« Admin | Main | Well, that went down well »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This post seems to mix up two different issues in an odd way. It's one thing to be kind of nutso about your diet to the point that it inconveniences everyone (I agree that that's kind of annoying). But it is quite another to be intolerant of a diet item. My mother is gluten intolerant, as many people discover when they get older (it goes dormant through some stages of your life). Simply put, gluten will eventually kill her if she makes it part of her diet; before she knew that was the problem, she felt horrible all the time and got sicker and sicker until she insisted the doctor figure out what was wrong. To me, holding that intolerance against someone at a restaurant is like holding someone's diabetes against them. It's just not my mother's fault, and though my family is better now, they used to make things very hard on her at holidays, when really she wanted nothing more than a big slice of cake but simply couldn't have one unless she felt like going to the hospital. And they would all treat her as if she were some sort of lunatic.

Like I said, I know you didn't mean to confuse the two issues, and God help me, I do NOT want to be one of those "you've offended me!" people (you so haven't), but the use of the word intolerance here rang an alarm bell and I felt like I needed to clear up the difference. The attitude that a gluten intolerant person is just being a stick in the mud has dogged my mother for years now, and the situation is already painful enough for her as it is.

A very polite person who never wants to be the heavy, she just sort of smiles through it when someone acts like she's being a PITA at a restaurant (but she'll rarely even go anymore, as it's not worth it). She doesn't say "This will make me violently ill" because she's a private person, so she comes off looking like some Hollywood flake. I've begged her to just look the person straight in the eye and tell them, so they'll stop being an ass, but I suppose it's like when people don't want to level with rude people regarding infertility. Sometimes it's just no one's business. Even waiters are mean to her, and I want to shake them and tell them that she could wind up with an IV in her arm later that night if they aren't careful with her food.

Anyway, I'll climb off my soapbox now. :) Don't think I'm not one to roll my eyes at the latest fad diet. I just wanted to raise the possibility that for some, it really is a matter of their health, and in my opinion, that's something that needs to be respected, as it's an entirely different issue that can't be lumped with the other.

Oh, and gluten intolerance with advancing age, the kind with very serious consequences, is also quite common. Few people know this, though obviously, if you can't tell from the hijack above, I'm apparently determined to educate them on it! :)

I'm with you on that. Sensible healthy eating is great. But extreme is...extreme! And every once in a while to splurge with friends on some fattening slices of pizza is okay in my book.

I understand what you are saying Tertia and Schnozz. There are a lot of people who do have genuine food intolerances but there are also people who just ban everything that they hear is BAD! I myself have a lactose intolerance and it can be a pain for me too. Just think of all those yummy desserts I can't have ;o)

Lactose intolerance is quite common but it took me years to work out what was wrong with me. When I cut dairy from my diet it was seroiusly like some sort of miracle cure! I had been feeling nauseous and drained for about 8 years and suddenly I had loads of energy.

I don't mean to be a grump here because again I know lots of people jump an the bandwagon but just to remind you some of us are genuine.

I'm 45, and one of those horrible people with intolerances -- this after a life time of LOVING to eat EVERYTHING -- now so many things make me sick that it's damned depressing. Maybe it is a thing about being in your forties -- gah. Here's what I do, though -- I know what I can and can't eat (no dairy, limited wheat, no meat) and so I know that a pizza joint is not a good choice for me. Unless I'm willing to quietly eat a salad (which I often do), I'll simply not go, or suggest that we go eat and play somewhere else. I'm still fun -- but I'm more fun at a Japanese restaurant, or an italian restaurant where I can order sides of spinach, salad, potatoes, fish (with rice/potatoes instead of pasta).

The issue isn't the food intolerances, it's how your friends are handling them.

