Clean Eating Out Tips + Tricks: How To Find The Healthiest Meal On ANY Menu

If you live in NY or LA, the 2015 Clean Plates Guides ($15.95) have hit the shelves.

But what, we wondered, could those of us who either don’t live in a city with a Clean Plates Guide – or are traveling (for the holidays, perhaps?) to places well, not quite on the gluten-free bandwagon yet – do?

Naturally, (or, should we say, organically? Or locally?) we asked Ashley Spivak, the restaurant curator for Clean Plates, to share some of her best (and easy!) tips to help you eat clean while out of your comfort zone.

Clean Eating Tips + Tricks

Look for buzz words.  “Organic”, “Locally-sourced,” “Grass-fed,” “Antibiotic and hormone free,” and “Sustainably raised” aren’t merely trendy words to throw around amongst your foodie friends, they also serve as indicators that the restaurant sources (at least somewhat) conscientiously.

Seek transparency.  Do they list their vendors, purveyors and/or farmers on their website or menu? If so, thumbs up.

Veggie ratio.  Are there veggie options on the menu? Or will the bulk of your meal be meat, bread, rice and/or pasta?

Know your chains.  There are some major chains incorporating more clean options into their menus.  Learn which they are and seek them out.  Chipotle and Le Pain Quotidian are good examples.

If you find yourself in a clean-eating desert zone?
Make your own dressing. Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and mustard together for a creamy finish to your salad or protein while avoiding the added sugars and inflammatory oils often found in pre-made dressings and sauces.

Be conscious of your condiments. Swap your table salt for sea salt. Opt for mustard, herbs, or hot sauce in place of mayo, ketchup or bbq sauce – which are usually loaded with sugar.

Treat yourself.  Sometimes the healthiest choice is to indulge.  Finally snagged that reservation? Allow yourself to really enjoy and savor. You can start eating healthfully again tomorrow.

To order the 2015 Clean Plates Guide for your city, click here!