I wanted to kick off 2018 with something a little different. This blog already gives you (hopefully) some help in terms of fat-loss and clean eating. As many of you will already know that diet plays such a huge part in losing fat and gaining muscle and it is definitely the part of fat-loss that I struggle with the most. I dedicate a few hours each week to meal prep to make sure that I have everything I need to stay on track each week but sometimes it’s nice to step away from the kitchen and head out for a meal.
That’s why I decided to start a #fitfood series of blog posts, which review restaurants both in Waterford (where I generally eat) and elsewhere! I’m going to focus more on the clean eating options that are available on the menu, for anyone who wants to enjoy a meal out without doing too much damage, but there are also a lot of options on the menu for those who are bulking or throwing caution to the wind for a night, which I frequently do!
Bell Pepper Takeaway
So the first entry in this series is about Bell Pepper in Waterford. Bell Pepper is a Thai Restaurant that does both eat-in and takeaway food, which is great for when I really don’t want to cook but want to still eat healthily and stay on track. I got the chance to go to the official opening night to try out some of their dishes and as they were only in business a few weeks I was a bit apprehensive, teething problems and all that, but I was blown away by the whole experience. The food, the service, everything was top notch and it is definitely one of the top spots on my list for a meal out.
My friend and I ordered a few different things to try both for starters and main courses. We ordered their Drums of Heaven, Coconut Shrimp (one of my favourite dishes ever!), Sweet Crispy Sesame Chicken and the House Special Fried Rice. We also got a side of Steamed Jasmine Rice. First off, when we ordered all that food we did not realise what we were getting ourselves in for. The portions are enormous, you don’t leave feeling like you weren’t fed, that’s for sure! Every dish was amazing; they were all full of flavour. Nothing we ordered was dripping with oil and all the ingredients used were super fresh! Even the Sesame Chicken, which is possibly one of the most unhealthy items on the menu was loaded with veggies and was coated with a really light sauce, that was very obviously not full of sugar. 10/10 would recommend a trip to Bell Pepper!
My next experience with Bell Pepper was in the form of a Takeaway. Over Christmas, somewhere between Stephens Day and New Years I had nothing in the fridge, was not in any mood to go to the shops, never mind cook, but was starting to get fed up with all the generally crappy food I’d been eating for, let’s be honest, almost a month! So whilst browsing through Just Eat looking for inspiration I came across Bell Pepper. Remembering how tasty the food was last time, I placed my order for Coconut Shrimp (life!) and Sesame Chicken. Let’s keep in mind that I’m still in the Christmas mood so I was thinking very health consciously, I just knew that I didn’t want Pizza or a Chinese when I was ordering. Again, the food was amazing! If you do end up going to Bell Pepper, try the Coconut Shimp, you won’t be disappointed. If I could survive on just those, I would!
Sweet Crispy Sesame Chicken with Steamed Jasmine Rice
My two experiences with Bell Pepper were definitely more on the ‘enjoying myself’ side of the healthy eating spectrum but if I were to order something now, in the middle of my cut, there are still a load of things on the menu that would fit into my daily macros. All of the Soups and Salads are very light with either plant or animal proteins in all of them. I’d probably stay away from the Starters as a lot of them (Sorry Coconut Shrimp) are fried and hence, high in fat and carbs. The Thai Red and Green curries would be great main courses, with a side of Brown and Wild rice. Both have veggies in them but if you wanted to up the protein aspect of your meal you could also add a side of edamame. Try to avoid the Masaman and Rayong curries as they are very high in fats, despite their amazing taste combinations. All of the Noodle boxes would be a great all-around meal, for either lunch or dinner. All of the Stir Fry’s except for the Sesame Chicken (cries self to sleep) would be great paired with a side of rice. I’d probably stay away from the Fried Rice dishes if you are trying to choose the healthier options.
In contrast, if you are bulking, having a ‘cheat meal’ or just taking a night off to enjoy yourself then anything on the menu is fair game. Swap out the Brown and Wild Rice for Steamed Jasmine Rice for some extra carbs. I’d probably still stay away from the Masaman and Rayong curries due to their fat content. Go mad with the Starters and Fried Rice Dishes and throw some Thai Prawn Crackers in for good measure!
Bell Pepper is a place that anyone can eat at, no matter what their goals. And that fact that they do takeaway makes it even better, meaning you can eat as healthy as you like without leaving the comfort of your onesie! (I can or can not confirm that my Bell Pepper takeaway was consumed whilst wearing a onesie.)
Let me know if you enjoyed this post and would like to see more recommendations for where to eat when trying to stay on track, both in Waterford and further afar!