Before my pregnancy, I followed a Paleo / AIP lifestyle to offset my 40 + foods I’m sensitive to. However, when I was pregnant, the frequent heartburn I had, sensitive stomach I dealt with all magically went away for those 10 months. Eating and going out for dinner was exciting again. Mostly because I could eat anything I wanted. That streak continued until about three weeks ago, right after my son’s two month vaccines.
Dont get me wrong, I’m not anti-vaccine and it could be coincidental developmental timing, but ever since Liam got his first round of vaccines, his body hasn’t been the same. A day after his vaccinations, his little elbows, legs, and cheeks dried up and formed eczema patches. His stools also went from perfect to liquidy, foamy, and painful. Knowingly my history and other friends success with curing eczema, I immediately stopped eating whatever I wanted and went back on my strict AIP regimen. Besides being a new mom back at work, studying for my principle licensing exam, working out, and more, a new task I was faced with was finding diet compliant places to eat out around Denver.
Although one would think that Colorado would House many healthy and clean places to eat, think again. The true clean restaurants are diamonds in th rough and definitely require some research beforehand.
1. Just Be Kitchen
Opened in 2017, JBK is a gluten free and Paleo restaurant in the LoHi neighborhood. All of the menu items are grain, gluten, and refined sugar free. Not only can you get a Paleo/GF compliant meal without worrying, you can also get a modified AIP dish to accommodate your elimination restrictions (awesome for me while I figure out what Liam is sensitive to). The menu items are delicious and filling, but my all time favorite thing to order is the coconut milk sea salt latte. I’m a sucker for a big warm cup of deliciousness. Check out my previous JBK article for more insight.
2. Modern Market
Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a take out meal, Modern Market is an excellent choice for a meal out of your kitchen. Me personally, I love the Thai coconut salad because of all of the yummy nutrient dense ingredients. To make it diet compliant, I omit the peanuts and swap out the peanut dressing for MM’s lemon maple dressing. I literally order the same thing every time. Another option for dinner time are the platters where you can choose from either free range chicken or pork (steak isn’t grass fed and the salmon isn’t wild sockeye) and add on side veggies. Word to the wise, I’m pretty sure non-gmo canola is used for their dressings and most likely in their sautée pans. So let them know ahead of time if you’re not cool with it. I recently found out the lemon maple dressing, so I order my salad undressed and use my olive oil based dressing at home instead. Oh and another bonus, they serve wine and beer !
3. MMM Coffee…A Paleo Bistro
Located in the arts district in Lincoln Park, the OG Paleo spot still stands except it’s now opened SEVEN days a week. Hallelujah! My all time favorite menu item is the Nut free love muffins. I can’t order one now because they’re not AIP, as soon as we find out what Liam isn’t sensitive to, I’ll be back! Fingers crossed it’s not chocolate.
4. Root Down
Up until a month ago, I had such good things to say about Root Down. The quality of the ingredients, compliant cooking oils, the exciting menu items, and that there’s a location in the airport that I eat at EVERY SINGLE time. However, after our second visit to the flagship location in the Highlands, I’d advise you to skip making a reservation.
Both times we’ve visited (one without baby and one with), we experienced rude and infrequent service. A friend of mine told me has also waited a long time only to receive a raw chicken dish. We get it, it’s a scratch kitchen and that takes time, but not 40+ minutes for a salad and entree during an off rush period. Our most recent visit however, had truly sealed the deal for us not returning. We had ventured out with Liam as our first time dining out as new parents and arrived to Root Down a few minutes after opening for brunch. Walking in, we were immediately given a face that we had a stroller and were seated next to an extremely loud coffee bar and high traffic area. After waiting our usual 40+ minutes for our food, our inattentive waiter finally refilled our waiter glass and took off.
Theres no doubt about how convenient and nice the menu is for diet compliant people like me, but when a restaurant’s airport location has friendlier staff and normal service (the longest I’ve waited for my entree is 20 minutes) than you flagship, I’d say that’s an issue. If you’re willing to put up with long waits, rude staff for your delicious meal, head on over.
5. Boulder, CO Eats
Although not technically in Denver, Boulder is a quick 40 min car ride away to get even more Paleo/ AIP options. Check out Zeal, Blooming Beets, Shine Restaurant & Potion Bar, and Fresh Thymes Eatery.