Health & Wellness

How to Dine Out: The Sugar Detox Way

by Meg Gerber January 21, 2020

We’re all about cooking up clean food at Five Journeys-especially as part of a sugar detox.  However, we get that sometimes life gets too busy or you need to take a night off from the kitchen – not to fear, check out these dining out tips below to help you keep your eating out excursions sugar-detox approved!

Be In The Know Before You Go

  • Planning ahead is the most important hack to staying on track with your healthier eating-make sure to check menus online ahead of time, read nutrition facts if listed on the website and call ahead to ask for options without added sweeteners on the menu
  • It’s 2020-most restaurants are used to dealing with allergies and a variety of diets-don’t be afraid to ask at a coffee shop if they add sugar to your drink or if there’s sweetener added to a sauce or marinade

Hydrate With Caution

  • Stick to water, seltzer water, unsweetened coffee, espresso or tea while detoxing-start reading labels if you typically grab juices, smoothies or sweetened beverages on the go as the sugar adds up quick!
    • If water is too boring, try adding a combo of a slice of your favorite fruit or veggie with a fresh herb to keep your tastebuds engaged-I love orange and fresh basil or cucumber and mint
  • While our sugar detox allows fruit-juice can be a heavy blow of natural sugar at one time due to the lack of fiber-stick to whole fruits while detoxing and save the fresh squeezed juice for special occasions
  • Avoid drinking away all of your sugar-giving up alcohol can be one of the best ways to fast track your weight loss! For the 7 day sugar detox I recommend avoiding all alcohol-remember it’s only 7 days:)
    • Post detox, a vodka soda is a great low sugar option, you can also check out our low sugar wines blog here

Don’t Assume Vegan=Healthy

  • Even though it may be dairy free, vegan menu items can often be denser in carbs and potentially have added sugar-choosing a grain & beans bowl or a butternut squash cranberry salad would cause your blood sugar to spike much more than a bunless burger atop a salad with a handful of baked fries
  • If you choose to eat vegan, go for dishes that have 50-75% of the plate filled with vegetables and choose a dense source of low carb protein like organic tofu to balance out the meal

Beware: The Breakfast Danger Zone

  • In my opinion, breakfast is the most difficult sugar detox meal- most typical breakfast options are carb-laden: hello muffins, donuts, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, smoothies or fruited yogurts with granola
  • Skip the carby options and look for ones with a basis of protein such as eggs, turkey sausage, cottage cheese, beans or seeds
  • Some good options may include a veggie omelet with goat cheese or avocado on whole grain or sprouted toast with a side of turkey bacon
    • For busy travelers- choose a plain greek yogurt with berries and coconut flakes or unsweetened turkey jerky, a big handful of raw nuts and a piece of fresh fruit
  • Skip the smoothies and save those for making at home so you can control the added sugar!

Don’t Get Too Saucy

  • Make sure to check with restaurant staff about the sauces or marinades they may be using-MOST have added sugar in them!
  • Common sugary sauces include teriyaki, pad thai sauce, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, honey mustard, ketchup & salad dressings
  • Better low/no sugar sauces include lemon/olive oil for salads or mustards, hot sauce, mayo or soy sauce

Keep It Simple

  • A good rule of thumb is the simpler the dish, the easier it is to identify added sugars-getting a roasted or broiled piece of fish with a baked potato and a side of veggies is a better bet than ordering the chicken pot pie or fish stew
  • Stick to dishes that use simple flavorings like lemon or lime juice, fresh herbs or lots of spice rather than those with creamy sauces, honey glazes or battered coatings.