Eating Out Paleo: Must Know Tips for Staying Healthy

Eating Out Paleo

It’s easy to become obsessive with your health and the way you look/feel physically.  The Paleo diet has been popular for some time now and has helped people reach their health goals.  But like any change in diet, what do you do when you’re eating out Paleo? Can you go to McDonald’s and still make this work? Let’s look at the history of the Paleo diet.

Times are always changing but we always seem to look back. For example, there is a fad going around where people are tracing their roots and discovering their ancestry. This allows people to feel more connected to their roots.  I just spent hours tracing the history of my house, the other day, because I got so wrapped up in it.

Unbelievably, the Paleo diet is far from new, it comes from our ancestors.  Paleo is short for the Paleolithic Era, which is the era when cavemen were predominant. Remember, there was a time were McDonalds and Wendy’s didn’t exist, there weren’t options for fast food as we think of it.

The food that our ancestors ate included all natural and wholesome foods. These foods usually consisted of free roaming and grass-fed meats, wild seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and vegetable-based oils. The cavemen were eating the way we as a species were meant to eat.

The big argument and defense for the Paleo diet is stated that our bodies haven’t evolved quick enough to take the processed food that we as a society are consuming today. Processing food is making changes or alterations to food.

The reason why food is now processed is to allow companies to reach the demands of the masses and feed a growing population. Since our bodies are not evolving quick enough for this type of “alien food,” we are seeing the health effects.

Diabetes and obesity are growing rampant. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), there are 100 million people in the US that have diabetes. This is due to all the sugars and other processed and unnatural ingredients in the food. Obesity in 2016 was prevalent in more than 93.3 million Americans. [Source]

However, there is hope when deciding to go back to our roots and eat as our ancestors did.

The main focus of the Paleo diet is to remove processed foods and focus on whole foods.

How do you know if food is processed or natural?

Here are a few good questions to ask yourself before deciding to let something enter your body. If the food is meat, ask yourself, “Did it swim? Did it walk across the ground freely? Or did it fly across the sky?” If yes to any of these questions then you may eat it.

For veggies and fruit, you need to ask yourself, “Did it grow naturally?” If so then help yourself to the sweetness of what this earth has to offer.

Paleo Science Stuff

The reason why this diet works and actually helps individuals counteract things like diabetes, or lose weight, is due to the diet ’s high fiber, high potassium, high nutrients, high omega 3’s, and low sodium, sugar, and carbohydrates. 

So let’s go over in more specific the foods you can eat. Grass-fed meats, poultry, fish/seafood, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, and cereal grains. These foods are what you want to put in your body. The foods to stay away from including peanuts, dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, high salt foods, refined vegetable oils, and artificial ingredients. These foods are harmful to the body.

All of this sounds good but like me, you may want to know the science behind this! You want to know the facts of how this works.

Our body runs on energy. The source of energy your body wants is fatty acids. However, your body will also run on glucose. When you eat carbohydrates, your glucose levels increase. Your body responds by storing it as fat. That is why we cut out bread with this diet.

When too much sugar is consumed over long periods of time, our bodies react as if there is too much glucose in our bloodstream than there actually is. So there becomes a drive to consume more sugars and an accumulation of fat is observed.

Our bodies have not evolved quick enough to accommodate all the variations that food has in present times. This is why we must go back to the way humans have eaten since nearly the beginning of time to optimize our health.

If you are the scientific one who finds comfort in facts, check out this link that explains an in-depth analysis of the Paleo diet.

Eating out Paleo

Just like any diet, this is can be an expensive transition from your normal habits. However, the benefits you will gain from this diet will be exponential compared to the detrimental effects of bad eating.

Let’s discuss your options if you are eating out paleo. If you are considering paleo friendly fast food there are a few places that have something you can choose from that is Paleo(-ish).  These are your Paleo fast food friendly options:

For breakfast, your Paleo diet should consist of protein. Your protein can be eggs, meat, or fish. You need healthy fat, and they can be Paleo oils, avocado, olives, or fatty meats like bacon. Also, you need vegetables at breakfast and fruits to help sustain you throughout the day.

