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One thing is for sure.

The Cheesecake Factory is not Paleo.

It’s everything wrong with the American diet.  Even the salads are a thousand calories.

It’s delicious.

And I couldn’t find anything.

The wild mushrooms I thought would be tasty were served as a little pizza.  The wings were breaded.  Everything was served with fries or mashed potatoes.  Most of the sauces were made with cream.

The servings are large enough to feed a small village somewhere where people eat reasonably, like Botswana or France.   Instead, vegetables and meats breaded, cooked in butter, and served with cheese.  No sweet potato fries.  Most of their salads had Parmesan cheese.  Only seared ahi tuna and Salads were available for the paleo inclined.  Salads if you wanted to pick out every grain of cheese.

I ordered a Kobe burger without the bun with a salad on the side.  It was covered with mushrooms and onions.  I drizzled a little oil and vinegar on top of the salad.

Delicious.  I didn’t ask if the chef made the burger with butter.  But I’m getting used to the problem, and handling it through avoidance.

It might be that the 30 days is simply practice for the rest of my life.  Chances are, paleo will not become the standard fare for most people.  Carbs taste good; they’re everywhere; and they’re cheap.  But by lasting thirty days and enduring these moments of frustration, discovering what I can handle, I can map out a clearer future, stetting up reasonable rules for me, myself and I.

Perhaps that’s success:  learning how to be frustrated with my food choices, but making the right ones anyway.

First frustration, then distraction.

Categories: Diet, Food Tags: ,
  1. Tif
    February 9, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Interesting. just goes to show that everyone’s experience is different. I was also there recently and found an appetizer salad (asked them for sans cheese) with oil and vinegar. Tasty, decent size (they do have bigger salads that could feed 6)and i didn’t finish it all. Thought about dessert but decided against the calories and settled on a cookie later that evening. Clearly I am not paleo but watching ones health can be difficult in restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory…the name sort of gives it away…BTW 😉

  2. Taylor
    February 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    You eat out a lot.

  3. February 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I find that eating out is where I face some of the greatest challenges, in part because I have to be vigilant, and I don’t always know what I’m getting. I’m eating in far more than usual, but I’ve got more control over the ingredients.

  4. February 12, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I find that eating out can be a challenge, if only because the only paleo-friendly offerings are usually “the salad with X,” where X is salmon, chicken, beef, etc. And to make matters worse, salads out at chains like the CF are rarely made with luscious, healthy spring mix. A “salad,” in mainstream American parlance, is some kind of wimpy watery green covered with cheese, fried crisps made of some kind of starch, a creamy dressing, and a couple of cucumber slices or tomato wedges. What I want in a restaurant: a side of a surprisingly large quantity of roasted veggies, and a meat dish without added starch or sugar.

    Gawain what I like about your post is what you said about frustration, choices, and discipline. Yeah, I think that the 30 day thing is about promoting awareness. Cheescake Factory is indeed representative of everything that’s wrong with our American Diet. The more clearly we see that, the more we end up wanting a diet for ourselves that is, functionally, “Paleo.” Yeah, at dinner tonight I had some grain (about 1/2 cup Quinoa), and there was a bit of peanuts in the green mole sauce on the chicken I ate, according to the ingredients list at the market. But broccoli, quinoa, sweet potato, and savory chicken with a custom sauce of watercress etc…. it’s not about Paleo rules, it’s about learning how to assess quantities and qualities in a reasonable way.

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