Eating out on AIP may seem overwhelming at first but I am happy to share with you what I've learned to make it a great experience.
I will be completely honest and tell you that I did not eat out (by choice) while on AIP until I hit the FIVE month mark! Yep.....I ate all three meals 7 days a week AT HOME for FIVE months!
This seems absolutely insane to me now....as I am a huge social gal.....and planned my every day (before AIP) around what family member or friend I would meet for dinner and/or cocktails!
And when I say "by choice" I have to disclose that at only SIX weeks into my journey I traveled to a resort in Mexico for my sons wedding. That was stressful and sad....as I really wanted to be nothing less than ecstatic about my sons wedding...but the fear of not having the right foods while in the elimination phase (at my typical 100%) really put a damper on my mindset. I will say I learned a lot about AIP and traveling..... and have now traveled many times! You can read more about my experience and tips for travel HERE.
There are many changes that will occur in your life when you take on a clean eating lifestyle....and I can vouch to say that EVERY single change will be a positive one! However.....in the beginning....feeling that you cannot eat out or enjoy the company of others for social gatherings can be very difficult....and causes many too shy away from this lifestyle commitment.
I am here to tell you....based on my experience and many other reliable AIP followers....eating out on AIP can be done! You can enjoy social gatherings in public places. It just takes an open mind, a determined spirit, a strong "WHY", a dose of confidence and a little bit of knowledge!
Here are my FIVE tips for staying true to your plan when eating out on AIP:
1. Drink a Smoothie In-Route
Prepare and drink your favorite smoothie (see my faves HERE) in route to your destination (restaurant/bar/cocktail party/social gathering). This will keep you satisfied and keep you from having a pity party when surrounded by other food choices. You can see my SIX tips to make the PERFECT smoothie HERE.
2. Be strategic with your drink order
Order and drink lemon water as soon as you arrive to the restaurant. If others are enjoying cocktails....order bubble water with lemon or lime. Switch to unsweetened tea when the meal is served. This switches it up a bit and gives you something to look forward to.
3. Skip the Appetizer
I skip the appetizer or pre-dinner salad no. matter. what! I have almost always just finished my smoothie and this part is not difficult for me.
4. Salad for Dinner!!!
Salad for dinner really is the safest way to go...and you can order a salad anywhere!
Here is exactly how I do it to make sure my salad is AIP...
I request a plate of lettuce with nothing else on it. Also, I ask for an entire sliced avocado - not a "side order" of avocado because it usually consist of three tiny slices and this is such a buzz kill!! I want the whole thing. Then I request grilled fish or chicken....plain and dry!
ALWAYS tell the waiter you have food allergies. I was given this advice by a world renowned chef!!! He says the word "allergy" in the food industry means serious business....and there is no use trying to explain your diet or give your reasons for ordering this way. Just keep it simple and tell them you want plain and dry grilled chicken or fish....because you have food allergies! Then order a side of lemon to season at the table with a dash of salt and pepper!
If you happen to be at a restaurant that serves sweet potatoes...you can ask for a whole sweet potato cooked....plain and dry as well. They are delicious....and arrive steamy and moist and easy to eat! If you are not a salad eater.....I suggest asking for the plain and dry fish/chicken with a side of plain steamed veggies. You can season with lemon and salt and pepper at the table.
5. Order Fresh Fruit for Dessert
Doing this for the very first time will feel very awkward for most of you....I know it did for me! It gets easier each time....and soon feels completely normal! You learn the right lingo to use and you say it with confidence.
It is important to remember that you are not alone!
It is important to remember that you are committed to this journey and "feeling awkward" will not stop you from finding your best you!
You'll be surprised at the number of people watching you and wishing they had the drive and courage to make these changes for themselves! Eventually they will ask you to show them how!
Now go be a rockstar in public!!!! Enjoy eating out on AIP!!!
If you are interested in learned what I eat in a typical week...check out My Honest 7-Day AIP Meal Plan eBook.