Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons”
Staying Paleo Safe When Eating Out
While it’s true that preparation is the key to success in all walks of life whether it’s to do with your work, health or even just a good upcoming festival weekend sometimes in life things don’t go according to plan and as everyone has busy lives prep can go out the window.
Sometimes you’re just in such a rush you forget the lunch you spent an hour cooking while running out the door. Other times though you just want to be a normal person and eat out like everybody else and be social but inevitably this can lead to eating the wrong things and guilty feelings for the choices you made the following day. Or perhaps it’s just a Friday night after a long week in work and the last thing you want to do is cook?
I’ve switched to a ‘mostly’ paleo lifestyle over the last couple of years, I do still struggle and yes I binge on junk at times and also love a pint or 5 when I do go out but Mon – Thurs at the very least I would be conscious of what I put in my body and with more and more people switching to, and seeing the benefits of the paleo way of eating it’s great to see more and more restaurants and even some fast food joints beginning to offer paleo friendly options in Dublin.
Here are some of my favourites so you can still get your fix without skipping on taste or spoiling your diet.
City Centre Dining
- Borlottie (IFSC)
Tucked away beside The National College of Ireland just down from Marks & Spencer Borlottie that is all about health & wellbeing. It has a clean, modern interior and offers freshly prepared food that is full of flavour and is made right in front of you. They have a number of paleo safe salads that you can add your protein source of choice to or if you fancy something hot you can opt for the cauliflower rice in your hot box in place of the normal wholegrain option. They also have some seriously tasty paleo cakes/treats if you just want to stop in for a coffee. Apparently, they have just opened up on Baggot St now too if you’re over the other side of town.
- Mongolian BBQ (Temple Bar)
Right in the heart of the city centre this place has been open for years and it’s only recently I’ve really appreciated just how good it is for anyone who is conscious of what they eat. The food is delicious and as you basically create your own dish from all the meat, veg and spice options available in a bowl you know exactly what’s going into and then the chefs cook it up right there in front of you.
- Counter Burger (Suffolk St)
Just off the bottom of Grafton St this place is my go to when out shopping or if I just happen to find myself out that direction. The Counter is awesome when you want a top-notch burger with all the trimmings as you can customise everything about it! What is also gives you though is the option to go the sans bun route with a burger in a bowl! You can still choose from all the toppings so can be selective about what you get while staying paleo and the portion is still decent. You can also get unreal sweet potato fries if you allowing yourself a treat 😉
- Rustic Stone (South Georges St)
I LOVE this place and have been numerous times, while it’s more on the pricey end of things if you’re looking to go out for an evening meal without worrying about what you will have to eat you won’t go far wrong here. Choose from any of the “On the Stone” options (try and forget about the truffle chips) and order a side of greens and you have yourself a super tasty protein packed paleo dinner. I had the tuna steak last time and it was outrageously good!
Kaph (Drury St)
If all you want is a decent coffee and something small to snack on at a reasonable price you won’t get any better than Kaph. I won’t say too much about the place but the paleo cakes (of which there is usually a good selection) are unreal and that’s all the reason I need to swing by when I’m in town. Do yourself a favour and check it out for yourself.
Takeaway – The safe(ish) Way
- Chopped (All over the place)
What can I say about these guys, while not your traditional “fast food” they have quickly cornered the market for quick healthy food on the go. To make sure I stay paleo I only ever create my own bowl here. My usual is spinach, rocket, pulled chicken, jalapeños, roast sweet potato and grated carrot with balsamic vinegar/olive oil you literally can’t go wrong and there seems to be a Chopped everywhere now, definitely in your nearest shopping centre.
- Pablo Picante (Temple Bar/Baggot St)
When you think of healthy food the word “Burrito” hardly springs to mind but who doesn’t love a burrito? I lived on them when I was in college, obviously not doing my waist line any favours in the process but god damn are they good! While there are a more and more burrito bars popping up all the time Pablo Picante have stayed ahead of the game by catering to the health conscious too. They now have
“Pabloʼs Paleo Box” which is made up of steak, chilli & cacao sprinkles over a bed of raw spinach and rocket. Not as satisfying as sinking your teeth into a burrito bursting with all the trimming for sure but you won’t have to deal with the guilt… or the meat sweats when you’re finished!
- Bombay Pantry (6 locations around Dublin)
Last but by no means least on the list. Indian food in general wouldn’t be known for being super healthy with its thick, creamy, fattening, delicious sauces but Bombay Pantry are bucking the trend and have gone so far as to create a whole Paleo safe menu to chose from and if this post is anything to go by they have even more new additions to add coming soon! So pass on the popadoms and say no the naan but now you can still enjoy all the flavour of and Indian takeaway on a Friday night guilt free.