Picnic Basket

I consider “diet” a four letter word. Sure, I know it’s important to eat well, and I’ve seen the effects of a proper diet first hand. Unfortunately, as a foodie, I love good food and the convenience provided by eating out. Therefore, putting myself on a restrictive diet cramps my style.

Although I began the Slow Carb/Paleo hybrid diet in January, I’m no stranger to special diets. Since my senior year of high school (2005) my family has explored dozens of special diets for my little brother. While a special diet requires a definite change of lifestyle, it doesn’t mean the end of life as you know it. Here are a few tips for making a special diet easy and sustainable:

1) Google! Before going out, do a Google search of restaurants that offer menu items that cooperate with your diet. Many places now offer custom items. Red Robin, Bonefish Grill, Jason’s Deli, Mellow Mushroom, and many others now have gluten free menu options (that don’t require scraping off buns or picking toppings off the crust!)

Fajitas-small

2) Think outside the box- Some places may not offer a menu customized to your diet, but often, they will offer foods that comply with the diet. For me, fajitas at Mexican restaurants are a lifesaver. (I just leave off the tortillas and dairy laden condiments) Generally, salads, soups or some menu items will fit within a strict diet.

3) Buy the right supplies. When eating out isn’t an option, the proper carrying containers make all the difference. Scouring discount stores such as Ross and TJ Maxx, is a great way to go! If you’re inclined to shop from the couch, Amazon offers some pretty good deals, too!  Snapware glass containers were one of my best investments! They easily store leftovers and can easily be toted to work or school. My Igloo tote bag is also a favorite! I use it for transporting my lunch to work, keeping drinks cool on the beach, and holding road trip snacks!

4) Fall in love… with leftovers. Find meals that provide tasty leftovers, and take them for lunches on the go. Throw some of last night’s roast into romaine lettuce for wraps or a salad, or mix yesterday’s grilled chicken with avocado for a diet friendly chicken salad.

5) Pinterest. I’m sure this goes without saying, but explore Pinterest for fun and tasty meals on the go. Plus, exploring pictures of diet friendly tastiness will keep fun and variety in even the strictest diet.

So, those are my tips for keeping a special diet on the go!

What secrets have you discovered for maintaining your diet?


Here are a few websites that are especially helpful:

Celiac Restaurant Guide

Offers lists of restaurants that have Gluten free menus/offer Celiac friendly menu items

Gluten Free Travel Site

Beautiful site offers restaurant listings as well as reviews for GF dining

Elana’s Pantry

Offers Paleo/gluten free recipes

Paleo Plan

Once again, great recipes- proving you can eat well on special diets.

Urbanspoon

Great site for discovering dining options in your area. Mobile app makes finding great dining on the go a breeze!

Groupon

Register to get great deals on dining, outings and more