Why Am I Feeling Ill? I Only Ate Paleo Foods!

Dear Nell,

I LOVE how I feel eating Paleo!  I am learning how to eat out, too.  I am wondering, though, why I feel sick after a meal that I had last night at a really nice steak house nearby.  I asked for the sauce on the side, and didn't even it eat.  I also asked to have steamed veggies instead of the potatoes au gratin that were on the menu.  I thought I had all bases covered, so I was really surprised when I woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible stomach ache and bloating!

What did I do wrong?


Stacy, Chicago


Nice job becoming more confident asking questions at restaurants!  You're clearly learning that you CAN be Paleo outside the home.  I have a feeling about what probably happened.

While you did, indeed, do a great job at skipping the sauce and swapping out the cheesy potatoes for veggies, I'm going to venture a guess that the steak was probably marinated in soy.

Soy is often used in marinating meats due to its content of glutamic acid which helps to tenderize meat.

This is a perfect example of why we need to ask even more questions.  You probably wouldn't expect to see soy in a restaurant that wasn't either Asian or vegetarian, but it can often be a hidden ingredient which, after ingestion, will result in a not so nice surprise reaction.

Understandably, it might feel awkward to ask 'too many questions', but as I've said before, it's all about the delivery.

Having worked as a server in a restaurant myself, I was always happy to do whatever I could to accommodate a friendly customer. It usually ended in a better gratuity anyway!

Hope that helps, and readers, please feel free to keep the questions coming!