1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2022 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Eating Out Normally Again Is Something I Dream Of

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by If_only, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. If_only

    If_only Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Hello everyone

    As a relatively newbie to T2 I have changed my lifestyle and eating dramatically. I've put eating out on hold for 6 months until I have low BG and look stick thin (ok thinner ... much thinner).

    I have to share this and get this off my chest because people who don't suffer like us, just don't get it. I also need to find out what other people do when they eat out. I do really admire people that have had this condition for many years and are just getting on with it.

    For me eating out was one of life's pleasures. Italian food, Indian food, Chinese food, fast food, sandwiches the lot. I love the exotic sauces, flavours and spices. Some foods are meant to go with each other and be enjoyed in their entirety. I am going to try to convey the frustration I feel at the moment, its not a rant don't take it that way I am going to attempt to put in to text an emotion and how charged I am and how I see things, which is not easy to do without it being misinterpreted as a tantrum, which it isn't.

    Right now, I am focusing on my short term plan and being completely regimental about it. Very strict low carb and low sugar. I started off dangerously high BG and I need to get that down as quick as possible. I can do this, as long as I know that after I have a decent level and can maintain it, I can eat out now and then. I can not spend the next hopefully many many decades living on some lean meat, fish (which I don't like that much) and vegetables if I can not have the occasional meal out now and then. I need excitement and variety and its the thought that I can which is motivating me.

    I realise its a mental battle but the idea of giving up what I like when I eat out seems like a life sentence right now. Mentally I don't want to accept this is the situation. I want to push back, stick 2 fingers up at this disease and find a way that I can have some enjoyment, without causing irreversible damage. I need some leeway and what I call the 90:10 diet. 90% of the time I will be healthy, 10% I can have what I want.

    I have read quite a lot of articles on the subject and I respect that many people may find these articles very helpful, but I find a lot of them infuriating. Maybe I am at times in denial maybe I haven't broken the bad habits but I am not a robot, and still feeling out the boundaries.

    I keep reading time and time again "instead of having something I like, have yet another plate of vegetables or a salad". This just lights my fuse. Seriously, the next person who tells me to have a salad is going to end up eating it. I am not going out to a restaurant and paying for a plate of mixed veg. It defeats the point of going out and having the food I like. I might as well stay at home and eat my own bland food. (It doesn't matter how I tart up my own cooking, which may be 100 times healthier, it still doesn't taste like food I like made by a trained chef).

    So I realise there must be lots of people who have felt this way before. How did you deal with it? I have heard that some people are very strict and others throw caution to the wind and accept for a day or so their sugars will be high. As mentioned, the only people that can truly understand me are those that are in our exclusive club and have had this experience.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Hug Hug x 3
  2. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    153

    Whilst not exactly the same, I had something very similar when I suddenly found out I was gluten intolerant (after 30 years of happily eating plenty of gluten-y things).
    The conversation would sometimes go like this:
    Me: have you got anything gluten free I could have
    Them: Um, well we have some salads
    My thoughts: Did I say I was a rabbit???? I said gluten free not everything else free as well!
    Me (actual reply): ok thanks
    Promptly followed by myself and the friends/family I'd gone with leaving to find somewhere that could do something better.

    But yes for my issue (which I realise isn't the same) I have to be strict otherwise it will make me ill, but I just find other places to go to that could do me something nice for me, most now-a-days will try and help and find something suitable for me (I'm also really picky as well and said pickiness started well before I got the gluten intolerance problem)
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  3. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,152
    Likes Received:
    2,690
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Speaking personally, from 9+ years of diet control experience, I weigh up if a high carb meal out is worth feeling ill with higher blood sugar levels for three days, and adding to the risk of complications in the future.

    We all have to make our own decisions with this. To begin with it was hard, but once I accepted my faulty carb response and focused on why I was changing my eating, it got easier.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek I reversed my Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,004
    Likes Received:
    3,719
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Basically, it's your life, you have to live it. If you need to be able to go out and have a little something every now and again that isn't strictly keto, just to preserve some sanity and actual honest-to-God joy in your life, well.. That's your choice. No-one here is going to slap a fork out of your hand with a ruler when you're out and about. We do this in whatever way we can, whatever is manageable to us. Because if you can't make it suit your situation, you're not going to be able to keep it up. For some that does mean throwing caution in the wind once in a while. I know I can't do that because high-ish blood sugars make me feel decidedly unwell for a while, but if you can, more power to you and have some for me too eh. You'd be surprised how many people here eat along with the rest of the family during christmas and such... I don't, as it's a very stressful time of year and I need to be well for a few days in a row between our friends-and-family visits, and I don't have the luxury of tackling blood sugars as well then. I have a hand in the menu everywhere, so there's always something I can eat. But that's me. That doesn't have to be you, or the next poster. You do what works for YOU.

