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It is best to eat food from home that you can prepare yourself, but life doesn’t always work out that way. The key to eating out and sticking with your meal plan is to be prepared. Most restaurants have menus online so you can check them out before you go. Salads are generally a good choice, just watch out for added croutons, tortilla strips, fried chicken, etc. A good salad should have at least 5 different vegetables and some protein. Use olive oil and vinegar instead of ranch or blue cheese as your dressing.
Here are Some Options When Eating Out:
Panera: Classic hand-tossed salad + chicken
Chipotle: burrito bowl or salad. No rice, no beans, add veggies of choice (salsa, fajita veggies, lettuce), double meat, guacamole.
California Fish Grill: grilled fish (no fries, rice, coleslaw or bread), add side salad
KFC: Chicken without breading, corn, green beans
In-and-out: Protein-style double-double.
Quiznos: Chicken Taco salad (no tortilla strips) or Classic Cobb Salad (no croutons)
Subway: Salad with all veggies, chicken, and avocado. Mexican food: Fajitas (any protein is ok), no tortillas, no rice, no beans, double vegetables.
Japanese food: Teppan yaki, eliminate the rice. Sashimi or hand rolls without rice. Soy sauce contains gluten (gluten free soy sauce is available at specialty grocery stores).
Italian food: Avoid pasta or rice. Choose grilled fish or chicken with a side of vegetables and lots of salad to start.
Last night I had an opportunity to go to a new restaurant with one of my new friends that I made at the yoga retreat. She wanted to grab a cocktail and have a chat, which I always up for. We ended up heading over to the Lagoa (Lagoon) which is located in the middle of the southern part of Rio and has a beautiful view at sunset. There is this restaurant there called Palaphita Kitch that serves Amazonian food with a TWIST. It was the PERFECT place to spend a Thursday evening having some girl talk and enjoying a few cocktails.
The restaurant includes foods like “Mujica de Tambaqui” (amazon fish soup), several drinks made with mangarataia (Amazonian ginger), and cupuaçú (an
Amazonian super fruit that rivals acai). What surprised me the most about the restaurant was that their entrees were all FONDUE. Yes, like the Swiss/French melted cheese or chocolate dish. FONDUE. In the AMAZON? I thought that fondue was only served when it was cold in the Swiss alps with an enormous amount of French Bordeaux. I would NOT want to drink a French Bordeaux in 96 degree weather as it has been here in Rio. Globalization is so interesting! Another neat item on the menu was an appetizers of camembert cheese (French) stuffed with Amazonian fish and fried bananas. Totally nuts!
My girlfriend and I ended up sharing an eggplant bruscheta and we each had a caipirinha (Brazil’s national drink) made with Absolute Vodka, tangerines,
Amazoinan ginger and sugar. DELICIOUS! I would like to go back to try their other tropical fruit cocktails, as those caipirinhas really sneak up on you and you have to kind of space them out. If you ever check this place out if you make it to Rio, just be aware of the GIGANTIC ants everywhere, and lizards that may try to get in on your fondue. Its a jungle out there after all.