When one follows a restricted or unconventional diet, one encounters many challenges.
However, it IS possible to eat out at a restaurant!
In our society, going to a restaurant is one of the ways we socialize. It is important to learn how to make adjustments for your diet while dining out. For many that follow a restricted or unconventional diet, eating out can provoke anxiety and can be very stressful. Eating out might not even feel worth the effort. I can totally understand this. I have lived it. However, I’m here to let you know that it is still possible and even enjoyable, once you learn how to order.
We believe that our recommendations will help you have a better experience:
- Carefully select a restaurant. Some restaurants are very good at accommodating changes. I suggest starting with restaurants that note gluten-free menu items because they are already aware and conscious of restrictions on people’s diet. These restaurants tend to be much more willing to work with you and are often careful of cross-contamination. If they give you a hard time about it, they obviously don’t want your business.
- Be specific about what you want or don’t want. Ask questions and make sure you understand how the dish is prepared.
- If you eat meats or fish, ask for the item to be grilled. Keep it simple!
- Depending how critical or sensitive you are to the food you are trying to avoid, you might want to ask to have your food cooked in a separate pan to avoid cross contamination.
- Order steamed or sautéed vegetables, as they are often cooked with less ingredients, enabling the chef to stay away from the food items you are trying to avoid.
- Stay away from sauces or order them on the side. They tend to have lots of hidden ingredients. The chef can also forget that a sauce has the ingredient that you are trying to avoid.
- Ordering salads is an easy option. Bringing your own salad dressing or using simple oil and vinegar can also help.
- Be very specific to the waiter. If they say ”I don’t think” or they answer without checking with the kitchen, ask them to please verify with the kitchen or make sure they write down what you are trying to avoid. Never take the waiter’s word when it comes to knowing the ingredients.
When we visit a restaurant that is willing to work with us; where the staff listens carefully, makes suggestions based on our needs and maybe even sends the manager to the table, you can be sure we will be come back again!
Enjoy your outings and share some good experiences or tips with us….