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Stick to Your Paleo Diet by Re-Creating the Restaurant Experience

As your palate adapts to the bright, fresh flavors of Paleo foods, many of the same foods enjoyed by your cave men ancestors, you may find that restaurant food doesn't taste as delicious as you remember. But restaurants bring more to the table than just food — eating at a restaurant is an experience.

With a few of the following tricks, you can re-create some of that experience at home so home-cooked meals satisfy your eyes and imagination, as well as your tummy:

  • Go for garnish: There's no reason you can't make a beautiful restaurant-quality presentation with your food at home. In just a few seconds, you can transform a boring plate of food into a feast for the eyes. Rather than throwing all the ingredients for a salad in a giant serving bowl, try making a pretty arrangement of the elements on a plate and drizzling them with dressing.

    Instead of putting a pile of vegetables next to grilled meat, why not place the meat in the center of the plate and surround it with a ring of vegetables. Edible garnishes, like freshly chopped herbs, wedges of citrus, or just a few roasted nuts, make the plate not only look pretty but also taste great.

  • Set the table: Pick up a few inexpensive plates and bowls that tickle your fancy. A package of chopsticks or a pretty sushi plate can make eating Asian food at home just as engaging as eating in a restaurant.

    Go thrift shopping at flea markets for vintage plates, or find the perfect deep bowls for homemade chili, stews, and soups. These aesthetic touches make your table feel special, even for a weeknight dinner.

  • Keep the drinks flowing: Keep a pitcher of water on the table so you can refill your glass, just like a waiter would. And make it special by placing a slice of lime or lemon on the rim — or drop a mint leaf or a few cucumber slices into the water for a fresh zing.

  • Eat in courses: At a restaurant, you probably linger over an appetizer and move on to a salad before digging into your entree. Why not re-create that experience at home? Physically, taking a five-minute break between courses means your brain and digestive system have time to get in sync. Mentally, that pause between courses forces you to slow down, savor your food, and relax.

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