I love going out to eat with my family. I live in Manhattan – how would I survive if I didn’t eat out?
As deliciously indulgent as it may be, your standard restaurant meal is an acidic nightmare.
Before you even order a drink, you can already imagine the inevitable burn in your chest, fatigue in your footsteps, and bloat in your belly the morning after your night out.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy a night out at a restaurant without any of the guilt or all of that acid.
I’ve put together a list of the top 8 offenders that are easiest for you to avoid.
Remember, the alkaline lifestyle is not about perfection. It’s about making choices that will set you up for success, and focusing on progress.
So I’m going to give you a lot of ideas today… and then I’m going to encourage you to throw one out the window.
Yes, that’s right, take one of the foods below and enjoy it. If you avoid the rest, and just indulge in one small way, you’re still going to be making huge strides toward getting off your acid.
So keep that in mind as you read through these foods to avoid. If you implement most of them, it’s a game changer for your health!
- Sugary Drinks With No Nutrition
Most beverages in restaurants are acidic, unless freshly squeezed or juiced. Even those, it’s doubtful they are very nutrient-rich.
Think any juice is a healthy choice? Think again.
When fruit juice is produced, it’s highly processed and pasteurized, which means it’s heated to a boiling point very quickly to kill any bacteria or germs.
If you have an alcoholic beverage with your meal, try to limit it to 1 and drink at least a full glass of water in addition to that. Always have a good/better/best mentality to decrease the inflammatory and acid load on your body.
What to enjoy instead: Drink water or herbal tea and ask for a fresh lemon or lime wedge to squeeze in your water. It tastes good and it’s alkalizing and cleansing.
- The Bread Basket
Avoid the bread basket – plus butter or butter substitutes – all together.
Out of sight, out of mind! If it’s not in front of you, you will be less inclined to go on auto-pilot, eating it while waiting for your meal.
Some people think they are doing the right thing by avoiding butter and using margarine or even yogurt-based spreads instead because they don’t have cholesterol or saturated fat.
But what do they have in place of saturated fats? Transfats, which are worse for you than saturated fats and more likely to lead to heart disease.
If you’re going to eat a piece of bread, ask for extra virgin olive oil to dip it in.
What to enjoy instead: Believe it or not, drink a full glass of water while waiting for your food. Thirst and hunger go to the same part of the brain, and when you drink water, you will fell less hungry and won’t have the urge to eat as much.
- Chips and Dips
This is another one to avoid while you wait for your meal.
As far as tortilla chips go, even corn in its raw, fresh form is a mildly acidic food, but processing it into the tortilla variety knocks it up a few notches on the what-not-to-eat chart.
Chips made from flour like pita chips or potato are even worse!
With a few exceptions, the dip is most likely highly acidic as well. Most are full of dairy and other heavy ingredients.
What to enjoy instead: There are a few fresh dips that are good choices like house-made hummus, salsa, or guacamole. Just make sure it doesn’t come from a package where preservatives and sugars are included. Ask for lettuce to make lettuce cups or raw veggies like celery, carrots, cucumbers, and broccoli to enjoy those alkaline dips.
- Dressings and Sauces
It’s a great idea to start with a salad because it’s going to fill you up, help you avoid that bread basket or heavy starters, and keep you from making more acidic choices later in the meal.
However, ask for all dressings and other condiments on the side so that you can have control over how much you use, if any. Remember, ketchup, mayonnaise, and processed salad dressings are highly acidic.
What to enjoy instead: Ask for some extra virgin olive oil and lemon slices on the side to make your own dressing.
- Table Salt
Here is the deal with salt… Not all salts are created equal!
Just like with fat, there are salts that heal and salts that kill.
Your body requires salt to live. Your body doesn’t run on calories, proteins, fats, or carbs. It is electrical and runs on salt. In fact, your body is 70% salt water (ever taste your blood? If so, you know what I mean).
So when it comes to the salt on the table at restaurants, that kind of salt is heavily processed with numerous additives. An astounding 77% of our sodium intake comes from restaurant and processed foods. This form of processed salt will raise your blood pressure and affect your cardiovascular system is a deleterious way.
And don’t be fooled by most kosher and sea salts. A good majority of them are bleached and processed.
That’s why just making this one change away from the salt on the table, is going to make your body more alkaline.
What to enjoy instead: My wife and I travel with our own small shaker of alkaline mineral salt. This is a great alternative to table salt because mineral salts are rich in minerals and trace elements.
These are 3 salts I recommend:
- Celtic grey sea salt
- Himalayan sea salt
- Redmond real salt – they make a 2 oz. travel shaker that we ALWAYS travel with
- A Meaty Entrée
Don’t feel the need to order an entrée. Instead, try 2 appetizers or even look at the side dishes and put them together as nice meal with an alkalizing soup, salad, or have a side dish of steamed or sautéed veggie or quinoa.
If you enjoy meat, no problem. Let this be the no-no you throw off your list. However, you want the portion size of the meat to be the side show, not the main event.
Quality is key. Always go for grass fed, organic, and free-range.
Meat is okay in moderation, but the fact of matter is meat it is still acidic and requires a lot of energy for your body to break it down.
What to enjoy instead: If you want to eat an entrée that does feature meat, your best bet is wild Alaskan salmon. Otherwise, go for plant-based entrees. More and more restaurants are getting creative about showcasing veggies. And as far as food combining goes, NEVER combine an animal-based protein with a starch (like bread or pasta) – this is the VERY worst food combination, as the food will putrify and rot in your gut, leading to bloating, fermentation, and gas.
- Anything Fried
This one’s easy, right? We all know fried foods are bad for us. And yes, they are highly acidic. It’s as simple as that.
They are fried in vegetable oils which are loaded with the pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fats, which you MUST avoid.
What to enjoy instead: Opt for dishes that are steamed, sautéed, grilled, roasted, broiled, or baked.
This is one of my favorite topics because I love dessert. Yes, it’s true. I’m a recovering sugar addict :) .
The best thing you can do is avoid the dessert menu altogether. Just don’t even look at it when the waiter asks.
Even fruit after a meal is a big “no-no” in the alkaline world, because it will quickly ferment and turn to acid, possibly causing bloating and gas. With that said, it is a better option than alternatives like chocolate cake or ice cream.
If it’s a celebration and people want to order something sweet to end the meal, get one dessert and pass out spoons to share. And just take one bite. That’s enough to enjoy it.
What to enjoy instead: Wait to indulge your sweet tooth until you get home, and you can whip up my favorite, Chocolate Avocado Mousse. It takes less than 10 minutes in your blender.
Trust me, if you let your friends try this, they would have no idea there is avocado in it. This is what I call the ultimate guilt-free dessert. In fact, it is so good, you’ll think you’re cheating.
Here’s to a Better Night Out!
So remember, what you eat is up to you. It’s about making progress. If you choose to have a cocktail but avoid bread, meat, and dairy, you’re making real progress toward getting off your acid. Same with choosing an entrée with a moderate portion of meat but drinking water the whole meal and enjoying simply cooked or raw veggies to go with it.
The best thing you can do for yourself anytime you go out for dinner is to come home and take your Alkamind Daily Minerals 30 minutes before bed. This will give you more hydration and more importantly, it’s the fastest way to neutralize the acids and toxins you ate during your dinner out.