Frequently Asked Questions - Dining Out
Eating out when you're on the WholeApproach® Candida Diet© requires polite and assertive communication skills. You can usually get excellent support from the wait staff if you just ask them for their help in avoiding some food intolerances that you have. In most cases your server will be compassionate and helpful and look upon making sure you get the right food as an interesting challenge. Your server plays a very important role in your dining experience as he/she is your representative to the cook who will prepare your meal for you.
In the unfortunate circumstance where you find yourself at a restaurant that has very few "safe" choices on the menu, you may have to hand your server a list of the foods that you can eat and ask them or the chef to recommend something appropriate.
A wise, preventative strategy is to arm yourself with as much knowledge about hidden allergens as possible. In this way, you can provide specific instructions and ask very direct questions. Your server can write them down, go to the kitchen and return with answers and/or suggestions.
Different types of restaurants will pose different types of challenges for you. For example, in both Chinese and Thai food, look out for sugar hiding in the sauces and dips, and for MSG. There may be hidden MSG in pre-made sauces even if the restaurant doesn't add any. You may have to ask that they check the labels of their pre-made ingredients.
In Chinese cuisine, soy sauce, Teriyaki sauce and oyster sauce usually contain wheat. Avoiding these sauces is rather hard to do. Your chances of getting a custom-prepared meal will be much better if you choose a quality restaurant that you know prepares food fresh for each customer. In these types of establishments, you can usually get them to prepare yours differently. If you are set on eating Chinese food but are allergic to wheat or soy, you might even want to bring your own wheat free soy sauce to let them use or to add to your food at the table. In Indian cuisine, watch out for corn starch, sugar and wheat flour in sauces. Ask lots of questions and you're sure to find something suitable to eat.
Please don't be discouraged! You'll soon find some candida-friendly restaurants to frequent (and they'll probably remember you too).
The Restaurant Survival Guide - When You Find Yourself in the Wrong Restaurant and You're Starving.
If there is nothing that looks appropriate for you on the menu, consider the following options:
- Steamed veggies, fish, rice, scrambled/boiled eggs or chicken. If you are really stuck and there is nothing but deep-fried, battered chicken or fish, you may need to just pull the skin off and hope for the best. Note: this doesn't work for vegetables. Deep-fried veggies are much more saturated with the allergenic grease than meats.
- On the highway or in your typical "greasy spoon" establishment, your best option may look more like broiled potatoes or hash browns with eggs and canned veggies.
- Thai Restaurant - fresh, raw spring rolls (veggies rolled up in rice paper). Ask for a peanut free, wheat free, sugar free, MSG free dip if they can find one for you, or plan to bring something from home.
- Chinese Restaurant - MSG-free chop suey (bean sprouts) with steamed veggies and wheat-free soy sauce.