Am I Expecting Too Much? | Diets, Allergies & More

Categories Featured, Food
allergies

Hey everyone, this is a little different. And I’m going to need you to stick with me here because there’s a fairly good chance this is going to be a rambling mess.  I want to have a little chat about food allergies, dietary requirements and food availability. And if you follow a certain diet or have allergies, I’d love to know your thoughts on this.  

Today’s post was inspired by a sandwich. A sandwich and a family friend’s new business to be more precise. To start, I want to be clear, this does not apply to bigger cities. I live in a very small town in northern England, this is relevant to my personal experience. 

So, businesses and sandwiches 

Those friends I was just talking about are about to take over a small restaurant and my mum was chatting to them about their menus and how they’re going to provide for dietary requirements. They were hesitant. They’re not big on the idea of providing vegan options, don’t really have a lot in mind for gluten free and the vegetarian offerings are looking limited too. They were under the assumption they just weren’t going to get people through the door who wanted that stuff.  It’s your business, you have a choice whether to be inclusive or not.  

But a few days after I heard about their plans, I was making this meal above. I apologise for the not so photogenic sandwich but it wasn’t exactly a planned photo. It got me thinking about how limited some of the options are when you eat out with dietary requirements. Now, if you’re in a restaurant, something can usually be thrown together even if the menu isn’t inclusive. I’m talking more about the grab and go kind of situations. Pop into a coffee shop and see what you can get. In my situation, that’s usually nothing. Or there’s one option and it looks like it’s been sat on that shelf all week. Most chain coffee shops etc don’t provide much in the way of free from options (other than Pret, but we don’t have Pret here). 

Choices? Allergies? 

This isn’t a poor me pity party, more an observation. I know when I’m in London, this isn’t an issue, there’s a lot of options just about everywhere. Where I am, this is a big issue. If I’m honest, I dread eating somewhere. The stress of trying to put a meal together often isn’t worth the dish I’m served. Even in supermarkets. Sure, there’s a free from section. But things like that Wicked Kitchen line in Tesco? I don’t have that, and I doubt I ever will. New non-dairy launches or new products flavours? I might get that but give me a few months, because it certainly isn’t coming anytime soon. Last time I went to London, I came back with about 20 Nakd bars in my handbag because my favourite flavour isn’t sold anywhere here.  

In a way this works out better, the lack of an expansive free from section ultimately means you have less processed junk available. But sometimes you just want to have the option of trying something even if you’re not planning on making it a regular feature in your diet.  

For me, this is a choice, I made the decision to change my diet and eat the way I do. I can moan about this all I want, but the truth is I don’t have to eat this way. A lot of you do though. In terms of allergies, you don’t exactly have a lot of options. A lot of people have allergies. And a lot more have digestion related issues and illnesses that mean they can’t eat certain things. 

What should you expect?  

Am I asking for too much by wanting a couple of options on a menu? I don’t need a whole section or a separate menu, but I’d like two or three options just so I know I can go out and eat something without having to stress about whether the menu is online before I go out. Am I the only one who does this or are you in a similar situation?  

I’d love to know what you guys think about this. Should retailers and restaurants provide options for allergy sufferers? And if you have allergies or eat a restricted diet for any reason, do you have issues like this?  

And if you live in a city and can’t relate to any of this at all, thanks for making it this far. 

The sandwich in the photo is roasted bell peppers, chili and garlic roasted chickpeas, sundried tomatoes and rocket with a little tomato pesto in a Schar gluten free panini roll, in case anyone was wondering.  

Until next time, 

Sophie 

 

To view my free from recipes, click here.



19 thoughts on “Am I Expecting Too Much? | Diets, Allergies & More

  1. Err no you are not expecting too much. The panini looks delicious. I appreciate it can be tough catering for all dietary requirements but why is it still so hit and miss. Moan over sorry. P.S I want that for my dinner now.

  2. I don’t have any allergies or any dietary requirements so eating and buying anything from anywhere isn’t an issue. I’ve seen that supermarkets have started introducing a free-from range but that’s usually only in the bigger stores, little local ones dont have anything! I definitely think more should be done so that everywhere has some choices for people who cant eat certain things, you’d think that they would but choice can be so limited and even though it doesnt affect me, it bothers me a lot!

  3. You’re definitely not expecting too much! I can’t believe you can’t get your favourite flavour of NAKD bar where you live?! Actually, I live in the City Centre where we only have Express stores that stock a limited range, so I can believe you can’t get hold of it because I can never get anything I want in my local stores..

