Day 21: Sunday carvery – the perfect way to eat out on AIP

Eating out becomes a pain in the ass when you’re following the Autoimmune Protocol. It’s hard enough eating out when you’re paleo – restaurants just love throwing a bunch of chickpeas or lentils into their ‘healthy’ dishes and chicken salad just gets old really quickly. But AIP is so limiting that finding a meal that’s grain-free, dairy-free, legume-free, nut-free, seed-free and tomato, pepper and potato-free is nearly impossible without making some alterations. But I’ve found the perfect AIP eat out solution: Sunday carvery.

If you’ve been paleo for a little while now, you’ll recognise the feeling of relief you get when you go to a party or event and the meal you are served isn’t served to you at all – it’s a buffet. Buffets are brilliant because there are usually many many options, you can pick what you want to put on your plate and skip over the stuff that’s not allowed, nobody looks at you weird when you request alterations to every single course of your meal, and you generally get to eat more because you’re not leaving the half of the meal you didn’t realise needed to be altered and turned out to be non-paleo friendly.

When you’re eating out on date night or with friends and family, however, buffets are a rarity – unless it’s the kind of date where he takes you to one of those eat all you can places. You know the ones. It’s usually Chinese food that all looks like it’s been doused in red food colouring and induces instant migraines. If it’s that kind of date, you need to get out of there… now.

Yes, buffets are rare for eating out but for the brilliant British tradition of the Sunday carvery. We’ve always been a Sunday dinner family. Meat, potatoes, and vegetables with lashings of gravy reminds me of going to my grandparents’ house after they’d got back from church (and we’d finished watching The Lone Ranger) and sitting down to a proper family dinner.

A traditional British Sunday dinner (or lunch) consists of:

Prime Turkey Breast

Get in my belly!

  • some kind of roast meat – usually beef, pork, gammon, or turkey
  • Yorkshire puddings
  • Stuffing
  • Roast potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Plenty of vegetables – usually broccoli, cauliflower cheese, carrots, swede, parsnips, and peas
  • Some kind of moist – gravy, apple sauce, mint sauce, cranberry sauce – it usually depends on the meat

That’s a big old dinner right there and what’s great about it is there are usually leftovers. Boyfriend and I usually do a roast on a Sunday when we get back from bouldering. It’s pretty easy, it can be made to be AIP-friendly without much alteration, and the leftover meat goes in my salads for lunch for a couple of days. Winning.

Basically, a carvery puts all this wonderful grub into a buffet format, where you can pick and choose from roughly the items listed above. Omit the Yorkshire puds, stuffing, potatoes, and moist (you can never be too sure what you’re getting in the condiments, although mint sauce is usually pretty safe) and you’ve got yourself an AIP smorgasbord.

So today we met my mum and nan for a late Sunday lunch after we finished bouldering. All of the above were available and I selected roast beef and turkey with all the AIP trimmings I could pile up onto my plate. The serving was huge, it was very affordable (about £8) and I didn’t have to deal with anyone looking at me funny for picking at the non AIP-friendly aspects of my meal. All very stress-free and very tasty indeed.

So, that’s my tip of the week: Get yourself down to a carvery and chow down! Nom nom nom. What are you favourite palces to eat out? Have any tips?


Food diary
Breakfast: Fruit salad
Lunch: Carvery!
Dinner: Leftover chicken from yesterday, 2 slices of smoked salmon and beetroot chips
Snacks: None – after that meal? You’ve gotta be kidding.

Pain level (out of 10)
Woke up with niggling pain around 1 or 2, went down nearly straight away. Came back after bouldering around 1.30pm at about a 3, then went again. Now back up at about a 1 late into the evening (nearly 11pm). Think it must be all the fruit I ate yesterday. Back on track tomorrow although I do still have two portions of fruit salad to get through – they were for the party last night, but everybody wanted cupcake cones instead!


Thanks to Radarsmum67 for the image

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