My mother recently cut gluten and dairy from her diet, and started taking a whole lot of naturopathic remedies. She felt great and started to lose weight, but then she felt not so great and the weight really started dropping off quickly. I was all "stop taking the herby shit and eat like a normal person and you'll be fine". But she got sicker and sicker and is currently lying in a hospital bed having had her gall bladder out yesterday!! I wonder whether the symptoms she had from eating gluten etc were masking the gall bladder problems, because seriously folks, she had like 30 gallstones in there.

My mother-in-law is restricted to basically steak and salad due to intolerances and it can be painful sometimes to eat out with her, but she has gone from a really cranky, bitchy, tired, and overwrought person to someone much happier and calmer now that she is not plagued by anxiety and headaches caused by food allergies.

Both my Mum and MIL though will have a bite of something "forbidden" if they feel like it, or there is nothing else on offer. They know they will pay for it the next day, but not seriously. It is a totally different story with someone who has such a serious intolerance that they can get really, really sick if they don't stick to their diet.

It is annoying when someone won't eat something because of some freaky Hollywood diet fad thing they're on, or cos they're convinced something will give them cancer in 50 years' time. My DH has gone carb free at the moment for sports training and it's driving me nuts! But serious intolerances definitely need to be respected.

Ah, I can totally sympathize! One of my friends has legitimate medical reasons why she can't eat dairy, wheat or sugar, mental reasons why she can't eat fat, and financial reasons why she's always loathe to spend money! I should be more sympathetic and I try, but it definitely cuts down on the fun of going out to eat! We go out for sushi a lot...

My opinion (and I'm an asshole) is that unless you have some kind of intolerance to the substance (and I cook for a diabetic, a lactose intolerant and a gluten intolerant), eliminating entire food genres is just insane. And I think true vegans are really, really WEIRD.

Moderation is the key, in my opinion. Cut down on bread, or red meat, or dairy to be healthier, hey, good for you! But eliminating other than to overcome a sensitivity, allergy or intolerance?

Have a slice of pizza once in awhile. Have a nice little steak sometimes. Enjoy your garlic bread on occasion. Life is too damn short to obsess that much over something as essential and constant as food.

Hi Tertia,

I say YAY to pizza, burgers, chips, steak with mushroom sauce, cocktails, chocolate brownies, biscuits, ice cream and apple pie.

But I guess if I was fat I would stick to carrot sticks, and I understand people wanting to go on a health kick if they were feeling like slugs.

But I do find it weird that everyone these days has some kind of bloody allergy. I don't know - they just don't seem to make people like they used to.

By the way Tertia, sorry I've andandoned you for the last six months, I've been very busy with work and getting married. I promise I'll check in every now and then from now on, whenever I have a spare minute.

We live in South Louisiana and some one of our friends' boyfriends was allergic to rice and all seafood with shells.

He really wanted to try some cajun food, but without rice, I couldn't even make a gumbo! I really felt bad for him, all the good food he misses out on!

Wait till 40! Maybe you will be the exception or choose to eat stuff regardless of the effect on your body. It sucks. I have friends who have had to give up wine, soda, meat, eating after 4. Another now develops a rash from anything with perfume. On top of all that your skin starts to act totally different than it has for all of your adult life. This on top of wrinkles. And my stomach. Don't get me started on my stomach. Believe me, I would love to look the way you did in the pictures you posted with the kids the other day.
On the plus side (and maybe us 40-somethings feel this way because we need something positive), it's a great time in life. More money, career established, adventure looms, feel great about who I am and know more of what I want.
While I don't like to inconvenience people, when I'm out with friends, I at least want a place with healthy options. Maybe I should look for their blogs. : )
Love your bowdy blog. Love it.

Shit - then I go and spell bawdy bowdy. Must have been all the body conscience talk.

Love your bawdy blog!

Well, I'm over 40 and say bring on the wine (...and cheese...)!

Seriously though, what these friends should have done (especially if they have a medical reason to avoid certain foods) is to find out what is served at the restaurant IN ADVANCE and make a decision then IN ADVANCE on what (or whether) to eat at that particular restaurant rather than to inconvenience the other people at the table. I'm talking simple courtesy here, people.

