Oh… how I miss eating out without a care in the world. It sure was lovely to be able to pick any restaurant I desired, and have the entire menu available to me. When my biggest decision was whether or not I wanted to carb it up or make a healthy choice. That was nice.
Now, it is a completely different story. Now, I am that person. You know, the one that has to change every single aspect of how the dish is supposed to be prepared. Not because I choose to. Because I have to, if I want to avoid an autoimmune meltdown.
I know this is terribly annoying, not only to the server that has to deal with me, but also to the chef or cook that created the dish. I know, because I used to be a server, and I worked with top-notch chefs that were incredibly irritated by the same exact kinds of requests that I now have to make. So, every time I go into a restaurant, I apologize profusely for what I am asking the server to tell the chef. I know the backlash that server is likely going to get when they walk into the kitchen with my order.
Luckily, I have been very fortunate with most restaurant outings that I have been a part of since my corn allergy realization. Many of the servers have been super helpful, and very attentive to my needs. I am ever so grateful. I feel like since I was in the service industry over 10 years ago, a lot more information about food allergies has come to light, and many more restaurants are very understanding and happy to accommodate. My best experience so far was at Ruth’s Chris – where they allowed me to bring my own butter to prepare my dish with. They were AWESOME. Too bad I can’t afford to go there all the time.
A typical order for me usually consists of a dry, unseasoned meat choice and steamed vegetables. Bland, blah, bland. Going to a restaurant is sooooo not exciting to me anymore… because I can make food taste a LOT better in my own kitchen. But, that means I have to cook all the time, and sometimes Mama just needs a break. So, what do I do? I bring things in my big bag of tricks to spruce things up a bit.
Items that may be found in my big ol’ purse:
- various safe, homemade condiments
- sea salt grinder
- various seasonings and/or fresh herbs
- tiny container of safe butter and/or oil
- ” ” organic, grass-fed sour cream
- organic, grass-fed home-shredded cheese
- safe pickles/olives
- organic, citric acid/ascorbic acid-free jams or preserves
- homemade salad dressing
Bringing some of these things along with me has made all the difference in the world! Now I don’t have to practically choke down dry, tasteless food while being surrounded by people eating mouth-watering dishes that bring tears of envy to my eyes. Well, until it is time for dessert….. Then I am usually completely jealous and want to run away so as not to have to watch everyone eating all the things that I want but cannot touch. Maybe one day I will actually make my own sweet treats to throw in my bag. Do I have time for that? Probably not!
If you have issues with eating in restaurants because of corn or any other kind of food allergy, I strongly recommend pre-planning for your outing, and bringing along things that will make your meal complete. It really does make such a difference and will leave you way more satisfied.
Disclaimer: I must point out, that I am not as corn-sensitive as a lot of people suffering with corn allergies are. I have not noticed environmental sensitivities, and can handle eating some conventional veggies and meats – as long as they are not cross-contaminated and it is in moderation. Many corn sensitive people can not even be in the same room as a corn aroma, or eat anything that has been anywhere NEAR corn, and usually can not go out to a restaurant at all. This being said, listen to your body – it will tell you what you can handle and what you cannot. 🙂 Happy, safe eating to you all!