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Author Topic: How do you explain your weird diet?  (Read 2831 times)
MooseMom
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« on: November 30, 2010, 09:45:47 AM »

As I've posted before, my husband loves eating out.  Here in Chicagoland, unless you eat in an Asian restaurant, it is virtually impossible to order a dish that has neither potatoes or cheese, and more often than not, both!  We had a quick lunch out yesterday, and I wanted just a soup and half sandwich.  Well, the menu said the soup came with cheese sprinkled on top and the half sandwich had a slice of cheese in it.  It was Cheese World.  And of course, fries came with it, too. ::)  So, when it came time to order, I asked if they could take the cheese off everything.  Now, getting all precious about eating preferences is a pet peeve of mine.  If you don't like what's on the menu, either don't eat there or eat at home.  But I also hate restricting my husband, so I have to tolerate phosphoric menus more often than not.  And I feel like I have to offer some sort of explanation of why I have to have this and not that so that the waitstaff won't think I'm just being difficult for the sake of it, but I've never really explained it all because it just sounds weird.  I end up scraping off the cheese and giving my husband the potatoes.  But yesterday I was fed up with having to make all the allowances myself, and I don't know why, but I just told the waiter to hold the cheese on everything because I was allergic to cheese.  He was very nice and said that he'd check it all out to make sure there was no cheese.  Next thing I know, the manager comes over to confirm my "allergy" because he wanted to make sure I didn't collapse or something if I got even a whiff of cheese.  I was really embarrassed; I thought I was making life easier for everyone but noooo...  So I explained that it wasn't actually an allergy but was, instead, a kidney disease and I had to avoid phosphorus and cheese has phosphorus and bladdy bladdy blah.  I apologized profusely for my stupid diet, but they were really nice about it.

So, after that long exposition, what do you all say to waitstaff in a restaurant about your dietary restrictions, if anything?
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jbeany
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 09:49:41 AM »

"Lactose intolerant" is waaaay easier if you don't feel like going into the life-threatening illness explanation!
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MooseMom
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 09:58:41 AM »

"Lactose intolerant" is waaaay easier if you don't feel like going into the life-threatening illness explanation!

"Lactose intolerant" sounds so weenie-ish.  I did discover that going into the "life-threatening illness" explanation gave me an opportunity to mention that I am on the kidney transplant waiting list...  Maybe someday, someone will take the hint! :rofl;
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 10:59:34 AM »

Do you allow substitutions? Hold the cheese and I'll take a kidney.  :rofl;
JK.  If I get a funny look I just tell them I have kidney failure and cannot have ...
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cariad
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 12:19:14 PM »

I don't see why anyone should feel the need to explain themselves. It's the service industry. I have to ask for substitutions and deletions all the time. The world, especially the midwest, was not built on a foundation of vegetarianism. It's substitute for me or you won't get my custom. You can certainly guess what most restaurants would say to that choice.

I don't think there is anything strange about "could you hold the cheese". A lot of people just don't like it, are on extremely low cal diets, don't care for a certain ingredient, and so on. I say let them wonder.

I did throw an outright wobbly in Costco in Torrance once. Very obnoxious person (Gwyn and I disputed whether this was a male or a female). There was some sample or other and I asked if it had meat in it. Person replies no. I try it and can taste immediately that there is a chicken product in it, and I come to find out it had been prepared with chicken broth. I told Costco worker that it had chicken broth in it and worker replied "That's not meat to me!" I did not want to complain on vegetarian grounds - because although I could get sick from chicken broth and it really grosses me out, it did not have enough heft for my taste. So, I told the manager "I am in kidney failure! I need to follow a low protein diet! I did not ask just out of curiosity!" He said he would talk to him/her. Since I never mention my medical problems to anyone without demanding some sort of right to know, Gwyn was floored. I think the manager must have thought that this was Gwyn's first knowledge of this health issue.

MM, hope I'm not prying, but did I miss something? I thought someone did take the hint. Is your doctor no longer getting tested?
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MooseMom
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 01:49:31 PM »

Of course you are right, Cariad, no one needs an explanation but I feel compelled to give one.  And you are right in that loads of people have all sorts of dietary restrictions and/or preferences.  I'll get over it.  I just need to be more assertive. ::)

As for my doctor getting tested, I don't know if she actually IS going to get tested or not.  I saw her for my annual appt and happened to mention my kidney problem (she asked about my overall health), and she said that she'd give me a kidney, etc as I previously posted.  She explained that she'd talk to her husband about it (they have two young kids), and she'd have to see about taking off from her practice.  So I emailed her my coordinator's details and just left it at that.  I don't know this doctor personally, so I don't feel comfortable pursuing this from my end.  I don't want to be pushy or needy, and I'm thinking/hoping/assuming that if this is something she wants to do, either she or my coordinator will advise me accordingly.  If I don't hear anything at all, then I suppose that she and her husband have decided that this is not the right thing for them.  Is there something else you think I should be doing?  This is new territory for me...
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
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