If they were only avoiding certain foods because it was the 'diet du jour' then screw 'em, bring the food for the rest of the table and leave 'em to sit there and drink their expensive bottled water and eat some bark and twigs. Assholes!

I was a horrible bore last year when I was diagnosed with diabetes. No I eat a bit of everything when with other people, even the deserts. I just try to make up for it by drinking more water. The MAIN reason why I'm such a pathetic diabetic is because I hated being the major BORE.

What Shnozz said. I have celiac disease, also know as gluten intolerance. My mother has it too, it runs in the family, and it almost killed her before she found out that her diverticulitis was caused by complications from it. Thank God she was tested, because then the whole family was tested and mine came up positive too. Celiac and infertility are linked, as it turns out, and the IVF I did after stopping gluten worked. I felt like crap my whole life until I stopped gluten, and if I had kept eating it, I would have considerably shortened my life expectancy. Sorry, Tertia, I’ve loved your blog for ages and you’re usually very sensitive to other people’s suffering, but people don’t have allergies/intolerances to inconvenience you. Do you think you could call up some of your usually ample empathy for this?

I hear you, Tertia!

It sounds like a pizza parlor is the wrong place for someone with food issues to eat.

My mom's just started on the Mediterranean Diet, which REQUIRES that she drink red wine with her meals. Finally, she's found a health kick that makes her MORE fun to dine with!


I hear you. On the intolerences, I can't eat fish without tossing my cookies, so I avoid fish like the plauge, but I will still go out with others. I always scan the menu and if I have 3 choices instead of 23, so beit.

If it is all about health, well, you can eat the best foods in the world, but it won't stop that truck that lost its brakes....

Amen sister. Just amen.

We would have a good time at dinner consuming large amounts of wine, white bread dipped in olive oil, and yellow pasta bathed in meat sauce, creamy mozzarella, and freshly grated parm.

I believe many people do have true intolerances and allergies and other medically-indicated dietary restrictions. I'm known to avoid wine when my migraines are acting up. I also believe some other people are making it up for attention. I know one personally.

SpaceMom, I'm with you on the fish. And I live near a costal area. Every trip to the beach, we go to a seafood place.

"Why are you getting a chicken sandwich?"
"Oh, I don't like fish."
"But we're at the beach."

So? Am I supposed to like fish better 2 hours away from home than I do at home?

Anyways, I agree with the fad diets, it can be obnoxious. If someone has a physical intolerance, however, it's not their fault. Most people with chronic illness (diabetes, etc) or allergies are used to quickly finding something, though....

Far more irritating -- someone who is just "a picky eater." My MIL (whom I love very much, please understand) is impossible to eat with. She laughingly says, "I'm a picky eater," ha ha ha and will seriously eat nothing but a hamburger or chicken strips if you go out to eat. Our family dinners with DH's side of the family can only take place at Applebee's. F***ing ridiculous.

You should see her at my Thanksgiving table. She eats a tiny slice of turkey and some dry mashed potatoes and says, "I have a sensitive palate."

Whatever! My mother calls it being rude.

I'm pretty sure that Tertia is not being insensitive about people with food intolerances/allergies, rather she is irritated with friends who are hopping on the latest diet fads and making everyone else inconvenienced. I think it was just the wording she used that has a few people's knickers in a knot. It sounds more like her friends are of the 'fad' variety than the genuine intolerence/allergy (unless they have aquired the intolerence with age and just haven't told anyone).

And I know of whicih I speak, although on a tiny scale compared to some of you. I'm allergic to walnuts (yes, only walnuts), and it seems that every restaurant, while offering gluten-free this and lactose-free that alternatives, still manages to stuff every dessert with walnuts, despite the nut allergies that are abounding. I haven't eaten a dessert at a church function in years because the old ladies are trying to do me in (just kidding, I haven't told any of them about it. I'd hardly make them stop baking the way they have been baking for the past 60 years just so I could have a taste. I just go without instead, unless they are trying to force it on me, at which point I just simply say I'm allergic.)