    My diet, while it was still keto, was pretty much alright. Most menu's had something I could eat, like surf'n'turf salads, eggs with whatever I wanted, which is a common lunch for the Dutch rather than a breakfast. Meats were fine too, and fish, and I did ask for extra veggies or baked mushrooms or whatever to replace the normally mandatory fries. The Chinese restaurant we loved had plenty of meat (Why lean by the way? The flavour's in the fats! And more filling than lean too.), and their duck was and remains, to die for. I picked a few things with sauce I really REALLY loved, and had just a little bit, enough for flavour, calculating a little walk around the block after dinner in, and I'd be a 5 or 6 by the time we got home. Their tomato soup is red liquid sugar, and I'll have to miss on that, but the meats were fine, as were some of the egg and fish dishes, and the veggies. I don't do curries because I'm a wuss when it comes to hot foods, but greek mixed grill with souvlaki, gyros and whatnot is heavenly in my book. Argentinian restaurants, with lots of excellent meats on the menu are wonderful too. So my husband eats my fries, can't say I care when there's enough to indulge in. There's an amusement park that had a few things on the menu I could have, but everything came with fries or rice. So I asked them to combine dishes and leave stuff out, so I ended up with steak and eggs (sunny side up), and had them make up whatever I had to pay for it, as it was off-menu. (I offered to just pay full price for both dishes). I paid for one dish total, and the kitchen had a good laugh at my offer to pay extra. They want to help, if they can. Better than throwing stuff out. In another place, a zoo, I asked for a sausage without the bun. The lass at the counter just about had a fit. She assumed I wanted a discount, it wasn't about the meal. I told her I was happy to pay the full price, but I wasn't going to eat the bread as it would make me ill, and thought it was a shame to throw it away. That immediately changed things. When I got to the register the lass there rang up a different, cheaper item because she thought I shouldn't have to pay for bread that wasn't there. Adventures in custom eating. ;) If you're open about the hows and why's, they're happy to work with you. And if you REALLY don't want a salad, ask for something else! Extra bacon, mushrooms, an egg or two, a double portion of meat/fish/poultry... Something you do enjoy!

    There's a palace-turned-museum in the Netherlands where they serve a high tea in the ballroom. I wanted to have one there, didn't get around to it, got diagnosed, and it just vanished as an option: everything was carb-laden. We visit the museum a few times a year in non-corona times, and every time we have lunch there, or just have some tea, and I see those tables set up across the room, I want to cry. (I managed to only burst into tears in the Lady's once in the 5 years since diagnosis, thank heavens.) I've conditioned myself to look at it as a photographer, going for the visual aspect, but it does remind me very, very painfully of what I've lost. Our wedding reception in 2008 was a high tea, and I wanted to do it again for our 12,5 year anniversary. Even if Covid hadn't blown that idea to kingdom come, I wouldn't have been able to do it. Not get all that set up for my guests, and not partake. I'd be a wreck. We lose things, and it's not a rant when you grieve for them. It hurts. It just does, and you don't need to justify it or apologise. It does help though to look for alternatives... A barbecue was my other option, if we'd have been able to have the reception last year. But that still doesn't make the high tea loss bite any less!

    Since I've gone for a more extreme diet since my keto days (carnivore, rather strict), I've found eating out a little more than complicated too, but it helps if you know what the menu is beforehand and select restaurants on that basis. We're going to do a little staycation in an area we're unfamiliar with later this year. I have a list of things to do and see, and behind all those are restaurants in the vicinity where I can order eggs or meat, as salads and veggies are out for me too, these days. It takes some preparation, but I feel better if I don't 100% have to wing it. Also, if you're unsure, you can contact them, explain your needs, and ask the chef to think along with you. For all you know they'd be happy to replace proper rice with cauliflower rice in your curry? If you're a regular somewhere, they'll remember fast enough that you're the one who tips well for the extra effort, and they won't have to throw anything out.

    It's hard. But there are work-arounds and whatnot. Just find out what you want added to your dish if not the S word. ;)
    Hugs,
    Jo
     
    • Winner Winner x 4
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Jo_the_boat

    Jo_the_boat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    549
    Trophy Points:
    153
    We don't eat out often but the local pub / restaurant that we like are very good and help me out.
    Many of the things on the menu I simply rule out but there are other dishes that become pretty low carb with the odd tweak.
    Meals and chips for example, I ask for an egg or two or a couple of sausages instead of the chips.
    Chips is the bad boy for many low carbers but steak, salad and eggs or gammon with extra eggs is good.
    Nice big cheese board for desert or a little fruit with a wodge of double cream.
    All washed down with a couple of large glasses of red.
    At the end of the day it's nice to have a change but my Mrs is a really good cook so staying in is still a pleasure.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. LaoDan

