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The Paleo Diner’s Guide: Mastering Dining Out on a Paleo Diet

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Hey, Paleo pals! Dining out while sticking to a Paleo diet can seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a roadblock in your health journey. With a few simple strategies, you can enjoy a meal out without straying from your dietary goals.

Understanding Menu Terms

Start by familiarizing yourself with menu terms. Look for keywords like ‘grilled,’ ‘baked,’ ‘steamed,’ and ‘fresh.’ These usually indicate simpler, less processed dishes. Be cautious of terms like ‘breaded,’ ‘fried,’ or ‘creamy,’ which often denote added grains, dairy, or sugars.

Communicate with Your Server

Don’t be shy to ask your server questions. Inquire about ingredients, and cooking methods, or request modifications to dishes. Most restaurants are accommodating and can alter dishes to suit your Paleo needs, such as swapping out fries for a side salad or omitting cheese from a dish.

Choose the Right Restaurants

Some types of restaurants are more Paleo-friendly than others. Steakhouses, seafood restaurants, and those focusing on farm-to-table dining usually offer options that align well with Paleo principles. Ethnic restaurants like Japanese, Greek, or Middle Eastern also tend to have Paleo-compatible dishes.

Plan Ahead

If possible, look up the restaurant’s menu online beforehand. This allows you to plan your meal, reducing the stress of making on-the-spot decisions.

Focus on Whole Foods

Opt for meals that center around whole foods. A plate with a lean protein source, vegetables, and a healthy fat is your best bet. For instance, a grilled salmon with steamed veggies and a side of avocado.

Watch Out for Hidden Ingredients

Be aware of hidden non-Paleo ingredients. Sauces and dressings can be a source of hidden sugars and dairy. Request them on the side or ask for olive oil and lemon as a simple dressing alternative.

Enjoy the Experience

Finally, remember that dining out is not just about the food; it’s about the experience. Enjoy the company, the ambiance, and the convenience of having a meal prepared for you.