Living with gestational diabetes has not been easy. Going out to restaurants and trying new foods is a large part of my life. Just shortly after receiving my dreaded diagnosis, my husband decided he wanted to have his birthday at a local pizza place. I knew this would be the first of many occasions where I would be going out to a place not so diabetic friendly. Knowing my social life often revolves around food, I had to figure out how to eat out and stick to my diabetic diet.
Here are my strategies for eating out with gestational diabetes:
1. Plan ahead
- If you are going out with friends or family, ask about where you will be eating. This is key to becoming familiar with the menu before you get there.
- Know a few restaurants that have a large menu, including items you can eat. If it is your turn to pick a restaurant you know the place will have something you can eat.
- Look at the nutritional info online, if it is available. I've been surprised about the amount of carbohydrates and calories that were in a dish. Online nutritional information for a restaurant has saved me from myself more than once.
2. My tips for ordering
- If you are not sure what is in the dish, just ask. It's better to ask a couple of questions than feel super yucky later.
- Look for items that are grilled and not breaded.
- Chose foods you really like, skip those that are just okay. I'll have a piece of bread from the bread basket if it is really good, but then I'll skip the mashed potatoes.
- Be mindful of what you order to drink. Flavored tea and other drinks can add a lot of sugar to your meal.
3. My tips for making going out enjoyable for all
- Focus on who you're spending time with and enjoy them.
- Don't make a huge stink about your diet restrictions when out with friends and family. Instead of complaining about my husband picking a pizza place for his birthday, I just found what I could eat on the menu. It was his special day, not my day to make a fuss about my diabetes.
- Find restaurants with a big menu when suggesting places to go out. It is a win-win for everybody.
If you missed my first post about being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you can read about it here. Feel free to ask me questions about living with gestational diabetes. I'll respond to your comment or even write a post to answer your question.