Saturday, June 9, 2012

Paleo: What To Eat: Out

Paleo is not difficult to live. long as you are home and have complete control over what goes in your body.  Frequently, I travel and that requires some forward-thinking to avoid catastrophe as well as much bloating and discomfort

I have a variety of plans, depending on the length of the trip. 

For a day- or evening- trip, such as when I have an appointment that doesn't allow me a leisurely meal (or when I just don't want to spend a lot of money), I go to a place like Subway.  Yep, Subway is my go-to- in a pinch when I'm at the mall at lunch and I'm starving.  Subway offers a few salad options that are delicious and easy to fit in Paleo.  Stores offer lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onion, pickles, peppers, grilled chicken breast, vinegar and oil (not 100% sure about what type of oil but I've never had any negative reaction from it).  Currently, they are offering avocado, which is a great healthy fat.  Their nutrition information also says that some of the deli meats are gluten free (however, I wouldn't rule out corn or soy here, so the safest option is chicken).

My other option is often: the grocery store.  Let me clarify - the Organic grocery store with lots of gluten-free, dairy-free options and staff who understand that my questions about these are not to be taken as an annoyance, but as a way of survival.

This was my dinner the other night from Fresh Market grocery store: organic lettuce, Naked juice (orance carrot), whole avocado, and smoked salmon.  Other options for me on this particular day could have included shrimp, whole fruits (grapes, cherries, apples, etc.), or olives.  This dinner with 1/4 pound of smoked salmon was about $12.  I still have half the avocado and most of the lettuce left, so I feel this was a decent bargain.

The salad bar.  The salad bar and I have a love-hate relationship, it seems.  Every time I test a salad bar it seems fine.  I find lettuce, tomato, onion, egg, sometimes a vinaigrette that doesn't contain soy or wheat ingedients.  Usually it's around $7/pound, which is pretty reasonable.
When I go back a second time, I have issues so... Do the salad bar at your own risk.

Things that are totally unsafe at the salad bar:
mayo-based salads
pasta salads
imitation seafood
bacon bits

I think one problem with the salad bar is cross-contamination.  People use the tongs meant for the onion to serve up a bit of pasta salad.  Once the tongs touch the gluten, it's all over for the onions.  A lot of people (including my husband... surprise!) don't understand how easily cross-contamination occurs.  If they felt the pain of a hugely bloated gut one time, maybe they wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it as over reacting.
I also do not choose items from the pre-cooked deli for similar reasons.  I have no idea what has gone onto the items I'm about to purchase so I err on the side of caution.

Items at the pre-cooked deli that I consider unsafe:
roasted chicken
deli meats
most cheeses
anything with a "sauce" on it

Sometimes I go out and find that I have been out for much longer than I anticipated and do not have snacks with me and I'm starving.  What to do?...  These are items you can find in most grocery or convenience stores.

"Safe" Emergency Snacks:
roasted almonds (unflavored)
sunflower seeds
macadamia nuts
pistachios in the shell
100% orange juice
100% apple juice
fruit cups in 100% juice

For an extended stay (3 days or more) I use a phone app: TripAdvisor to scope out restaurants, get menus to peruse, and check ratings on restaurants in the area I will travel.

There are a few tricks I use when eating out that help me have fewer distressing issues.
For breakfast:
Never choose scrambled eggs.  You will most often get eggs from a carton that contains stabilizers made with gluten.  Instead, choose whole eggs over-easy, over-hard, sunny-side-up.
Never choose omelets, for the reason above.
Never choose sausage.  I know you love it, but packaged sausage has a ton of garbage in it and it's unlikely that your potential restaurant makes their own sausage.  Choose bacon.  It may not be nitrite-free, but it will be closer to your Paleo requirements than anything else on the menu.
Fresh fruit (if you need the carbs)
Coffee or tea with honey (if they have it).  Better than non-dairy creamer by far!
For lunch:
grilled chicken
I avoid burgers when eating out. I try to avoid beef that is not Grass-fed and I have very little luck finding a really great burger out anyway, so I figure it's no longer worth it to even try.
For dinner:
salad (ask for no croutons -- I often forget)
grilled chicken
steamed shrimp
broiled fish
Japanese sashimi, seaweed salad, avocado
Italian anti-pasto salad
mussels in white wine sauce
raw oysters
I'm in Maryland so, steamed crabs are a great option, in season.

I am a "snacker".  I love little nibbles of things throughout the day.  Here are some Paleo things that help me.  These are excellent snacks to take along on short trips or when you may be out shopping for the day.
Larabar that are not Paleo: peanut butter, chocolate chip, and Uber bars that have rice syrup.
Otherwise, Larabar is the perfect Paleo snack.  Made with dates, nuts, and fruit and that's it!  I love them.  So simple.  So delicious.

Kale Krunch chips
Simple kale snacks that curb my craving for potato/snack chips.  They are made with kale, cashews, and a few other Paleo-approved ingredients.  Read the label.

Tanka Bites
Tanka Bites are bison and cranberry.  The Hot Bites are not terribly spicy and are slightly less sweet as compared to the regular flavor.

The Buffalo Guys Bison Jerky
Sweet, salty, bison-y.  These are a staple whenever I travel.

Love Force Italian Kale Chips

These are my favorite kale chips.

Just Fruit Salad, Just Fruit Munchies, Just Peaches, etc. from Just Tomatoes, Inc.
Freeze-dried crunchy fruit.

When the chocolate craving hits:
Many of their bars are sweetened with dates, coconut palm sugar, or honey.

None of the products I mention have paid me for this -- they are simply products that I love.


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