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.
Beverly Meyer from San Antonio, Texas
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?
BM: I seldom eat out. My celiac gut and nervous system are super-reactive to surprise ingredients.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in (or near) San Antonio?
BM: I had my 60th Birthday party a few years ago at one of two Silo Restaurants. We had a carefully catered meal that included lamb chop lolly-pops. Turned out to be a 9" long rib with a chunk of grilled meat at the end. Awkward for eating but very tasty!
Image credit: Primal Palate
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of San Antonio?
BM: I take food with me when I travel and book a room with a kitchenette. If a kitchen is not available I'll take a hot plate and 10" covered skillet. The in-room refrigerator usually works OK although mini-bars are not as cold as a regular refrigerator.
Or I pack grilled meat patties or cans of wild salmon and sardines, and chopped or pureed vegetables to last until I come home. It all fits in a small soft-sided cooler. I'll freeze some items the day before to keep the rest cold while traveling.
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
BM: I speak the day before with the Manager or Head Chef of a good restaurant during off-peak hours. We discuss celiac, Paleo, nightshades, canola oil and more, I study their menus to see their ingredients on hand. I avoid grilled food as grills may have had breads or floured entrees on them. Best option is skillet-cooked fish with olive oil, capers or lemon. Add some steamed spinach or broccoli and we're good. I always request chef's personal olive oil, not the restaurant standard, and make sure food is not marinated or seasoned before or after cooking.
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
BM: I keep a spare meal in the glove box of my car and in a cabinet at work. A can of wild salmon, a can of artichoke hearts, a large baggie for the cans, a plastic fork, and a pointed grapefruit spoon to get the salmon out of the can. Pour out the liquid in the artichoke hearts and rinse with bottled water. Filling and fast!
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
BM: I cook my food for the week in a 3 or 4 hour blast every Monday. I don't use recipes. I make simple pot roasts, meat loaves, shredded chicken or turkey meat, and mountains of steamed, baked, minced, sauteed and pureed vegetables. When it's time to eat or pack meals for the day, I choose condiments such as herbs, different fats, Himalayan salt, pesto, olives, mustard, sauerkraut, lemon or capers. A heaping spoonful of baked Butternut Squash adds sweetness and color to anything.
CA: Do you consume alcohol? Explain why you think it is or isn't a good idea.
BM: Anything more than a sip or two of good wine disturbs my sleep. I prefer good water and might add some lemon juice. I don't use ice unless I make it myself from filtered or Spring water.
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
BM: My clients ask me this a lot. "Don't you ever cheat?" Nope, I don't. It's just not worth it. I use a lot of Pure Indian Foods ghee and Arrette Tea Seed Oil. These fats are always a treat. I've eaten this way for decades and it works for me! Lately I've been able to add long-soaked and well-cooked red quinoa to my diet and I'm tolerating that well. I needed those extra carbs and they seem like a treat after years without grains.
As an Alternative Health patient since the 1970’s, I know what it’s like to want answers. I’ve tried dozens of modalities and traveled widely to get help for my anxiety, chronic fatigue, pain, adrenals, digestion, insomnia, immune problems and more.
After my health crashed in the mid-80’s, I made a major career and lifestyle change. I closed multiple businesses, took several years off to study, and began a naturopathic health practice as a gluten free and paleo nutritionist at my Diet and Health Center in San Antonio. It’s an amazing privilege to see clients change their lives and be rewarded with hope and renewed energy. And weight loss!