With the New Year comes healthier lifestyle choices, but just because you’re on a diet, attempting to detox or trying a new fitness regime, does that really mean you have to stop eating out altogether?
Jewellery Quarter’s favourite Italian restaurant, Pasta Di Piazza, based on Brook Street, says an improved lifestyle choice shouldn’t stop you from eating out – it just means a little extra caution should be taken when it comes to ordering your meal. To give you a helping hand, Roni Ferro, Pasta Di Piazza’s general manager, has provided his top tips to choosing healthy when dining out, helping you to stay on track with your New Year detox.
1. Control your intake
We all know that a chicken caesar salad is best when smothered in a caesar dressing, but we also know that unfortunately, it’s not the best way to keep your salad healthy. When dining out this month, ask your waiter or waitress to bring your salad dressing on the side, that way you can monitor how much you’re adding to your meal.
At Pasta Di Piazza, many of our salads are served with a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.
2. Make sensible substitutions
When ordering your meal, do your best to make healthy substitutes and step away from your usual choices. Lean meats, such as grilled chicken, pork and veal are better options than cured meats such as salami and chorizo. Instead of ordering a portion of chips, why not opt for new potatoes, vegetables or a house salad?
3. Check out the menu in advance
Got a dinner date planned, but you’re worried about what to choose when you get there without seeming fussy? Check out the menu beforehand so you can suss out the healthy options that are available to you, therefore saving time when it comes to ordering at the table! Most restaurants will display their menu online, just like us!
4. Avoid sugary drinks
If you’ve chosen to partake in dry January, then you’re more than likely looking for a non-alcoholic replacement, but there are times when these options may actually be worse for you. Try to avoid sugary drinks where possible, sparkling or still water, along with natural juices and even diet coke will be better for you than the full-fat types.
5. Say ‘no’ to wine
Although Pasta Di Piazza has a large wine menu for you to choose from, it’s important to note that if you have steered away from dry January this year, wine is probably not your best option. Spirits, such as vodka or gin are better choices to avoid a large calorie intake, so this January avoid the Sauvignon Blanc and opt for a Gin and Slimline Tonic instead.
6. Assess Your Choices
Spaghetti Carbonara or Spaghetti Neapolitan? Two extremely tasty pasta dishes, but with one big difference. Understandably, tomato and vegetable based sauces are a much healthier option than the creamy, buttery carbonara types. Spaghetti Alla Marinara from Pasta Di Piazza’s menu combines a selection of delicious seafood in a tomato sauce (below).
7. Don’t let your eyes be bigger than your belly
Is there anything worse than leaving a restaurant feeling uncomfortably full? You may not want to waste the food, but it’s better to leave some than to regret that last mouthful. Ask your waiter to box up your left-overs so you can have it another time.
You can visit Pasta Di Piazza online or follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can find Pasta Di Piazza and a plethora of other quality tasting restaurants in our Jewellery Quarter Good Food Guide in our Shopping Section here.