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 Post subject: Eating out = stress
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
For me, if I have to eat out anywhere than my Mom's, I am always so very stressed and there is a knot in my tummy until I am done eating and I almost cares my epipen like Frodo would the One Ring of power.

Anyone else is scared of eating out or is it just me?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:56 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Barrie
While I have no food allergies myself, I am always terrified for my 4 year old who is pa. I can completely understand how you feel that way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I don't really eat out. I bring my own food anywhere I go (even to a wedding once).

I used to eat at my in-laws when I would visit them - but I was always worried when I did. Now, I won't eat there anymore. My mother-in-law is quite ill and can no longer clean properly. Father-in-law tries, but he's just not very good at it. The last time I ate there, we brought everything for a meal - including the pots and pans to cook it in. The time before, I cooked a meal to be eaten cold while we were there.

We live in Toronto, and they are near London, so it's hard to manage a visit and not need to eat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
So you bring your own food everywhere? Did anyone ever get offended?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I can't believe this. I typed out a good response - and it got lost in cyberspace.

People rarely get offended that I'm bringing my own food.

When my brother was getting married, he and his bride were both fine about it. She was willing to do whatever was necessary for me to safely attend the entire wedding.

But, at another wedding the bride thought it was just to embarrassing. "What will people think" and all that. Since the wedding was out of town, and on my wedding anniversary, I told her that I was NOT eating my anniversary dinner in my car. :evil: She said I was putting a damper on things. I was pretty upset by then, and pointed out that dead bodies at weddings aren't all that cheery either. So, did she want us to attend the ceremony OR the reception after dinner? She said reception. We went and had a good time.

That's the only time I can recall anyone objecting. When they say they will make it peanut/sesame free, I point out that they can't. I appreciate the offer, I'm glad their willing to try - but all it takes is buying one product from one company that doesn't list *may contain* when they should, and I'm in big trouble. I do react severely even to trace amounts. I have found that most people are just glad they can serve what they want, and not worry about me. To make it safe for me I would have to tell them what brands they can buy, and keep all labels for me to read when I get there, etc.

The worst most people do is mumble something about me being paranoid. I just laugh and tell them that paranoia keeps me alive :D and anyway - the sesame seeds of the world really are out to get me. ;) The conversation ends on a laugh and nobody seems to be offended.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
WOW!!! I admire you. I know there is a lot of time I don't go someplace where there wll be food. Like at my best friend's wedding, I went to the ceremony, then went back to my house to eat (it was less than an hour away) and then came back in the evening.

At my parents, I know I can trust them. Even though I don't live there anymore, my mother reads everything. I remember getting pushed out of PhD studies because I did not attend a dinner at a professor's house. All turned out well since I'm happy with the way things turned out professionnally.

Now, I stand my groud and I won't put my life in jeopardy. Yeah, a lot of people still think I'm a freak, even my girlfriend sometimes. But she respects it and she knows my terms are non-negotiable when it comes to my allergies.


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 Post subject: eating out = stress
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Yes, I always get stressed when eating out. I stopped going out to all restaurants except one (which published its ingredients at least) since highschool after a bad allergy scare. Until recently I would occasionally go to Swiss Chalet and just order a baked potato and chicken and something to drink. I wasn't entirely comfortable about doing so, and always felt like I was having a minor allergic reaction--I worried about the knife that was used to cut the potato. But then I thought that maybe I was just worrying too much. Turns out that I've developed an allergy to potatoes and that I have an allergy to corn (there's cornstarch in the dipping sauce).

I do go out to restaurants with friends and family on occasion. I usually eat in advance unless I'm just dining with one person or if the people I'm going with seem to be really uncomfortable with eating in front of me (in which case I check with the restaurant to see if I can bring my own food).

I think I occasionally get left out of dinner parties because people are uncomfortable with the whole situation. (I know for sure I wasn't invited because of this once.....and suspect this in another case.) Family (other than my immediate family) can be another issue entirely--some of them get it; others don't.

I used to feel apologetic and a bit embarrassed about being worried about eating food not prepared by myself or by my immediate family. But I'm feeling much less apologetic now that I'm reading about other peoples' experiences on this forum :)


Last edited by Helen on Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
I totally agree with you. Sharing makes me feel less of a freak. Knowing that other people with the same health problems react the same way.

About Swiss Chalet, I went there only once almost 10 years ago and they refused to tell me in what did they cook (I always worry about peanut oil). They refused. I was with 3 of my friends. I walked out, went to get some McDonald (they brought the ingredient book out for me at the one near the university) and I went back with my take out McDonald. The waitress did not say anything. If she had, I was waiting for her. I had 15 minutes to prepare while going to McDo and coming back.


