Article by WODprincess
One of the hardest things I find when I go out with my friends is trying to stick to Paleo. It’s tough. Plain and simple. You’ve got all of that non-Paleo food screaming at you (because let’s be honest, some of your friends have never even heard of Paleo and ordered the deep fried cheese and want to share). Here are 5 tips that help me out whenever I go out with friends. Because you can’t lock yourself up in your house all the time. That’s a little weird…
- Figure out what you can eat.
Most restaurants these days have websites where you can take a look at their menu. Have a plan! One of my favorite quotes is “preparation and planning prevent piss poor performance.” Take a look at the restaurant’s menu and figure out what is A. Paleo or B. What you can make Paleo. If, in the event the restaurant doesn’t have a thing that’s Paleo (this is possible if you eat at a Mexican restaurant and you are completely strict Paleo), I would suggest eating your meal at home and still spending quality time with your friends. You might get some odd looks, but don’t sacrifice spending time with people you care about just because you can’t eat with them. There also an app called PaleoGoGo. It lets you plug in a restaurant and tells you what you can get on their menu that’s Paleo. This is great if you are dining at a chain restaurant. The app will list options for you as well as any modifications you can make to other menu items to make them Paleo. It’s great and takes the guess work out.
- Be prepared to answer a lot of questions.
Whenever I tell people that I try and eat Paleo, they look at me weird. Either because they don’t know what it is or they can’t fathom how I can live without bread, sugars and processed foods. It comes with the territory. You don’t have to go telling everyone you eat Paleo, but it can come up in conversation. Don’t get defensive if they start asking you questions (I say this because I’ve gotten defensive before) and don’t get upset if they are of the opinion that eating Paleo is the most horrible thing they’ve ever heard of – because I’ve had people tell me that because they don’t really understand the science behind it. At the end of the day, it’s your decision and you are doing this because you want to take care of your body. And that’s all that matters. Look at the questions as an opportunity to educate your friend about this great way to fuel your body; you never know, you might get a Paleo convert! You might also be giving a history lesson as well (no one seems to know when the Paleolithic era was and everyone seems to think that agriculture has been around forever).
- Learn to say “no thank you”.
This is tough for me. Especially when a plate of cheese fries or mozzarella sticks gets plopped down in front of you. Your friends get appetizers to share. They want you to eat the appetizer that they are sharing. It’s ok to say “no thank you”. It’s even ok to ask them to move the plate so you aren’t tempted. If you’re absolutely starving, bring a little Paleo treat as your appetizer so you don’t crack and start going to town on the spinach and artichoke dip.
- Not sure? Ask!
If you’re not sure if a menu item you’d like is Paleo, ask! It’s ok, especially if you do have some sort of food allergy or intolerance. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re perusing the menu on the website prior to your engagement, give them a call and ask if you aren’t comfortable asking in front of all of your friends. I have a friend who is gluten-free and asks all of the time so she can avoid getting sick. It comes with the Paleo territory but it can help you stay on the Paleo bus when you go out to eat. There’s no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to nutrition (except maybe “are snickers good for you?”).
- Have fun!
You’re out to have a good time with your friends! Enjoy it! Have a great time catching up with them and enjoy the moment. Don’t be focused on what you can’t eat (especially if you’re new to Paleo). You’ve planned ahead and done your recon so you can eat Paleo and have a great night out with your friends!
One thing I didn’t mention is my five tips is alcohol. Technically this didn’t exist when we were cavemen. You do have some options though! Robb Wolf has a great recipe for a NorCal Margarita. Here it is:
- 2 shots of top shelf tequila (preferably resposado or anejo), 3 shots if you’re feeling frisky
- The juice and pulp of one lime
- Club soda to taste
- Shake it up
- Serve on the rocks
There is also hard cider as well. A little sugary, but better than having a beer. Again, do some research on this as well. As GI Joe says, knowing is half the battle.