Being paleo in Southern California

Being paleo is very easy after a few years but it still can be a challenge when eating out. And especially when traveling. The US is the ‘home country’ of the paleo movement and so I was super exited to learn how easy or challenging it would be coming to Southern California. And I am really surprised how easy it is!

One of the first places I visited was the “Paleo Treat Factory”. A very small place, one room, where you can buy paleo treats. At the time I was there they had four different treats. I tried them all. I like them but think it is nothing really special. That is my super personal opinion. The difference maybe is that I like to bake and cook. For people having an event or maybe want to have from time to time some real yummy treat then they are in the right place.

At “Whole Foods” I found a wide range of gluten-free granola selection. And many other things like bread, ice cream, flour and much more. I liked a lot the coconut flakes, they were my favorites.

I love the “Wella bars” with almond butter and wild flower honey. Could live with them! So good! A good alternative are the “Perfect bars” with almond butter, much easier to find for example at “Sprouts”.

I love smoothies and can find them nearly everywhere. Most of them offer also a wheat grass shot, for example at “JuiceKaboose”. Available also a ginger shot or a BrainOn. I had a lot of smoothies last summer instead of lunch or as a second breakfast.

Of course I couldn’t resist to try out the dairy-free ice cream I found – I think as well at “Whole Foods”. Very ‘anti-paleo’ was the Bailey’s I put over the ice cream. Well, sometimes I do exceptions too.

Baking at home? Yes, I like that from time to time. So I was delighted to find some all purpose flour. And liked it. Very easy to work with and nothing to mix at home. “Bob’s Red Mill” was the brand I found.

Going out for lunch or dinner has never been a problem for me. I am not ‘picky’ and I always find something on the menu that I like to eat.

Definitely “Burger Lounge” is a real great place for a healthy burger. And there is also a paleo version. Just ask! I even asked for the bison burger paleo friendly: they made it for me without any problem.

In nearly all restaurants I just asked for gluten-free versions and very often it happened that the waiter was paleo as well or at least knew what I meant. My personal highlight is the Italian restaurant “Old Venice” were we have been a few times and they serve a special lunch for a reduced price sometimes. The pasta is always available gluten-free and they simply omit the cheese when I ask for. Perfect!

Looking for a great super yummy fast-food lunch? Go to “Wahoo’s Fish Tacos” and order the paleo bowl. Sliced avocado, citrus slaw, sauteed veggies and protein choice of chicken breast or carnitas, or wild caught fish or salmon or shrimp. Also available is tofu for vegans.

As we are talking about cheese we found vegan cheese in a few places. Sometimes the vegan movement is in favor of the paleo movement. So I tried out a few cheese as well. I know soft cheese and a kind of mozzarella made of rice milk I buy sometimes in Italy and I think that is a perfect alternative when I want to have a Caprese salad in summer for example.

These cheeses I found here are Cheddar, Jalapeno Jack style, Mozzarella and others made with rice or almond milk and they are really super tasty.

I found a few places to have great paleo or bulletproof coffee. At “GoodOnYa” for example they make it with grass-fed butter or ghee. Some time I have to try the golden milk with coconut milk, turmeric, raw honey and cinnamon. They also offer a gluten free breakfast and all is GMO free and organic.

Of course there are many other places where to find the paleo coffee. My first one I ever tried (I am from Italy and drink only espresso, not coffee with FAT in it!) I had in Santa Barbara and I LOVED it!!!

The paleo bread was a disappointment for me. Not tasty at all, so crumby and so watery I could not spread anything on the top. I didn’t like it. The price of course is not to discuss! I make my own bread at home that is super yummy and works perfectly also with spreads on it!

Of course there are a million other experiences around my ‘paleo’ adventure in the United States. And every time I come back I continue to explore and find new places. I am very happy not to feel like an alien with my food needs, I have so many possibilities of different food. I am totally in love with Mexican food, particularly with the guacamole and the corn tortillas. I wonder when I will start to turn green from all that guacamole (fresh made in a store near to our house) I have every day…

My advice: wherever you go in the United States ask for a gluten-dairy-free version of the dish you would like to have. Your server will say ‘I will double check’ and soon you will have the answer. Try not to be too picky. Just stick to what you really have health issues with and not what you try to avoid as well. You don’t go out every day and to ‘cheat’ once in a while is perfectly acceptable if you don’t have any health problems afterwards.

San Diego, California/USA:

For further information:
Paleo Treats
Bob’s Red Mill Paleo
Wahoo’s Fish Tacos
Bulletproof coffee in San Diego

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