Eating Out on AIP

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Now that we’ve talked about the Auto-Immune Protocol, let’s talk about some of the speed bumps you might (probably will) run into.  Two of the most popular questions I get about AIP are… “What do I eat at home?” and “How do I go out to eat?”.  The good news is that we’ve got you covered on both of these topics.

As far as what to eat at home, hopefully you’re already signed up for our AIP Challenge, starting June 19th.  We will be making all of your meals and snacks for 30 days.  We are confident that after 30 days of eating foods that allow your gut to heal, you will not only feel better but be better prepared to make your own choices at home.  But don’t hesitate to continue ordering off of Evolve’s regular menu.  We label which of our entrees are Whole30, 21 Day Sugar Detox, Keto and AIP compliant.  And we will always try to accommodate special requests (ex. No nightshades, no nuts, etc) on other menu items.  (Reminder: Since our kitchen does large-scale batch cooking, some of our components like sauces, soups and baked goods are unable to be modified.  We will always contact you if this is the case.)

Speaking of special requests, let’s move on to our next topic of confusion; eating out.  This can easily be the cause of much frustration, limitation and in some unfortunate cases, failure to adhere to your new lifestyle.  Taking the proper precautions will make this go much more smoothly for you and allow you to continue eating the right foods.

I have stumbled on a number of articles that, in my opinion, offer horrible advice for eating out on AIP.  Honestly, as a chef, some of these suggestions are pure insanity for a busy kitchen to comply with.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t modify your order, but there is a right and wrong way to go about the process.  My initial advice on this topic is not to eat out, at least not at first.  Make sure you are familiar with your own meal plan before you ask someone else to accommodate it.  Chances are, most kitchens will not know what AIP, Whole30 or Keto diets consist of, so you’ll need to be confident in your choices.  Once you are comfortable and confident, go ahead and eat out, but be prepared.  Almost every restaurant has an online menu these days.  Look at it.  Decide what you’re going to order before you even set foot in the restaurant.  Find something you can have or something that can be easily adjusted.  If possible, look for items you can mix and match (grilled chicken from one entrée, vegetable side from another), but try not to just create something in your head that doesn’t exist anywhere on the menu (i.e. a burger at a restaurant that doesn’t have ground beef on the menu).  The less modifications you request, the more likely it is that your order will be accurate.  Kitchens are set up as super efficient assembly lines.  Creating a brand new dish will slow down any stations involved, ultimately slowing down the whole kitchen, and your table’s entire order.  Keep in mind that you wouldn’t go to a Jiffy Lube and ask for a manicure, so you probably shouldn’t go into an Italian restaurant and ask for a bacon burger.

If the restaurant does not have an online menu, or you have additional questions or concerns about possible sauce/marinade/dressing ingredients – give the restaurant a call ahead of time.  Also, let them know about your restrictions and ask if they are able to comply.  Just giving them a heads up will help tremendously, especially if you plan on dining during a busy period.  They will probably prepare for your meal before you get there.  Not only will the kitchen be better prepared to accommodate you, your table will thank you for not holding up the whole order.  If they don’t sound confident, or they aren’t able to tell you what ingredients are in certain dishes, you might want to find another place to dine.  They may end up unintentionally serving you something you shouldn’t be eating.  So, although it will take a bit of extra planning, it is entirely possible to eat out while on a restricted meal plan.


2 responses to “Eating Out on AIP”

  1. I’m about 90% AIP, with the exception of nuts and eggs. I make my own compliant salad dressing, which I take with me in a little cup so I don’t have to worry about dressings that contain gluten or soy. Salads are the safest bet when doing AIP in a restaurant setting. I cook a lot though, and I highly recommend Mickey Trescott’s AIP cookbook! Her recipes are amazing and not super difficult to make.

  2. i signed up for the AIP challenge and was sent a facebook invite by cave man sam. every time i try to join i get a response page that says “the page you requested cannot be displayed right now. it may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may be broken or expired or you may not have permission to view this page.”
    i do want to joint the page to read comments and get support. please check link or resend invite. i have been trying since monday.

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