It seems to me that Tertia's friends (esp. the vegan one) are so caught up in their diets that they have forgotten how to be polite in company or when out for dinner. They need to do research ahead of time, suggest a restaurant they can find something to eat at, carry a pamphlet with what they cannot eat that they can give to the kitchen staff (woman I know with celiac's does that, as well as call ahead, and always manages to eat a nice meal with others in a timely fashion). Basically they are putting their dietary needs ahead of their company, instead of working it out ahead of time so that everyone can enjoy a meal and each other.

It is one thing to have intolerences/allergies, it is another to make everyone ill at ease and hungry because of them.

The should have suggested a diffrent resturant.
I am also lactose intolerant, very big pain in the ass... HOWEVER I will find something on the damn menu. If all else fails get a damn salad!

Ok i'm done

My husband and I are fun to eat out with. He is allergic to several kinds of fruit and nuts(the kind of allergic where he will have a violent anaphalactic reaction and end up in the hospital so talk about no fun), I one of those "really, really weird" vegans Wookie mentioned up there. Actually I'm not that weird at all but that is the perception of us so I understand. Usually we try to pick the restaurant because we know where we can eat and have lots of choices. Luckily we are in LA where no request is a weird request. "I'll have that chicken salad without the chicken" or "I'll have the sandwich without the bread" is heard regularly out here.

I know it is annoying for people which is why we usually suggest a backyard bbq over our house or like I said, a trip to one of our regular spots where we have lots of choices and can be as low key as possible because we have already quizzed up the chefs and know what is okay for us. It's annoying but it matters a lot to us. Me for moral/ethical reasons and my husband for health reasons. But I get it. We are definitely not the most fun dinner companions during ordering. But once the food (assuming they didn't accidentaly slip peanuts in my husband's food) we are actually pretty fun.

Well, there are vegans and there are Vegans. I was at a gala awards dinner last fall on my own as my hubby had to go out of town, and was invited by a good friend to sit at a table with him and some of his colleagues. There were two vegetarians at the table -- one was a vegan and the other was a Vegan with gluten issues. Now, the vegan had called the facility ahead and arranged for a meal that fit her requirements, and all went smoothly. The Vegan didn't. He wound up having to make the serving staff take back his dinner in exchange for another, then when it turned out to be pasta, he threw a fit and followed the poor woman back to the kitchen where he finally found something edible. He had his main course about the point where the rest of us were served dessert and bitched loudly about the service the whole time. I can honestly say I will never, unless circumstances are beyond my control, eat with this person again.

I have a friend with massive food allergies. She manages them as best she can, and sometimes her options in restaurants are limited. However, she makes the best of it with extreme grace and no fuss. Fussing's just rude, whether your reasons are medical or aesthetic.

I'm over 40 and I'm a dedicated omnivore. I'll eat nearly anything at least once. Bring on the cheese, the wine, the cream and butter! Food is life! Embrace it!


You are very lucky to be able to eat whatever you want and I truly hope a day doesn't come where you can't. But if that time does come for you, I hope others are more tolerant for you then what you've shown here.

About 7 years ago my healthier then a horse Husband started to have health problems. In the matter of a year his body broke down completely and he was allergic to so many things, both food and environment.

He body was covered in eczema and his sinuses filled with polyps. He ended up having 2 operations in 2 years to remove them. The 2nd operation was very serious, there were so many (huge) polyps and he lost so much blood that they called for his blood type to do a transfusion.
The 2nd operation came with an even bigger risk then the first. There was a chance that the blood-brain barrier could be compromised.

Fast forward a couple of years and my Husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. There is a very good chance that it was the breech of the blood/brain barrier that caused this. All of this has made us hyper aware of food and the effect it has on the body. In my world now, food is viewed as medicine.

