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I love food Allergies

Posted by terrepruitt on February 8, 2011

After my Nia class this past week, I went out to have something to eat with a friend.  I wanted something on the menu without this and with that, and instead of this could I get that on the side?  In the past I have hated going out to eat  because I couldn’t ever find anything I liked.  Well, several things have happened;

1) I eat more variety than I used to eat
2) Almost every restaurant serves a salad and
3) I can now rearrange a menu item and the server doesn’t have a fit.

I think a lot of it is due to food allergies.

Well, not entirely because long before people started discovering they were allergic to gluten restaurants started being more flexible with their menu.  So many things have tomatoes and even though I will eat a tomato, I prefer not to have them IN things.  Now-a-days it seems so many things have a hot, spicy chipotle or something other sauce on it.  So I am ALWAYS at the very least requesting that something listed on the menu as part of the dish be eliminated. I do believe though that so many people are allergic to so many things servers and restaurants are more sensitive to the fact and they just try their best to do what you want.  Sometimes they might feel the need to charge you when you do a lot of rearranging, but they will usually let you know if that is the case.  And you will be able to get what you want.

I used to pour over the menu trying to find the thing that I could eat.  I used to break out in a sweat when it was my turn to order.  My husband used to . . . .no, he still does, roll his eyes.  Now I can pick something and take off a few things or add this.  I once was reminded that if the kitchen isn’t busy and they have all the ingredients for what you want, you can always just ask for it.  Sometimes you get a surprise.  Years ago I was at a hotel and I asked if they could make me a grilled cheese even though it was not on the menu.  When my order came up I was horrified because I didn’t remember ordering two, but there were two sitting there.  The waitress saw my face and laughed explaining that the cook thought it sounded good so he made one for himself.  Whew!  I certainly didn’t want two.

While I don’t really love food allergies because I understand that they can have very serious consequences if the person that is allergic to a particular food happens to consume it.  I also understand that living with a food allergic can be quite a challenge.  I do, however, love that as a result I think restaurants are more accommodating.  I love that most restaurants will have a vegetable option and/or vegetable sides.  Also, if there really isn’t anything on the menu that grabs me, I can usually fall back on a salad.  Since so many things contain gluten that you might not even thing about, I can also rearrange the salad if I want.

What about you?  Do you order straight off the menu?  Or do you rearrange things a bit?

6 Responses to “I love food Allergies”

  1. Melisa said

    I have always had an interesting time in restaurants. I don’t eat pork or shellfish, can’t stomach great hunks of meat, and can’t stand mushrooms. You’d be amazed how many places serve mushroom-heavy dishes as the only meatless option. Plus I am a really good cook and I won’t pay for food that isn’t better or more interesting than what I can make. Now that I have to eat gluten free as well my choices are really limited. No: Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, burgers (because they’re no good without a bun!), no pizza, only limited Thai, most cafe/bakery type goodies are out…it’s really insane. Thank goodness I love both Mexican and Indian food! I can reliably find something I can eat in either of these cuisines but it does get old….. Portland is a city where EVERYone has and flaunts food issues so restaurants here are pretty accustomed to dealing with everyone’s special needs–to a point.


    • Oh, sorry you don’t like mushrooms. I love mushrooms, but I like the white ones the best. Not so fond of all the wilds ones. Yes, a lot of restaurants DO use mushrooms as meat. A lot of restaurants offer gluten fee. Even Italian. Around here there are several pizza places that serve gluten free pizza. I don’t know what it tastes like, but they serve it.

      I have a friend who is allergic to a whole huge list of things. Here she can’t eat gluten, but while she was in Europe she had bread and was fine. Hmmmm?

      Yeah, it is a good thing you like Mexican and Indian. Indian is too hot for me. Also it is great that you are such a great cook.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  2. niachick said

    My husband is lactose intolerant, so he cannot have dishes with milk or cream (butter is okay). We both have gluten allergies. We manage quite well with all of the choices available now. However, restaurants are a horse of a different color. Most restaurants do not have gluten free choices. We just don’t eat the bread and we don’t order pasta. Even the higher quality Asian restaurants do not offer wheat-free tamari/soy.

    I don’t have too many things that I request restaurants to change, but my husband does…and I’m usually the one rolling my eyes. I had to laugh when I read that in your blog. Made me smile!

    Thanks Terre!


    • I really think living with allergies is a challenge. I know that just living with sensitivities is a challenge so an outright allergy . . . . . whew!

      Around here I am seeing most of the restaurants I go to have gluten free choices. Even if they don’t advertise it (as in on the menu it stating, “As for our gluten free menu”), most servers can advise you as to what is gluten free. At least the places I have been. I am sure the choices will start to broaden.

      Someone is always rolling their eyes. LOL!


  3. I have developed so many allergies in the last few years. I am constantly having issues with my stomach. This post makes me think I should test for food allergies or try gluten-free and see if it helps.

    As always, informative, and I bet the servers are VERY happy to cater to your needs making a happy (returning) customer. 🙂


    • I think that many people have developed allergies because the body is too busy trying to process all the GMO and over processed food, it has to give up somewhere. So we become “allergic” to things so our body can concentrate on extracting actual nutrients from the stuff we call food. I don’t know if “gluten-free” would be the answer for you, but, I would think it is a good start. It is very difficult (in my opinion) to elimiate gluten because it is in soooo many things you might not even realize it is in. But I think that trying SOMETHING would help. Try going gluten free or dairy free, or pick another one of the allergens, or try something like a probiotic (depending on your “issues” you are having). There are so many things we can do to make living in our bodies better. It is just a matter of doing it. When people are busy—like you are, you are sooo busy—it sometimes makes it difficult, but I bet it would be well worth the effort.


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