Food Anxiety – Eating Out

Perhaps you are trying to work through some health concerns, or you have recently found out you are allergic or intolerant to specific foods. It can be tempting to isolate yourself and shun away from the social act of eating out at restaurants. Although you will always have greater control in your own kitchen, keeping yourself contained to those four walls will become lonely.

Disconnection is on the rise in our society and I believe it is a root cause for a lot of mental illness. Eating in groups is what our ancestors did and for good reason. They shared resources and it was a time to check-in on each other. For this reason, even when I travel solo, I always make it a priority to take myself out to a restaurant to eat instead of eating alone in my hotel room.

We can’t ignore the symptoms that arise when we eat something that we are intolerant to. Brain fog, joint pain, bloating, skin issues, mood imbalance, are just a few symptoms that myself and my clients have experienced. It is an awful feeling and can be debilitating for a few hours to a few days. This is why I dedicate my practice to improving my clients’ digestive health. In the end, our energy, hormone balance, and overall vitality relies on our digestive system to be running smoothly.

So, what happens when you have a list of foods to avoid and you are invited out to eat?

First– take a deep breath. I know very well the anxiety that can arise thinking about eating food that could be cooked or come into contact with foods that you are intolerant to. Your feelings are valid.

Second– if you can, take a look at the menu ahead of time and mentally make a list of dishes that will be ok for you to eat. Feel free to call the restaurant ahead of time (away from peak busy hours) to speak to a server or cook and explain your situation – they often will come up with solutions and will keep a note on file next to your reservation.

Third– come prepared. We cannot control everything, even when we wish we could. Bring digestive aids like digestive enzymes or digestive bitters. Remember to take them when you arrive at the restaurant 😉

Fourth– enjoy your meal! Eating should be a pleasurable experience. If you are stressed about the food, then your nervous system will respond by SHUTTING DOWN your digestive system – this alone can result in bloating and abdominal discomfort.

As a health practitioner, I always like to tell my clients to be as prepared as possible when we are working through a health protocol or dealing with food intolerances. At the end of the day though, for us to live in modern society, we must be flexible. Stress of any kind will impact your digestive system.

At the end of the day, I hope you take time to enjoy food in and out of your own kitchen.

Have questions about digestion or want to learn more about how to support your body? Reach out to info@onesmallshift.co

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