The ordeal of Eating Out

Some days we all come home and just don’t feel like cooking. Perhaps there is nothing that sounds appealing, maybe we are simply exhausted, my number one reason is that there is no meat defrosted. Yes, I am a procrastinator. I love to freeze my meats so they will not spoil between the time I buy them and the time I cook them. Let me tell you about the stench of spoiled raw chicken! Yikes!

Like many other people in this country, I have enjoyed the convenience of take out. But, what happens if that convenience makes you sick? Well, you learn to thaw meat by any means possible! Now, I am afraid you are all picturing me with a pork chop under each arm trying to defrost the meat, but that has never happened! (At least, I would never admit to it.)

Fast food is a contamination nightmare. When I get fast food, I have to double check that nothing containing gluten is put into the shared fryers as the french fries, or that the salads are not pre-made with cheese or croutons. Worse yet, if they make a mistake or are simply lazy, some places will simply pick off the things you are avoiding. No bun? Oops, we forgot, so they simply remove the bun, leaving residue stuck to the burger. No cheese? Oh, well, all of the salads are already made with cheese and no we cannot just make one without.

Dine in restaurants are not much better. I cannot tell you how many times I have sent food back to the kitchen because the order was incorrect. The server might ask why I cannot just pick the croutons off or remove the bun. Trust me, they have tried to pull the “take it back to the kitchen, remove the bun and reserve” trick, too. I used to feel self conscious about returning food to the kitchen. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that keeping myself safe was more important than their waste count or egos.

At one well known establishment here in my hometown, I asked them about their broccoli. This particular restaurant butters the broccoli. The server reassured me that they could keep the butter off and serve it simply steamed. I agreed. When it came out, I took a bite without examining it first, and this was a mistake. The chef had buttered it. My tongue began to itch, my face got red and blotchy and I was sick. From one bite, yes. I found myself driving to the drugstore on the corner to get some allergy medicine.

My daughter and I do not eat out very often anymore, but when we do it is at establishments that can assure me that their foods can be made safely. I also carry activated charcoal with me everywhere. It is a life saver and will absorb things your body sees as toxins. For me, it lessens the reaction to any of the foods I accidentally consume. I might be sick a couple of days rather than a week or more. The pain is less severe when I use charcoal, too. Sometimes things happen and I prefer to be prepared.

My suggestion to anyone beginning this journey and giving up the foods to which you are sensitive and have reactions, ask lots of questions. For example, McDonald’s has always had separate fryers for french fries, but now with the new donut sticks they serve, they needed an oil to fry them that didn’t taste like chicken nuggets. Guess which fryer some of the franchises are using. Yes, those french fries are now contaminated. Always ask which oils are shared if you are eating something fried. So, educate yourselves, ask lots of questions and don’t hesitate to send an order back.

Bien Provecho!

One Comment Add yours

  1. I like your humour as you address another issue many thyroid patients face – eating outside the house when certain foods make you sick. I also stick to places I know I can trust and am always prepared for a ‘glutening’.

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