Working in an Office
Going to the office, you will be away from your kitchen all day. It is important not to rely on outside sources for lunch or snacks. On SCD, especially in the first year or so, you can get ravenously hungry, even between meals. It is important to be prepared.
You can also streamline preparations. For example, on Sunday, broil up a batch of chicken legs or thighs and refrigerate. This will provide lunches or snacks for a week. Chicken thighs are easy to carry in small baggies which also serve as a handy holder to eat with and keep your fingers clean if you eat at your desk. Hard boiled eggs work well too and as do slices of hard cheese. Nut breads, nuts, small packets of honey. Anything you can think of. Bananas carry well and satisfy. The bananas must be ripe (well speckled) so always have a few batches in the house.
When you are up to it, salads are good too.
Buy the carrot nuggets and steam a batch and chill them. They make great finger food. Steam up a batch of slices of butternut squash and chill. Those carry nicely too.
A small insulated lunch pack is very handy and most offices have refrigerators. If you need to bring your own eating utensils, a convenient way to do that is to use a set of folding flatware, the kind that is used by backpackers. The folding flatware works better than eating with the usual flimsy plastic utensils and you will project a rugged, outdoors type image.
Invest in a bunch of small snap locking plastic containers of various shapes. The snap locking type are the most leak proof. If you have to stop short during the commute by car and the containers tip over, the snap locking lids stay on and the liquids stay in. A small kitchen knife or small pocket knife may be useful to keep at the office.
</p><p>If your group goes out to a restaurant at lunch that can be trickier. You can eat at your desk and go out with the rest to be social, buying a salad there. Always check out the menu on-line before hand. If there is a particular place where you and your office buddies go to lunch all the time, take some time outside of lunch time to speak privately to the owner or the manager. Tell him or her what you would like to eat and your special needs. Do not say "digestive issues," the effective code word for that you have is "allergies." Allergies is a familiar situation that all restaurants are trained to respect.
In general, restaurants will work to accommodate repeat customers, especially if they can be prepared beforehand. Most people order the same thing for lunch all the time anyway. In general, the better quality the restaurant, the easier it is for those on the SCD diet to find things that they can eat.
</p><p>Fast food type places are close to impossible. They post their menus on line and under the heading of allergies, post the ingredients. Prepared to be disappointed. Even the broiled chicken is infused with all kinds of impermissible stuff. A good seafood place is much easier, just get grilled or broiled fish and get double vegetables instead of potatoes or starch. Watch out for fish that is baked. They usually sprinkle on bread crumbs on baked fish so you must ask them not to before hand.
Menu items may be listed as fancy to catch a patron's eye but that does not mean they have to be. When you order, do not hesitate to make requests. If they can accommodate, they will. If the vegetable of the day is glazed carrots, ask for unglazed carrots. In a good restaurants, requests are usually no problem. Waiters are used to clients with allergies.
In an Italian restaurant, substitute the vegetable and or salad for the pasta. Get the plain broiled or grilled meats. Be sure to ask whether the veal marsala is breaded.
In general, avoid dishes that are mixtures because when you are with business colleagues or clients unless you have checked the dish out beforehand. You do not want to have to get into a detailed quiz about the recipe at a business dinner. Besides, you cannot be sure if the waiter's spur of the moment answer is accurate (will he remember that there is a dash of corn starch to thicken the sauce?). It does not appear dignified if you are calling attention to yourself about the menu or holding up the whole group at the busy lunch hour when everyone is pressed for time.
The Dinner Meeting
With outside the office or after hours office events, the key is to plan ahead and be prepared to bring your own. Wendy posted - My daughter's office has dinner meetings several times a year. She checks the menu before hand and inevitably it is a casserole/ lasagne type thing she can not eat. She has a large insulated pack and reusable cold gel packs. She packs her own dinners for these meetings and also for the days when she has an evening activity after work. When questioned by your office mates, you can always say that you have allergies.
PJ posts- If I am meeting people for a business or social meal at a restaurant, I Google the menu to look for good choices ahead of time. I also arrive there early and speak to the manager about my needs. This avoids creating a distraction with special attention to me at the meal itself. I have done this for my husband's office parties. Now they know what I want ahead of time, and nobody even knows my meal is different.
Once I have a "safe" restaurant, I return to it. It is more expensive to order steak or fish, but I eat out so much less often than before SCD, I do not think it has cost more in the long run.
The All Day or Out of Town Business Conference
The all day conference is somewhat like a day in the office. Find out about the menu for lunch and snacks beforehand. Talk to the manager about lunch. It is probably safe to assume that you will have to bring your own snacks.
For overnight meetings, our fellow SCD conference goers advise that if you are staying overnight at a business conference, e-mail the manager ahead of time, and they will be glad to work with you. When you get there, meet with the manager in person. You may want to type out what you want to eat and how it is prepared. I find that "gluten free and food allergies" is the most effective way to describe us on SCD. Also, some places will put a mini fridge in the room and also allow some food storage in their kitchen for people with medical needs. Sometimes, they will give you a suite with mini fridge for a modest charge. See other tips on overnight stays under Travel.
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