CONGRATS on deciding to do Whole30! It is no piece of cake, let me tell ya. Um, oops, sorry bout that. Damnit, now I want cake. And wine. REPEAT AFTER ME: “It’s only 30 days; it’s only 30 days.” I get so many questions around eating out on Whole30. 1) Can I eat out? 2) What in the world do I order at a restaurant without starving? 3) I guess I will be a hermit for 30 days. I travel a LOT for work, so many times I have no option but to eat out. And if you are like me, you want a social life. So, here is your ULTIMATE guide to eating out on Whole30, WITHOUT starving to death.
EATING OUT ON WHOLE30: WHAT TO ORDER
If you have a say-so in where you will be eating, try to focus on Mexican, farm to table restaurants, steakhouses, salad bars, and burger joints. These are the easiest restaurants to hack. Make sure you right click (or screenshot!) to save this cheatsheet on your phone.
Mexican is my FAV on Whole30. In Birmingham, we have a Mexican restaurant that focuses on locally sourced meats and vegetables and has almost zero gluten in the entire restaurant. However, if you don’t have a place like that near you, a great option is a fajita. Skip the rice, beans, corn, chips, and tortillas. Make sure you load up on delicious protein, guac, and veggies. Don’t forget to check with the server about what kind of oil they use. I’ll take Olive Oil, please! Oh, and no margaritas, ladies. Repeat after me…it’s only 30 days. A great substitute for chips and salsa is crudite with salsa and guac. YUM.
Farm to table restaurants typically focus on high-quality ingredients and usually have gluten-free and vegan options aplenty. If you see grass-fed, pasture-raised, or organic, well, you are #winning. Go ahead an cheers your water to that! Try focusing on meat or fish, veggies, and fats. Big salads are your friend…just make sure you hold the cheese, croutons, and of course, processed dressings. You can always opt for olive oil and lemon juice, which is DELISH on a salad. Be upfront with your server, and they will be happy to accommodate. PRO TIP: Build your own meal using appetizers and side dishes and requesting a piece of fish or a protein on the side.
Steakhouses are SUPER easy, but make sure you request no butter. Steak, potatoes, and veggies. VOILA. OR again, a giant salad with a grass-fed filet. Ok, I am STARVING now.
Tomorrow for lunch I plan on getting a Shake Shack burger, and I cannot wait. Sub lettuce for the bun, and hold off on the sauce. You can always add hot sauce, mustard, and Whole30 mayo when you get home. Eat with a big salad, and you are SET: delicious and Whole30 approved.
What are two staples of Indian food? Ghee and coconut milk, which are perfect for Whole30. Tandoori is a great option, and make sure you order tons of meats + veggies. Remember to confirm what kind of oil they use.
No rice, ALL the curry. Make sure you check with your waiter on sugar in their curries.
EATING OUT ON WHOLE30: PRO TIPS
STOP, COMMUNICATE, AND LISTEN
Be upfront and honest with your server. Ask questions. And don’t feel dumb about it! They are typically very accommodating. Make sure you bring your dinner guests up to speed as well. The more they know, the less they will tempt you!
AVOID + SUBSTITUTE
Request NO BREAD before it even hits your table. Trust me on this one, if it’s there, you will be tempted. Hold ALL sauces. It’s very rare that a sauce will be Whole30 compliant. You can always season with salsa, lemon juice and olive oil, or hot sauce. Also, avoid grains and pasta. There is no need in navigating to that part of the menu. When ordering, make sure you specify no butter and request olive oil instead.
WHAT IF I GO TO A SANDWICH SPOT?
Deconstruct those sandwiches. How many times do people want to eat a sandwich for lunch? A LOT. All you have to do is remove the bread and any other non-compliant items. Adding avocado is a great way to add some additional calories when you remove the bread. And if you want a crunch? Bacon and lettuce are your friends!
