My Tricks to Staying Healthy When Dining Out

Nutrition Advice

I’m constantly being asked what to order in restaurants. From a nutritionist’s perspective, it can be difficult to navigate a menu to find the healthiest options… whilst also remembering to treat yourself every now and again!


Here are my nutrition-approved tricks to find the most healthy options for a bunch of my favourite cuisines:


Modern Australian


Eat this:


  • Go for lean protein (grilled, steamed or barbequed) with a side of green vegetables or a green salad.
  • Often I actually go straight for the sides! Roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potato chips or simply steamed greens with lemon juice and olive oil are the perfect accompaniment to a meal!
  • I also always pair my option up with a fresh green salad.


Avoid this:


  • Fried foods and creamy dressings. Ask for salad dressings on the side if you can.




Eat this:


  • Miso soup or edamame beans.
  • Slices of sashimi (white fish is best).
  • 1x sushi roll with rice + fish or chicken – brown rice if possible.
  • Sashimi salad with seaweed and avocado.
  • Chicken/beef teriyaki with Asian vegetables, with sauce on the side, are other fabulous main meal options.


Avoid This:


  • Tempura dishes, Japanese mayo and heavy sauces.




Eat this:


  • Lean protein (chicken/seafood) stir-fry with lots of colourful veggies!
  • Opt for poached, steamed or grilled options that use simple Chinese flavours – like chilli, garlic and ginger.


Avoid This:


  • Dumplings, spring rolls and fried meats – it’s easy to overeat and lose a sense of portion control when you’re snacking on a lot of little fried dishes.
  • Go for boiled rice instead of fried rice too – to cut down on unnecessary oils and fats.




Eat this:


  • Grilled chicken breast, fish, veal or steak with steamed or grilled veggies and an Italian green salad.
  • Pizza lover? Choose a thin crusted base and add lots of vegetable toppings e.g. tomato, capsicum, onion, mushrooms etc.


Avoid This:


  • Creamy pasta dishes.
  • Processed meat toppings.




Eat this:


  • Lean protein (fish, chicken or beef) with vegetables such as bok choy and chinese broccoli – incredibly nutritious!
  • When it comes to stir-fries – look for ones made with lime, lemongrass, ginger, basil, chilli and garlic and not heavy sauces (peanut or coconut milk based).
  • Dishes that are fresh and light! E.g. Tom Yum soup, a papaya salad with lean protein or a Thai beef salad.


Avoid This:


  • Fried dishes e.g. spring rolls, chicken wings or moneybags – tasty, but very high in oil and sodium.




Eat this:


  • Choose vermicelli salads with lean beef or chicken, rice paper rolls and dipping sauces that are light and thin.
  • Opt for steamed or poached seafood or meat with fresh herbs – full of flavour without any added nasties!


Avoid This:


  • Fried food and creamy sauce.


Remember, following the 80:20 approach like I do (80% good foods, 20% not so ‘perfect’ foods) means allowing wiggle room to indulge! Believe it or not, indulging is good for you – as long as it’s not all the time! Dining out should be a source of joy – a moment shared with loved ones – not something that causes anxiety or stress because there might not be the right or healthiest meal! Treat yourself once in a while, to a delicious meal or your favourite dessert when dining out… Your body and mind will thank you!






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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.