Online Booking

Book now!

Saturday, 15 September 2018

What To Eat Where

Transitioning to a whole foods plant-based diet requires baby steps, requires patience with yourself, knowledge, awareness and the ability to listen to ones own body. The great thing is that nowadays there is much more awareness with regards to the vegan lifestyle as compared to, say, five years ago. It is super easy to find vegan food when out and about, whether you're on your lunch break from work, or if you are just grabbing a lunch with friends.

As a Holistic Nutritionist I don't believe in dieting, restricting calories, cheat days - which turn into binge days, then followed by a strict diet from Monday. I do however believe, that with a little faith in yourself and some guidance, living a whole foods plant-based lifestyle will enable you thrive; you will nourish yourself with foods rich in vital vitamins, minerals and nutrients; you'll have lots more energy, and you'll see a host of physical benefits too.

Through a whole foods plant-based lifestyle, providing you keep your intake of saturated fats and processed foods to a minimum, your weight will drop, or increase to stabilise to your ideal, and true weight range; the best weight at which your body can function optimally.

At the beginning though, I understand that it can be quite tricky to know what to eat and what to avoid because vegan does not however, necessarily mean healthy! My aim is to ensure that this article gives you the knowledge you need to make mindful decisions when visiting food outlets and shops for food, so that the choices you make will nourish your mind, body and soul, keep you healthy, and energetic. Eating mindfully takes time to learn, and I strongly believe that mindfulness with regards to food and veganism go hand in hand; more posts to come about that in the near future.

For now though, lets talk about what sort of foods to pick at common food shops when out and about.

  • Pret-A-Manger:

I love Pret. Not only because there are so many branches all over London, but because they always tend to have something hearty, healthy and satisfying to eat be it for breakfast or lunch.

For breakfast I usually get the coconut porridge, mango or berry fruit pot, and a green tea or green juice.
My sandwich of choice from Pret is always the Avo, Olives & Toms baguette (when available) the others listed below are just as wholesome :)
If I fancy a soup or a side to my sandwich I will usually pick any vegetable, lentil or bean soup; Pret's Bean & Quinoa Chilli soup is particularly delicious.
If you're like me and need a bit of crunch with your sandwich, try to resist the temptation of crisps and reach for some popcorn, or better still some kale or vegetable crisps (all available at most Pret outlets)

Pret Breakfast:
Coconut porridge (made with gluten-free oats, red quinoa and non dairy coconut milk alternative)
Fruit pot
Herbal tea of choice / green juice

Pret Lunch:
Avo, Olives & Toms Baguette 
Avocado & Chipotle Chickpea Salad Wrap
Falafel, Avo & Chipotle Flat Bread
Grilled Artichokes & Olive Tapenade Flat Bread
Humous & Crunchy Veg Salad Wrap
Italian Summer Flat Bread

Vegetable / Lentil based soups

  • Caffe Nero

Nero Breakfast:
Soy porridge
Fruit salad

Nero Lunch:
Felafel & Houmous Flatbread
Sweet Potato Felafel & Beetroot Humous 

  • Marks & Spencer

M&S is another one of my favourites as they have an ever growing range of healthy, vegan options for lunch. I particularly love the Rainbow Veg Sandwich which is made of red pepper bread.

Rainbow Veg Sandwich
Super Green Sandwich
... eat with...
3 Bean Salad or any other vegan bean salad

  • Pizza Express

Finally! Lets talk pizzas!
My favourite pizza at Pizza Express has to be the Vegan Giardiniera, I usually ask for mine without vegan mozzarella (personal preference), extra spinach and no oil on top.
They have a gluten-free base option but I prefer the standard base or romana base (stretched out larger and thinner). I do not have gluten intolerance or sensitivity, and when given the choice I prefer to opt for non gluten-free as the gluten-free breads have to undergo a substantial amount of processing to become gluten-free.

  • Sushi Outlets

If you're into Japanese foods which I am occasionally, I opt for sushi rolls with vegetable only, no mayonnaise; and I usually ask for brown rice or jasmine rice in mine (plain white rice is also fine, but jasmine and brown/wholegrain contains slower-releasing carbs). I would also recommend that you avoid spring rolls or anything which has the crunch, even though they may be vegan they are also high in saturated fats and salt, as tempting as they may be, they have very little nutritional value, and consist of mainly empty/useless calories.

  • Starbucks

Starbucks now offers coconut, soy and almond milks which means that most drinks there can be veganised. Avoid drinks with syrups and sugar free syrups. I usually get plain hot almond milk, frothed, or herbal tea without any milk. 
Vegan Five Grain Oatmeal
BBQ Vegan Wrap with Jackfruit and Slaw

  • Italian Pizza/Pasta Restaurants

Mr H and I love Italian restaurants for lunches and dinners, (being the creatures of habit that we both are) if we are visiting an unfamiliar place we know that seldom can you go wrong with an Italian. 
When at Italian restaurants (such as Carluccios, Zizzi etc) we almost always opt for egg-free pasta (preferably wholewheat, for the slower releasing carbs), with or without roast vegetables in spicy tomato sauce with no oil. Pizzas usually with tomato sauce, an abundance of vegetables and no oils or cheese.

I hope this article was helpful if there are any other food outlets I haven't covered here which you would like me to advise about, do leave a comment below and I will try to address those as best I can :)



1 comment

  1. Wow.. I love reading your posts!? So many ideas of where to eat.. I really want to improve my eating habits and I must say you really are an inspiration.. keep up the good work hun x