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Tips for Eating Healthy When You’re Not at Home

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woman smiling while eating avocado toast

Eating outside the home often comes at a high cost. First, we spend our hard-earned money eating unhealthy food filled with ingredients that are not meant to be consumed by humans. Then, down the road, we spend those same hard-earned dollars trying to heal from the diseases that were caused by eating out in the first place. Seems ironic, doesn’t it? 

Eating out while caring about your health can feel like a minefield. From hydrogenated oils to sugar, from additives and preservatives to poor-quality fats, restaurant and convenient foods are nothing short of toxic. And yet, eating out is unavoidable in this fast-paced world of work and travel. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to let travel, work, or socialization get in the way of your 100 Year Heart. With some preparation and mindfulness, you can live a very full life while protecting your health.

Health starts with changing your mindset 

One of the most common complaints surrounding eating healthy is that it’s more expensive. While it’s true that buying high-quality food costs a bit more, it’s an investment that saves thousands down the road. But, truthfully, can you really put a price on health? 

Interestingly, the average American dines out close to six times a week, spending over $3,500 on eating out each year. Today’s society has no problem spending money on expensive sugar-laden coffee beverages or unhealthy fast food. Sadly, these habits come at a considerable cost. Americans are sicker than ever. 

When you aim to live your life differently than the majority of the world, you’ve got to make different choices. This means that most of your food will be prepared and eaten at home. A healthy heart starts with the right food. Unfortunately, that food is not found in most restaurants, convenience stores, or workplaces. 

Preparing food at home doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on fun events. It simply means shifting your mindset. Instead of socializing at a local restaurant, how about preparing a fun picnic to be shared at the lake or park? 

Mindfulness, creativity, and preparation are the keys to success when eating on the go. 

Five tips for eating healthy away from home

While eating out at a restaurant instead will be the exception, rather than the norm, it’s still possible to enjoy an occasional night out on the town. Here are some tips to help you navigate eating away from home while protecting your 100 Year Heart. 

  1. Choose health-conscious restaurants

Fortunately, in response to public demand, many restaurants are more focused on healthy eating than they used to be. As a result, most cities have at least one or two establishments deeply committed to serving whole, natural food and sourcing ingredients responsibly. 

When searching for heart-healthy restaurants, look for terms such as farm-to-table or sustainable dining. Seek out items such as grass-finished burgers, wild-caught meat, organic, free-range poultry, or wild-caught seafood. Choose places that focus on organic, whole foods. They do exist! 

  1. Make a game plan and stick to it 

Once you’ve chosen a restaurant, peruse the menu before heading out. Decide what you will eat ahead of time, thus avoiding any impulsive buys. Also, consider calling the restaurant beforehand to ask about any available specials. Oftentimes, health-conscious restaurants will feature local, fresh options on their special menu. 

  1. Manage your hunger by eating before you go 

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t go to a grocery store hungry. The same is true for a restaurant. It’s much harder to avoid the bread basket when you’re starving. So when you head out to eat, be sure to feel relatively satisfied. Munch on some organic veggies, a handful of nuts, or another organic snack prior to leaving your home.

  1. Avoid unhealthy oils

One of the reasons it’s dangerous to eat out is the high use of cheap, industrial seed oils. Most restaurants use these highly-inflammatory oils for cooking their food, including vegetable oils such as corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil. Not only do most restaurants use these oils, but they use them and reuse them, making them a rancid toxin for your body.

Whenever you’re eating away from home, avoid fried food altogether. Request that your food be cooked in healthy oils such as coconut or avocado oil. If that is not possible, ask the chef to cook your food in butter or lard. Ideally, look for food that has been steamed, grilled, roasted, or poached. 

  1. BYOD – Bring your own dressing 

When eating out, most health-conscious people opt for a salad. Sure, leafy greens and vegetables might be healthier than other items on the menu, but not when you add on the salad dressing. Ninety-nine percent of pre-made salad dressing is laden with sugars, unhealthy vegetable oils, preservatives, and emulsifiers. Bring your own salad dressing to avoid bathing your vegetables in toxins. If that’s not an option, request olive oil, lemon, and vinegar on the side.

Eating healthy on the go

No matter how much you love to explore, traveling inevitably comes with stress. Between traffic, airport lines, and the mental load associated with being in an unfamiliar place, traveling gets the nervous system revved up. 

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of traveling is finding healthy eating options. Airports are notorious for serving over-priced, processed food loaded with additives and preservatives. While driving to your location may offer more flexibility, avoiding fast-food or convenience store options is still not easy. 

Ensuring you are eating as close to your regular diet as possible will allow your body to reduce stress naturally. Here are a few ways to ensure the protection of your heart on your next trip: 

  • Plan ahead if traveling by air

Most people are worried about what can be carried on an airplane when traveling the friendly skies. The good news is that TSA allows most food to be brought on flights, as long as it is packaged correctly. Salads, cut-up vegetables, nuts, and other prepared food are permitted. You must package liquids, such as salad dressing and nut butter, in a 3.4 ounce or smaller container. However, keep in mind that all food must go through x-ray machines, so packing it in an airtight container is best. 

Consider using a cooler as one of your carry-on items. Then, once you get through security, you can visit an airport restaurant for ice. Also, since you can’t bring liquids through security, consider investing in a high-quality water bottle with a filter. 

  • Book an accommodation with a kitchen

While you may want to explore the local fare when traveling, you won’t want to do so for every meal. Instead, consider booking a hotel with a small kitchenette or another accommodation that will allow you to cook your own meals.

On a related note, finding a healthy place to stay while traveling is becoming easier as some hotel chains have begun offering alternative accommodations such as air purification or water filtration systems in specific rooms. 

  • Make your first stop the grocery store or farmer’s market

Meal planning doesn’t have to stop simply because you’re away. Before you travel, research the best grocery stores, health food shops, or local farmer’s markets. Then, have a travel meal plan and stick to it.

  • Pack snacks 

Whether you are traveling by plane, car, train, boat, or bicycle, you’ll want to be adequately prepared with ample healthy snacks. Some favorite portable grab-and-go snacks include: 

  • Raw trail mix
  • Kale chips
  • Seaweed snacks 
  • Almond flour crackers
  • Grass-finished beef sticks
  • Sardines or anchovies
  • Nuts or seeds 

Next steps

Many people live life eating healthy here and there, rewarding themselves with “time off” when desired. However, optimal health is not a part-time job. 

Health is a lifestyle that must be followed. Whether you’re enjoying a quiet Sunday morning at home or hustling through an airport for your next big trip, you must prioritize your heart. While moments of splurging are certainly allowed, they must be done consciously, with eyes on the goal of your 100 Year Heart. 

What you’ll find, over time, is that the simple pleasures of a small bowl of fresh, organic raspberries or a little maple syrup in your latte are, by far, much more rewarding than an unhealthy meal out. 

For more practical information on using food to prepare your body for health, consider enrolling in our Foundational Nutrition course today!

Eat well, Live well, Think well


Medical Review: Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD 2022

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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

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We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

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Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.