In these posts, I like to address the topics I hear about most frequently from patients and Facebook Group Members. The common topic in the group this week has been eating while away from home (or ordering take-out food). This is a common dilemma for so many of my patients. What can we do to minimize the chance of overeating salt and sugar? What about alcohol? What will others think about my picky food selection process when out to dinner?
We all know that we’ll be eating more sodium than usual when we eat out, no matter what we do. This is a simple fact. However, having a plan BEFORE ordering helps immensely.
We can’t control everything, but here is a list of things we CAN control…
- Look at the menu ahead of time to see which items are the lowest in added sugar and sodium and choose those. Many fast food places will have nutrition facts online—select the items that are most kidney stone diet safe.
- Don’t order foods with sauces or dressing. If you do, ask for it on the side and use less of it.
- Ask the server to tell the chef not to salt your food on the way out of the kitchen.
- Share your food with a friend (portion control).
- Skip the appetizers or dessert (portion control).
- Limit your alcohol to one or two drinks (portion control)—more can cause dehydration, and we tend to be less mindful about food choices when we overdrink alcohol (no one has ever declared, “I’m buzzed, let’s order some kale”).
- Substitute that spinach for another veggie.
- Get extra veggies as the side dish.
- Remember, you don’t HAVE to be a member of the clean plate club.
- Don’t leave the house super hungry—you will overeat.
- Ask for meat to be grilled instead of fried.
- Have a decaf or tea for dessert.
- Stay clear of the breadbasket.
- If you are dining with people that make a face or have something to say about the way you order, know they are jealous that they don’t have your willpower and don’t let it bother you. I have dealt with this my whole adult life. Don’t care.
- And the last one—have fun!
Your friend and advocate,