Going Out to Eat While on a Bland or Gastroparesis Diet

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99% of the time, R.J and I go out for dinner. We do this because stocking our house with groceries for the week is invariably—a dumb idea. I don’t know what I’ll be able to eat from day-to-day because of my gastroparesis, and we don’t like the same food. Period. It’s okay though, we’ve pretty much got it down as far as what we can do to make sure I always get a decent meal that won’t kill me.

Asian Food:

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There are a couple of bland menu options with Chinese food. Besides the obvious solution of miso soup or wonton soup, you can also get great noodle soups. I get this one at a restaurant called 5Spice called the “Hong Kong Dumplings and Roasted Pork Noodle Soup.”  (It may not be Kosher.)It has thin egg noodles, roasted pork and dumplings stuffed with shrimp and ground pork in tasty chicken broth.

There are also other Pho and Ramen noodle soups that are soft on sore stomachs. White rice, terriyaki chicken are also a good fit if I feel like I can handle solid food.

If you’re ordering from a take-out Chinese place (New York style) stick to things on the diet menu that aren’t completely deep-fried. Request white rice, wonton soup and nothing with gelatinous sauces!

As for Sushi? I don’t care. I’m going to eat it. All of it. Watch me.

The Worst Thing You Could Order: Oily, fried wontons or deep-fried meats with spicy sauces!

Italian Food

Italian Feast

Italian is fairly easy for me, they’re sure to always have a good soup available and bread (ask for plain roles if you can’t stomach the garlic.) If I want more solid food I can get plain spaghetti with light butter and parmesan cheese. You can also add grilled chicken or shrimp to this if you’re feeling up to it. Just steer clear of heavy cream sauces, spices, and too much garlic. I know it can be tempting, but try to eat in moderation. Italian restaurants usually fill the table with a feast for the eyes, remember that it’s not your eyes that will be punching you from the inside out later on for your mistakes.

The Worst Thing you Could Order: Start off with a half dozen garlic rolls, pizza of any kind, and finish of with Crème Brule. Moron.

Greek Food

Greek_Food_Bland_Diet

Stick to pita (NO HUMMUS) and if you think you can handle meat, try one or two skewers. Skip the salads, sauces, and other meat-based dishes which are heavily seasoned with spices and oils.

The Worst Thing you Could Order: Hummus is crushed chick peas—not so easy to digest. Load up anything on the menu with Tsazki (dairy-based, raw onion combined spiced sauce—and you’re going to have a bad night.)

Indian Food

Indian_Food_Bland_Diet

Are you insane? If you have any sort of GI problems AT ALL you should need eat Indian Food. Okay? Just wanted to clarifying what a bad choice this is…but hey, we all do stupid things. Stick to the plainest Naan you can find. Even the rice has spices that are probably too much for a sensitive stomach. Lots of water.

The Worst Thing you Could Order: Anything you can’t pronounce.

Mexican, Spanish or Cuban Food

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These restaurants are usually my worst nightmares. Even on a good day it can be difficult to find a menu option that won’t do some damage. Cuban restaurants tend to be easier, and often more heavy on bread options like sandwiches (or literally just baskets of Cuban bread.) I can also stomach plantains so I might get a side of that and their sticky white rice. When it comes to a full-on taco place, my choices are severely limited . I know of one restaurant that makes a “Mexican Chicken Soup” which is mild, with big hunks of avocado, potatoes, and steamed carrots in it. It’s actually one of the most filling meals I can eat when I’m on a soup-only diet. You’re probably best off asking for something made to order, unspiced chicken on a plain tortilla. Not the brightest meal, but really, what are you doing there anyways? You know better.

The Worst Thing You Could Order: Something deep fried, covered in cheese, sauce, and layered with beans. Refried beans.

What’s your go-to “safe meal” at Italian restaurants/ Mexican restaurants, Chinese restaurants, Indian restaurants, etc.?

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