ADD EGGS TO EVERYTHING
You can order a side of scrambled eggs, poached eggs, hard boiled eggs, you name it. This is an easy (and tasty!) source of protein to add to ANY meal. Make sure you request NO DAIRY in your eggs. Some restaurants put milk in their scramble. You don’t want nuttin’ to do with that!
No, do not bring your own dessert, girlfriend. Bring your own DRESSING! There is NO shame in this game. People bring their own wine, why can’t I bring my own ranch? We LOVE the Tessemaes line, and most of the dressings are Whole30 approved. Want something less caloric? Try this quick recipe to drizzle on your greens: 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 clove minced garlic, a pinch of oregano, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. BOOM.
EATING OUT ON WHOLE30: BEST FAST FOOD OPTIONS
Since Whole30 means_ahem_no processed foods, how in the world can I eat fast food? Honestly, try to avoid it. BUT if you can’t, here are the best Whole30 choices at a few popular fast food establishments.
You know why I love Shake Shack? Their burgers are made with 100% all-natural Angus beef. No hormones and no antibiotics ever. This is easy. Order the burger with no cheese and no sauce. Load up on lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles and dip that baby in some Tessemae’s Avocado Ranch…you have a pretty damn good meal. I am not saying eat this every single meal, but if you need a fast food fix, this is a great option.
Order the Whole30 bowl and thank me later.
Sorry friends, this is no bueno. WHAT?!? Why can’t I get grilled chicken?! Their grilled chicken is FULL of sh*t. Look, I am just being honest. I don’t want you to fall off the wagon over something so silly. Here are the ingredients in their grilled chicken seasoning: water, apple cider vinegar, soybean oil, yeast extract, salt, modified corn starch, palm oil, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, corn maltodextrin, sea salt, natural flavor, sugar, chicken stock, cane molasses, chicken fat, spice, natural flavor. If they have grilled chicken without the seasoning this COULD be an option. I am honestly appalled right now reading those ingredients again. Ok, moving on!
I have a GREAT Greek Salad hack for ya. Hold the feta and dressing, and you are all set. You can always add olive oil and lemon juice for an easy salad dressing option OR #BYOD. Bring your own dressing, yo. Add a hard boiled egg to ensure you aren’t consuming any sneaky ingredients from some chicken marinade.
EEK! This one makes me soooo happy. Thank you to Kristen for informing me of the Zoe’s Whole30 menu. There are a TON of delicious options, INCLUDING some of their sauces, which is so rare. They include instructions on how to make some of their famous menu items Whole30 approved. AND, guess what?! THEIR POTATO SALAD IS LISTED. Be right back, heading to Zoe’s!
EATING OUT ON WHOLE30: MORE RESOURCES
Remember guys, it’s only 30 days. You guys know we LOVE eating out. So for the next 30 days, we will eat out at the restaurants that we know will accommodate us. Do your research, ask questions, substitute, and take time to learn about the food you are eating. This diet isn’t meant to deprive you the rest of your life. Whole30 is a great way to help you look at_and think_differently about food. After the 30 days, you will have a healthier relationship with food. Stick to it and celebrate with some Chick-fil-A grilled chicken after (insert eye roll).
Need more inspo? I am SO excited to be partnering with some of my favorite bloggers_that you will love and totally should follow_Heather at My Life Well Loved, Jessica at Happily Hughes, and Molly at Stilettos and Diapers as we all share our Whole30 tips, tricks, recipe ideas, fails, and vents! Make sure you join our Whole30 Facebook Group HERE and tag us in all your Whole30 posts on social media! Email me or DM me on Instagram with ANY questions. Also, I have a TON of resources on Pinterest and in the Life Lutzurious Facebook group. Go ahead and Pin this image to your Whole30 Pinterest board or share it on your Instagram Stories. You can find plenty of Whole30 resources throughout my blog, and I will link some of my Whole30 must haves below and at the beginning of this post. Love ya, mean it.