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This weekend my husband and I were visiting his mother (who is 78). She also has MS and had no idea about OMS until I found it two years ago. She doesn't follow it but is interested and has changed her diet some. The disease for her is not very active, thank goodness.

She loves to go out to eat. She lives in a conservative smaller town in South Dakota. Today she wanted to go eat out for lunch. I usually take the time to research restaurants that are ok before we go. I did not have time today. The first place we went had a buffet. Mostly meat, all fried, no options for the anything else. Fortunately my husband is supportive and we got up and left amid the looks of others. My mother-in-law uses a walker and so I felt a bit bad asking her to get up and leave. I would have had a glass of water and watched them eat if need be!

The next place we went was very good about serving me food not exactly on the menu. I'm sure the first place did not know what "vegan" meant!
It can be a real pain. Eating out with friends used to be an absolute pleasure. Now I don't go out with them that often cos I feel I end up always choosing the restaurant and i know it wouldn't have been the place they would have chosen. It's not them, I just feel bad about it personally.
The other thing is that I liked going away to more rural locations and as you say they just don't have the choice of towns/cities.
So then the choice is to spend my limited time of in a location i don't enjoy and find something to eat or lug food about all day on long walks.
Have to keep reminding self that without oms i might not have the long walks!!
Most memorable meals out - small heap of boiled rice and a couple of leaves of limp lettuce; two small chunks of avocado with six prawns and one slice of tomato(at full price, but beggars can't be choosers); and one fantastic day where i was sure there'd be somewhere to get something to eat and didn't take anything (such a dope, i hadn't even replaced my naked bar in my bag), and in seven hours only had a small bowl of fruit(apparently they couldn't give me more cos it would throw their quantities out for the day :D ) a cup of black coffee and several gallons of water to try to fill up - that didn't help the peeing problems, poor bushes :D .
Hmmm...dining out...that's a tough one. I agree with Lolly that while traveling it can be very difficult (especially when you have to eat in a restaurant for every meal). Nonetheless, I do eat out quite often and have figured out some strategies as I prefer not to go hungry...

I used to try to order from the menu, but now I rarely do. At home, I am pretty much vegan, but in restaurants it helps to be able to eat sea food: shrimp cocktail, plain grilled or (even better) steamed fish, sushi of course. I also always order a salad (no cheese, no croutons, no dressing or pretty much anything else they want to put on it) and loads of plain steamed vegetables. I never get pasta in a restaurant because even the most basic tomato sauce has loads of heated oil and probably butter and even parmesan a lot of the time. No bread because who know what they put in that. A glass of wine helps. I just keep repeating to the waiter like a mantra "no butter, no butter, no butter"...

To my husband's great embarrassment, I will often bring my flaxseed oil in a mini bottle in my purse (only if I can keep it cool). I love flaxseed oil, and it makes the barest salad bearable. I just add balsamic vinegar at the restaurant. Of course, you can't do this in good company :). Also, even worse, if I know I am going someplace that won't customize anything for me, then I carry with me (in my very big purse) a Ziploc bag of chickpeas that I can sneak onto my salad when no one is looking...I am a big baby and get very cranky if I get hungry! I'm not joking, I have done this in very fancy restaurants. Does anyone else do this kind of thing or is it just me?

Oh yes, and just to be 100% sure I won't starve to death, I often eat a plain sweet potato right before I leave for the restaurant :)
You're not alone. I USUALLY have a stash of things in either my car or my bag. The prob starts when we're off on a long hike and i don't want to carry too much stuff. Am already laden with waterproofs, extra socks, water, hat, waking pole, maps etc.
The amount of places i assume will be able to do steamed veg only to find out 'we prepare in advance' and that it's coated in butter. Some will be helpful, others not so much.
The long day without sustenance was a village we'd walked through and eaten at before. This time one eatery had closed down, the shop was shut(Sunday) and the other managed to give me the small bowl of fruit grudgingly cos it was 'reserved for garnish'. At the end of the day i was wondering if my companions would mind if I munched on a few of their extremities :). Lesson learnt; i try not to assume that because I've been able to eat at one place before I'll be able to do so again and NEVER EVER forget my naked bars!!
Apologies. Just realised I'd almost ignored your question.
Have been known to slide a tub of wholewheat pasta onto my salad.
Can't stand flax oil so try not to ruin the taste of my food with it, therefore my secret stash is some wholegrain mustard to add to jacket spuds etc.
I carry extra salt and pepper sachets too and herbal teas.
Have never taken chickpeas with me though.
I sometimes wonder if someone stole my handbag what the hell they'd think when they opened it.
On the eating out or not, I tried it the other day, we went into 3 restaurants, the first two had everything prepared in advance and were not willing to help, the third had fried fish and salads on the menu, they steamed me a dozen shrimp and I had a salad, sans cheese, croutons, they had a nice nutty cold pressed olive oil that I used as a dressing. I really love eating out, but it can be a pita, so if I'm close enough to home, I'd rather just head in where I know there is plenty of food in the fridge / freezer.

