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.
Darryl Edwards from London, United Kingdom
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?
DE: I always pay attention to what I eat, whether at home, eating out or abroad. But eating isn't just an isolated pursuit, I take into account the company I am with, as well as the social, cultural and heritage aspects of food too. I've been following a healthier eating lifestyle for many years so I tend to know exactly where to go to suit my requirements. Based on my health status I tend to be pretty strict but flexible enough not to be neurotic about it!
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in (or near) London?
DE: One of my favourite haunts pretty much since it opened is Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill, London. Set in a Georgian mansion, it has great ambience and a delightful experience — also like most restaurants, it's flexible enough to cater for allergies and intolerances too.
It is difficult to answer this question without mentioning my favourite (based on frequency) places to eat out — it's (GBK) Gourmet Burger Kitchen. I order a free-range buffalo burger (without the bun) with a decent leafy green salad, sliced avocado and a few eggs. The buffalo meat comes from Laverstoke Park Farm (which follows biodynamic farming principles) and is delivered fresh daily. Buffalo is a leaner meat than beef — it is also higher in protein, vitamin B12, iron and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of London?
DE: A few years ago I had the privilege to eat an amazing spread at Rupert and Ruby in Sydney, Australia (now closed) — enjoying a five-course paleo feast with Pickled Tongue, Bone Marrow Soup, Beef Cheek, Steak Tar Tare, Whole Roasted Spatchcock and a whole host of veggies. It was absolutely incredible!
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
DE: Depending on how strict your dietary requirements are you may be able to research online where the foods/ingredients are sourced. They may also have alternative menus such as dairy or gluten-free available on request. Some restaurants can also guarantee no cross-contamination of foods due to separate cooking areas/grills to ensure no gluten contamination. In big cities you pretty much can find what suits you. Just ask the staff, email the head office (if a restaurant chain) and do some research beforehand, you are the only one who will know what works for you.
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
DE: If I am really stuck for choices I will choose to fast or will pack some staples such as jerky, nuts, boiled eggs and a little fruit. Travelling frequently means I am pretty savvy when it comes to knowing what's available at airports, lounges and my travel destination to mitigate the risks.
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
DE: Salmon marinated in herbs and spices fried in coconut oil, cauliflower rice and fried plantain.
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
DE: Pretty much anything my mother cooks — especially her Jamaican rum cake. After much trial and error, I've managed to concoct a convincing 'Paleo-friendly' version that even my mum was happy to eat!
Darryl Edwards is a Movement Coach, Natural Lifestyle Educator, nutritionist and creator of the Primal Play Method™. Darryl developed the Primal Play methodology to inspire others to make activity fun while getting healthier, fitter and stronger in the process.
Darryl is the owner of Fitness Explorer Training and author of several books including Paleo Fitness and Paleo from A to Z. His work has been published in titles such as Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Elle Magazine, Men's Fitness and featured on the BBC documentary Eat to Live Forever.
After almost two decades working as a technologist in investment banking, Darryl transformed his health after adopting an ancestral model to well-being. Darryl now advises people on maintaining a healthy lifestyle – amidst the epidemic of obesity and other chronic lifestyle diseases.
As the founder of the PRIMAL PLAY methodology, he makes activity fun, effective and engaging while getting individuals healthier, fitter and stronger in the process. He specialises in working with children from 4 to 94 - fitness for those who hate to exercise — as well as for those who love it but relish a new challenge.
Darryl has presented at numerous venues including: Harvard Medical School, University of the Arts London, Imperial College, Virgin Atlantic, Paleo FX, Ancestral Health Symposium and hosting Primal Play sessions worldwide.
Darryl runs programmes all over the world where he teaches Primal Play as a way to become reacquainted with the enjoyment of movement and the superhero path.