Changing eating habits is always tough, but if you cook every meal at home from scratch it would be easy, you would always be in control. But where is the fun in that? Eating a diet that you can maintain for life means you also have to be able to eat out – with friends, go to dinner parties, restaurants and cafes.
The Paleo Diet is perfect for dining out as it’s based on simple fresh ingredients, cooked simply. Known as the hunter, gatherer diet, the Paleo diet includes only foods that our ancestors would have eaten:
– lean protein from wild game or grass-fed meats, eggs.
– healthy fats from oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil.
– great vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and vegetables.
Removing foods that may be at odds with our health, including those that may cause digestive issues or intolerances – dairy, gluten, legumes and alcohol – may seem a tough ask, but once you feel the benefits you won’t want to go back to them.
An article from Loren Cordain, the founder of the Paelo Diet, states that ‘Contemporary diets based upon Paleolithic food groups maintained both trace and macronutrient qualities known to reduce the risk of a variety of chronic diseases in western populations’.
So how to you ensure you can stick to eating Paleo when dining out? Here are a few ideas to get you started:The breakfast café.
Omelette – just plain or with chicken.
Fruit smoothies – be sure to say you want dairy free milk or non at all.
Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.
Sushi Bar – Sashimi – stock up on your omega 3 fats with a good healing of fresh fish.
Steakhouse – Avoid the fries and treat yourself to a great protein packed steak with fresh veg or salad on the side.
Italian – Tricky one unless they do great salads or calves liver!
Fish & Seafood – A great choice for simple grilled fish and salad.
Burger Joints – Even these are possible you just need to ask for your burger without the bun and make sure the burger doesn’t contain any breadcrumbs.
Asian – Curry without rice is just as tasty – order a vegetable side-dish instead.
Mexican – Fajitas – without the rice or beans. But with a great dollop of guacamole!
Top tips for paleo dining out
– Know your local restaurants and plan ahead – do your research in advance so you know the restaurant you have chosen has enough choice for you and your guests.
– Choose restaurants that use fresh organic ingredients – these are normally the more foodie, trendy restaurants, and those that know where all their ingredients come from.
– Avoid chains that may not be so Paleo friendly, such as – pizza restaurants, sandwich bars, or those that stick rigidly to what is on their menu.
– Always ask what is in the food you are ordering just to be sure – saying you are dairy and gluten intolerant may help them to take you seriously.
– And finally don’t be hard on yourself, remember why you are doing this. Don’t get stressed about not getting the perfect meal every time – if you have a little blip today you can start afresh again tomorrow.