Let's face it, when switching to the Paleo lifestyle from a diet much different than this, you will have temptation and cravings. When it comes to most restaurants and especially the more popular chains that people go to, you are going to encounter foods, drinks and snacks that will set you back towards optimal health.
Some of these things include beer, bread and margarine and any other "mainstream indulgences" or food items.
The key thing is to rethink the entire restaurant experience. With these comfort, carb-loaded items shoved in your face, it can be a struggle.
First, supporting your local restaurants and farm-to-table locations and avoiding being in the vicinity of bad foods would be the best alternative to dealing with this struggle, but not always applicable.
Friends and family still want to go eat at certain restaurants; you don't want to just sit there, arms folded because that food is not high enough quality for you to eat!
You have options for conquering those times in life. If eating consistently Paleo (80% bare minimum), you already have the knowledge and experience to get through these events.
If you have fueled your body with good sources of fat and protein such as bacon, pasture-rasied eggs, grass-fed beef and avocados, you will be able to go longer periods without eating.
I have had long breaks between eating and have been okay due to a higher fat intake.
Higher fat is essential for maintaining optimal brain function. These fats can come from coconut oil, grass-fed butter such as kerrygold and avocado.
When you have filled up your body with essential nutrients, you may be able to go through these family outings without eating. That's no fun though is it?
Part of the 20% of the time that you are not following a strict Paleo diet could be including the lower quality restaurant foods. This does not mean have a pasta and bread heyday. This simply means that eating lower quality cuts of meat may have to suffice for the night.
Take some activated charcoal to minimize toxin absorption.
It's very hard to avoid some of the omega-6 laden oils that are used in cooking in most places, you can ask and see what they use.
Things you should be very conscious about consuming outside your home cooking
Grains are simply toxic. They are found as a staple of so many restaurants it's unbelievable. There are many reasons behind this including the huge cost-inflated industry of grains and wheat itself.
There are alternatives to bread and pasta. There is such thing as Paleo Bread which is made from almond flour and coconut flour. This is a way to trick your brain to eat bread or use as a way to "sandwich" food and not feel guilty about it.
The less sugar you consume the better. Isn't sugar in fruit? Yes, except this is biologically processed completely normally compared to the way your body treats sugar, cane sugar, raw sugar, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar and any other source of sugar.
Sugar found in dark chocolate labeled 70% or more cacao will be okay and is very beneficial to your health as well as treating sugar cravings. Dr. Mercola calls dark chocolates the new anti-anxiety drug!
5 days of healthy habits can be thrown out of the window when Saturday comes and you drink a 12-pack of your friendly local beer.
Beers are basically cans of liquid grains.
There are some gluten-free beers appearing and we can expect this trend to grow.
Whiskey and tequila can be consumed in moderate doses as well as wine and cider.
When shopping for cider and wine, look for cold pasteurized, non-preservative, organic cider.
If you would like more resources on Paleo versions of non-paleo foods, you can check out Mark Sisson's post.
There is a 3 step process to reducing sugar cravings
Consume 5g of glutamine with water.
Glutamine is an amino acid found naturally in meats and other food sources. Glutamine capsule or powder can be used by the brain and should help ward off the cravings.
Wait 5 minutes, still craving?
Eat 1TBSP of coconut oil by itself.
The fats and MCT should help with cravings.
Wait another 5 minutes, still craving?
Do a short form of exercise.
Steve Wright from our episode 19 observes that exhausting your muscles can reduce cravings.
Scream into your pillow.
Steve recommended this as a mental release to literally change the mind state that you are currently in. This makes sense, as we are using an emotional change to divert this mental process that tells you "sugar will make me happy".
An alternative to screaming would be to save that energy for your workout.
Grunting and yelling excessively is pretty obnoxious in the gym, but it can help in small doses! Grunting to get through workouts has saved me numerous times, not to mention.. what is more Primal than grunting and igniting yourself?
This should be a sigh of relief for you in the struggle of carb and sugar cravings.
How have you dealt with these cravings and what has changed for you as you've consistently applied the Paleo lifestyle to your life?