  4. I personally don’t have any food allergies (think I’d cry if I was ever allergic to dairy as cheese is life for me haha) but I think that in today’s world, businesses can’t afford not to offer alternatives and different options. People more than ever are conscious of the choices they make with food and people shouldn’t be restricted due to allergies.

  5. I’m sorry you are so limited where you live. That must be incredibly frustrating! I definitely take things like that for granted. You aren’t expecting too much at all! Also, that sandwich looks absolutely delicious!!

  6. Nothing against your friends at all but I think it’s really something that needs to be thought about when opening a food establishment, especially in the middle of such a huge vegan movement! I’ve tried all sorts of diets as I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease but the worst was when I was dairy and gluten free at the same time, going out to eat just wasn’t worth it. Even in the one place I found that was known for having lots of GF options, they still got a bit arsey when I asked for it. I literally asked for plain chicken breast in a gluten free bun once and they got annoyed as apparently their chicken is “usually already made up with mayonnaise”. People can be really ignorant and not realise how certain peoples bodies react to foods. You’re still a paying customer and it’s not like you’re asking for a lot, just a healthier alternative for your body!
    Alice Xx

  7. There should definitely be more food choices out there for people with different dietary requirements! No one should be made to feel restricted just because of the way they eat. Amen!

  8. It definitely isn’t too much to ask for restaurants/shops to have at least a couple of allergy friendly options on their menus! I think a lot more people are choosing these kinds of diets now and why should it be harder for them to grab a sandwich while they’re on the go? I hope it improves for you soon!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

  9. It’s such a shame that restaurants and shops aren’t inclusive and those with dietary requirements are limited to the meals they can have, if they even offer an alternative menu/meal for those with dietary requirements. My mum is gluten intolerant and we live just outside of Birmingham, and the major supermarkets have a limited stock of free from foods, it’s like they expect you to live on bland free from biscuits and cakes, it really is unfair, everytime we think they’ve expanded their range the following week the shelves and freezer’s are empty for month’s on end, if they know people are buying the range then why aren’t they stocking it? It is a frustrating position to be in and as much as we are already seeing a greater increase in the acknowledgement of dietary requirement’s I do think more can be done for those affected. Thank you for sharing your story, and highlighting an ever growing issue that needs to be talked about and improved upon. I hope you are blessed with more shops and restaurants that are dietary inclusive.

    Emma x
    emmarollason.com

  10. First off that sandwich looks so good! And secondly, I totally agree with you! I live in uae and I although am very inspired by these different healthy lifestyles it so hard for me to find healthy alternatives of certain ingredients in my local store! As for restaurants, they really should have more options available especially now when people are more aware of what they are putting into their bodies! xx

  11. Firstly that sandwich looks delicious and secondly no you are not asking for too much, you’re not the only one and I think places should have different options to cater for those that have dietary difference and allergies, to me it’s common sense especially now days. If I was to open a restaurant I would try to cater for everyone who came through the door because I know everyone is different! This post is great!

  12. I can relate to your problem. Personally, I don’t like the taste of meat – so I avoid it – but sometimes the vegetarian option is just so unappealing that I am not sure what else I am supposed to do. There are four meat options and one sad looking carrot as an alternative.

    One time I was eating out with a friend and it was a high-end restaurant in the city, and since she has food allergies and is a vegan she could literally only eat one menu from a card that was miles long ….

  13. you actually made an insanely delicious-looking sandwich… and though I don’t have any dietary restrictions or allergies, I do have a few friends who are vegan and vegetarians plus most of my family members don’t eat beef due to religious reasons so I do think that it’s important for businesses to cater to those options. Even if it’s just a couple of items on the menu, it really helps that everyone feels included.

    https://annicklau.com

  14. I agree that eateries should be inclusive – even if there’s not a lot of sales with vegan/vegetarian options, it doesn’t cost additional to keep those ingredients in inventory? I don’t think you were asking for too much for wanting something you can actually eat and not having to go out of your way for. Eateries SHOULD provide options for people with allergies. It’s only fair and it shows whether or not they care about the customers.

    exquisitely.me

  15. I seriously relate to this. Not necessarily in my hometown, as Brighton is pretty amazing with free from food, but when I go travelling it can be a nightmare trying to work out an option for lunch or dinner. It’s extremely frustrating but a lot of positive changes are happening, so hopefully they reach smaller places sooner rather than later!
    Alys
    https://alysjournals.com

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