Friday Paleo-friendly lunches with friends and the constant struggle of portion size

On Fridays, I usually have lunch with some friends as we celebrate the end of the work week and the beginning of the weekend. We typically go to Logan’s Roadhouse or Saltgrass Steak House. At these two places, I can order a very Paleo-friendly 6oz Filet steak with a baked sweet potato with regular butter. As my pre-meal food, I usually order a Caesar salad with no croutons and I pull most of the cheese off of it and set it to the side. I know that the Caesar dressing is probably not the most Paleo-friendly, but it’s a small indulgence I allow myself once a week.

When we don’t eat steak, we go to Mexican restaurants where I can order some type of fajitas with grilled onions or grilled mixed vegetables. The looks on the faces of the wait staff as I tell them I don’t need beans, rice, or tortillas is always pretty hilarious.

It is possible to eat lunch at restaurants that are Paleo-friendly. Most restaurants have some sort of meat and vegetable option unless you’re at a sandwich shop (in which case you might just have to eat a salad). I’ve had to ask for something off the menu only once, and even then, it was only a slight change.

Incidentally, today’s lunch marks an important turning point for me: I didn’t eat my entire sweet potato. I have a hard time not eating an entire sweet potato because they are so delicious to me. I often eat the whole potato which makes me feel over-fed. Today, I stopped short of eating the whole thing, leaving about 1/4 of it on the plate. I felt full and decided that I was only going to finish it for the sake of how much I liked eating them, and that wasn’t good enough. Three hours later, I feel sated and actually, I feel great about having not eaten the whole thing.

You’d think that by now, 16 months after staring my Paleo journey, I would have had this licked by now, but you’d be wrong. Sweet potatoes have been my Achilles heel. It’s one of the very few foods that, while Paleo, I have a hard time controlling myself over. Sherry is very good about only giving me one half of a sweet potato with any meal we eat, but if I’m left to my own devices, I’ll grab an entire sweet potato. It’s not good for me to eat the entire potato with a regular-sized portion, so I typically compensate by getting less protein to go along with it, but not always.

When you have a bad relationship with food, you have to always remain vigilant. The fight never ends, and you must always be looking not only at what you eat, but also how much you eat. For me, the struggle is real, and I’m always learning something new about myself and how to control my relationship with food. I feel good about today’s victory and I will cling to it to push me into the future.

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