We like eating out; we’re serious foodies. Restaurant dining wasn’t something we stopped doing when we had 3 kids, and it’s not something we were able to “give up” when we went Paleo. Matt cooks us 3 home cooked meals (from scratch) every day – he deserves a break. Here are the tips we use when eating out:
- Avoid ethnicity you know will be a problem. We have a hard time resisting refried beans and cheese, so we avoid Mexican. If you have a problem avoiding soy sauce, don’t do Asian. Our favorites are Vietnamese and Thai. The kids love rice noodles and it’s not something I keep from them when we’re out of the house. I can get good currys and fresh salads and soups with amazing flavor – just figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Ask for a gluten-free menu. More restaurants than you might think (Red Robin) offer gluten-free (and dairy-free) menus; it will take the guesswork out of what may or may not have flour, butter, etc.
- Branch out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to order it how you need. I can usually find at least 2 things on the menu to choose from. Between salads and protein meals, there’s always something you can eat. Just ask for rice or potatoes to be replaced with a side salad or more veggies. Make sure anything with “seasoning” is clarified as to what that seasoning is, most of the time it’s wheat and MSG.
- Know your go-to places. I have our standard locations (Chipotle, Choices by Shawn, Texas de Brazil and Todai) listed in my Resources tab. You should identify some of your own. Simply do a Google search for gluten-free in your city; I bet there’s at least 3 restaurants you’ll find that you had no idea were perfect for you.
- Don’t stress out! The whole point of eating from a Paleolithic mindset is that it’s about you optimizing what you want for your personal health. If you decide to have gluten-free pizza or indulge in sushi with white rice and soy sauce, it’s not going to kill you. Relax, enjoy the splurge and understand that “treats” are something you can control and make your own choices about. Food guilt is never productive.