Issue #39: How to Eat Well at a Restaurant without Triggering Inflammation

Conquering Arthritis is a passionate and inspiring account of one woman’s determination to heal herself by pursuing knowledge to the fullest extent and applying it with wisdom and care. This book contains everything you need to heal inflammation and restore yourself to a full and energized life. I recommend it, without reservation. It’s worth every penny!”

Ellen Brennan
Marriage and Family Therapist
Phoenix, AZ

In this Issue:
Eat Out Without Inflammation
Restaurant Checklist

How to Eat Well at a Restaurant without Triggering Inflammation

If you have arthritis, preparing ahead of time can mean the difference between a safe, excellent meal at a restaurant and either 1) dreadful, boring meal or  2) worse yet, one that triggers your inflammation.

If your food sensitivities are extensive or particularly difficult, you may need to cook everything yourself from scratch for at least 6-8 month before risking anyone else’s cooking.  If your food sensitivities are less extensive and less difficult, eating out can be a great joy, at least occasionally.  For some of my clients who have a job that involves either traveling or entertaining their own clients at restaurants, eating out takes on even greater importance because their very livelihood hinges on it.

Photo by Jeff Gunn

I got some of the very best food of my life prepared by a creative and accommodating chef at a restaurant in the Grand Teton National Park.

Checklist for Eating Well at Restaurants:

  • Learn about possible sources of problem ingredients in your diet.
    • Research foods in which your problem ingredients may be present by reading labels and recipes.
    • For foods that are a problem for you, read the sections in Chapter 6 of the book Conquering Arthritis that list the names on labels that can indicate the presence of your problem foods.
    • For foods that are a problem for you, read the sections in Chapter 7 of the book Conquering Arthritis that list products that can contain your problem foods
  • Identify types of restaurants, such as possibly Thai, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, , vegetarian or health food, etc., that usually have menu items that are safe for you.

Photo by Peter

  • Identify certain types of safe foods that restaurants are likely to be able to provide, even if they are not listed on the menu.
  •  Make a restaurant kit to supplement and improve the food you order.
    • Non-perishable condiments: Depending on your food-sensitivities and personal preference, include items such as sea salt, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, herbal tea bags, etc.
    • Perishable condiments: If you are out for just a few hours, optionally include perishable items such as unsalted butter.
    • Main ingredients: Food items for the chef to cook or otherwise use in the preparation of your meal.
  • Work with restaurant staff.
    • Call ahead during non-rush hours to check if a given restaurant is willing and able to accommodate your special needs.
    • Have waiters identify the ingredients in food you are considering eating, including bringing out labels if there is any question of safety.
  •  Prepare and carry along two lists:
    •  A list that includes your basic intolerances along with what you like and can have (you might include a few recipes) and
    • a list that includes ingredient names that can indicate the presence of something to which you are intolerant and types of products you should avoid.
  • Collaborate with staff to get not just a safe meal, but a tasty and satisfying meal.
    • Use the first list to help inspire the chef to come up with creative suggestions.
    • Use the second list to make sure that the chef’s suggestions are safe.

Sincerely,
Your Champion of Renewed Health and Vigor,
Barbara Allan

 

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4 Responses to Issue #39: How to Eat Well at a Restaurant without Triggering Inflammation

  1. Vilma E. Jackson says:

    I am waiting on the result of the ALCAT tex what will be my next step.
    Since I am out of control on pain and complications, and still working hard to control my diet.

  2. Hi Barbara,

    Are you aware of any soup base without celery? I was very surprised that celery came up in my severe category, and as someone who cooked for a living, I know that celery is in almost everything.

  3. Dear Gisele,

    I’m not aware of any comerical bouillon that does not contain celery, but it is possible to make your own and leave out the celery. For instance, http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/homemade-bouillon-recipe.html

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