Following A Paleo Diet Is So Much Harder In Some Places meal food court eating out options-min

Following A Paleo Diet Is So Much Harder In Some Places!

I live in Sydney and have always found it very easy to follow my Paleo Diet. In fact, I don’t really have to think about it, eating Paleo just naturally happens. Even when I have to find lunch in the city. Great quality food and ingredients are everywhere. Similarly I find Melbourne fantastic for good Paleo friendly food options.

I’m often not organised enough to bring my lunch in from home, but in Sydney, it isn’t a problem. I’m spoilt for choice with a huge range of lunch options. The other thing I love about lunch in Sydney is that, even in a food court, it’s generally freshly prepared as you order it. Every food court seems to have some great create-your-own salad options and a roast dinner option when you can choose your meat and have it with your choice of fresh vegetables.

Paleo lunch in the city

 This is a very easy lunch to find in Sydney; Roast meat and vegetables. Simple.

Eating dinner out in Sydney is even easier, with almost every restaurant offering meals that are fairly Paleo, but the flexibility to tweak the menu slightly, making sure you get exactly what you want.

So spoilt have I been by the food options I’m used to, that now I am working in another city for a few days a week, I’m surprised by how much harder it is to stick to my Paleo diet.

A lot of this is due to not having the local knowledge about the best places to go, but having explored the CBD, I’m fairly convinced that Brisbane just does not have the range of healthy options I find in Sydney. I have found a couple of food courts which offer a roast dinner – but sadly the “vegetable” sides are all beige. Processed potato croquettes, potato wedges or hot chips. Not quite what I had in mind. I have found some restaurants which offer meals that are more suitable, but these are far too substantial for lunchtime.

Breakfast at my hotel looks great on paper, but the colour and taste of the bacon and eggs makes it clear that these are very poor quality. Definitely not organic and probably not even free-range eggs. For the $29 they charge for breakfast, I could cook something amazing with incredible ingredients – which makes the hotel breakfast even harder to swallow.

I’m sure there are lots of great restaurants I should be making use of in the evenings, so I will have to make sure I research this better.

Fortunately I’ve managed to find somewhere new to stay for the coming weeks, that will hopefully help solve some of these difficulties. I’ve found a serviced apartment that is the same price as the hotel, but offers a kitchen! This means I’ll be able to buy my own, good quality, ingredients and cook my own Paleo meals. I’ll also be able to take my lunch in (or perhaps even pop back to eat, as it is so close).

My other observation is that overall, people in the CBD look a lot less healthy than they do in Sydney. Is this because it is harder to eat good food; or is there no good food because people don’t want it? I generally find the hotter it is the easier it is to eat well – it’s hotter here, so I’m surprised how many junk food outlets there are?

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love Brisbane (I’ll be up for the Brisbane leg of the Low Carb Down Under Seminar Series), I just wish there were more Paleo friendly food options!

Have you noticed following a Paleo diet is harder in certain places? Do you have any tips and tricks for staying Paleo whilst working away? And if anyone has any Brisbane specific Paleo tips, I would LOVE to hear them!

Following A Paleo Diet Is So Much Harder In Some Places meal food court eating out options-min

 

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25 replies
  1. Rob
    Rob says:

    I travelled through Latin America about a year and a half ago, and in most places, it would be near impossible to find any decent paleo options. If you are on the go in between bus terminals, there is nothing, it’s all deep fried and packaged. When in smaller towns, the staple diet is rice and beans, maybe some form of soup or broth, or if you are really lucky you’ll be able to grab some roast chicken. On the coast it is usually a bit easier, fish is abundant, but these countries have an chronic addiction to sugar. They add sugar, piles of it to absolutely everything! Even when they make fresh fruit juices up on the spot, your will pour half a kilo of sugar in without even considering that you possibly don’t want any sugar…same goes for coffee, you have to remember to say no sugar when ordering, otherwise it’s implied that you want at least 5 teaspoons. Actually, even when you do say no sugar, they sneak a little bit in anyone cos they think you are crazy.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      That’s really interesting Rob, I would have assumed it would be really healthy there!

      I guess the other problem when you’re travelling is that you can’t exactly carry all of your food around with you either.

      It would be interesting to see some stats on obesity and diabetes in Latin America!

      Reply
  2. luke
    luke says:

    I’m from Brisbane and I tend to agree… about the CBD. However, I work in the next suburb over (fortitude valley) and we have tons of great options. Pubs with steak or roast and veggies, build-your-own Mexican, a decent salad joint, paleo-tolerant cafes that make bunless burgers, and the gem, a place with paleo items marked right on the menu… symposium cafe… it’s at the other end of the valley, but if you go, order the eggs Benedict on zucchini fritters.