Our diet makes most people cringe and we are harassed/bullied because of it. Those who bother to ask why we eat this way seem to have the same attitude as you, that we are being trendy. The uphill battle we've faced as a result of the "oh come on, it won't kill you, live a little" attitude wears me out at times.

Both my Husband and I are free to choose what we eat, as are you. Eating gluten, etc, maybe won't kill him immediately but it will severely diminish the quality of his life. This isn't about it being fashionable to have food intolerance's and this attitude is really misguided. I'm not sure why it even bothers people who claim to be happy with being able to eat whatever they want so much? Status quo maybe? I've noticed that when I don't do what other people expect as normal it throws them for a loop.

If all this makes me "no fun" then so be it. I guess everyones idea of fun is different. I think trying my best to live a good quality of life and making healthy choices is way more fun then sitting in a hospital waiting room any day.

Totally agree with you T! I live in Los Angeles....you can imagine what kinds of "hot" trends happen here....a few months ago there were a ton of OXYGEN bars. Yes, you could buy some fresh oxygen for $25 bucks per five minutes of breathing through a tube. INSANE! I had a friend who thought it was a great thing, said her skin never looked better....eyesight better, faster metabolism....(rolling my eyes)

The latest food trend....I can't keep up....no carbs was big recently....My philosophy is all things in moderation! Works. :)


Of course there is a difference between "can't eat something" and "chooses not to eat something." Being kosher presents its own tricky problems, because while I "can't" eat certain things, some people think it's because I "choose" not to eat certain things, and boy do I get crap.

However, I will pretty much go anywhere to be with friends if they aren't willing to go to a kosher restaurant (I can't blame them, the food is usually more expensive, and you can't get a bacon cheeseburger anywhere), I just won't eat. And that's my deal, not theirs. And I try my hardest not to inconvenience anyone with my restrictions.

I like to think I would behave like that regardless of my dietary restrictions, whether they were health-imposed, self-imposed or God-imposed.

(Maybe there might be an exception if you're on a really strict diet, and out with a really good friend - it wouldn't be so cool if she ordered a decadent chocolate cake for dessert right in front of you.)

Tertia - I read your comment after this post - you have nothing to apologize for! It is one thing to have issues with food, it is an entirely different issue when you interfere with others because of it. Either take your own crackers or order a salad, but don't hold up everyone else's meal because of you.

Muah! Love you!

My best friend has become a vegan over the past year and it is a royal pain in the ass!! Not because she chooses to eat/not eat what she wants, but because she feels the need to comment every time certain foods, like dairy, are brought up. She has even handed out articles on dairys evils to some of us. Of course, when I tried to get her to read an article, in a health food magazine, written by a certified *calcium expert*, she refused b/c the *expert* promoted dairy consumption. She is convinced that dairy not only has no worth, but that it is actually detrimental to our health. Well, sorry, but Ive done research on dairy, too, honey, and many of the studies are still in favor of dairy. *sigh* Do what you want to do, but stop lecturing me on dairy everytime I eat it when Ive done plenty of reading on the subject!!

I understand both sides...

I get really annoyed with my mother, who for 40 years now has been vacillating between butter and margarine. She loves butter, but then will read about a study that butter will kill you, so she loudly suffers with margarine for a few years, until she reads about a study about how margarine will kill you, and then the margarine goes in the trash and she blissfully buys butter again. Until she hears about another study...

I, on the other hand, have an onion and garlic tolerance which I find very annoying, because I love the taste, and it's not life threatening, only gives me a very bad headache and tummy ache. It has also gotten worse as I've gotten older. I find myself being very apologetic in restaurants, because it's not as serious as a peanut or a gluten allergy. But, you know, I really don't want to get a rotten headache, please, please, don't sneak onions into my meal, mr. chef.

Actually, I have no real opinion here, except sympathy for people who have food intolerances, as I love my food!

