You may be fortunate enough to head to the UK for the London Olympics--or you may already be there. And whether you're a steadfast fan or an inspired athlete, it's important to keep your strength and energy levels up to handle all of the excitement.
Eating healthy in London was something I faced as the On-Air Nutritionist for QVC. I was living in Montana at the time and would leave Missoula on Saturday, arrive in London on Sunday and go on the air live Monday morning. Eating healthy was crucial for me to keep my weight in check.
1. Don't Use the Menu
London offers an amazing selection of restaurants unique to the region from fish and chips to handmade chocolates however I always managed to find something on the menu that suited my need for healthy, low-fat fare. Many times I would not even open the menu and simply ask the waiter for the 'fish of the day' grilled or broiled with fresh vegetables and salad on the side. Opening the menu was too tempting, and potentially too fattening.
2. Go to Whole Foods
The good news is the Whole Foods Market is offered in many locations throughout London so when you arrive, look for the closest one. They offer a wide range of quality foods that are great tasting, wholesome, free of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavors, colors and hydrogenated fats. Take advantage of their amazing food bar offering fresh vegetables, whole grains, chicken, turkey, fish, and tofu. It's easy to get a fresh meal and recycle all the serving pieces making your contribution to living 'green.' The one downside? Whole Foods is expensive in the US and the conversion rate makes it even pricier in the UK.
3. Leave the City
If you get a chance to get out of London, take the train to Eastbourne, Sussex. It's just about an hour's trip away and is lush with beautiful scenery. You'll find a huge selection of places for afternoon tea, waterfront restaurants on the ocean with fresh seafood ,and endless manicured beds of flowers everywhere you go. Small family farms offer their fresh produce and make it easy to find a healthy meal.
4. Walk it Off
London is so accessible by foot that almost any meal can be walked off. Try walking instead of taking a cab, the tube, or the bus. You'll see the sights, you'll save money, and you'll see the weight fall off. Make sure to check out Kensington: it's full of cute shops and restaurants that offer sushi, salads, and irresistible pastries that can be enjoyed on cheat day.
5. Read and Ask
The best advice is to read each restaurant menu offering--they're all readily available outside the front door. Wait staff is always very friendly--and with the throng of tourists throughout the Olympics, are promising to be on their best behavior--so feel free to ask them what they suggest and inform them of your dietary needs.
Sherry L. Granader is a Sports Nutritionist, National Speaker and Spokesperson, Author of 2 healthy cookbooks, Writer, Ghost Writer, Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. She has shared the stage with such celebrities as Whoopi Goldberg, Suze Orman and the late Governor Ann Richards and served as the On-Air Nutritionist for QVC television in the United States and the UK. She has cooked for her favorite bodybuilder, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and his family, shared her nutrition expertise with Chuck Norris on the set of his movie "Sidekicks" and appeared on 8-time Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney's Championship Workouts on ESPN. Sherry hosted her own "Healthy Living" show on PBS for several years. For more information on Sherry, visit www.sgfit.com or write to Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.