Adventures in Digestive Distress – (Also Known As Dining Out…)


Toilet Paper

It’s another beautiful Sunday morning and the family has decided that a trip to Denny’s for breakfast sounds like a good plan.  You’re thinking, “Yeah this ‘Denny’ dude is alright –I can make this work.” “I’ll get some eggs, bacon, sausage and maybe I’ll even splurge on – “The Fruit Cup” (GASP!).”  It seems like a safe plan, no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no added sugar or other funky stuff – just protein, some fat and fruit. Completely harmless, right?  WRONG-O Folks, there’s soy in them thar’ sausage links and for those of us in the celiac crowd – the grill that’s cooking your eggs is probably cooking some gluten-loaded pancakes too. And let’s not even get into the cooking fat they’re greasing up the grill with…  Let’s just say it ain’t coconut or olive oil.

It gets worse and licking taco shells isn’t even the half of it.  Some restaurants add pancake batter to their omelets to make them thicker. You would think that grilled chicken or deli turkey would be completely safe, right? Not so much… They can have wheat, soy and corn ingredients. And for some reason the steak that our friend ‘Denny’ makes has corn listed as an allergen.  Some steakhouses add vegetable oils and margarine’s to their meats while they cook in order to give them flavor and keep them moist. And about those sweet potato fries… (**Disclaimer: The next piece of information may cause emotional distress; continue reading at your own risk.**) As I was saying, those sweet potato fries – they probably weren’t fried in coconut oil or duck fat and it’s highly likely they bathed in the same vat of fat as glutennacious (yeah, I made that one up myself) strips of chicken, nuggets of fish, breaded shrimp, onion rings, chicken fried steak and anything else the staff thought it might be fun to play “Will It Fry??” with. (FYI – this and other ‘fun food service games’ are most often played when the management has gone home for the day.) It’s a crazy state of affairs behind those kitchen doors (I know, I was a food service director in my pre-paleo dietitian life.) The things happening in the kitchen – well, let’s just say they’re enough to make even a non-paleo man cry sometimes…  I’ve got stories –lots of them. Be afraid, be VERY afraid…

There are things you can do to help safeguard your next game of restaurant roulette and guard your gut from the assault that often ends with a prolonged date with this here piece of machinery. Granted, there’s never a guarantee of COMPLETE safety, but you can definitely minimize your chances of contamination and a ‘crappy’ day (or days). If you’re a frequent ‘eater outer’ what would be better than a guide that helps you stay safe when you’re at the mercy of the kitchen staff? I know, you’re all like, “But there isn’t one for paleo people.” Well, there wasn’t one, but being the ever wise man that he is, Robb knew what all of you were thinking (seriously, he’s got mad skills like that). He took it upon himself to put together a handy little guide that will help you navigate nearly any menu maze and prevent the inevitable crash that happens when one of your food foes sneaks across the battlefield lines.

Paleo Dining Out Guide

Instant eBook download! Buy now

Robb Wolf’s Paleo Dining Out Guide helps set you up for success on all of your restaurant adventures. Be gluten, dairy, soy, nut, etc. contaminated no more! The guide will help you:

  • Understand some paleo basics.
  • Prepare for your dining experience before you’re sitting at the table.
  • Know what questions to ask when ordering and know what to ask for.
  • Learn how to build your meal.
  • Show you the ins and outs of ordering food and drinks (yes, that’s right folks – there’s alcohol).
  • Navigate safe choices at all different types of restaurants  – Mexican, BBQ, Thai – you name it, it’s in there!
  • Find resources to make your eating out experience easier.
  • Avoid gluten contamination (there’s even ‘Gluten Free Dining Out Cards’ that you can give to your server to make the entire process painless).
Paleo Dining Out Guide - Sample Pages

Sample pages from the guide

This guide has everything but the restaurant reservations. If you want to guard your gut and your health and still have a social life then this guide is a must have.  Give it a read and keep it close.

“I now pronounce you, ready to eat (out).”

Bon Appetite!



  1. cait says

    I think this only applies to people who actually have severe medical conditions where they can’t eat certain restaurant foods due to risk of cross contamination. In which case the proper etiquette is to ask to speak to the chef or manager yourself and make them aware of your food allergy or intolerance. Otherwise I don’t think its such a big deal to treat yourself on a random night out. I know paleo enthusiasts like to cringe and gasp at the thought of eating something that’s not paleo but sometimes u gotta “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” I think a lot of times we become sick in the pursuit of perfect health, more sick than we were before we pursued it. Because paleo is already such a restrictive diet, sometimes It is more healthy just to take a deep breathe, relax, and enjoy your regular meal than to spend your whole day worrying about it.

  2. says

    My wife pointed me to your blog last week and finally got a chance to check it out. This is eye opening, and something that does not occur to you when you think you’re eating healthy. I think we will be picking up your dining out guide to see what we can do to make our dining out experiences better.

  3. says

    Hey, Were you in IHOP last week when I was eating breakfast? I got bacon, eggs and to be “healthy” I got the fruit cup! I guess the fruit cup is what made me bloat up like a bullfrog. I have a very hard time resisting beef and every time I eat it I feel like I swallowed a bowling ball. Making the right choices is tough sometimes! I really got a lot out of this article.

  4. says

    i think it’s the quality of the meat you gotta watch out for most. It all sounds tasty but fast food places are not buying in organic, free range chickens or grass fed meats so that’s where you’re gonna get stung ( if you’re digestively sensitive, like me). If you go out, is got to be a quality restaurant who take pride in their food.

Join the Discussion