It's not always easy keeping fitness and healthy eating top of mind, especially when you're travelling.
Nutritional consultant, caterer and cookbook author Rose Reisman is well aware of this, which is why she works with restaurants to make healthy options more accessible. Her newest book, Choose It and Lose It, takes her efforts one step further by helping people navigate through often misleading menu items and food products.
Reisman chatted with up! about the importance of making the right food choices and building an exercise routine.
Are you going to be working with any new restaurants?
Right now, I’m working with The Pickle Barrel restaurant, which is predominately in Ontario. Eight years ago, I introduced a menu for them called the Art of Living Well. It now occupies about 10 per cent of the menu. It shows that eating well is here to stay. I think people are making better choices now.
Another restaurant is Glow Fresh Grill at Shops at Don Mills. It seats 300 people and is one of the only the restaurants in the country that only caters healthy menu items.
Will you be expanding to Western Canada?
I’m not sure yet, but I am thinking of bringing my catering company [Rose Reisman Catering] out there. We now have a program called “Personal Gourmet,” which is fresh and frozen delivery, every day or once a week to your door.
There are a lot of young executives who don’t have the time to cook but want to be healthy and eat affordable food. So, we are looking into different cities and expanding to Vancouver and Calgary, and seeing if there is a space for us in the marketplace out there.
What are some of your favourite Canadian restaurants?
I like the Keg; it has some decent options. I like Red Lobster, Milestones and Starbucks for my coffee. Joey Restaurants also have a very good concept, but you have to be careful with all the sauces.
Can you recommend any good gluten-free bakeries or restaurants?
Most chains, even restaurants like Jack Astor’s, have gluten-free options. Restaurants like Milestones and Joey's have little asterisks on their menus to indicate gluten-free items, because it has become such an issue.
Our catering menu has an entire gluten-free section. Freshii and Cultures are also good places to find gluten-free options.
A great website is glutenfreefind.com.
How do you stay healthy and fit when you travel?
It’s a must when I travel—and I always pay the difference with my publisher if I have to—to stay at a hotel that has a 24-hour gym, because sometimes I’m up at 5 a.m.
I never use the excuse: "I’m traveling so I can’t exercise." People think that just because they are on holidays, it’s time to not exercise or eat healthily. The whole thing about maintaining a healthy lifestyle is that it’s not about punishment or slaving over the exercise equipment—it’s about waking up every morning, washing your face, brushing your teeth and asking yourself, “Where am I going to fit in some movement today?”
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a gym. Just ask yourself, “Where am I going to walk to? Do I have running shoes packed? Where am I going to eat today?” These questions have to be the first thing on your mind. When you do that, you know you are leading a healthy lifestyle.
Planning your movement for the day doesn’t come naturally, but it will. It’s just like brushing your teeth; you have to train it into a habit.
Read more about Rose Reisman's advice on holiday entertaining and ordering wine while trying to stay fit from wineaccess.ca, and on foods to avoid in restaurants from avenuecalgary.com.