Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Eating Out - Special Occasions

As you would all probably know, eating out for any special occasion, be it an anniversary, birthday, or even Christmas dinner, is a very different situation than just going out for a meal with friends.

When you are going out for a casual meal with friends, there is generally much more flexibility in where you go or what you eat, so I find it can be easier to choose a meal that will be okay on my belly, i.e. with a limited amount of fructose content. However, with special occasions you may not be able to choose the restaurant, or in the case of something like Christmas dinner where your grandmother is cooking all the food, you will likely not have much control over what ingredients are used. Even if you do get asked about your dietary requirements, sometimes there is not too much they can do, especially since fructose is in a lot of foods. I find that in these situations, it can be especially hard to find that balance between being able to enjoy good food, and at the same time trying to minimise the impact on my belly. I often find that it can be a disappointing experience, as for some dishes the only thing I can do is to avoid them altogether.

My partner and I had our anniversary last month, and we went out for a fancy dinner to celebrate. The issue in that situation was that the restaurant had a seasonal tasting menu, so I didn't know what to expect with the food. I did tell them I was fructose intolerant, and asked them to avoid putting in too much onion and garlic, or apple for the dessert, as these are my top three problem foods, but I still didn't know what would happen.

As it turned out, they only changed one dish for me, as the original dish was crackers made with onions as the topping. The dessert did have some apple in it, but only a little bit in the sauce, so it wasn't a big deal. However, this still indicated to me that like most people, they did not understand fructose intolerance. In general my stomach was okay at first, but this was then ruined by the fact that something later caused both my partner and I to have diarrhea – we still can’t work out what it could have been. My partner was fine within a few hours, but it took about 24 hours for it to clear up properly for me. That is another thing that I have noticed - the effects with something like food poisoning are often worse for me than for others without belly problems, which must be because mine is generally more sensitive and unstable.

Have you had similar experiences when eating out, or have any tips to share? Please comment below.

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