On Friday, I shared my fifth tip about Eating Out as a part of 10 Days of Gluten-Free, created by Linda, the Gluten-Free Homemaker. Affirming that a restaurant does a great job serving those with gluten intolerance is crucial to promoting gluten awareness and expanding dining options.
For about a year after my diagnosis, I rarely dined out. I was tired of arriving at a restaurant only to learn that I could order two items on the menu if they were prepared completely differently than described. Bland. I was usually left with a piece of chicken or fish lightly coated in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper and a side of steamed vegetables. Don’t get me wrong. That’s a nice, healthy meal. But it’s an ordinary meal that I could make at home for one-fourth the price.
Let’s face it, when we go out for dinner, we want something special. We don’t go out and order something that we can quickly toss together in our own kitchens. We’ve gotten used to having options, and when those options are taken away, we frankly develop a bad attitude.
Thankfully, options are much better for gluten-free diners today. But we will still have those occasions when restaurant meals are less than ideal because of our limitations.
In those cases, we need to have a good attitude.
Don’t focus on the fact that you only have three choices on the menu. Be thankful that you even have three choices on the menu! You may feel limited at this particular restaurant, but let it be a reminder of everything that you have to be grateful for. You are far healthier with those three choices than you were before your diagnosis when you had limitless options on a menu filled with gluteny items. Be thankful that your life is different. And better.
There’s more to a dining experience than the food.
Consider the ambiance. How is the décor, the lighting, the music contributing to your experience? You might be eating another piece of chicken and a dry potato, but you aren’t eating it at a kitchen table covered by today’s junk mail.
Consider the luxury of being served. You didn’t have to make this meal, and you won’t be cleaning the kitchen or washing dishes afterwards.
Consider the company. The people you are dining with are far more important than the food that you’re putting in your mouth. Enjoy the conversation with the people you’ve chosen to dine with. Take the focus off yourself and focus on your friends or family members.
It isn’t easy to stay positive when food issues are so personal, but staying optimistic can prevent dietary restrictions from ruining the evening.
Time for your daily entry to win a $25 P.F. Chang’s gift card! I’m giving away two at the end of 10 Days of Gluten Free. Submit another entry today by leaving a comment below. You can leave two entries by answering a second dish question or letting me know that you followed Gluten-Free Cat on Twitter and “liked” Gluten-Free Cat’s Facebook page or shared this post on Twitter or Facebook.
- This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older.
- You are allowed two entries per “10 Days of Gluten Free” blog post for a total of 20 entries on this blog.
- Enter by leaving a comment on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts).
- The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm central time on May 18, 2012.
No purchase is necessary. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries. The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.
Don’t forget that this is a blog hop. Hop on over to these talented Gluten-Free Gurus for more tips in our 10 Days of Gluten-Free.
- Getting Started – Linda @ The Gluten-Free Homemaker
- Resources – Wendy @ Celiacs in the House
- Traveling – Karen @ Gluten-Free Travel Blog
- Frugal Tips – Janelle @ Gluten Freely Frugal
- Cooking – Carrie @ Ginger Lemon Girl
- Baking – Jules @ Jules Gluten Free
- Kids – Lynn @ Lynn’s Recipe Adventures
- Lunch Boxes – Tessa @ Tessa the Domestic Diva
- Shopping – Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry
- How do you stay optimistic even when you’re faced with limitations?
- What advice can you give to someone in the first six months of gluten-free living?
- If you win the P.F. Chang’s gift card, who will you take with you to dinner?