I was at brunch the other day with a bunch of friends at a place I had never been to. Usually, before going to a new place, I would head over to the website of the restaurant and peruse the menu so I can prepare for what I would eat. I left this time to chance (mostly because I didn’t find out where we were going until right as I got behind the wheel to drive there).
As I sat at the table next to a friend that has never seen me eat before, I was asked the question, “I’m curious as to how you are going to order and what you are going to get.How do you order?” This was a new question to me, as I had never had to truly think about that in terms of guiding someone through my mental steps of food decisions. It was a challenge for me.
So I looked through the menu, and as I always do, I search for the dishes that do not contain gluten…that’s usually a tough task to take on. There were the usuals…eggs benedict, french toast, pancakes, caesar salad, oatmeal, blah blah blah. I kept searching (it wasn’t that extensive of a menu) and I naturally picked something that I was able to modify even more…an egg white omelet with veggies and ham with a side of potatoes.
The truth is that it will come easy to you once this lifestyle becomes a habit for you instead of a chore. Yes, I said chore because it’s something you have to think about doing, something you need to give a lot of thought before perfecting it. And you know what? It will never be perfect. There will always be times where you struggle. Times when you are at a restaurant that has limited choices, and you really have to be selective. Then there will be times where you don’t know which to choose because there are too many options. Either way, you will get through it. So here are some pointers as to how to order in the easiest fashion while out to eat:
- Look through the entire menu and mentally eliminate everything you know you CANNOT have.
- Make a mental note of what you CAN have.
- Once you get to the end, go back through and choose 3 items that catch your attention (of course these are dishes that you CAN enjoy).
- Ask the waiter or waitress which of the three dishes they recommend. Tell them that you are on a gluten free diet, this way they can guide you better. If, by chance, they do not know what it means to be gluten free, call the manager over.
- Make your decision and be happy with it. Enjoy your meal when it arrives and know that you made a smart choice.