Regina Has So Many Great Places to Eat Out
Recently, I asked the members of Eating Well & Loving Life: What’s the Best Restaurant in Regina? And I have to say, there were some great suggestions. I mean, take a look at this list!
- “[T]he visual presentation is really pretty.”
- “It’s good real food.”
- “Real, often local, delicious food.”
- “Food is sooo good.”
- “[A] casual but intimate place to eat.”
Ask to join, and check out the full thread plus other great posts here.
Problems with Eating Out
Unfortunately, eating out is such a different experience from eating at home that it can cause problems. And those problems mostly have to do with eating too much.
- All the descriptions sound amazing, so you order an appetizer, entree, and dessert…but by the time the entree arrives, you’re already satisfied, and by dessert you’re stuffed.
- You’re busy eating and chatting with your friends and don’t notice how quickly the mound of fries are disappearing, even though they’re cold and not very delicious.
- The evening starts with alcoholic drinks, adding calories your body doesn’t notice and regulate as well as when you eat solid food.
- It looked normal in the restaurant setting, but when you get home you realize the plate set in front you was actually a platter, and you tried to finish it.
- You go to a family restaurant with big portions and try to “get your money’s worth” by eating it all.
- Growing up, the rule was to finish your plate. And somehow, this rule is still on your mind even when you don’t serve yourself.
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then likely you’ve left restaurants feeling pretty uncomfortable, maybe in need of a nap, and regretting some (but not all!) of your choices.
So some of the influences that cause overeating are to do with old habits from childhood. Others are connected to how the restaurant wants to keep you happy and coming back. But the rest is to do with HOW you’re eating (mostly mindlessly), and WHAT you value.
Getting Your Money’s Worth
One of the biggest problems I hear about with eating at restaurants is the idea that we should try to eat as much as possible in order to get our money’s worth from the experience. It’s often wrapped up with the “clean your plate” instructions from childhood, and can be a really unexamined – and unhelpful! – habit.
I’m all for getting value out of your experiences… but is the money & value really in the last bits of food?
Sure, the main event when you’re going out to dinner is getting your meal. You wouldn’t have a successful outing without having something to eat. But you could eat food that’s nearly as tasty and much cheaper at home. So what else are you valuing, and therefore paying restaurant prices for? Might it be…
- A Change of Scenery: The chance to get out of the house, or away from work
- Service: The opportunity to have other people set the table, do the dishes, and bring everything right to you
- Socializing: The excuse to see family and friends, and catch up with them, or to see and be seen
- Space & Atmosphere: A place big enough to host a celebration, or with nooks to hide away in for an intimate conversation
- Newness: The chef’s ingenuity and expertise in preparing foods in new ways
Notice that none of this has anything to do with how much food is offered. And you can enjoy all of these aspects of going out to eat even if you just had a taste of someone else’s meal.
So next time you plan an evening out, or a lunch meeting, consider what you want to get out of the experience. Sure, you’ll want to get fed. But what else? Then take a deep breath, and try to enjoy everything fully.
Shifting Thinking About Waste
“But if I don’t eat it, it’ll go to waste!”
That might be true. Some waste is inevitable! There’s waste in preparing food, in guessing how much to order into the kitchen, and in plating. It’s also a waste to keep eating after you’d otherwise stop because you feel satisfied & the food is no longer as delicious. To feel better, you might:
- Take the extra to go & enjoy it again later
- Send gratitude to the food, farmers, and cooks while letting go of uneaten food
- Ask for a half order next time, if that’s a better fit for your appetite
How was your last restaurant experience? Can you imagine implementing any of the strategies here, and end the meal feeling good? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Relationships with food are complicated, and you don’t need to navigate yours alone! Nicole offers 1:1 coaching year-round, and facilitates the evidence-based group program Craving Change: a how-to workshop for changing your relationship with food. Time is running out! Registration is open for the Fall session just until September 14th. Learn more and register now.