Navigating the 1st Date with IBS

Hello FODMAPers and Friends. This post is for those of you that are single and navigating the dating scene with IBS.

Did you just make a date on Bumble, Tinder, Match.com? Or perhaps you are going out with a friend of a friend or blind date?  I’m guessing that you didn’t mention you’ve got IBS in your profile page. First date, second date, or third date…you may not feel comfortable being upfront about your sensitive belly or food intolerances…and you know what? That is OKAY. You can be as open or private as you want.

Dinner dates are a default date for many…and just because you may be on a limited diet, doesn’t mean you need to write off restaurants or your social life. Let’s explore some possible dinner date situations where you might need to be strategic to navigate the menu.

Possible scenarios:

Go to his/her house to hang out with a group or alone. 

Strategy:  Eat a snack before so you are not starving. Offer to bring a snack to share. How about a fun cheese plate (grapes, olives, Cheddar, rice crackers) or chips and salsa! FODY foods offers a suitable salsa sans onion and garlic.

Go to his/her house for a BBQ or dinner.

Strategy: Offer to bring something! A hearty salad that could sub in for your meal is always a good option. Check out my Spinach and Brie salad, find recipe here.    Or try my Kale, Tomato & Quinoa salad, find recipe here.

Invite him/her over for dinner.

Strategy: Cook up one of your favorite low FODMAP meals. How about Baked Shrimp Scampi? … or …. Who doesn’t love Chicken Curry? 

Going out to dinner.

Strategy: Okay, restaurant dining can get a little tricky when following the low FODMAP diet…but not impossible. Some restaurant options will be better, let’s take a look.

  • Date picks restaurant.
    • Find out the restaurant and check out the menu online to select your best option in advance.
    • Contact the restaurant and ask the chef which items are easiest to prepare without onion and garlic (the most frequent hidden ingredients in restaurants FODMAPers need to steer clear of)
    • Tell your date that you have some health reasons to avoid certain ingredients (whether you want to go into details is truly up to you.) It’s not a big deal….so try not to make it one.
  • You pick restaurant
    • Select a restaurant that has options that work for your sensitive belly.
    • Good options may include Asian style restaurants: Sushi or Pad Thai may work, Pub: go for the bunless burger and fries (ask about garlic and onion additives), or grilled salmon over salad greens (order red wine vinegar and olive oil as the dressing), Steakhouse: Grilled petit filet mignon, side salad (order vinegar and olive oil on the side), baked potato with butter. Greek restaurant: Greek salad sans onions and pita. Yay…feta cheese is low FODMAP.

And check out my  Grab and Go Passes here. This includes a memo to the Chef to help the restaurant best serve you and your sensitive tummy.

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