Restaurant eating

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Restaurant eating


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Old 03-27-2019, 18:43   #1
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Default Restaurant eating

As a diabetic, how do you handle eating in restaurants. I don't eat out much (more because of food allergies than because of diabetes) but have found a few that tick all the boxes. (If I didn't have to avoid gluten, there'd be more).

I do find that Mexican restaurants are fairly easy to order from - just don't eat the tortilla. And usually they have guacamole which is good.

Do you all have favorite restaurants or even fast-food places that work well for low-carb eating?

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Old 03-27-2019, 19:23   #2
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I usually go to the same restaurants (3 or 4) in the downtown core where I work. These places have been chosen because their menu items have the least impact on my BG levels. No sweet sauces on their food, no excessive sodium, no excessive carbs - let me tell ya - these kind of places are hard to find!
As well I opt for low carb leafy salads or bacon and eggs (that's what I had for lunch today).
Now having said that - when I'm in a different city or even country on business I usually check the menu first - put in my order and wait till the food is delivered before I give myself a shot. Often I end up giving myself an extra shot 2 hours later if there were hidden calories/carbs etc.
It's amazing how often I have to give a second shot in these situations. As a result my restaurant excursions usually just include lunch time thus giving myself time to get my BGs back under control before night time.

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Old 03-27-2019, 20:05   #3
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My wife and I are retired and we do eat out often. I find it very easy to find foods that fall within my needs, although I have no food allergies. I have often posted my methods of eating at fast food restaurants, of course it is more difficult to find good options, unless you get a bit creative...

Mexican - Most often I order Chile Rellenos, these are chili peppers filled with cheese or meat (chicken or pulled beef/pork). The chilies are stuffed and then dipped in egg wash and quick fried in oil, we make them at home too... Usually a green or red chili on top. I do not eat the rice and/or beans that come with it. Sometimes I order Steak, chicken, or pork fajitas. I mix all the fix'ins, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, chili peppers, etc. with the meat and put hot sauce on it. Of course I do not eat the tortillas, I just eat it all with a fork. Of course you have to ask questions about what is in it and how it is prepared....

Steak or hamburger place....order a steak and salad with blue cheese dressing and glass of dry red wine! Hamburger, I order one with all the fix'ins (hold the catsup, use mustard), some places will wrap it in lettuce for me or I just take it off my bun and eat it with a fork and knife...yum, yum....

A fish restaurant, I order any fish baked or roasted and have a tossed salad and some veggies....I use lemon on my fish, and iced tea to drink...

For fast food, get a burger with mustard and fix'ins and eat all but the buns! Kentucky Fried chicken has Roast Chicken, all you have to do is ask and I get there green beans, they are really good! Fast food Mexican, order a taco salad and eat the salad and no taco! Other option...Order a hot dog or two with onion, mustard, sour kraut, etc. and eat all but the bun!

I guess that gives you a 'flavor' no pun intended, of how I eat LCHF....ya just have to think different! Use you meter to qualify meals and restaurants. Does not take long to know what you can eat and where you can go.....

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Old 03-27-2019, 20:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsfletcher View Post
Often I end up giving myself an extra shot 2 hours later if there were hidden calories/carbs etc.
It's amazing how often I have to give a second shot in these situations.
What a bother for you. Makes me wonder if it wouldn't be prudent to test 2hr and 3hr out from a meal for T2s so as to better evaluate BG impacts.

I like to eat at Chili's Restaurant and get their bacon/cheeseburger (without the bun, of course). I can sub the fries with a vegetable (usually broccoli). Sometimes I'll bring one of my LC buns for a real hamburger experience.

I've also been happy with Perkin's. They are willing to substitute just about anything.

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Old 03-27-2019, 21:21   #5
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At a steakhouse, I order a steak with some grilled asparagus.

At a bar and grill I'll order a burger without the bun and a side of coleslaw.

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Old 03-27-2019, 23:10   #6
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I like restaurants where I can choose from several items on the menu without relegating myself to a salad or eggs and <meat>. It's not hard for me to make those things at home (in fact, I frequently do), so eating out is more special if I can order something I don't always eat at home.

Local favorites include:

- (ironically) Panera Bread restaurants. I do end up with a salad here but there are several on the menu and you can customize the one you want by specifying exact ingredients (even while ordering on-line) so you know what you're getting. They even offer the options to leave off the croutons and the included side of bread (or did; been a while since I've been in one). There's value to an eatery that does not give you serious side-eye for making lots of substitutions and asking to omit croutons and put the salad dressing on the side.

- fast-food sandwich shops. The Jimmy John's chain here in the upper Midwest offers their sandwiches wrapped in lettuce leaves if you order that way. They did this long before "keto" had its current "moment", so good for them! Most fast-food sandwich shops will put the sandwich ingredients in a salad bowl, but that's a fallback choice for me since I eat so many salads at home.

- any steak or chop house. Broiled protein, steamed vegetables, and I'm good. Brazilian steakhouses are good, too, though you can eat only so much meat and their prices are not geared to the smaller appetite.

Ethnic restaurants around here are hit-or-miss. Chinese restaurants typically use a lot of cornstarch as a sauce thickener and protein tenderizer so even if you avoid the deep-fried stuff and the rice/noodles, you still could be taking in more carbs than you think. There usually are a couple of dishes to choose from on Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurant menus but (again, around here) most of them add sugar to their dishes because (they think) many Americans like it that way. At Mexican restaurants, tortillas, beans, and rice aside, masa (corn flour) often is used as a thickener and relatively-high-carb ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers are common -- and a problem for people trying to keep strict keto. So they're never my first choice.

Generally, if I know I'm going to a restaurant, I scope out the menu. If I have to make too many substitutions to eat something/anything, I either decline the invitation or suggest some place else. It can be tough sometimes.

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Old 03-28-2019, 00:20   #7
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Sometimes I feel like a real pain in the a** because my friends always have to choose restaurants with me in mind, even though I protest and say "I can find something to eat anywhere."

Does anyone else feel that he/she burdens his friends?

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Old 03-28-2019, 01:27   #8
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I usually limit myself to Mexican food, burger joints, steak houses, without any issue in being able to minimize carbs, but often overdo the proteins. Probably the most carbs I intentionally eat is at Mexican restaurants. But hey, guac is the only good carb.

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Old 03-28-2019, 01:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassie2922 View Post
Does anyone else feel that he/she burdens his friends?
Sometimes, yes. But I had "rules" before I went LC/keto -- restaurants I told my friends I did not want to visit (e.g., Olive Garden, a local Italian restaurant owned by a real whiner, any Mexican restaurant with the word "Taco" in the name). So my friends kind of expect that from me.

I find what works best for me in those instances is taking charge. If friends are discussing where to go for dinner, I try to keep up on interesting places at which I know I can eat well and I suggest those early in the conversation. Typically those are new restaurants and that's enough to swing the group decision toward the place I favor.

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Old 03-28-2019, 19:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassie2922 View Post
Sometimes I feel like a real pain in the a** because my friends always have to choose restaurants with me in mind, even though I protest and say "I can find something to eat anywhere."

Does anyone else feel that he/she burdens his friends?
I can remember a few years ago my boss and I had to fly down to Texas for business and my boss told the airline that I was a Type 1 and had special dietary needs - although his concerns were appreciated I felt like strangling him - when I got my meal - all the good stuff had been removed and only the bad stuff was left - this was before most people realized Low Carb was good.

But that's the only time I can remember where it was kind of over the top. We had a work lunch today and fortunately for me - one of my co-workers is gluten intolerant - so every one was focused on her LOL ....

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