A Guide to Dining Out Anywhere (Even On A Ketogenic Diet!)
Whether we are traveling, visiting friends, or just having one of those “don’t feel like cooking” nights, if we are adhering to a Ketogenic diet and Keto-friendly way of life, we are still cognizant of what we are putting into our bodies. Just because we have chosen a way of living that may be quite different than how our friends and families have chosen to live, that does not mean that we have to give up all of the fun times we used to have with them. One of the central themes of most gatherings and celebrations is food. We are always eating! If we are heading to a party or small dinner at a family member’s home, we can generally bring a dish that is accommodating to our Ketogenic diet. Chances are it may be quite accommodating to others eating a similar type of diet or who are curious about the Keto lifestyle. The real challenge, however, is when we are eating out in a restaurant or are unfamiliar with an area and eating out is the quickest and easiest option. Maybe we are traveling for work or pleasure or just do not feel like cooking. Perhaps our friends are gathering for a celebration, a work-related event, or family is just getting together and they want to grab some dinner. Whatever the reason, here are a few tried and true tips for ensuring we stay on track with your Keto diet no matter where we end up.
1. Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants Are Your Friend
Since some of the biggest components of the Keto diet are to avoid simple and complex carbohydrates, limit protein intake, and enjoy lots of colorful and fresh veggies, what better way to ensure that we can eat out comfortably with a plethora of choices than by choosing a plant-based restaurant. Many restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan menu options so even if the entire menu is not plant-based, we have options. Most large cities will have specialty vegetarian and/or vegan restaurants, especially ones in college towns and with the diversity of different ethnic foods choices. If we stick to places that specialize in vegan and veggie-friendly fare (and trust us, they are much more prevalent than ever before), we will find it much easier to make Keto-friendly choices for our meal.
2. Check Menus Online Before Your Visit
One of the best things about this age of technology is that most places have menus online. We can put them up on our phones, tablets, and computers anytime of day or night. If we have an event or gathering coming up, we can take the time out to check menus at potential gathering spots. If our friends have not chosen a place, we can provide them with a few options of places that we have already checked out. When we do our homework it becomes a no-fail solution for successfully staying on our keto diets. Truthfully, we can never be too prepared, either. Besides preparing physically by looking at menus and even calling the restaurant with specific dietary questions, we can mentally prepare ourselves. We can come up with strategies on how to best avoid trigger foods and ideas on how to make a truly satisfying meal out of what a particular restaurant offers.
3. Bring Your Own Keto–BYOK
Picture this: We are rocking your ketogenic lifestyle. We are mastering the ketogenic basics, balancing and limiting our protein, eliminating our carbs and using our fat intake to balance it all out accordingly and remain in ketosis. Ultimately, we kind of have this down and are on a nice, albeit semi-strict routine. Just because we are choosing to eat out does not mean we are not doomed for sabotage or keto failure. We can bring our own keto snacks or other foods with us to complement what we plan to order at any given restaurant. By keeping a stash of keto-friendly snacks on hand and ready to grab and ensuring that we are not starving before heading out, we can keep our hunger satiated and our healthy choices in check. Maybe we made our own salad dressing or found a great one at Trader Joes that we just cannot live without. We BYOK and feel empowered that we did. We can deck out an amazing keto friendly veggie plate and still have our saving grace salad dressing leaving us full, happy, and still working on our healthy keto lifestyle.