My Top 3 Rules For Dining Out

Dining OutA few months ago, my husband bought a book called “Younger Next Year”.

(The title alone is intriguing).

He took it along on our vacation to Hawaii this past June, and read it cover to cover.

Chapter 3 was titled “How’s Your Wife?”

What the authors were getting at was whether or not your spouse, or significant other was also on board with any lifestyle changes you might be contemplating.

To drive home their point, they were strongly recommending that your partner in life also read the book.

So I did!

Because really, when you think about it, change is hard enough – but if we don’t have the support of our loved ones, it can be that much harder, right?

The book focused mostly on exercise and lifestyle changes, taking an extensive look at the science behind human behavior.

(The authors, Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge M.D., have also written a companion book for women – “Younger Next Year for Women” – which you can be sure is next on my list).

Of course, I especially enjoyed the chapters on food!

Even though being gluten-free wasn’t part of the conversation, it didn’t matter.

That’s because the rules sometimes apply across the board – regardless.

And when it comes to eating sensibly, well, that’s something that most of us can benefit from. In any case, their advice for dining out was spot on, which is how I came up with my own, slightly altered version:


Choose a Good Restaurant

You need to be a lot more discriminating about where you eat, and which restaurants you frequent.

Ideally, the menu needs to list gluten-free and allergen-free options – or at least assure you that the kitchen is willing and able to accommodate your dietary restrictions.

This generally means that you will be dining at places that serve good, healthy food.

In other words, no crap.

Let’s face it – fast-food joints were never your friend, and you need to stay away now, more than ever.

Yes, you will likely be paying a bit more – but hey, there’s a lot at stake here!

Besides, your body will thank you.


Be Selective About What You Eat

You’ve found a good restaurant with a healthy-sounding menu – and then some.

Does that mean you get to eat everything?

Of course not.

For some of us, it’s easy to equate dining out as a “special occasion” that warrants a no-holds barred approach – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Again – if you’re reading this, you’re either gluten-free or dealing with numerous other food sensitivities – or both.

To truly honor your body, you need to stick to menu items that are not only delicious, but also safe for your particular diet.

That means no cheating!

Seriously, how does that serve you in the long run?

If gluten is your mortal enemy, then stay away from gluten at all costs.

If consuming dairy makes you feel sick to your stomach and toss and turn all night – don’t eat it.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

Yet the emotional crush of having to let go of the foods we love never quite leaves us.


Know When to Say “Enough”

Okay, let’s say that what you order isn’t exactly the healthiest item on the menu.

Do you still need to eat ALL of it?

Perhaps, like me, you grew up with stories about starving children in Africa. But even if you belong to the ‘Clean Plate Club’ – that doesn’t mean you need to eat everything that’s put in front of you.

It took diligence on my part, but there are actually times now, when I’m able to leave a bit of food on my plate and not feel guilty about it.

That same diligence applies any time you are making choices about food.

So whatever you do, be sure to choose wisely.

Ask the waiter to remove the bread from your table. You’re gluten-free, right? Why would you even want it there?

(Yes – I get that other family members who don’t need to worry about gluten and stuff, might want some bread and that’s where things can definitely get a bit sticky).

These are the very temptations you’ll be challenged by over and over again.

Know what you can or cannot tolerate, and go from there.


Now it’s your turn.

Is your favorite restaurant gluten-free or allergen-friendly 

If not, are you open to exploring new options?

What would you consider the perfect dining experience?

I hope you’ll share!


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