Paleo Fast Food Breakfast:

McDonald’s:

  • Egg McMuffin (Egg and Canadian bacon but ask to hold muffin and cheese)
  • Sausage McMuffin (Sausage but ask to hold muffin)
  • Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles (Egg with sausage but ask to hold the bread and cheese)
  • Fresh Fruit (Strawberries, blueberries and other fresh fruits served fresh)
  • Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddles (Bacon and egg served but hold the bread)

Waffle House:

  • 3 Eggs, 2 Eggs, or 1 Egg (Your choice of the amount and style of your eggs)
  • T-Bone & Egg (Tender steak with choice of egg)
  • Cheese N Eggs (Tomatoes, eggs, and ask to hold cheese and toast)

Denny’s

  • Country-Fried Steak & Eggs (Golden-fried chopped beef steak smothered in rich country gravy. Served with two sunny side up eggs. Tell them to hold the hash browns and toast.)
  • Santa Fe Sizzlin’ Skillet (Grilled sausage, fresh spinach, fire-roasted bell peppers & onions, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and eggs)
  • Fit Fare Veggie Sizzlin’ Skillet (Fire roasted bell peppers and onions. Mushrooms and broccoli. Topped with two egg whites scrambled with fresh spinach and grape tomatoes)
  • T-Bone Steak & Eggs (A tender 13 oz seasoned T-Bone steak served with scrambled eggs)

Chick Fil A:

  • Chick Fil A Chicken Biscuit (Chicken served fresh but ask to hold the biscuit)
  •  4 Chick-n-Minis (Chicken nuggets but ask to hold the bread)
  •  Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Bacon and Egg served fresh but ask to hold the cheese and biscuit)
  • Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Sausage with Egg but tell them to hold the bread and cheese)
  • Fruit Cup (Strawberries, apple slices, blueberries, tangerines served fresh in a cup)

Dunkin Donuts

  • Sausage Egg & Cheese (Sausage with Egg but no cheese or bread)
  • Bacon Egg & Cheese (Bacon with Egg but without bread and cheese)
  • Turkey Sausage (Turkey sausage but hold the bread and cheese)
  • Ham Egg & Cheese (Ham served with Egg but no cheese and no bread)
  • Veggie Egg White (Delicious Egg white omelet with diced red and green bell pepper, mushrooms and green onions) White without bread

There are many options to choose from but just remember the basic rules of the Paleo Diet. Natural foods are the way to go. Don’t give into bread and stay away from dairy.

Now let’s discuss lunch and dinner for Paleo Fast Food friendly options. Just like breakfast, you will be limited when eating out at Fast Food Restaurants.

Paleo Fast Food Lunch/Dinner:

Jimmy Johns

Double Turkey & Veg Unwhich. (There is no bread with the unwich, hints its name. It is wrapped in lettuce and other vegetables. There is a lot of salt content in the unwich so be prepared.)eating out paleo

Chipotle

  • Steak Salad (It consists of lettuce, meat, and salad, just make sure they don’t put beans in it.)
  • Meat Bowl (a bunch of meat with guacamole)

Panera Bread

Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Salad (In order for you to obtain this option you must ask about the Paleo diet.)

Five Guys

Burger (Have it wrapped in a lettuce wrap or just burger and enjoy with fork.)

McDonald’s

Beef patty with fresh veggies (Allow yourself to still enjoy the hamburgers but no bun)

Chick Fil A

Grilled Chicken Strips (These strips allow you to enjoy the famous chicken)

Boston Market-

½ chicken with side of vegetables (The half chicken and veggies help create a delicious entree)

Denny’s-

Omelet with side of fruits and turkey bacon (Everyone loves breakfast for dinner! So switch it up every so often to keep things interesting)

Shake Shack

Bunless Double Burger with bacon (Without the bread this becomes a Paleo meal)

In and Out!

“Protein Style” (burger without the bun) with a lettuce wrap

When you are eating out you should keep in mind what you are able to eat on your diet. You can make reasonable adjustments to fit your standards the closest you can.

However, when you are asking the staff about your food needs make sure you are respectful. They are the ones that are in charge of your food and if you go in being bossy then you are sure to have a reality check.

