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Bar food and being primal

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  • Bar food and being primal

    I am finding it very tough going out and finding anything that is Primal friendly. While my friends are throwing back several beers and eating their burgers, fries, nachos and such I end up having a glass or red wine and passing on everything as I can't find anything that is primal friendly. I can order a dinner like steak, chicken, fish and get a side of veggies but am trying to figure out what type of appetizers I might have. Is chicken wings ok if not breaded? Sometimes I can find peal and eat shrimp but not usually. Anyone in the same boat and are having a tough time when going out?

  • #2
    Appetizers are tough and usually breaded and fried...so skip them!! Or you could order your side salad or possibly soup if your friends don't give you too much shit

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    • #3
      Chicken wings are probably your best bet. If they're breaded, though, they're not primal. Nevertheless, you could just count it as your 20%.
      Yes, the real Dirk.

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      • #4
        I avoid Potatoes for the most part but do have a sweet potato slices and grilled which I really do like but keep the quantity very low. I can usually find dinner items fairly easily but the appetizers are usually tough. My friends give me so much crap for being so anal but most of them are fat and don't workout and don't give a crap what they eat and such. The majority of our society is overweight and being like this is very much not the norm and a very small set of the population.

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        • #5
          "Appetizers" are junk food restaurants sell so you eat and drink more. It's called an "appetizer," for Christ's sake.

          Just have your steak and veggies. What's the problem?

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          • #6
            The problem with unbreaded wings isn't so much the potential sugar in the sauce, it's the rancid PUFA's they're fried in. Same with the sweet potato fries. Sorry to burst your bubble. Depending on how often you go out, it might be worth it to skip the apps altogether.
            The Champagne of Beards

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            • #7
              Yeah, bar food is tough. Make sure you scan the menu and see if you can make an app out of an entre item. Like maybe they have a salad with grilled chicken tenders. You could just ask for the tenders and something to dip them in. Look for shrimp or crab legs etc...
              "I did it for money and for a woman. I didn't get the money, and I didn't get the woman"

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              • #8
                This is where my old Atkins lifestyle and being primal officially split paths. I used to DESTROY some restaurant wings. On a wing night, I've been known to kill 40+ of them in my younger years.

                There's really nothing you can eat at a bar to be truly primal. Even if some place grills their wings, the chicken isn't going to be "gmo free". That said, if wings are cooked right and the oil is hot enough, there's not as much that gets transferred into the actual meat like you'd see if you were eating something that has been soaked in it or some dessert that had a cup of oil added in for baking. Breaded wings will hold more oil than non-breaded. The oil talk in this article is trash, but the study referenced isn't so, as with everything, research it yourself: The Fat Facts About Frying - Food - Lifewhile

                I'll tell you this. For several years I deep fried turkeys for Thanksgiving in whatever oil was the cheapest from Sams Club. Even now, once or twice a year I'll have a deep fried turkey that a friend of mine does when I get invited up to his cabin. We always make sure that the oil is the proper temperature before tossing it "into the fire" so to speak. When done properly, foods aren't oily at all. If it's a chicken wing, you're going to pick up that vegetable oil in the skin one way or the other. If it's something like a turkey or a chicken, you can probably go for the meat that is 1/2" deep from the skin and deeper and be perfectly fine. The entire bird isn't going to soak up oil, and if you have hot enough oil it's not going to penetrate deep at all.

                Most bars won't do this, but if it's a restaurant bar/pub then ask if they can bake or grill them. They might do it on request. Logan's Roadhouse has grilled wings on their menu. The times I've had them, trust me, they're awesome. They're a LOT better than their regular wings. Personally, I look at stuff like wings cooked in canola as your 20% provided it's something like ONCE a week with no other deviations and far from a nightly thing. To contrast my view, I'd look at Nacho's/Fries/Fried Pickles/Potato Skins, etc as not being 20% at all and being rare indulgences. Again, if you're in shape and steal a nacho or two off of a plate, it's not like it's gonna kill you. But I don't think your mind is in the right place if you're doing it on a daily basis.

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                • #9
                  Also, if you want to be really anal, ask about what, if any kind of marinade the grilled chicken/steak/etc are packaged in. A lot of grilled chicken may not be cooked in oil, but it's packaged in a marinade that has soybean and/or canola oil. I know that the chicken at Chick-Fil-A is packaged in a marinade for shipping to their restaurants. And, that's a fast food restaurant that from a purely carb/protein/fat breakdown is actually pretty decent at first glance (minimal breading but definitely not primal obviously).

