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Eating with Friends - Or on a Road Trip

It is not supposed to be complicated

How to follow the ketogenic diet when you are not at home.

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you are sitting down for dinner with friends or family. Not everyone follows the ketogenic diet. However, in every menu everywhere you can always find food items that can fit a low carb way of eating. It’s all about making the right choice.

Eating with friends, eating in a restaurant or eating with family – it’s not about the food. It’s about the environment and the people with whom you want to be.

 For example, if you go to a Mexican restaurant you can choose the fajitas without the rice and beans… just order the Pico de Gallo, chicken/meat, sour cream and guacamole… when you go to a steakhouse – you don’t have a problem at all, just choose the meat with some vegetable – skip the potato or rice and you are set.

I find myself in a little problematic situation when my family goes to a bagel store for breakfast. Just as I respect everyone who comes with me, my family knows that I always go with a little bag. In my little bag I carry an avocado, three hardboiled eggs and a little container with coconut milk (I am dairy intolerant but I love my coffee!). When it is time to order, I order a side of turkey and a coffee. No one has a problem with me taking out from my little bag the foods that I prefer to eat.

Once we went to an Italian restaurant that just opened up. I looked in the menu and all they had was pasta and pizza. Then I saw under the counter a huge variety of exotic olives and pickles. So, I asked the lady how they serve that and she explained that it can be ordered as an antipasti. I happily had a side of olives and a cup of wine. The olives came in a huge beautiful plate and they were amazing, actually – these were a kind of olives that I have never tried in my life before!

On another occasion we went to another restaurant for desert (my husband is not keto and he loves his sweets) and after searching the menu I asked the server what comes in a fruit plate. She explained that it comes with pineapples and strawberries. So I asked from her to bring me as many strawberries and skip the pineapples if she can – and she did. Do not be embarrassed to ask what you want or prefer. Most of the time people will accommodate your request without a problem.

Going on a road trip is also simple. It is all about planning - If you fail to plan - you plan to fail.  Plan in advance where you are about to stop, and if you can, learn the menu beforehand so you can come prepared to order your keto-friendly meal. If everyone is preparing sandwiches for the road, prepare your keto-friendly salad in a covered container and pack the dressing on the side, you can have slices of chicken in a container, avocado and eggs, slices of cheese, nuts, olives, cucumbers, florets of cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and any other vegetable that you like in a container, and just like people with allergies have their special needs taken care - consider yourself the same as one (if somebody cannot tolerate gluten or peanuts - we are going to think about another option other than feeding them sandwiches with peanut butter). Respect yourself and your needs and do not get off track because you had to leave your home and your comfort zone. If you respect your needs, everyone else around you will.

Eating with friends, eating in a restaurant or eating with family – it’s not about the food. I discovered that food doesn't have to be the center of the enjoyment - yes, people like to be social and food is always a part of it, but let's face it - respect me just like you would respect a child allergic to peanuts - are you going to let the kid have peanuts, just because everyone is having it? Or because it tastes good? Definitely not!

 It’s all about the environment and the people with whom you want to be. I for sure do not come home hungry and I am very happy that I make good choices and stay on track.

Doing the ketogenic diet is not a temporary thing. It is a way of life, it is who I am and it must be followed no matter where I am. Think about staying in ketosis all the time and this will help you stay on track. Use the days when you leave home as those days when you can do longer intermittent fasting.

Respect yourself so other people will too.