Eating out with Crohn's
Personally, eating out can actually be one of the hardest parts living with Crohn's. It's a perfect storm of danger of eating something wrong and causing a flare... along with social problems of feeling like you're being awkward or some how ruining plans for everyone else.
These are all completely normal feelings, and I'm fortunate enough to have friendship groups and family that are really accomodating to this. Most likely, most of you also have the same level or support around you and maybe/probably dont even realise it. So - as i say many times across this website - you. are. not. alone!
So if you're just recently diagnosed and are trying to make sense of it yourself. How do you make sense of it to others!?
My first bit of advice, is to look around this website and find the main foods that disagree with you. For me the main hitters are: Onion, Garlic, Milk and Spice.
These are my main 4 go-to statements when ordering or talking to a chef at a restaurant, and if you really want to be taken seriously? Drop in the allergy word and you'll notice an immediate change of tone (but it doesnt always need to come to that)
The main thing to remember is you are paying for a meal to be made for you. There should be absolutely no guilt or anxiety around asking these simple questions.
But lets be honest... Some types of cuisine are just impossible for us. Especially restaurants with complex ingredients and flavours. Indian restaurants for example I dont even bother trying. But I'll happily eat before and still partake in the social sides and maybe eat some plain bread or poppadoms.
Which brings me to... Where do I actually eat out?
This has taken me some time, and I'll be honest, i dont actually eat out at many places. But when i do, my go to places are Japanese restaurants. Japanese restaurants are Eutopia for people with Crohn's in my opinion. The whole concept around the cuisine is making the most flavour out of the least ingredients. Winner. And so Japanese restaurants dont suffer from the western approach and need to completely over-complicate food by adding more and more flavours and ingredients every year... Or put butter on literally everything.... End rant.
Other options eating out would be a simple seafood with rice and plain vegetables (check for butter), plain chicken and non fatty meats with a jacket potato (again, check for butter) or a simple plain sandwich option with French fries at a stretch. There are other options, but just keep it as simple as possible at the start. Try and add up all the ingredients in your head that might be involved, and if that goes over 7 or 8... Pick something else.
So in summary... Give it a go. Keep it simple. Never let your Crohn's stop you from joining a social event and trust and lean on your friends and family and if in doubt...? Well just send me a message :)