I know that one of the hardest parts about having IBS is how difficult it is to socialize without being tense and anxious, afraid of having an “episode” and ending up in pain or ruining the evening for everyone else. Once you know what your triggers are through having done the two stages of the low Fodmap diet, then you simply need to put some strategies in place to make sure you enjoy an evening out. In this video, I give you those strategies in the case of being invited to eat at a friend’s house.
Transcription of “Eating out as a guest on the low Fodmap diet”
Today, I want to give you some strategies for when you’re invited to eat out at a friend’s place.
So, you’ve been invited to dinner, and you’re very nervous about the prospect of the discussion with her about the low FODMAP diet. And, of course, you don’t want to go off it because that would be just shooting yourself in the foot. You can’t overwhelm her with information about the low FODMAP diet. That’s just not fair, and it’ll ruin her preparation of the special dinner. But what you can tell her are the main things that are triggers for you. In my case, they are onions and garlic, and for most people, whereas I don’t have a problem with lactose, and I can get away with some wheat. So I always say, “No onions or garlic. They’ll make me sick.” And the rest of it, I leave a little bit to fate, but I insist on taking my own dessert and my own bread for everyone. So, that really covers the whole wheat issue, and desserts can be fraught with danger because so often they’re full of fruit and cream. They’ve got the whole lactose, fructose thing going on as well as the wheat in part of the dessert. If you’ve got an issue with all of those three, that’s going to be dynamite trying to eat a dessert in someone else’s house. So, insist, don’t ask, insist that you take the dessert. And you make a low FODMAP dessert, of course. There are heaps of them on my blog. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated, but just something that you can eat a small portion of. Obviously, we can never eat too much of dessert because of the sugar content. And, yes, if you have a problem with wheat, also take your own bread, which is, of course, then wheat-free. I don’t have to do that, but some of you will. So, the only thing I tell to the host or hostess is that I need to be garlic-and-onion free. If you find, for example, on your plate that there’s some asparagus, which we can’t eat if we have a fructose issue, then you just make a bit of a joke about it and say, “Oh, I can’t eat these. They don’t agree with me. Where’s the highest bid for who wants my asparagus?” And just make a bit of fun of it so it’s light, and the hostess doesn’t feel bad about giving you something you can’t eat. And there’s always a chance if they’ve cut out the onions and the garlic that you’ll be able to eat some of what’s on your plate. Remember that we mal-absorb FODMAPS. We are not intolerant. We are not allergic to them. We can eat small amounts without any dramatic result from it.
As far as alcohol is concerned, just have one glass of dry white wine, or you can ask the hostess to put lots of ice in the glass, and then you could have two. That would add up to the one. We know alcohol’s a gut-irritant, but one glass isn’t going to be too bad. And if you have an issue with fructose, maybe, like me, you have to stick to about three-quarters of a glass because of the grapes in the wine. And after that, you go on to water. And if you say you’re driving, nobody’s going to question you going off alcohol at that point.
So there are a whole heap of different strategies for eating out. You have to stand your ground a little bit about taking some food with you and about the onions and the garlic. But apart from that, once you put those strategies in place you can relax and enjoy the evening.