It can be a challenge to stay on track when it comes to strictly following a Paleo diet – especially when you’re eating out. From trying to decipher the nutritional values on restaurant menus to having limited knowledge on Paleo-friendly foods, keeping to Paleo meal-planning goals can sometimes feel like mission impossible. Fortunately, eating out on Paleo need not be as daunting as it seems. With these easy tips, you can stay on track and enjoy a delicious meal without ruining all of your hard dieting efforts.
1. Indulging in the Past: How to Keep Your Paleo Lifestyle Intact at Restaurants
Eating out can be a challenge if you’ve chosen to maintain a Paleo lifestyle. Soft-shelled tacos, deep-dish pizza and even plain salads can be loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up on the experience of eating out when you’re trying to stay Paleo. Here are a few tips on how to keep your Paleo lifestyle intact at restaurants:
- Choose a restaurant carefully: Do some research ahead of time to find a restaurant that offers Paleo-friendly options. Whether it’s a Mediterranean restaurant with lots of veggie options or a steak house with lean cuts of meat, knowing what the menu is ahead of time can help you decide where to go.
- Ask questions: If you’re not sure about an ingredient in a dish or your server isn’t providing all the information you need to make a decision, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Knowing what’s in a dish will help you make an educated decision about whether it’s Paleo-friendly.
- Make substitutions: Many restaurants are willing to make substitutions when necessary. This could mean swapping out the dressing on your salad for olive oil and vinegar, or getting grilled chicken instead of a fried chicken sandwich. If you’re not comfortable asking for a substitution, you can also ask your server to leave an ingredient out completely.
Finally, if you’re really struggling to find something Paleo-friendly on the menu, consider ordering several items from the appetizer section and making a meal out of it. A plate of steamed veggies here or a side salad there can often add up to a satisfying meal without having to break from the Paleo lifestyle.
By doing a bit of research and utilizing the handy tips above, you can enjoy going out to eat without straying from your Paleo diet. With a little bit of creativity and determination you can turn any restaurant meal into a Paleo-friendly feast!
2. Cracking the Code: Navigating Menus to Find Paleo-Friendly Options
When picking out food at a restaurant, trying to decipher the menu is often a challenge, especially if you’re looking for specifically paleo-friendly dishes. To make ordering easier, here are a few tips to help navigate the menu.
- Be mindful of the ingredients: A great starting point is to always read carefully the ingredients of the dish. Keep an eye out for ingredients that simply don’t fit in the paleo diet like dairy and grains.
- Look for grass-fed: Most restaurants offer grass-fed meat, so this could be a great way to find quality paleo dishes. If not, you can always ask the server for what other paleo options they have.
- Go for veggies: Veggies, once cooked the right way, can be a great paleo-friendly option. Take a look at the side dishes, and pick those that are cooked in good fats and don’t add flour or any other processed ingredients.
Most restaurants also offer the nutrition facts from each dish. Make sure to take a look at these before you order, as these could give a clue on some of the hidden ingredients not mentioned in the plate’s description.
In general, the more interface you have with the waiter or cook, the better chance you have to ask for paleo-friendly dishes. But you don’t have to surrender yourself to the restaurants list of ingredients. Ask for what you need and don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions – Just keep an eye on the menu, and there should be a lot of options for a delicious paleo meal.
3. Savvy Strategies for Dining Out on the Caveman Diet
The caveman diet is often misunderstood as an excuse to give up on all your favorite restaurant foods. However, with a little know-how, it is possible to enjoy a delicious feast on the caveman diet without compromising your dedication to the plan. Here are the key strategies to help you navigate the menu and find the healthiest options available:
- Go for Grains: Opt for ancient grains like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. Or try an ancient grain bowl, with lots of different grains and flavor combinations.
- Be a Seafood Snob: Choose your seafood wisely. Avoid conventionally-raised farmed fish, and instead, opt for wild-caught salmon, sardines, or mackerel.
- Choose Natural Proteins: Whether it’s steak, chicken, or pork, opt for organic or natural proteins that haven’t been overly processed.
Veggies are essential for a healthy caveman diet, so dive into the salad bar or start with a vegetable soup for your entree. Or, you can look for vegetable dishes that aren’t swimming in oils or cream sauces. When perusing the appetizer section, pick items that center around vegetables, not fried calories.
Healthy condiments like virgin olive oil, avocados, and nuts are all allowed. But, be sure to watch meaningfully as sauces are often laden with sugar and unhealthy oils. The same rule applies to dressings. Instead of pouring a traditional salad dressing over your salad, ask for fresh, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, or diced cucumbers to add some flavor.
Last, but not least, don’t forget to leave room for a little indulgence. While it’s important to look at options that are in line with your diet, there’s nothing wrong with splurging a little every now and then. A few slices of cheese pizza won’t throw your entire diet out the window.
4. Turning Eating Out into a Paleo Adventure: Unleashing Your Inner Hunter-Gatherer
In the modern world, it’s easy to get disconnected from our hunter-gatherer roots. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bit of adventure in our lives. Eating out can be a great way to re-connect with your wild side! Here are some tips for turning an ordinary night out into an exciting Paleo-friendly adventure:
- Find New Restaurants – Eating out is the perfect opportunity to explore. Venture out of your comfort zone and try something new! Ask around or do some research online to discover hidden gems in your area.
- Do a Paleo Challenge – Challenge yourself to make the healthiest Paleo choices. Be creative with your ingredients and flavors. You’ll soon discover endless possibilities!
- Experiment with Herbs and Spices – Have fun with your food and break out of your regular routine. Try adding a bit of spice to your meal, or adding some fresh herbs to boost its flavor.
- Go En Plein Air – Enjoying the fresh air simply adds to the experience. Doing something as simple as sitting outside can make a regular meal feel much more wild.
Eating out doesn’t have to be mundane. Get in touch with your primal side and make each trip an adventure! Take the time to explore new restaurants, challenge yourself to make the healthiest possible choices, and experiment with a variety of flavors. It’s an opportunity to re-connect with your inner hunter-gatherer and enjoy life to the fullest.
Turn up the excitement and step out of your comfort zone. Embrace the wild and use your meal time as an opportunity to go on a mini-adventure!
Eating out can be a great way to enjoy yourself and keep up with the social trends, and that doesn’t have to be a struggle when you’re following a paleo diet. With some simple, consistent tips, you can enjoy a night out without compromising your health or lifestyle. Remember, planning ahead can save you stress and lead to plenty of delicious, paleo-friendly discoveries. Bon appetit!