10 Tips to Dine Out Without Wrecking Your Gut Health


It’s springtime in Spain and it’s beautiful to spend time outside, meet friends and enjoy some “tapas” 🌿 However, if you happen to have some diet restrictions or you have an autoimmune condition like me, you know the struggle of maintaining a strict diet to keep those uncomfortable flare-ups at bay. With limitations like no gluten, no dairy, no nightshade vegetables, and even bidding farewell to flowers (yes, you read that right), eating out can feel like navigating a culinary minefield. But fear not, because I’ve got some tips to help you enjoy dining out without sacrificing your gut health or social life.

Now, let’s rewind a bit. Since my last Hashimoto flare-up, I’ve been on a strict diet that made eating out feel like a distant dream. My social life took a hit, and meeting friends for dinner or enjoying some “tapas” seemed like a thing of the past. But I’ve learned to manage my condition and allow myself some exceptions, and this allowed me to rediscover the joy of sharing meals with loved ones.

That being said, I’m still incredibly cautious about what I eat. After all, gut health is non-negotiable when you’re dealing with Hashimoto’s. But with a few strategies, I’ve found a way to strike the perfect balance between enjoying my social life and taking care of my gut.

First things first, I always do my research before choosing a restaurant. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it’s easier than ever to browse menus and find restaurants and cafés that meet my dietary needs. I look for places that offer gluten-free or dairy-free options, and I’m not afraid to call ahead and ask about their ingredients or cooking methods.

Once I’ve found a suitable spot, I make sure to arrive armed with a plan. I scan the menu for gut-friendly dishes and don’t hesitate to make substitutions or request modifications. Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate dietary restrictions, so don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for your health.

Another handy trick? Sharing is caring! Instead of ordering a full entree, I opt for a selection of small plates or appetizers to sample. This way, I can indulge in a variety of dishes without overloading my system or straying too far from my dietary guidelines.

Of course, no dining experience is complete without a little preparation. I always pack a stash of gut-friendly snacks in my bag, just in case the restaurant’s offerings fall short. This way, I can enjoy my meal without worrying about going hungry or making compromises that could trigger a flare-up.

But perhaps the most important strategy of all? Mindful eating. I take my time to savor each bite, paying close attention to how my body responds. If something doesn’t agree with me, I listen to my gut and make adjustments accordingly.


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