Eating out Paleo-style

One of my good friends from high school reached out to me via Facebook the other day after she saw my blog. Apparently, she has been making some changes to her diet lately too — namely eating more whole foods. We’ve had a couple of back-and-forth exchanges so far, and in her latest message she asked me what I do about dining out at restaurants.

I’ve eaten at four different restaurants in the past week. Here’s what I ate at each:

Applebee’s: Let’s go ahead and get this one over with. Folks, I had my one non-Paleo dessert — and my one major splurge — of the week here. When your bowling team wins the championship for the second time in a row, you just have to celebrate with a Maple Butter Pecan Blondie. So delicious.

Chili’s: Fajitas without the tortilla. I think they came with chicken, green pepper, and onions. Not sure exactly what type of oil they were cooked in, but whatever. And I’m sure the chicken wasn’t free-range, but again, whatever. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have to let go to an extent when I dine out; I’m not the one in control of my food. So the best I can do is to make sure that my selections are as smart as possible. I also had guacamole, additional avocado slices, and pico. Passed on the chips and salsa that my dinner companions ordered as an appetizer.

Chipotle: You can’t go wrong with this place. I’m a huge fan. Again, the food preparation might be questionable, but I trust Chipotle more than most other restaurants. I ordered a bowl/salad that included chicken and veggies (skipped the rice and beans), as well as pico, hot sauce, and lettuce (no cheese or sour cream). Chipotle, I would eat your guac, but I’m not paying a ridiculous $1.80 extra for it. Fix that.

Texas Roadhouse: The meat may not be grass-fed, but otherwise, this is a great stop for a hearty Paleo meal. Tonight I ate TR’s 11 ounce steak, a sweet potato, and fresh veggies — steamed broccoli and carrots. The meal was superb. I also had a couple of bites of my boyfriend’s chili and roll. He has been so supportive of the whole Paleo thing, but sometimes he insists that I try something that he really likes. And sometimes I agree to do so.

I flat out refuse to eat at some restaurants (I can write much more about this in a later post). For others I try to look at a menu beforehand whenever I can. I’m not an expert on Paleo yet by any means, so I look forward to reading some feedback in the comments. If you have any dining out suggestions of your own, let me know!

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