Paleo in Mumbai! India


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I have started the whole 30 and already into week 3. I love it! My digestion issues have massively improved along with some weight loss, better skin, focus, energy etc. yay!

I am a working musician and it's been pretty easy these past few weeks because I have been home and able to prepare all my food before gigs and know of numerous restaurants near me which are able to cater to the Whole30 program.

However, I've just been invited to a two and half week tour where I will be based in Mumbai. Having worked in Mumbai before I know it will be very hard to stay Paleo. Majority of the food is vegetarian and focused around lentils and rice (the plus side is that it is SO.DELICIOUS. You don't know curry until you've had curry in India) Fresh veggies are out of the picture as last time I was there I made the mistake of having a salad and was horribly ill as a result. I really love India though and want to return but very scared of throwing away all the good changes that have happened over the last three weeks. Worried about my digestion issues returning and having trouble readjusting back to Paleo when I return.

Has anyone have any experience eating Paleo in India? Or know of any ways I can pack two weeks worth of protein into my suitcase before the flight?


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Look for tandoori restaurants. Tandoori chicken = heaven (seriously, I think my second trip to India I ate it 10 nights out of 14?) and is more likely to be compliant. 


Avoid fresh fruit, too. Same issue as with the veggies. The water they wash them in isn't something our bodies can handle.


The great thing is, in my experience everything in restaurants in India is about catering to a person's needs. So talk to them and they are likely to be able to manage something for you just fine. 


As for packing, Steve's Paleo has a ton of Paleo Kits that are easy to travel with if you like jerky. I prefer the apple one. 


Enjoy! I'd love to go back - such an incredible place!

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I live in Mumbai and wanted to give some advice/feedback.  On the plus side, ghee is used more often than not here so feel free to ask the restaurant to cook your food in that- they are 99% likely to have some on hand.  Along with the rice, rotis and naan, here are some key terms to avoid:


Channa- chickpea dish

Rajma- Kidney bean dish

Daals- Lentils

Tandoori anything- usually involves a yogurt marinade

Paneer- Indian cottage cheese


While many restaurants are vegetarian, there are also plenty of non-vegetarian restaurants around.  In the latter, you could always ask for the chicken/fish without sauce.  In vegetarian dining, stick with the vegetable-based dishes but even then, clarify if it includes "besan" (chickpea flour) or "daals" (lentils) as both are often used for thickening purposes.  It might be worth carrying a few packets of tuna for emergency protein.  I know nuts can be a "No Brakes Food" for some so rather than carry a huge bag around, pre-portion servings out in ziplocks to carry on hand with you.  


A great drink that is very much W30-compliant is a "fresh lime soda", which is basically sparkling water with lots of lime juice.  They'll ask whether you want it sweet (involves glucose syrup), salty or plain (nada)- I go with plain.  And of course you must have the occasional coconut water off the streets- nothing beats drinking it right out of the coconut :).  


Hope this helps!  If it's any reassurance, English is almost always spoken in restaurants in Mumbai (sometimes broken) so language barriers should not be a problem. 

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Some more words:


Gobi is potato (white potato)

Aloo is cauliflower

Palak is spinach


Anything with Bhaji in the name usually has besan flour in it (also sometimes called gram flour).

Some of the indian "sausage" dishes are all meat and no flour, have a chat with the local chefs.


I've only ever heard it called "curry", but there is a bright green coloured curry made with mustard leaves (and not much else) which is vegetarian and often served for breakfast (skip the bread that comes with it).


There lots of tiffin (layered lunch container) deliveries around Mumbai, if you can find somewhere to do compliant tiffins, you'll be very happy :)

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