We all talk a good game about how to eat, what to eat, and the importance of preparing our own food from quality ingredients. The truth is that everyone faces the same dilemmas from time to time. Whether it's travel, working late, business lunches, social outings, or simply not being interested in cooking, there are many reasons that eating that home cooked meal may not always be possible.
I've decided to pose a series of questions to our members on a weekly basis on what gets them through these situations. You might be surprised at some of the answers and others might be exactly what you expected — either way, I'm hopeful that this will help you navigate your way through the myriad of awkward, inconvenient, or simply lazy situations you find yourself in.
Kirk Parsley from Austin, Texas & San Diego, California
CA: Do you put much thought into where you eat out? Or do you simply go anywhere and try to make do with what's on the menu?
KP: 80% of the time I go to restaurants that I know, especially farm to table type places. When I'm on the road I do my best to find something equivalent (actually my assistant does). But, of course, there are times when a protein style 3x3 at In-N-Out is all I can do. ;-)
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in (or near) Austin or San Diego?
KP: Jack Allen's Kitchen in Austin! All Farm to table. Lot's of keto options.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of Austin or San Diego?
KP: Oasis Cafe, Salt Lake City
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
KP: For those highly sensitive to gluten, I would recommend only going to restaurants with "gluten free menus" — as many restaurants have "gluten free items" on their menu, but in general, they prepare the food in the same areas and a significant gluten load is likely.
For other special needs I would recommend being as well informed about your issues, to the point where you can explain the concept, instead of trying to avoid certain food or preparations. Most wait staff are not going to understand your issues. So, find a way to make it really simple for them, and don't take any risk. If you know nightshades tear you up, don't order a meal with anything the even resembles a nightshade — as they may substitute some ingredients.
If all else fails, get a healthy chunk of grilled meat, and some cruciferous veggies with lots of butter or olive oil.
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
KP: I always fly with at least 6 pieces of bacon (wrapped in aluminum foil and in a ziplock bag). Since I'm ketotic, I can easily get by on that and some coffees with oil/butter in it.
However, everywhere I go, every day, I have a bag of mixed nuts with me — probably about 1000-1500 calories worth.
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
KP: Ground meat, coconut milk, various spices, lots of chopped veggies. Simply brown the meat, pour in the coconut milk, add the spices, throw the veggies on top. Put a lid on it until the veggies are soft enough for your taste.
CA: Do you consume alcohol? Explain why you think it is or isn’t a good idea.
KP: Yes. I wouldn't say that I believe it is a good idea or a bad idea. It's just a choice that I make. I definitely do not drink enough to get drunk or impact my liver function, but when I feel like it, I drink. Never drink to feel better, only drink to feel even better.
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
KP: Street tacos and/or carne asada fries (when I really go off the rails).
Dr. Kirk Parsley's philosophy for wellness is simple; in order to optimize our health and get the most out of our bodies and minds, we must live more closely to the way we evolved as a species. He believes that many diseases and disorders that we accept as “inevitable” in modern society are unnecessary complications of poor sleeping habits, living in a toxic environment, eating foods we were not designed to digest, and allowing stress to overwhelm us. His passion is to help his patients and clients achieve the highest quality of life possible, and realize their health, performance, and longevity goals.