Heading out for a meal, a family gathering or other social event is something we all do. Any one with dietary restrictions knows how hard that can be on themselves. Having to worry about what you’re going to eat or if you’re even going to eat is really challenging especially if you don’t realise your options. Dining out paleo is actually a lot easier than anyone thinks, especially since it is a meat and plant based way of living.
When dining out at restaurants, you have endless possibilities. One meal you can pretty well get anywhere is steak. Swap the fries for salad or veges and you have a paleo meal. Another favourite would be chicken caesar salad, minus the croutons! Caesar salads are filled with good fats and proteins with your chicken and egg. If you follow an 80/20 approach to paleo like myself, then your caesar dressing will just fall into that 20 category, or you can alternatively just remove the dressing all together. If you aren’t in the mood for western style food, other good options are Indian and Thai. Whilst not being fully paleo, they are tasty and often not too far off paleo. Indian curries are mostly coconut cream, or regular cream with meat anyway. Skip the rice and you’ve got a good option. Thai is also great – green curries are delicious! Wherever you end up, the gluten free option is also often a good choice if any of the above aren’t available.
Eating paleo on the go is something I actually find really easy. Generally supermarkets are my first option, where generally I will walk out with 150g of shredded chicken, a piece of fruit and some nuts. If not, my second option is generally to head to Tank which is a salad and juice bar here in New Zealand. There I’ll get a caeser salad where I replace the croutons with an extra egg.
Possibly the easiest place to eat paleo – especially if you’re bringing a plate. Take a salad that you know you can eat, as well as your meat (if it’s not already provided) then make smart decisions. Skip the sausages unless they’re gluten free, then pick meat such as steak and plain chicken kebabs. Meat patties often have wheat fillers in them so often best to avoid those too.
This is probably the hardest place to try and stay paleo. Although if you let your host know beforehand that you can’t eat certain foods, they should be pretty accommodating. The hardest thing you will have to deal with is your friends and family trying to guilt trip you into eating their food. Ignore their attempts, you won’t be the one bloated after your meal or regretting it the next day. People who eat paleo and then go back to something processed and filled with gluten will often experience the after-effects the next day – not pleasant. Try to stick to meats, salads and veges but sometimes your best option is to try and not sweat the small stuff.
The fact of the matter is, you don’t have to let your new lifestyle restrict you from having a good time. Relax, enjoy yourself. Don’t let it stress you out – you have options.