lolly, if you are walking with a partner and one of you carries a knapsack or day pack, you can always load the sack with all the extra's you need, and then make your partner carry it!

I always carry an emergency supply, and sometimes, (well most of the time), I carry an emergency emergency supply of Almonds, I have a microziplock that I can get 12 Almonds in, it's not enough to carry me on an overnight, but it's always proved enough to hold off the wolves.
Be well, live long and prosper!
Thanks for all of the hints about eating out. The place we went did come up with a nice plate of steamed potatoes and veggies. I had to point out to the server that these veggies were parts of other plates. I did dump my salad with no dressing onto the veggies to eat. I usually take flaxseed oil with me and put in on whatever I order. Thankfully I really like it.

Getting hungry is the worst! I never cheat but I do get cranky!
I think the key to successful eating out is planning and preparation. We’d hate to miss out on the opportunities to dine out – it’s such a social aspect of life.
Here are a few key tips we’ve personally found helpful in our 5 years following OMS (and still dining out) –
1. In our home area we choose higher quality restaurants and become regulars (well, within reason). We don’t eat out as much as we used to but the few restaurants we go to are a little more expensive, but have been brilliant at making food adaptations.

2. Let them know in advance. We always phone up any restaurant beforehand to let them know (or remind them) about dietary restrictions.

3. Research the menu online beforehand if possible – then you’re not caught out having to flounder about deciding what to choose – you at least have a good idea before you go.

4. We’re always aware that even with the best restaurants, and best choices things might not be 100% OMS BUT we are 100% OMS at home so actually don’t beat ourselves up about it on the odd occasion and accept possible mistakes being made – just enjoy it and make it as stress free and pleasurable as possible. If fact we often give our systems a boost before and after eating out e.g. an extra goodness packed juice or two to help compensate and boost the system a bit / less saturated fat than normal on the day before and after dining out etc.

5. We often treat ourselves to a very nice bottle of wine - often compensates for missing out dessert :).

The Swank MS Diet and Lifestyle Page gave this list of ideas around eating out a few days ago – some good ideas here too. I’ve eliminated / altered the ones that don’t apply to OMS -

Eating out can be handled very effectively once you have mastered the basic concepts of the diet. More restaurants are adapting their menus to accommodate people on restrictive diets. We suggest however, that you eat out no more than once a week because of the variable and often high amount of hidden fat in all restaurant food. The following general rules may help you select the more appropriate restaurants and food on their menu.

1. Let your waiter know that you are on a restrictive diet and that you must avoid dairy products and saturated fats.

2. All fast-food restaurants are forbidden eating establishments. The high fat content of their food cannot be tolerated.

3. Moderately expensive restaurants are usually more accommodating and able to make adjustments to your needs. Lower priced restaurants are not able to deviate from the menu and are generally not helpful.

4. Avoid gourmet-type restaurants because of the excessive use of butter, cream and cheese.

5. Avoid Mexican restaurants because of the use of bacon, fat and lard in the preparation of the food.

6. Oriental food can be eaten if you avoid all deep-fried or fried foods. Order only the vegetable and fish dishes.

7. All deep fried foods are forbidden.

8. Request that your fish be broiled, poached, or baked without butter. NEVER FRIED.

9. Request that your vegetables be steamed without butter.

10. Do not order sauteed vegetables or fish. Usually they are sauteed in (animal) hard fat.

11. Do not use salad dressings when the oil cannot be identified. Fresh lemon juice is a good substitute.

12.Order fresh fruit, gelatin or fruit ices, all with no toppings, for dessert.

13. If there are no permissible items on the menu, order a'la carte. A shrimp or crab salad can be complemented by a baked potato and roll to satisfy your hunger.

14. Do not be afraid to make special requests of your waiter.

Hope this helps.

Kirsty
Good tips!
Here is another, dessert wine is another option if nothing available for dessert, if you are not driving of course.
Dx 1992 OMS 25-2-09
Love the way you think Kashu! :D
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