Eating Out with Kidney Disease Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Good Fun!
It's true; you don't have to give up eating out. Kidney disease doesn't mean the end of your ability to enjoy the company of friends and family over a good meal. The key is to learn to live within the limitations of a kidney disease friendly diet without giving up activities and events that bring you joy. These tips will help you get more joy from eating out kidney disease or not.
Call the restaurant a day or two before your “dinner or lunch date” and explain your dietary needs. Ask the manager or chef if there are any accommodations the restaurant can make in order to work within your dietary constraints. Most restaurants are quite willing to assist in this. Calling ahead saves you from any discomfort you may feel making special menu requests in front of friends and/or family when eating out. Kidney disease, after all, isn't something you discuss with everyone.
Stick to Your Diet
Even if you're unable to call ahead or decide against doing so, it's important to stick to your diet at all times — even when you're eating out. Kidney disease doesn't take the day off for family celebrations and your good health is worth giving up a few dishes that are no longer on your menu.
Ask your server about menU items that might meet your needs. People are surprisingly willing to help if you explain what your needs are. It can be something as simple as not adding the traditional seasonings to broiled seafood or getting steamed vegetables prepared without butter and salt.
If You aren't Sure – Ask
If you're concerned that menu items might be detrimental to your dietary needs, ask your server for more information about how the food is prepared and whether or not adjustments might make it a friendlier fit for your needs and your palate.
When you're eating out, kidney disease doesn't have to rule all aspects of the meal, but you must plan your meal with your condition in mind.
Ask for a Kid's Cup of Water
Kid's cups are much smaller than regular restaurant cups and you won't be as tempted to over-indulge in liquids if you get a cup that holds the proper amount of liquid for your meal. Once you've had your allotment of liquid, ask the server to remove your cup from the table in order to help you resist any temptation you may have to order, or accept a refill.
In the same vein, get rid of all pitchers, coffee cups, etc. that might encourage you to have another glass. Otherwise you run the risk of needing to cut back on eating out. Kidney disease is a major illness that must be treated as such.
When you're eating out, kidney disease may occupy a surprising cross section of your thoughts. It's best if you can tune it out and focus on having fun with your friends and family. Don't let it ruin the time you spend eating out. Kidney disease will get easier to live with as time goes by and you establish routines and habits. Until then, when eating out, kidney disease, must take a bit of a front seat as you order your meal and afterwards.
Please take a look at my latest book on EATING OUT KIDNEY DISEASE
Also published on Medium.