    LaoDan Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    995
    Likes Received:
    624
    Trophy Points:
    153
    I eat out all the time, I can usually find something to eat. Sometimes it gets odd, like ordering Singapore’s famous chicken rice, sans rice lol. I just roll with it, try to get my protein in, even if it means breaking apart Chinese dumplings to get at the ground pork lol
     
  7. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,425
    Likes Received:
    2,052
    Trophy Points:
    198
    You sound a little like my husband who is similarly lives to eat ! He cannot understand that when you change your diet to low carb you will very often find your appetites and cravings also change such that food becomes more functional. It sounds as if you are in a 'white knuckle' phase of trying very hard to eat plainly (not sure what you think of as perfect here) to the extent that you can't even trust yourself to go out lest you make yourself miserable by refusing the items you'd normally go for or overdo it.
    That's a red flag to me as it suggests you can't imagine eating the way you are now forever and won't if there's so much emotion involved. You're in charge so you have to work out a compromise between your best food choices (perfect) and better food choices (liveable with). I have a chap in a Monday walking group for example who got his hba1c down 20 points over 6 months but still has fish and chips once a week or the occasional ice cream. What he does do after the treat is test his blood sugar 4 hours afterwards so he can't be in denial about what is going on in his diabetic body.
    One good book I am reading now is Jen Unwin's Fork in the Road which very much tackles the emotional side of things from a food addict's point of view and why you're struggling:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fork-Road-...k+in+the+road+jen+unwin&qid=1623251517&sr=8-1
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. If_only

    If_only Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I guess I had been high for some time maybe even years, but I never felt any adverse effects of being hyper. Maybe my GI has been high for so long it doesn't register in my head as noticeable, so I wonder what would happen if I did push the boundary a little and have some carb or a sugary sauce on my food or a even few fries. Indian food, I can see some alternatives and a burger yeah I suppose I could go half bun or bun free if the patties were decent, but I love pasta and dim sum.
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  9. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,425
    Likes Received:
    2,052
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Maybe it is time to experiment then. Test your bgs 4 hours after those meals and next monring. World Foods gives a good visual guide to the foods you mention in terms of carb content then you can work out what you can 'get a way with' but be honest with yourself if you find yourself in the 'fallen off the waggon' mentality!
    https://www.carbsandcals.com/books/world-foods
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. If_only

    If_only Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
     
  11. Dudette1

    Dudette1 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I love this post, I think you and many others including me have felt this frustration. And if you want to have a tantrum, **** it have one. ( I have had many) I totally get you when you say, some foods just go together. When I want a Sunday dinner, nothing triggers me more than someone showing meat with veg on the side, where’s the mash roasties and Yorkshire puddings. If it’s not got the trimmings, I don’t want it. Unfortunately I can’t have it, well I can if I want to feel **** later.The low carb is hard but it is manageable but when getting to grips I found I was repetitive with foods and then getting ****** off when I can’t find anything appetising, a burger goes with a bun, not a mushroom, a steak goes with chips not just salad, a curry goes with rice that’s where I get mad because all alternatives are ok but not great. It’s what you was accustomed too before This. All the help on here is amazing and ive learnt so much its unreal, but yeah I’m still frustrated. if you can eat like that forever and it not bother you, great, I must admit, it still bothers me, so don’t feel bad. I’ve just been on holiday with family and they eat what they want, fish n chips, sandwiches, crisp, chocolate, cake and I just cried then had fish and chips, but suffered the headache and groggy feeling the next day. Was it worth it, yes, yes it was.

    (Mod edits in line with forum language policy)
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    #11 Dudette1, Jun 9, 2021 at 7:11 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2021
  12. Onlinecaroline

    Onlinecaroline · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I feel you!

    I started eating this way properly in Jan and dropped to an HBA1c of 36 from 88 and having watched my dad lose organs and limbs I am determined to stick to it but I miss eating out, it was a hobby, I love trying new food. I miss the ritual of going somewhere and having lunch or dinner or even coffee and a sandwich.

    I’ve made myself a promise that I can have dinner out twice a year, and eat what I want as long as the rest of the day is carb free and I monitor my bloods. It’s got to be sustainable or we won’t stick to it.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. If_only

    If_only Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Hi Dudette, thank you. As you say, many people have felt this frustration and all have my sympathy. Its nice to hear from someone else on my wavelength. I will figure this out and in a way that doesn't make me feel like its the end of the world. Its just going to take a bit of time and Im not very patient.


