Eating Out with a Sensitive Diet

Eating Out with a Sensitive Diet

Eating out at a restaurant is not what it used to be. With so much emphasis on a healthy diet, calorie control, portion size, and healthy alternatives, what was once a date night escape is now something of a well thought out operation.

Perhaps more complicated that nutrition, however, is going to a restaurant when you are allergic to most items on the menu.

I’m talking about maintaining a strict gluten and casein free diet while enjoying a night out with friends or family. For years, entering a restaurant with these restrictions was almost unheard of; after all, there are so many things that could go wrong. With bread crumbs in the recipe for burgers, croutons on a salad, dairy in the ranch dressing, butter on the broccoli, and so on, it’s no wonder people living on a gluten and casein free diet shied away from eating establishments for so long. For many on this strict diet, the consequences of not following it can be severely damaging and therefore the risk is just not worth the worry.

However, fear no more. We live in a day where fortunately diet is on the forefront of our cultures talking points. It’s no longer unusual to be vegan, the word gluten doesn’t need a definition behind it, and almost anything goes when it comes to ordering food the way you want it. Many restaurants are welcoming these changes, and even adapting their menus to keep up with their customers ever increasing knowledge of food.

So if you are one of those people on a restricted diet, and have been scared out of walking into the new restaurant all your friends rave about, take heart and the next time they go… join them!

Just remember a few things during your outing:


  • It is okay to talk to the chef. He or she won’t bite, and they want you to enjoy your food. They would rather you not end up in the hospital after your meal, so feel free to tell them exactly how you want your food prepared.
  • Make sure you cover your bases. Remember that vegetables are often cooked in butter, chicken and steak are marinated in something you may not want to eat, and some burgers are made with bread crumbs. If you have a question, or a sneaking suspicion something might not be right, ask about it.
  • Order what you are familiar with eating. If you always eat chicken and salad for dinner, start there. You want your first outing to be comfortable, and not full of the unknown. The first time might not be the best time to order the pecan crusted salmon with special sauce. Wait until you’re familiar with the restaurant and how their food is prepared, then somewhere down the line when you’re comfortable, choose anything off the menu and express how you want it prepared.

Be cautious with this new life of yours, but enjoy it . It’s a whole new world out there.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition