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Dining Out with IBD

June 1, 2018

Hello Friends! Who doesn’t love going out for dinner? A chance to relax, socialize, and enjoy a delicious meal without having any dirty dishes to clean…sounds great, right? Not really. For people with IBD, the idea of dining out can be quite stressful. When you don’t prepare your own food, you don’t know specific details about a restaurant’s food preparation like what spices were used, what oil was used, etc.

Fellow spoonies, dining out does not have to be stressful! Here are some key tips for dining out sans stress!

Review the Menu

Most restaurants have a website which outlines their menu. Review the menu to check for meals that would suit your needs. Look for options based on your sensitivities or lifestyle, for example, gluten free or vegan. Not sure if a restaurant can accommodate your needs? Give them a call. I find that touching base with a restaurant takes the stress out of feeling unsure once you’re sitting at the table.

Have a Plan

Before you go to the restaurant, decide what and how much you will eat. If you feel that you might not be full enough after the meal, have a small snack to hold you over.

Know Your Triggers

Stay away from foods that trigger your IBD symptoms. If you are feeling brave and want to indulge, do it minimally. Over indulging (especially in a trigger food) can be hard on the digestive system in general, and when you have IBD, doing this can wreak havoc on your digestive tract. My tip here is …proceed with caution!

Choose a stress free atmosphere

Read reviews on the restaurant you would like to go to and see if the atmosphere is to your liking. Ask about the restaurant’s peak lunch/dinner hours and try to avoid them.  This way you can enjoy your meal in a relaxing environment at your leisure.

Locate the Restroom

Make a point of asking your waiter where the restaurant is located so that you are not in a panic should the urgent need arise.

Be Prepared for Questions

Not everyone has tact.  Some may ask, “Why are you ordering that” or “Why can’t you eat that”. Plan your answer in advance. If you feel comfortable discussing your illness, do so….if you don’t, don’t. The choice is yours. Planning ahead just takes the stress out if it 😉

I hope you found these tips helpful! Let me know by commenting below!

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