Takeout, Finding “Balance,” Healthy Desserts & Sourdough Bread






Hello, Health Investor!

Welcome back to another episode of The Health Investment Podcast!!

As you know, I do a “Q&A-style” episode every so often.

This is the fourth episode of the type. To listen to the first three, simply visit thehealthinvestment.com/qa1, thehealthinvestment.com/qa2, and thehealthinvestment.com/qa3

I’m always overwhelmed—in a great way!—by the outpouring of questions you send in. For that reason, I’m never able to answer ALL of your questions in a single episode…but keep ‘em coming! I promise I’ll get to all of them eventually!!

To ask a question, just DM me on Instagram (@thehealthinvestment) or email me (brooke@thehealthinvestment.com). 

In today’s episode, I’m going to answer the following questions:

  • What’s your go-to takeout order?
  • How can you find a healthy balance between indulgent and nutrient-dense foods?
  • What are your recommendations for healthy desserts?
  • Does sourdough bread have any health benefits?

But first, I wanna share an Apple Podcast review with you.

SSV82 rated The Health Investment Podcast 5 stars and wrote:

Brooke is the best! So impressed by—and grateful for—Brooke and The Health Investment. This podcast is my go to for health and wellness and never lets you down. It’s real information from real people, not just trending topics and bro-science! Every episode is a must-listen!

Thank you sooo much for that amazing review! I’m so honored that you called it a “must-listen” podcast and am so grateful that you took the time to type out your feedback.

If YOU have enjoyed what you’ve heard so far, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Visit thehealthinvestment.com/review to rate the show—thank you, in advance, for doing so!

Alright, let’s get to your questions…


I love allll types of food—Mexican, Indian, Vietnamese (especially pho), Italian (especially pizza)—so I don’t really have a “go-to” takeout order.

That being said, I do usually ask myself one thing before ordering:

“How can I prioritize PPF-V?”

Allow me to explain…

At every meal and snack, I prioritize PPF-V, which stands for protein, produce, fat, and volume.

Generally, I aim to fill ¼ of my plate with protein and ½ of my plate with non-starchy veggies. Then, I add 1-2 tablespoons of a healthy fat (like avocado or extra virgin olive oil). And I also make sure to get enough volume—mostly through non-starchy veggies and water. When you eat enough volume, your stomach stretches a bit. This triggers your “I’m full” hormones to do their job…helping you feel full!

Now, when it comes to takeout, it’s gonna be pretty tough to prioritize ALL four in the way you would if you were preparing food for yourself.

Most restaurants use cheap fats and oils in their cooking, so getting 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats is probably not gonna happen.

That being said, you can still scan the menu for protein and produce!

When it comes to non-starchy veggies, a great place to look is under the “Sides” portion of the menu. When we get pizza, for example, I’ll often look at the sides and order a salad, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.

Or, when we get poke bowls, I’ll look to see if the restaurant offers shredded cabbage as a base—and sometimes I’ll get half rice, half shredded cabbage.

Protein is the easy one! Most restaurants offer numerous protein options!!

Following PPF-V at all meals and snacks—even takeout!—can be so simple. And the best part is that you wind up feeling nourished, not overly stuffed.

Try it!


First, let me say this: If you’re struggling to find “balance,” you’re not alone! MOST of my clients have this same issue when they start working with me.

I have many tricks up my sleeve, which are often dependent on the person and their unique lifestyle, but here are a few things you can try…

First tip: Try never to go more than two meals without nourishing your body. Let’s say you order pancakes for breakfast on a Saturday morning. I’m sure they’ll be delicious, but they’re not the most nutrient-dense thing you could order. That’s fine. Enjoy the heck out of the pancakes, and then aim to eat a nourishing meal for lunch! 

Second tip: Piggy backing off of what I just said, don’t spiral into “guilt mode” when you eat something that’s more indulgent than it is nourishing. I used to do this all the time, and it didn’t serve me at all. Using the prior example… If I ate pancakes for breakfast, I’d feel guilty and ashamed and then move ahead with my day—or even my full weekend—with a, “Oh well, I just ruined my ‘healthy eating’ streak…so may as well just eat anything and everything at this point!” Don’t do that!! Enjoy your favorite foods every so often—because life’s too short. But also realize that the tastiest things are generally not the things that are going to help you look and feel your best. So prioritize PPF-V most of the time and enjoy indulgent treats every now and then.

