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What are some of your tips for ordering at a restaurant post-transplant?

ChefAmandaTransplant Patient
Updated May 28, 2021 in General

Do you explain your dietary restrictions to the server?

I feel like it takes me forever to order off a menu. Over the years, I began to feel more comfortable with asking for substitutions so I can create a dish within my restrictions. Other times I have asked for half the dish to plated and the other half to be packed to-go and when I know a restaurant can be heavy with the salt, I have asked for them not to season the dish so I can control how salty it is.

I am curious on how others handle ordering off a restaurant menu post-transplant.

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  • KarinTransplant Patient

    This is my specialty!! I have been married and dated a restaurateur for the past 8 years and even before that, restaurants were part of my almost daily life in nyc. I love going to a restaurant - the atmosphere - the social connectivity and of course the food and the drinks . I have been careful w my orders even before my transplant since I was a type 1 diabetic but post transplant things got even more interesting. Although I don’t have to time my dosing to my food and count the carbs anymore - I make sure to avoid garlic,raw veggies and raw fish and anything spicy. Leafy greens that aren’t cooked well don’t do well either and cheesy or overly fatty sauces/soups are bad. Otherwise I end up in the bathroom w explosive diarrhea or vomiting !! Excuse the graphical language but there have been so many times when I have had to go to the bathroom ten-12 times in the restaurant if I don’t make sure my orders are ok. If not in the restaurant - then back home so no wonder the experience has sometimes caused more stress than I could take and I just want to stay home! Covid has helped - no more restaurants but I do miss the social connection more than the food itself ...

    so a successful evening definitely includes planning my meal / checking menus in advance, speaking to the waiter and sometimes even the kitchen - i don’t hesitate to ask for the world and sometimes I just settle for some bread and butter...

    April 21, 2021
  • JeanmarieTransplant Patient

    I definitely check the menu online to make sure they have plant-based options. If I don't see any, I will call ahead of time to ask. I also check online looking for reviews about cleanliness of a restaurant.

    Before I order I usually say, I am sorry for being picky but my nutrition is important to me because I had a transplant. I don't mind telling the server. I have found the servers become more attentive. I will also ask if certain dishes are already prepared because that will give me an idea on added salt to the dish.

    April 21, 2021
  • Sdey0522Transplant Patient

    We don't go out much these days & we do take-out from a few known places. Usually, we stay away from soups, heavy (pre-made) gravy items. Also, whenever possible, mention: less salt, less oil, no added sugar.

    For salads & sandwiches, I always ensure all sauces/dtessings/condiments are on the side. As far as cheese on sandwiches, usually Swiss works best (seems to be low in salt content).

    Happy eating!

    April 21, 2021

1 - 19 of 19 Other Answers

  • [Deleted User]Transplant Patient
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
    April 20, 2021
  • ChefAmandaTransplant Patient

    @Doublelung Oh I know all about prednisone and food. I don’t hate many things but I hate prednisone! Counting calories helped me in the past as well.

    April 21, 2021
  • ChefAmandaTransplant Patient

    @Karin Oh my... I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with bad experiences in public. I love that most restaurants have their menus online now so I can look ahead and plan.

    April 21, 2021
  • [Deleted User]Transplant Patient
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
    April 21, 2021
  • ChefAmandaTransplant Patient

    @Jeanmarie Good tips! Talking about transplants and raising awareness is always important.

    April 21, 2021
  • Denise_RTransplant Patient

    We've just started eating out again - wine country restaurants are so yummy! I have open and honest conversations with the server and if need be, the chef! I've found them always to be super accommodating. Have fun!

    April 21, 2021
  • ChefAmandaTransplant Patient

    @Denise_R I can imagine how amazing the food is there. I’m glad your able to find super accommodating places.

    April 21, 2021
  • KarinTransplant Patient

    I miss being able to think less, worry less and just go on w life as it comes

    April 21, 2021
  • [Deleted User]Transplant Patient
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
    April 21, 2021
  • ChefAmandaTransplant Patient

    @Sdey0522 Great tips! Thanks

    April 21, 2021
  • ChefAmandaTransplant Patient

    @Karin I understand what you mean. I also agree with @Doublelung we have to try our best to enjoy life as it comes.

    April 21, 2021
  • AliEm14Transplant Patient

    I feel so out of place here! Before transplant I had ridiculous dietary restrictions. I would avoid restaurants at all cost. Now going to restaurants is a sign of freedom for me. It’s a symbol of how far I’ve come. I eat pretty much whatever I want (obviously avoiding anything with grapefruit) and I’ll routinely get mocktails and dessert too. I indulge al the way. That being said I’m not a daily restraint goer - maybe once every 1-2 weeks. So when I’m there I enjoy it

    April 21, 2021
  • [Deleted User]Transplant Patient
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
    April 21, 2021
  • AliEm14Transplant Patient

    Maybe this is slightly off topic but does anyone else eat better when other people cook? Set food in front of me and I'll eat the whole thing. But when I'm left to my own devices I'll drink iced coffees and eat yogurt tubes all day. Is this a normal thing or am I just crazy?

    May 11, 2021
  • ChefAmandaTransplant Patient

    @AliEm14 Your not crazy because I’m the same way. I love cooking meals for others and I will eat the whole plate when others cook but barely eat when I’m alone. I can drink iced coffee and eat fresh fruit most days. I don’t have the same desires to make complete meals for myself.

    May 12, 2021
  • KarinTransplant Patient

    Interesting - I eat much less in Company than when I am alone! But alone I eat less exciting things! Lately my nanny has been preparing dinners for me and my daughter before she leaves and that has been fantastic for me! Nutritious meals and with my best little companion - Liv

    May 31, 2021
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