                  Gram for gram, I'd argue that a piece of grilled chicken that has been soaking in soybean oil easily has more oil absorbed than a chicken wing that wasn't but has been fried in oil properly.

                  You're safest bet is to just not eat out. It's a buzz kill, but a lot of times I just eat before hand and meet everyone there.
                  Last edited by Catharsis; 04-26-2012, 09:40 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Well if you want to be technical most restaurants are not primal simply due to meat quality and where it comes from. Sauce, as mentioned is another issue. The popular wing place I am familiar with is BWW and their sauce, while pretty tasty, is made of hydrogenated oil and almost entirely unrecognizable list of ingredients. Basically, it is a lab made sauce and the flavor is all artificial.

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                    • #11
                      Maybe order a salad with grilled chicken and ask for olive oil and balsamic. Otherwise I would order a burger and leave off the bun.

                      FWIW, all frozen sweet potato fries I have looked at from major grocery store chains, to Trader Joes, and the Alexia brand they sell at Costco have wheat starch, corn starch, and soybean oil in them. Every restaurant I have ever ordered them at (pre-primal) were those frozen type deep fried in presumably veg. oil.

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                      • #12
                        Another way you can find out what's in the grub is to ask a manager who the supplier is for their food. I have a friend that does sales for Sysco and she told me a while back that restaurants that order food from them don't just order some of it, they order all of it. So if you know that an establishment gets their wings from Supplier XYZ, then they get everything else on the menu from them too. Worst comes to worst, you can contact that supplier and ask what certain items are packaged in. Another idea is to ask if the restaurant makes their own blue cheese and/or ranch in house. If they do, then there might be a chance that it's not quite as bad as the mass produced stuff.

                        If you can find a bar that serves grilled wings with no sauce just a rub and will bring you a bottle of tobasco, then you're relatively golden provided the chicken was swimming in soybean oil in the fridge all week and you aren't eating 20 of them. Even if it's just flat out frozen chicken (and it probably is), it's still going to be from a grainfed and gmo bird. It just really comes down to how primal you want to be that day.

                        Personally, I'm all for farm raised free range whatever from a health standpoint but I'm as far away from a PETA supporter as one could possibly be. Animals are animals. I think a lot of those business practices are pretty gross, but I don't eat grassfed because of it. It really comes down to knowing what you're eating and matching yourself up to it appropriately.
                        Last edited by Catharsis; 04-26-2012, 11:14 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BlueToad
                          My husband will usually have wings, but there will be sugar in the sauce most likely.
                          Irrelevant. A teaspoon of sugar is meaningless. Breading isn't even the biggest issue. The biggest issue is the rancid soybean oil the wings are fried in. And unfortunately, pretty much everything at a restaurant is full of soybean oil. The grills are coated with it, the meats are marinated in it, the vegetables are sauteed in it...look at the allergen information for popular chain restaurants. Virtually everything is a hazard for soy. A very funny one is Olive Garden. Virtually nothing is cooked in olive oil. It's more like Soy Garden.

                          Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to avoid when you go out to eat. How often do you eat out though? If you're like me and it's a once-a-month kind of thing, just get what you want. I get beer and wings and I really don't pay it much mind. 1 lousy meal out of 50 is pretty irrelevant IMO.
                          Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
                            Irrelevant. A teaspoon of sugar is meaningless. Breading isn't even the biggest issue. The biggest issue is the rancid soybean oil the wings are fried in. And unfortunately, pretty much everything at a restaurant is full of soybean oil. The grills are coated with it, the meats are marinated in it, the vegetables are sauteed in it...look at the allergen information for popular chain restaurants. Virtually everything is a hazard for soy. A very funny one is Olive Garden. Virtually nothing is cooked in olive oil. It's more like Soy Garden.

                            Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to avoid when you go out to eat. How often do you eat out though? If you're like me and it's a once-a-month kind of thing, just get what you want. I get beer and wings and I really don't pay it much mind. 1 lousy meal out of 50 is pretty irrelevant IMO.
                            I have these same thoughts. The sugar in sauces is not a problem unless you are consuming an absurd amount of the sauce. Just don't worry about it. The biggest issue is the soybean oil or other vegetable oils they may use which is simply unavoidable 99% of the time.

                            Just eat out less. Don't worry about being perfect when you do eat out.

                            Stressing about it is a bigger killer compared to the little bit of sugar in the sauce.
                            Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

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                            • #15
                              The last thing I'm going to worry about is a bit of added sugar.

                              I agree that it's PUFA, and cooked PUFA in particular that needs to be avoided.

                              Hence the best option for an appetiser is probably a bloody mary or the alcohol-free version (provided you're OK with nightshades).
                              F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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