Third (and final) tip: Get really in tune with how different foods make you feel. Eating a lot of protein and vegetables is gonna make you feel better than eating a lot of ultra-processed foods and refined carbs (like bagels and muffins). That’s just the way it goes. Once you tune in to how GREAT you feel when you prioritize PPF-V (again, that’s protein, produce, healthy fats, and volume—especially through non-starchy veggies and water), it’ll be that much easier to choose nourishing foods. Cause once you start feeling GREAT, you’ll want to keep feeling GREAT!

All of that being said, finding “balance” really means something different to every person. So you’ve gotta figure out what works for you—and roll with it! If you ever want extra support, I work with clients 1:1 and also through a group program, so never hesitate to reach out 🙂


A couple thoughts on this…

First of all, there are a lot of “healthified” dessert recipes out there—like using honey in lieu of refined sugar, using almond flour to up the protein of something instead of all-purpose flour, etc. etc.

If you’re wanting to try a more nutrient-dense version of one of your favorite desserts, you can do a simple Google search, like “almond flour chocolate chip cookies” or “chickpea cookie dough”

That being said, sometimes these “healthified” versions aren’t as satisfying as the real deal! Sometimes you just want the real thing!!

This is where mindset comes in…

Mindset is so, sooooo important when it comes to losing weight, keeping if off, and feeling great.

If you’re at a wedding and want a piece of cake, go for it! What you do MOST of the time matters way more than what you do SOME of the time. One piece of cake is truly not a big deal. 

Something to consider…

If you slow down, chew thoroughly, and really ENJOY bites of dessert, you may find that you’re satisfied a lot sooner than you’d think. Sometimes you don’t even need to finish the piece of pie, cake, or whatever to “get your fix.” 

When the dessert menu comes out at restaurants—or when the cake comes out at a wedding—consider sharing a dessert or slice with someone. When you share, you get to enjoy a few bites…and you never get to the point where you feel overly full or like you’ve eaten TOO MUCH of a good thing. 

So that’s something you could try moving forward!


Well, it depends on the type.

There’s store-bought sourdough, which usually isn’t the “real deal.”

And then there’s homemade sourdough—the type you make yourself or buy at a bakery or farmer’s market. 

Most breads use commercial baker’s yeast to help the dough rise; real sourdough relies on wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria that are naturally present in flour to leaven the bread.

Lactic acid bacteria is also found in other fermented foods, like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.

Wild yeast + lactic acid bacteria + flour + water = sourdough “starter”

The nutrition profile of sourdough bread is similar to other breads, BUT:

  • Typical bread contains phytic acid (phytates)
  • Phytates are considered “antinutrients” because they bind to minerals, reducing your body’s ability to absorb them
  • The lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough helps lower the bread’s pH, which helps degrade the phytates, which means your body would have the chance to absorb more nutrients
  • The lactic acid bacteria in sourdough ALSO has the ability to release antioxidants!

Other perks of sourdough…

  • It may be easier to digest because fermentation boost sourdough’s prebiotic content and probiotic-like properties
  • Fermentation may also degrade gluten, so people who feel better eating less gluten may feel fine after eating sourdough bread
  • It may also have a better effect on blood sugar and insulin levels than other types of bread

Bottom line: Real sourdough bread is delicious and may be more nutritious than typical bread. I love it!

Whenever I see it “in the wild”—at a bakery or farmer’s market—I like to buy a loaf, slice it, and freeze the slices. Then, when I’m in the mood for a piece of toast or open-faced sandwich, I always have sliced sourdough on hand that I can thaw. When you freeze the slices, they stay fresh for a long time and just require a simple toasting before eating!

Alright! That wraps up my fourth Q&A ep!!

Remember: You can alllllways reach out to me with nutrition, weight loss, and health questions via email (brooke@thehealthinvestment.com) or on Instagram (@thehealthinvestment).

I look forward to answering YOUR questions in a future episode!

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