Hint: It can be easier than you're making it seem...
Obviously, if I'm even writing this blog, you can assume—if you don't already know— that life as an alkaline vegan can get a little tricky when it comes to dining out and finding quality restaurants to eat at! Being that living an alkaline lifestyle summons the most self-sufficient and creative versions of ourselves both in and out the kitchen, many people deem this way of life to be too much of a hassle; however, I've discovered that there are most definitely some loopholes in this whole "dining out" system...if you look hard enough.
The search for places to accommodate my lifestyle went a little something like "Ooooh what's this?" to "Ohh never mind..." :( In the beginning of my search, I can honestly admit that it was often disappointing trying to find a worthy spot that was 100% alkaline, but then I realized that I wasn't looking the right way! I was looking for perfection, or in my case, a restaurant that met every dietary preference—no hybrid foods, no meat, no starch. My high dietary standards made me slightly delusional and highly disappointed, but I was failing to acknowledge that the best part of living an alkaline lifestyle is making more out of less and working with what you have, to create what you need. And therefore, when it comes to searching for a quality restaurant to dine at, its about going with the flow and seeing where the search takes you, hence the term "surf". Some restaurants have recipes that they don't even acknowledge as alkaline, but in reality, it is. Some restaurants give you the freedom to customize salads, wraps, grain bowls, smoothies, juices, etc. So, its not impossible to find something worth your while. If I'm being real with you, theres a strong chance you won't find an 100% alkaline restaurant—that abides by Dr. Sebi's approved food list— around the corner. Although there are alkaline chefs around the world with meal prep services, pop-up shops, and some restaurants, they are scarce. So in the meantime, while we all await the opportunity to experience some of those alkaline gems, let me tell you what you need to know to narrow down your search while also expanding your options to ultimately lessen the disappointment :)
Tips for finding alkaline-accommodating restaurants:
Download the Yelp app (trust me, its worth the download and it comes in very handy for us plant-based folks)
Search for places on yelp in your city or nearby areas using keywords like "salad", "grain bowl", "plant-based", "vegan", "mediterranean", "vegetarian", "gluten-free", "live/raw food", "juice bars & smoothies", "acai bowl", "salad bar" (These keywords will help produce some decent search results that are at least worth looking at and giving a try...you may find something new)
Use the restaurants photo section to view pictures of their menu—if they have any; Look at their menu and check to see if they have any salads that you wouldn't mind trying out!
Look for a "create/build your own salad" option at restaurants! These places are great because you can pretty much build an alkaline salad or grain bowl if they have our ancient grains like quinoa on deck (YUM!)
Don't expect anything to be 100% alkaline and don't dismiss a potential place because its not 100% what you want; request to modify a meal that catches your attention if it includes some ingredients you don't entirely agree with! For example: If theres a quinoa salad that comes with everything you normally eat, but has non-alkaline ingredients like sunflower seeds, cashews, garlic dressing, etc. tell them you are allergic and ask for extra of what you do like! This goes for smoothies too; try and find places that allow you to choose alkaline bases for your smoothies. My favorite bases to look out for is coconut water, fresh squeezed pear juice, organic apple juice, or hemp milk. When it comes to the actual fruits, just try to stick to fruits that are easy like strawberries, mangos, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, or cherries.
Save the restaurants that have potential in your own customized collection on the app. (Keeping track of these prospective restaurants will come in super handy because some of them may not be close in distance but when you travel the app will show your the saved places that are nearest to you!)
The #1 Rule When Eating Out While Alkaline:
There's only one rule that we should really follow when eating out while alkaline, but first, we need to acknowledge the big and healthy plant-based elephant in the room... When it boils down to dining out, theres not too many options available for us folk trying to avoid the acid reflux or the formation of mucus :( This is due to the fact that the world isn't trying to be your #1 supporter when you're trying to change for the better. Truthfully, the outside world is the biggest test when we're trying to evolve, because it forces us to adapt. You don't have to do a yelp search with specific keywords to find your nearest McDonalds or Jack In The Box, because there's a BIG chance you can just walk down the street and find one—after seeing the commercial on TV making you crave it. Honestly, food is SO good and enticing that we tend to eat for pleasure before nourishment, and thats how we become dis-eased in the first place. If you're currently transitioning to living an alkaline lifestyle, and you're really serious about it, then you should know that eating out becomes a little irrelevant when you know that what you really need is at home in your kitchen waiting to be made! After all, we humans only enjoy eating out so much because we want the experience, aaaand we're too lazy and unwilling to cook for ourselves! I know you'll want to step out one night or afternoon and have a memorable restaurant experience, so when that night comes just remember this:
Just try and keep it at least 60-70% plant-based and cleanse the rest of the 30-40% out with our Herbal Detox Combo below! All jokes aside, please don't be too hard on yourself, just be conscious of your intake, and mindful of the need to detox and restore your body after eating out. As long as you're doing whats right most of the time—consistent detoxing, exercising, eating fruits and greens— you'll be fine.
And Yes, Great Dining Out Experiences Do Exist:
Despite the complaints from those outside of the alkaline community, most of us within have accepted the fact that dining out is a mission, and so we don't fuss or fight...we just make our meals at home and enjoy our creations! However, just because we have limited options in the restaurant world, doesn't mean I don't make the most out of it ;) When I feel like going out for a bite to eat either alone or with my partner/friends/family, I always enjoy myself and the food! If you live in LA or southern California, just thank me in the comments for this restaurant cheat sheet I'm about to bless you with... Consider it my efforts to show you that great dining experiences do exist for us plant-based freaks lol
My favorite Plant-based Spots:
-Greenleaf Chop Stop
-Wild Living Foods
-Mothers Market (smoothies)
-Vitality Bowls (smoothies/smoothie bowls)
-The Grain Cafe
I HOPE THIS WAS USEFUL TO YOU!