Tips From a Tennis Pro

Our resident happy and healthy fitness ambassador!

A vegan or vegetarian food plan can sometimes be difficult in a restaurant situation. Factor in being a recreational or professional athlete who watches carbs, fats, and counts protein. Menus can feel limiting and disappointing. Sometimes your selections can be confined to the a la carte section. Even if the restaurant of choice is not offering you an easy experience with their menu, you can still create a wonderful meal and remain true to your health and vibrant convictions. 

A vegan/vegetarian/health conscious athlete should not feel restricted to plain, bland choices as well as the confinement to the salad options. Start with a smile and a hello, and ask the waiter about the foods that catch your eye and bring a jump to your appetite. A quality restaurant will always have alternative options that are available for your dining experience. Chefs do not have to slather a baked potato with undesirable or unacceptable toppings. The burrito that haunted your cravings nearly all day long can easily be created "vegan happy." It's acceptable and simple to ask for black beans as substitute for a meat. Add your favorite guacamole on the side and dazzle your plate with chips and salsa. Specific concerns about foods and the methods of preparation are completely acceptable to inquire about. After all, it is your money, your meal, and your dining experience. Keep your beautiful smile on your face, express yourself with a wonderful disposition, and it will end up being your type of a happy meal.

Ask about the use of dairy products in the foods you might order. Normally, the dairy can be substituted out for other fantastic sources that your mind and physique will thank you for in abundance. I was recently reminded that a banana can be used to replace whole eggs for baking purposes. Now that is a fun, fresh, healthy alternative! Remember to engage the bartender and inquire how your favorite beverage can be prepared without dairy. A restaurant once created a spectacular vegan espresso chocolate martini for me. It was fantastic to know that the options are out there and the bartenders are happy to let loose, get creative, and have some fun making the drink you request. Smile at the bartender and ask! And tip them!

It is always safe and delicious to dive into the salad options within a menu. However, don't be shy to ask questions about how your favorite dish can be converted into a vegan/vegetarian party plate. Quite often it can be fun and easy for the chef to roll up his sleeves and create. And while you are at it - let your favorite restaurant, chef, and waiter know a few things - it's time - go green, go leafy, get healthy! And play tennis!

Mike is a great friend and a happy, healthy man!  We thank him for his efforts to get us all in shape!

Mike Shiplett

Tennis stud, surfer, Chris Isaak freak and CA wannabe.

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Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 2:06 PM, 05.31.2013