But not long ago I listened to one of my friends bang on for over an hour about how bad dairy is, how it just poisons your system, and I struggled to contain my extreme boredom and scepticism - and then he lit up a cigarette!!!


I am 26 years old, and for the entirety of my life I have been allergic to many many foods, chocolate, wheat, rye, red wine and many cheeses included. I am also allergic to beef, lamb, salmon and crayfish. Not to mention several fruits and vegetables.

You know what- you think it sucks to eat with someone like us? Well it sucks to be us too.

Anyone who just tells people to get off the bandwagon when they have no idea of what their diet choices are for are being insensitive and disrespectful.

And telling someone with allergies/intolerances to "live a little, eat what you want and die five years earlier" is like telling an infertile to "get over it and live their life anyway without kids". Its a quality of life issue for both sides.

I have problems with gluten. Although I'm not celiac thank goodness, it does makes me violently ill. Thankfully I can eat small amounts i.e. a bit of soya sauce in Chinese food but I definitely can't eat bread, pasta etc. Unfortunately I've always been a total carb freak, I used to live for bread and it was hell to give up although there are a lot of good alternatives on the market these days. I simply don't understand people who would choose to eat a gluten free diet because it's just so hard - gluten is in just about everything it seems. I would absolutely LOVE to be able to eat wheat again, but the exhaustion, pain and violent diarrhoea mean that it's just not worth it. I can get away with a little bit of rye, oats and barley and I will sometimes eat them when I'm out if there's no gluten free option. They still make me a bit rough but it's nowhere near as dramatic.

That said, I'm not at all offended by your opinion on this, Tertia. My partner's step-mom is a ridiculously faddy eater who needs to know the exact make up of every single dish (without any good reason afaik) and eating out with her makes me want to scream. I try not to make a fuss about my food intolerances and I find people who do fuss about food to be extremely annoying. Unless you're dealing with a life threatening allergy situation then there's no reason for making such a huge fuss. Of course, we should all respect other people's preferences/intolerances/issues but there's also a middle ground - the guest has as much responsibility to make things easy as the host does. If I'm staying at someone's house then I'll take food that I can eat, if I'm going out and there aren't many food options then I'll take the least disastrous.

I think that even if you do decide to cut a certain ingredient out of your diet (like sugar, or even gluten) you have to be flexible- it's one thing to do it at home but when you go out you should try to be respectful of the people with you and not make a big deal about it. Besides, everyone can eat a garden salad and they serve those everywhere! Why didn't your friends just get a salad? They sound like pains in the you-know-what!

Also, as an adult, people should learn to plan ahead- like if you know you can't have gluten or cheese you a) shouldn't go to a pizza place and b) should find something acceptable on the menu, eat it, and maybe bring a little snack that you can eat in the car of something that you CAN eat.

Or the best option? If you have a restricted diet, invite your friends to your home for dinner and prepare something yummy that everyone can enjoy!

ooh, yeah, it seems to hit women of a certain age and every week it's something new to add to the list. I'd be a lot more empathetic towards my coworker who can't eat chicken, corn, or wheat, if she didn't, when the mood hit her, eat all those things. It's only when we're trying to decide where to go for lunch, or ordering chinese food to share, that her "allergies" kick in. (One of the symptoms of her allergy to wheat is that when she eats anything that contains wheat she wants more of it. No rash, no breathing difficulties, no diarrhea, just wanting more of it)

Once she ate some soup that I'd brought in for my lunch and then asked if it was made with chicken broth. I said no, because I thought I'd used a vegetarian broth, but that night I remembered I had used chicken broth. But she was fine; if I'd told her it had contained chicken, it probably would have kept her up all night.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Medsitters Au pairs

More Ads

| More


Bloggy Stuff

  • Living and Loving

  • SA Blog Awards Badge

  • Featured in Alltop

  • Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

  • RSS Feed
Blog powered by Typepad
This is the Reviews Design