This will not be an easy diet. This is going to take effort, just like anything else in life. Find motivation and keep telling yourself that it is worth it.

You’ll see that eating Paleo will become second nature to you. Similar to any other eating habits you implement in your life.  I stopped eating fast food and focused on homemade meals before I knew it, I never wanted fast food anymore.

Here are some of the many diet benefits that people have experienced:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved sleep
  • Mental clarity
  • Improved mood and attitude
  • Lowered risk of heart disease
  • Muscle growth
  • A decrease in depression and anxieties
  • Reduced allergies

I must remind you, this will NOT be easy! There are some rules that seem blurred, in the end, you do what works for you.

I know we have been talking about eating out Paleo but the best way to stick to this diet is by meal prepping! Meal prepping is the only way for you to get ahead and surpass the temptations of your busy schedule and giving into non-Paleo foods.  I cook well, I don’t love to cook and sometimes I don’t have the time or don’t want to. Everyone goes through this, by meal prepping you are preparing for this type of situation.

Your portion sizes are going to vary. Depending upon how hungry or how much food you actually have, it doesn’t matter how much you eat. You need to individually figure out what works for you.

The findings in the personal experience of the Paleo diet can be found by a man named Matt Henderson. Here is a link to his personal website

Some Paleo-friendly Recipes

Coconut Almond Pancakes

Baked Salmon

Paleo Baked Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Turkey Burger

Grass-fed turkey without the bun and a side of cabbage and sweet potato.

Roasted Dry Aged Sirloin Steak

Steak that the beef was grass fed with fruit and veggies

Pork Tenderloin

Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a side of apples

 

You can find that the Paleo diet, like any other diet, is not going to be easy. This diet is going to take time and consideration if you want to actually see change. You will need to rethink when you decide to go out for your meal.

The Paleo diet should be viewed as more of a lifestyle change.  Speaking from experience, I recently lost a ton of weight, you have to have good eating habits to maintain a healthy body.  The Paleo diet, in its entirety, is not for me but it might be a good tool for you to use to lose weight. Once you lose the weight you can adjust your eating habits a bit.

Good luck and enjoy your journey as you make the new transformation!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 7.31.04 PMeating out paleo

14 thoughts on “Eating Out Paleo: Must Know Tips for Staying Healthy

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    This is one of the best explanations of the Paleo diet I’ve come across. It made everything so clear, and totally makes sense why families would choose this way of eating over processed foods!

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    I’ve heard of the Paleo diet but I wasn’t 100% sure what was or wasn’t included and why. It makes sense that our bodies aren’t made to digest all the processed food and that’s why we have so much trouble with our health.

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    I’m surprised that there are a number of fairly accessible paleo options. This should make travel much easier.

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    I am not on any special diet, but this Paleo diet sure looks like something I would want to try. I am glad to know that you can still dine out without breaking your diet. Oh, I also bookmarked your recipe for Pork Tenderloin. That sure looks yummy. Adding it to my meal plan for next week.

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    These are great ideas! It’s hard to keep to a special diet and be able to eat out- what a great idea to make a guide like this!

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    I’ve heard pros and cons about paleo. As with any diet or lifestyle change lies with the individual. Paleo seems to be something that isn’t rocket science, like other ones.

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    Eating out on dietary restrictions is no fun! I love carbs too much to go this strict but kudos to you!

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    It’s good to still be able to dine out and stick to a Paleo diet. I don’t know if I would be able to do it. As you said, it takes a lot of work since it would be a lifestyle change.

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    Sugar is in everything, and carbs are sugars. Need to cut it out, the more everyone makes an effort maybe the better we will all get with eating healthy again.

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    This is really helpful, especially for someone who would like to start with this diet. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    First time to hear about Paleo diet and you give a definite information of what we can eat even in a fast food. I think this is a big help to those who wants to start their diet and be healthy at the same time.

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    Anytime I go out to eat and I’m trying to eat healthier, I always opt for shrimp and some type of veggie. It seems to be the healthiest option

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    Thank you for the Waffle House tips! I always struggle when I eat there, everything is so full of processed sugar.

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    Chipotle has been the easiest place for me to eat out when I am following paleo. I don’t feel ripped off.

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