    (Mod edits to quoted text)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #13 If_only, Jun 9, 2021 at 8:41 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2021
  14. If_only

    If_only Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thats what scares me, the damage it can cause and I think that is a mechanism that will stop me from being silly.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. MrsA2

    MrsA2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,312
    Likes Received:
    4,474
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Been there so many times!
    But the longer it goes on the easier it gets and you find what works for you.
    What works for me is a supportive other half who lets me have 2 bites of whatever he's having. The first bite satisfies my need for the taste and the second satisfies the craving. In this way I have found I have totally lost my liking for several things, and having just returned home after a week away and a lot of eating out, the first thing I wanted and was desperate for was.... a salad!!
    While away I had
    pizza. Hadn't had it for a year, found 3 small slices tasted nice but bloated me and gave me stomach pains. At home I make a low carb base that is tastier and more filling
    Burger, loads of toppings including sausage and mushrooms. I left the bun totally. Didn't need it.
    Fish from the chippy. Left 50% of the batter and nicked just 4 chips. Again was full. Didn't need more.
    Pasta its the sauces that are nice. A bowl of bolognaise without the spaghetti is just as good and filling. Carbonara on cabbage is surprisingly good.
    Same with curry, its the protein and sauces are tasty, rice and bread bland unnecessary fillers sold us by restaurants to up their profit margins

    My best motivation is my meter. When I see pizza race me into nerve damage levels its easy to say no the next time. Luckily my meter tells me the occasional small tub of good ice cream doesn't damage me, but cake does, so I choose ice cream instead. I'm not hungry for dessert s any more. Now I'm fat adapted I get full quicker.

    Honestly, it does get easier. Stick with it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    2,911
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I hear you. Practically I’ve found most places are happy to swap menu items around if you tell them you are medically unable to eat certain items (ie carbs). Once I get past the gluten free (high carb) options offered I’ve never had an issue. I do reassure them it’s not an allergy where I will keel over at the table though.

    I look for sides and accompanying items that are already on the menu and of relatively similar value and ask to swap. So chips, rice, pasta or bread get swapped for items that interest me. I’ve had pasta sauces over broccoli, extra mushrooms with steaks, eggs added to meals, sauces on the side for a taster rather than drowning, haloumi instead of chips, a combo of sides instead of a main as well as simply more veg or salad. Other people might think my combination are odd but I like them and that’s what matters.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    #16 HSSS, Jun 10, 2021 at 9:07 PM
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  17. Canicant

    Canicant Type 2 (in remission!) · Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I feel your frustration, i'm much the same as far as eating out goes.

    The thing that gets to me is if i was from India or China with diabetes what would they eat, i get around the problem by cooking my own indian/chinese food as the big problem is the food cooked for you is it's laden with sugar so just cook it yourself with eythritol and forget the rice, chips and pasta.

    I still have a curry as good as the takeaway with a slice of homemade low carb buttered toast (1.5 carbs) but the big thing is i only eat one meal a day (have done for two years now) and i love my keto diet.

    It won't be what you want to hear but the reality is the alternative is quite grim.

    Just as a side note i do eat pasta but i use vital wheat gluten and lupin flour in a pasta making machine, so chow mein and macaroni cheese are also do able.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    9,276
    Likes Received:
    5,566
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I have had 4 years of normal readings, so it might be too soon for some, but there is hope of a sort.
    Some days at home I can eat a tomato, two sticks of celery, cheese and meat - I always had a very low appetite and need for food, so my history is not exactly ordinary.
    After a year or so from diagnosis I could eat two Christmas dinners on consecutive days and have my own Yorkshire puddings made with cream, eggs, bread flour and water - plus meat and veges including a couple of roast potatoes, and see 6.5 mmol/l both days.
    Now I could eat a 'normal' high carb meal and it would only mean a week of trying to lose the weight to survive it unaltered.
    I am not at all certain that I am typical of those in remission, and I would not advise anyone who had not been seeing normal numbers for some time to try it, but there is at least the possibility of eating more carbs once in a while, but I'd not advise a huge and sudden carb fest - check your reactions at intervals just in case it results in dreadful indigestion, or falling asleep or any other of the various reactions.
    I think my readings after eating carbs are normal-ish, but I do not have any graphs of blood glucose, just a few tests and how I felt at the time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. If_only

    If_only Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I think the first thing is to hit "normal" readings and then I will see from there. Then I will feel happier in testing the water with some foods. Its something I will have to get used to though, but I can't help feeling that has to be a balance.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Hug Hug x 1
  20. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

    Messages:
    19,156
    Likes Received:
    12,672
    Trophy Points:
    298
    You'll likely find as I did that after a while you don't miss what some describe as "food".

    Just make sure you eat decent stuff freshly cooked and your taste buds will adjust. I even find regular full fat milk tastes sweet now and don't miss stodge in my diet one bit.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook