Eating Out with Food Allergies/Sensitivities

I used to love going out to eat- trying new foods, not having to cook, and socializing with friends.

Then I was diagnosed with food sensitivities. Going out to eat was no longer fun. It became very stressful and caused a lot of anxiety. I discovered I had food sensitivities before the gluten free menu was in so many restaurants.  But even when you follow a gluten free menu and ask lots of questions, there can still be cross contamination. I am so sensitive that if the waiter touches some bread and then hands me a fork, the gluten will transfer to my hand and get into my system. 

I have have had to change my mindset about going out to eat. I no longer go to a new restaurant to try new food. I am going to socialize and enjoy the atmosphere. Sometimes I even eat before I go out and just order a water. I am obliviously less tempted to order something when I am full. This used to be difficult but now I'm just used to it. I also bring snacks in my purse in case I do get hungry.

I do research before I go out to eat. I google different restaurants menus online.  There are many restaurants that have all of the ingredients typed out online and info about specific allergens. 

I order the simplest dishes. I do not order dressing and sauces or even gluten free pasta because I do not know all of the ingredients used. I order a lemon to squeeze over foods or plain oil and vinegar. 

I ask a lot of questions about the ingredients in a meal and how it is cooked. I also ask for replacements or substitutions. I am finding waiters and waitresses are becoming much more knowledgeable about food allergies/sensitivities. 

I really enjoy cooking. So most of the time I invite friends and family over to my house. Then I can control the ingredients and where the food comes from. But sometimes it is a nice treat to eat out. I just try and make sure I am prepared. 


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