    Then again, bean sprouts and quinoa aren’t paleo, but they’re trying 🙂

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks for that Luke – sounds like I’m going to need to make a trip to Fortitude Valley on my next trip! Symposium cafe sounds fantastic!

      Reply
  3. Janey
    Janey says:

    That sounds like a good plan (getting a serviced apartment). I try and do the same thing when I’m working away from home. It usually is a lot easier to buy fresh stuff and cook it yourself.
    I sometimes find (if I’m on my own it’s a lot more relaxing as well).

    Reply
  4. Carly
    Carly says:

    It’s probably a Queensland thing…I live in Townsville, in north Queensland and I also find it very hard to get paleo type foods or sides that don’t consist of beige vegetables. I usually try to opt for places with salad bars. I do know that Brisbane has some decent farmers markets in the Kelvin Grove area. I hope this helps.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Interesting to hear it’s similar in Townsville. You should set up a meet-up group there Carly – we don’t have one there yet! Thanks, I’ll check out Kelvin Grove.

      Reply
  5. Clem
    Clem says:

    I must admit I do complain when any hotel food doesn’t come up to scratch that breakfast sounds rubbish. I don’t think it would cost them much more to do real food.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      You would have thought so Clem. It just seems that the only focus is on keeping the costs as low as possible, with no thought to quality.

      Reply
  6. Jen
    Jen says:

    I live in Brisbane and work in the city – and yes it can be hard but its definitely possible. There are alot of build your own salads places which have a great range of paleo friendly options. I agree the roasts or veggies tend to be a bit beige (great description by the way!!). However I was in Melbourne a week or so ago and found it also quite difficult to find paleo friendly meals, particularly for lunch, if you are not familiar with the area. You are in a different office for work and don’t know whats available nearby and trying to ask others where to go to get paleo food is always a challenge! The joys of being on the road.

    Reply
  7. Shaleah
    Shaleah says:

    I live on the Gold Coast and work in a shopping centre. I do find it difficult and quite tiresome substituting everything on the menu. I’ve solved the lunch problem by eating a hearty breakfast and for lunch I go into the Woolworth’s deli and get about 100g of natural turkey breast and maybe a piece of fruit or a capsicum and a few nuts and eat that (all for less than $4) then have a good sized dinner at home. But it only works if you’re close to a grocer or you could take a small lunch box. I do the same on road trips. It’s not very social but if you’re alone it’s great. You can sit outside and watch people and get some vitamin D 🙂

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks Shaleah – Woolies is a good idea. I heard some talk about possibly setting up a meet-up group in the Gold Coast – I don’t think it has been set up yet – but I think you’d get quite a few members.

      Reply
  8. Shaleah
    Shaleah says:

    Luke, I just read your comment. I did an 8-month long round the world trip last year, 4 months in S. America. And I can absolutely relate. I ended up buying avocados most days and hoarding them in my backpack for meals. Sometimes I’d have the hostel staff make me hard boiled eggs for breakfast and I’d take them on hikes. It was soooo difficult to find anything other than rice French fries and beans. I ate a lot of eggs. And the meat I did find was pretty sus. Luckily I spent the last 4 months in the mediterrainian and ate amazing seafood and salads and ended up losing all of my little carb fat layer thank god.

    Reply
  9. Charlotte
    Charlotte says:

    I live in Brisbane and have just started on the Paleo journey with my partner. So far we’ve found a great butcher in Ashgrove (Meat @ Billy’s) and some good local grocers that offer free range eggs and barely refined milk (my partner still has dairy). I also second Symposium, plus another great cafe called Little Larder in New Farm. Our friend is the head chef there and is quite knowledgeable about paleo eating. The Jan Powers Farmers Markets are also quite good for a source of meats and veges, they travel around Brisbane and are on in New Farm (at the Powerhouse) twice a month and also in the city (Queen St Mall) every Wednesday. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  10. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    I live in Brisbane, and yep – can be harder to find some (affordable) gems!
    My go to ‘quick’ take out is always Grill’d – great produce and always accommodating when I order something off their menu and change it completely haha
    Jan Powers markets are alright, but if you want all organic produce go check out Northey Street Organic Markets (Northey St, Windsor – every Sunday 6-10:30am). Yeh, that’s a shameless plug, I have a stall at Northey St 😛

    Reply
  11. Simone
    Simone says:

    The main problem I have with buying my lunch is that I have no control over the oil that is used, we’ll know paleo has made it’s mark when coconut oil is used for cooking as a healthier option than olive oil. So much stuff purchased in a food court would be prepared using vegetable oils. I have a little cooler bag I can put an ice pack in and take my lunch to work with me 🙂

    Reply

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