When you regularly experience digestive problems, the last thing you probably want to do is eat out… worrying if something you eat might “trigger” stomach upset or scanning the restaurant to locate the bathroom… just in case.
But what if your spouse wants a night out? Or just a night off from cooking?
What if long-time friends want to get together at a restaurant for a bite to eat?
Don’t let digestive problems keep you from having time with the people you care about.
With some careful planning, eating out can be bearable. Even for those of you with a troublesome tummy.
First thing you want to do is start minding what you eat at least 24 hours ahead of when you’re going out.
Food takes up to 24 hours to make its way through your colon.
If you’ve eaten something that typically creates digestive upset, you might just start to feel the consequences just as you sit down to eat at the restaurant.
Now, before you head out, you’ll want to take a look at their menu on your computer.
Look for certain foods that can trigger an “episode.”
If dairy is a problem for you, avoid anything with “creamy” in the name.
Gluten sensitive? Stay away from the “breaded” or “crunchy” items.
High-fat foods are also ones to avoid since fat takes a long time to break down and empty from your stomach.
That means you need to steer clear of those “battered” chicken fingers and fries.
Instead, stick with the broiled and steamed items on the menu.
And definitely go with something you’re familiar with.
When you’re experiencing digestive issues, it’s no time to be adventurous with the menu.
When your food arrives, eat slowly.
Quickly scarfing down your food allows a lot of air in to the body… air that can lead to gas.
You also want to limit your alcohol consumption during the meal.
Alcohol can irritate your gut, and result in abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Water is your best bet to help stave off digestive discomfort.
But if you feel you must have a drink with dinner, get one with minimal sugar and carbonation because both can lead to bloating and painful gas.
A martini or glass of wine are good options.
Stomach issues shouldn’t sentence you to a hermit’s life.
Plan ahead. Stick with the plan. And have an enjoyable evening out with family and friends.