Although many diet plans enjoy only a brief time in the limelight before fading away into oblivion, the Paleo diet has continued to attract new followers and grow in popularity since the movement began nearly a decade ago. Those who follow a Paleo eating regimen choose to eat much as the early human beings did, focusing on meat, fish, foraged vegetables and fruit while eliminating processed foods, grains, sugar and most dairy products.
Since the restricted foods are common ones, Paleo dieters often feel they must always cook and eat at home instead of enjoying a meal out, leading to food fatigue and boring meals. If you are a Paleo dieter looking for a delicious dining experience, Mexican restaurants near Tucson Arizona are great places to start and these tips will help you enjoy it in a Paleo-friendly way.
Study the menu before you go
Mexican restaurants often have extensive menus featuring several different recipes for preparing quality proteins and fresh vegetables and most of these menus are available to peruse online. By studying the menu ahead of time and pre-selecting the meal, appetizer and beverage that you will order, you will be better able to resist temptation when you are seated in the restaurant, surrounded by delicious aromas.
Snack at home first
Another way to avoid giving into temptation and ditching your diet upon being seated in your favorite Mexican restaurant is to have a snack at home before you go. A small, protein rich snack, such as slices of cold roasted meat, a hard-boiled egg or a small cup of bone broth before you go will help keep blood sugar and energy levels from plummeting and help stave off impulsive choices at the restaurant that could wreck your diet.
Discuss your dietary needs with your server
Upon being seated at the restaurant, make sure you speak to your server immediately about your dietary needs. Instead of the customary chips and salsa, ask for some green and red pepper strips or a simple lettuce and tomato salad with a bit of guacamole as a satisfying pre-dinner alternative to the forbidden chips.
Schedule your meal before or after the lunch and dinner rushes
To ensure that your server has plenty of time to discuss the menu and help you make good choices, consider scheduling your meal before or after the busy lunch and dinner rushes. This will also help to ensure that the chef and prep staff have ample time to prepare your order just as you need it to be prepared.
Skip or substitute problem foods
Most Mexican restaurant entrée portions are huge and customarily served with sides of refried beans and rice and accompanied with tortillas for wrapping or dipping. When ordering your meal, ask your server to withhold these items from your plate and to substitute a bit of guacamole, crispy cabbage slaw or a raw salsa to add extra texture and taste.
Check for sugar
An important part of staying true to a Paleo diet is to eliminate added sugar from the foods you eat. Many traditional cooked salsa recipes may contain sugar, while those that are made fresh and served raw are less likely to have added sugar or sweeteners. Before using any salsa, sauce or condiment, make sure you ask the server about sugar content and substitute another, if necessary.
Often the best way to break away from devouring a favorite Mexican restaurant meal that no longer fits in with your long range Paleo eating plan is to become more adventurous. Instead of feeling deprived, use the opportunity to try new recipes that fit with your new eating plan and offer introductions to new spices, seasonings and preparation techniques.
Ask the waiter, hostess or the chef in your favorite Mexican restaurant to suggest dishes that would work well with your dietary needs or ones that can be modified easily. To make trying new, Paleo-friendly options more fun, consider ordering two or three different entrees and then sharing them, family style, with the other people at your table.