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 Post subject: dining out
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:20 pm
Posts: 2
I have recentily developed food allergies and travel a lot so I depend on resturant food. I have asked my doctor to write a letter on his letterhead explaining the allergies, what happens to me when I eat it. I had him list what foods it is found in that are both obvious and not obvious. I also had a list of foods that are safe for me to eat.
I have had this done in Japanese, Spanish and English and have had a much better experience doing it this way than playing a dangerous game of guessing what will be brought and hoping they understand the servrity of my allergy. I also try to choose resturants that have chefs rather than short order cooks. I hand the letter to the waitress and ask her to talk with the chef about it and they will either say they can prepare what ihave chosen or make a suggestion of what I can eat.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
It is so good to hear all your responses. I am nut allergic, but have not had a bad reaction in 20 years. I don't think my allergy is as severe as some, but I still get stressed out about eating in restaurants. By the end of a holiday, I am so stressed. We are eating out less and less each trip, and starting to stay at suites with kitchens, so I can cook my own food. I can't decide if I am being overly paranoid, as I find I worry more as I get older. (My mortality becomes clearer as I age!?!? haha)

I feel bad for my husband as he loves to eat out, and I am never very excited about vacations. As well we had always hoped to travel the world, but I don't think that will happen. I only feel comfortable in North America and don't even think I want to try Quebec, as I would worry about the language barrier. I guess we could go to Britain and Australia, where I could communicate. I just feel like I am holding him back. He is going skiing out west with a buddy and I told him to eat nuts all week and he will love eating out for every meal.

I agree with the person who posted about the chef vs. short-order cook. I think a more fancy restaurant is more likely to know what is going on. I also find it hard when a server has less than perfect English. I once left a restaurant because all the staff had such thick accents and we couldn't understand each other.

I try to keep positive and not let this get me down, but so many social events center around food! More and more now I just don't eat at parties etc. My version of heaven lets me eat anything I want!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
Quote:
I can't decide if I am being overly paranoid, as I find I worry more as I get older


I know I am paranoid but we worry more when we realize how severe it is, about cross contamination and how the thing we must avoid is in absolutely everything.


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 Post subject: Dining out
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:07 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Vancouver BC
This is the first time I have heard of other people who take their food with them, even to restaurants.
I started doing this after trying to eat out. I had about 5 severe reactions (and several ambulance rides!) from different restaurants before I decided that it wasn't worth it.
Now I take along my own meal. I try to plan ahead so that the meal I take is similar to things on the menu--that way I don't stand out and it makes it more comfortable for others that I am dining with. I almost never let my meal leave my sight (to be warmed up for example) so I eat it cold or supervise it myself in the restaurants' kitchen.
I have only had two situations where the restaurant was not happy about me bringing my own food--one involved a language barrier and the other was plain rudeness so I left.
As for my friends & family, they are awesome about it. I now trust a few of them to cook for me and they know that I will still ask to see labels of ingredients, etc. I will also generally bring a few back-up items to eat just "in case" I can't eat what they have prepared. They feel safer and so do I.
When traveling, my husband and I always stay in rooms with at least a refridgerator and often a kitchenette. In the long run, we save money by not dining out very often and we are eating a lot healthier.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
Quote:
In the long run, we save money by not dining out very often and we are eating a lot healthier.


That is so true. When I went to visit my gf in Toronto, that is what I did because of my allergies but it is true. It cost you about half than restaurant trip and you eat same as home instead of ending upo and B King, McDo or some other fast food joint.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
I have been taking my own food everywhere I go and have rarely faced people being insulted. But people are human and some will be insulted whatever you do, so I don't worry about it. Some people even ask me if I could take my meal with me when I come to their house as they feel a lot less stressed about cooking if they know I will not have a reaction. At first I did care what others thought about it, but after 6 years of doing this, I don't really care what others think about my little meal. Some people look at me funny, but I prefer that then ending up at the ER (personal preference of course :wink: ). The few times I had restaurant waiters ask me about my "outside food", I simply explained it to them and they were glad not to have to take responsibility for feeding me... and it is a lot less stressfull on me!

I don't know if it's an age thing or if it depends on the number of years you have lived with the allergies, but I find that many adults with allergies are willing to not eat restaurant food while many parents of food allergics want others to accomodate them... just a question I've been asking myself for a while.

Mylène


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 9:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Mylene, I agree, it does seem more parents that want their children to be accomodated. (Not intended as a judgement - I'm not walking in their shoes.)

And if you ever come to my neck of the woods - you can bring your own food. I KNOW some of the sauces we cook with have fish in them. And I'll hide all the tuna so you don't have to worry about the smell. :D


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