again, apologies for the awful picture quality
So, as it turns out, we were pleased to find that embarking upon a healthy eating plan needn't mean the end of eating out/ takeaways, nor did it mean having to settle for tasteless meals better suited to rabbits. One just has to know where to go and what to order 

Could you suggest any healthier takeaway options for us to try?


Angelique said...

Congrats on doing so well my friend!!

Yumna said...

Happy Birthday to your little one, who is now a toddler. You kids are amazing and that's thanks to you and your wonderful husband. Love you lots, Yumna (your cousin).

Savouring mommy moments said...

Shukran Yumna. It's so lovely to hear from you. Hope you are well.
Hugs and kisses to you and your family