Friday, April 4, 2014

Eating Out, No Grains- No Gains April 2014 Blog Topic

Our Mission Statement : A group a of Primal/Paleo/Grain free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. It’s a great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding!

April 2014 Topic- Eating Out
 Eating out and being grain free, dairy free, and nut free was challenging at first. Once I had a little practice, It became:
Pure Burger on my Birthday!

1. Easier
2. Better tasting
3. A true flavor/food treat
4. Part of my food template
5. A nice way to take a break from cooking at home.
6. A great way to try local food
7. In some cases less expensive
8. In other cases more expensive.

I've got some of my favorite eating out strategies listed below. I'm super gluten sensitive, so if I find something that works, I stick to it. I avoid the pain of un-intentional gluten exposure.

Important note: I do state that I'm strict gluten free (sensitive). I ignore the eye rolling. If I see it, and I can leave and go someplace else, I do.  I'm in too much physical pain from wheat to accept any shenanigans from wait staff or establishment with attitudes.  My money is limited, so  I want it to go to places with top notch customer service. I'll contact any restaurant that gives me beef (no pun intended!) and let them know it's a medical need that customer service was poor. Yelp is good for weeding out the poor service.

I find eating out is pretty simple, most of the time: Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates from non-starchy veggies/fruit.  Once I got over finding hidden sources of gluten, it became much easier to navigate.

 Faster Food dinner
  1. Chipotle Grill- lettuce, chicken, salsa, guacamole. Sometimes grilled veggies
  2. Pure Burger/ Elevation Burger/ Burger Lounge- protein style with a lettuce wrap
  3. Breakfast for dinner- be sure to state "no pancake batter in the omelet /strict gluten free"
  4. No food. Really, eating 3 meals a day means going 5-6 hours without eating.  Sometimes I'll eat before I go, if the options are not great. 
  5. Gourmet food trucks, make it grain free. I love   Not So Fast Food Truck in the San Diego Area.
  6. Grocery store and buy a bagged salad, cooked protein. Use olive oil/balsamic for dressing.

Pure Burger
Coffee, no food

Not So Fast- San Diego Paleo Food truck- so tasty!

 Nicer Restaurants, less often, more expensive, I try to choose local
1. Seafood & grilled veggies
2  Steak and salad
3. Beef fajitas with grilled veggies
When in Alaska, I ate seafood.
4. Salmon- grilled with veggies
6. Lamb- grilled with veggies

Snow crab in Alaska

Pre-flight salad
Salad on a hot day

1. Bring a salad bowl from home, plastic. Eat the salad before the flight, rinse. Use the bowl later in the trip to store left overs.
2. Bring an avocado, beef jerky, nuts if you can eat them, maybe some fruit.
3. A few airports have great food. I don't plan on it, though. I can order a burger or salmon at some airports and get by until I land.

Hotels with kitchens
1. Stop by a grocery or local farmers markets and eat much cheaper for the whole family.
2. Ask for or choose hard boiled eggs, guacamole or fruit to take with you as you travel.
3. Bigger cities will have Trader Joe's or Whole foods or specialty groceries.
4. I travel with salt, olive oil and balsamic. I can do a lot with those items.

Cooking breakfast in Seattle
Turkey breakfast bowl, Phoenix AZ
Guacamole, hard boiled egg and peach on a cruise
Egg bowl from home, at Starbucks

Special situations:

1. Food from the buffet on cruises for snacking after shore excursions. (on template food!)

2. Breakfast in a bowl for post blood draw after an overnight fast, at Starbucks, STAT!

What works now:
1. All of the above
2. I can still travel and enjoy

What did not work in the past:
1. Eating food at chain restaurants from the dollar menu. 
2. Eating "low fat" food at expensive restaurants. Cost a lot, not that filling
3. Eating gluten, not checking the preparation
4. Eating lots of airport food, scones/biscoti/low fat dairy (unpleasant GI stuff)
5. Eating off that "free breakfast" buffet when we could have had fresh, local gourmet food at a near by farmer's market that was on my food template.
6. Not eating a lot of protein or avocado while traveling, because it was high in WW points. 

 Now head over to the blogs of Gwen, Lynda, Leigh, and Jeanette and see how they eat out, grain free.


  1. Yep, even omlettes can be sabotaged (to make the eggs go further.) Little land mines everywhere to navigate. Great info!

    1. Gwen, so true! I can usually tolerate a bit if butter in my omelette , but if there's pancake batter on there, I know right away.

  2. This is a really helpful topic. Eating out is a big source of anxiety for me as I am trying to lose (and then ultimately manage/maintain) my weight. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hils, I used to be soooooo worried about eating out. More from a misguided WW point aspect. I was also stressed when I was on Medifast and did not want to go out of ketosis ( expensive!!). Sticking to basic food goes a long way. Good luck.

  3. It took me a long time to realize that some restaurants were putting pancake batter in the omelettes! Once I knew that, I realized that you could see the difference in the omelettes. Sadly, sometimes they'll go ahead with the pancake batter even after requesting it be omitted. Even more sadly, they're losing money because I send it back each time until I get it batter free.

    1. Lucky Mama! I know. Sometimes with the translation difficulties that the pancake batter still gets added. Fluffy eggs are a clue! :0 Glad you send them back

  4. A good and helpful read Karen and your pictures are just great too.

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

  5. Your challenge is way harder than mine! You are also nut free and dairy free. You certainly have it all figured out though. Well done to you Karen :)

    1. Thanks, Lynda!!! Once I focus on meat, veggies then it seems to open eat out possibilities rather than make it restrictive. Plus a good steak / seafood tastes soooooo good. I so wish I could have some full fat dairy sometimes. Cheese and cream in my coffee... oh well. :)

  6. Thanks for being such an awesome mentor:) What Lynda said...

  7. Jan and Leigh, Thank you so much. Just glad to be in the blogging world where you "get" it. :)

  8. Hi Karen, I eat a lot of avocados too! On most days, I eat one. I just mash it up and put pico de gallo in it. It's terrific and filling, and it definitely does *not* make me fat.<-- That is some of the biggest hogwash ever about avocados making people fat. I love your other ideas too. I also agree that low-fat stuff does not work for me at all. And I also have many hours per day where I don't eat anything--so that when I do eat, I have a really great filling meal. That is so worth it! :-)