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Paleo Diet Meal Plans: Dining Out at American-Style Restaurants

Finding Paleo-friendly meals at American-style restaurants, diners, and cafŽs is pretty easy. Their menus often feature Paleo (cave man) diet foods such as fresh salads, burgers, and stick-to-your-ribs fare (roast poultry or meat, steaks, and chops) and vegetables. Here are some tips for finding the gems on the menu.

1

Look for the eggs.

Look for the eggs. From scrambled and omelets to poached and fried, eggs are a protein-packed choice that can be found just about everywhere. Be sure to ask whether the chef includes dairy, wheat, or soy in the scrambled eggs and omelets. Most kitchens will honor your request to make eggs without added ingredients. When in doubt, order poached eggs because the only ingredients are eggs and water.

2

Go bunless.

With a salad and a side of vegetables, a burger (without the bun) makes a great Paleo meal. Some restaurants have gotten hip to the trend and offer burgers wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves instead of buns. If the bun is already on your plate, don't eat it; if it's too tempting to look at, remove it (discreetly) by wrapping it up in paper napkins.

3

Stick with protein and vegetables.

When in doubt, a steak and a salad is always a safe bet. Other good options are salmon, grilled or roasted chicken, roasted turkey, grilled or broiled pork chops, pot roast, or any variety of fish or seafood. Ask questions about the preparation and then dig in!

4

Watch the barbecue grub.

Smoked beef, pork, chicken, and turkey are all good choices at your favorite barbecue joint. Although most barbecue rubs contain sugar, it's usually a trace amount, so probably not worth too much concern. Beware of barbecue sauce, however, which usually includes a lot of sugar as an ingredient; enjoy your meat plain instead. For side dishes, look for braised greens and tossed salad, but avoid the Paleo no-nos of potato salad and cole slaw.

5

Mix it up with salads.

A big salad is another reliable Paleo choice — lots of fresh veggies topped with protein and drizzled with quality fat. Be on the lookout for sneaky ingredients like croutons or cheese, and verify the ingredients in the dressing to be sure they comply with your Paleo standards. You can get creative with salads by combining toppings from different salad options into your own combos.

Salads can quickly turn from a great choice to a problematic one with the addition of a few unhealthy ingredients. Always request dressings on the side so you can control the amount that's added to your vegetables, or discretely bring a small container of homemade dressing with you. Don't forget to ask your server whether the salad includes grated cheese and/or croutons and request that yours be served without them.

 
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