Eating out is probably one of the most difficult aspects about committing to the AIP diet. I will admit that I have only been able to eat out on a handful of occasions over the past 7 months, but once I found a few good go-to places things got a little bit easier. I still pack my food whenever possible, but sometimes everyone needs a night out, or has to attend a party or function at a restaurant. Here are four of my go to tricks for eating out without compromising health.
Burgers: With the popularity of organic and grass-fed meat on the rise, it is beginning to get a little easier to find responsibly sourced meat at restaurants. We have a restaurant near us called Tribeca Tavern that sells local grass-fed burgers. I usually get a burger with avocado and bacon wrapped in lettuce and accompanied by a cooked veggie like asparagus, which they cook in olive oil. Sure, the burger would be better with some condiments, but it is still satisfying and filling and the avocado gives the meal more texture than just eating a plain piece of meat. Add some sparkling water and you’ll feel almost fancy!
Seafood: Steamed seafood or grilled salmon are two of my other go-to options. Many places, like seafood restaurants and steak houses usually have salmon on the menu. I recommend getting it grilled and completely plain. Then add some salt or pepper, if you are having pepper, once it gets to the table. Again pair it with a cooked veggie or a plain sweet potato. Steamed seafood is another delicious choice. Just last week my hubby and I went to the beach for the day and stopped by a seafood restaurant for dinner where we split a heaping plate of steamed shrimp and steamed crab legs with fresh lemon and cooked veggies. All AIP and delicious.
South American Cuisine: This is one of my most exciting recent finds. There is a small Peruvian restaurant near us that a friend recommended to me a while back. I didn’t think much of it until one day when I was desperate for a night off from cooking. We went and checked it out and I was like a kid in a candy store. They had fresh local chicken cooked in a wood burning rotisserie and seasoned with basic spices like salt, garlic and lemon. You get the amount of chicken you want (1/4, 1/2, Or a whole chicken!) with bones, skin and all (a plus for pale folks). As sides they had green plantains (tostones), ripe plantains, and yucca fries to choose from. No flour, no sugar just fried plantain and yucca. I have had all three and none of them made me sick.
Panera Bread Power Menu: Finally, as a last resort, I fall back on the Panera Bread power menu. This will still take a few adjustments to make doable but basically you can put together a combination of meat, lettuce, veggies or avocado and then get a dressing of olive oil and a half a lemon. The turkey and steak are relatively safe, however the chicken has paprika on it so I would not recommend that. It is doable, but you will still be hungry later.
Again, like I said. Eating out is not easy on AIP and I honestly wouldn’t recommend it but on the rarest of occasions. However, I do believe that a key to being successful on a restricted diet is finding ways to live your life without feeling deprived and sometimes a night out is a big part of that.