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First Time Dining Out on Whole30!


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Hi guys!

Okay, so I'm on Day 16 and having a really smooth Whole30 so far, BUT...I've avoided eating out at all because I'm so nervous about it!


Tonight, there is a goodbye dinner for a coworker that I felt I couldn't miss. The timing of it is such that I didn't feel like I could eat before (would have been too hungry before bed), but I didn't think I'd be able to wait until I got home, either. 


It's an Italian restaurant and I'm doing my research and checking out the menu. It's almost entirely pasta and pizza, but I think I've found some market sides that will work - brussels sprouts with pancetta and roasted butternut squash. As long as they're in oil, does that sound good to you guys?

Thanks for any pearls of wisdom and for not letting me go hungry. ;)

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Here are a few of my tips for dining out.


1.  Look over the menu and see what you might be able to get.  (You did that.)


2. Call ahead and ask for a manager/kitchen manager and talk about the restrictions and possibilities.  Explain that this is an elimination diet and you need to avoid exposure for all of the days.


3. Ask about the oil that they use to cook.  If they use vegetable or soy, ask if they might be able to cook your food in a clean pan, dry or with another oil.  Baking could also be an option.  Veggies could be baked, steamed, etc.


4. Ask who to talk to when you arrive to be able to get the dish you had agreed upon.


5. Maybe bring fat to supplement...olives, nuts,...maybe they have a good fat on the menu.

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My Dad was doing the Whole30 during a big work function that was an Italian "family style" dinner at Maggiano's.  I remember he asked for my advice and I said something along the lines of "avoid going if you can!"  (Looking back... not the best advice).


He ended up going because he felt it was important for him to be there professionally, and after telling the waiter he had some dietary restrictions they figured out that the chef could grill up some chicken and steam some veggies for him.  I'm just imagining all of the trays of garlic bread and pasta and desserts at these family style dinners...   If my Dad can eat Whole30 at Maggiano's, I think it's possible to eat Whole30 at almost ANY restaurant!  Good luck!

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I'm thinking the chicken might also be an option. I'm unfortunately NOT a fan of salmon and on a bit of a budget... (Feeding myself so well has been expensive! lol)



maybe you could order one (or a couple) of the following:  


  • meatballs in marinara without the parmesan 
  • grilled verdura
  • mesclun greens with no ricotta salata 
  • wood-fired free range chicken 
  • broccoli rabe
  • brussel sprouts
  • butternut squash 

I think I'd order the brussel sprouts and butternut squash (2 for 10) and then the meatballs in marinara with no parmesan. 

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I forgot about that--since they're so easy to make without you just forget people do it any other way. How about the steak or the chicken (and of course ask a few questions--ask if the chicken has any breading and what it's cooked in. same with the veg. specifically ask if butter is used to cook the chicken, steak, or veggies and if so if they could do it with olive oil instead)?

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For under $20, the chicken looked like a possibility to me too, as long as they don't cook it with butter. Or you could always put a meal together for yourself from the small plates - marinated olives, grilled verdura and some of the cured meats (as long as they don't have sugar/nasties) or the chicken spiedini.

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I did it! In the end, I didn't get enough food, but I stayed compliant. My plan was to have a couple small plates and then go home for a small bowl of my meat sauce in zoodles. We wound up staying much later than I thought we would, so it was too late to eat more when I got home.

After they confirmed everything was in olive oil, I went for the sides of brussels sprouts and roasted butternut squash with a small dish of olives. Surprisingly, that filled me up at the restaurant (I think my tummy's shrunk a bit...), but I was a little hungry before bed, which I haven't been.


It was a little hard to watch everyone eat bread and oil, bruschette, pasta, etc., but not NEARLY as hard as I thought it would be. And my friends are all really supportive and respectful.


Overall, though: success! Thanks for all your pearls of wisdom!

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