Have Food Allergies/Intolerances/Diet Restrictions? Check Out the DineSafe App!

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Disclosure: “This is a sponsored post for DineSafe App. I have been compensated through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”

 

DineSafe is a new app that recently come out to help people find food they can eat at restaurants, even if they have very specific diet restrictions. It is a free app to use for both the user and the restaurant. It is currently available on Android and iPhones. It works off of your phone’s GPS to find the restaurants closest to you who have signed up for DineSafe. I love that it works off of GPS. This feature will be very handy for me especially when I travel. It would be nice to know what restaurants in the area I’m staying have food that I can eat before I get there or have to spend time trying to find their menu online.

This app will allow people to find what foods they can and cannot eat so they don’t always have to download nutritional menus for the places that they want to eat. I know I’ve had to do that in the past for places I’ve wanted to go to. Like Subway or McDonald’s. Although, getting that kind of information from a restaurant isn’t always easy. And it can be time consuming. This is where DineSafe steps in.

My diet restrictions are for fructose malabsorption. Currently there isn’t an option for fructose(I really hope that there is soon!) but I can say that I can’t have tomatoes, onions and MSG. They also have some of the other common allergies listed like milk, gluten, shellfish, peanuts, ect.

They also have eight different diets you can choose from:

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DineSafe Diet Restrictions

After you have chosen what your allergen and diet restrictions are you can then start looking for restaurants in your area. Currently there aren’t any restaurants where I live that use this app but I was able to see how it would work by looking up a couple of restaurants in Florida and Oregon.

As you can see it makes it very easy to see what you can and can’t have. The color codes also let you see if the dish can be modified so you can still have it. If the item isn’t highlighted with red or yellow it means that it contains none of the restrictions that you have listed. Yellow means that they can take the item that you can’t have out(ie, tomato or onion). The red means that the ingredient in the dish, like tomato, can’t be taken out.

A new feature that came out this week is that you can petition and endorse restaurants in your area to join DineSafe. I have created petitions for two restaurants in my area. I hope that they join soon! I have a lot of high hopes for this app and I feel that it would be an amazing tool for people to use. I highly encourage people to download it and use it in their area even if there aren’t any restaurants currently using it. You can still create petitions to try and encourage them to sign up. The more of us that use it the greater the success this app will be.

Symptom Flare Up

Go figure. Two days after I tell everyone that most of my symptoms have gone away but a few I have a flare up. I noticed the last day or two that my abdomen is getting very distended and I’ve been burping a lot. I have a feeling the culprit may be vinegar or I’ve just been eating too much chocolate recently. I’m not really sure. Unless the SIBO has come back 😦

The main reason why I think that it may be the vinegar is because I’ve been eating a lot of pickles and prepared horseradish. I’ve also been making a white balsamic vinaigrette that I really like. All of these have vinegar in them. I’m not really sure if there’s types of vinegar that I’m not supposed to have. My dietician never mentioned it but some of the paperwork that I have from my GI specialist says that I can’t have apple cider vinegar. Food labels don’t really say what kind of vinegar is in the product. For all I know they are using apple cider vinegar.

I’m hoping that Monday or Tuesday I will get some time to call my dietician and ask her about it. Although it will probably be Tuesday because Monday will already be pretty busy with stuff for work. I definitely plan on taking it easy this weekend with the chocolate and other foods that do have vinegar in them. Hopefully my stomach will settle back down. I’d really rather not have to go back on a restricted diet for another 4 weeks.

Elimination Diet Update

My elimination diet has been over for about a week now. I’m definitely feeling better which makes me very happy. A couple of the symptoms that I was having that were really giving me some problems have calmed down quite a bit.  I’m still keeping up with my food diary. It’s been really helpful with figuring out what is making my stomach upset and what isn’t. Now that the elimination diet is over I can start introducing some more fruits and vegetables back into my diet. I have found out that I really need to watch how much of it I eat at a time when I’m trying to figure out how it will upset my stomach. Moderation for me is key and I really need to focus on that.

I’m still not doing the best with drinking between 1.5-3 quarts of water a day. It’s another thing I need to focus on. I really think that it could help some of my bowel problems. I just need to figure out the best way to go about it. I actually just looked up an app called Water Your Body that I’m going to try out. It’s for Android and it gives you reminders to drink enough water throughout the day. Hopefully it helps because I’m not doing so well on my own. I should also set up a calendar reminder to take my vitamins every day. Especially since I need to get my vitamin D up.

Sweeteners to Avoid

A lot of people have been curious as to what sweeteners I have to avoid. Here is the list I received from my dietitian:

  • Agave Syrup
  • Brown Sugar(made with molasses)
  • Caramel
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup(HFCS)
  • Fructose
  • Honey
  • Corn Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Mannitol
  • Maple Syrup
  • Palm Sugar
  • Sorbitol
  • Splenda(Sucralose)
  • Xylitol
  • Beet Sugar

The ones that are the hardest for me to avoid so far are HFCS and corn syrup. They’re in everything. From the ice cream you get at Diary Queen to the bread you get at the super market. It’s been a struggle to avoid that stuff. Especially when I go out to eat. But I am slowly getting better at avoiding it. It just means that I can’t eat at some of my favorite places anymore. Which is a bummer.

Good Days & Bad Days

As with any medical condition, you have good days and bad days. If you lucky you have more good days than bad but that isn’t always the case. At the worst I was having what I call “episodes” every other day while I was in college. An episode for me is the worst symptoms that are associated with a fructose intolerance. And it was absolutely horrible. To go through something like that for a week straight or more is so draining. I was so stressed out, exhausted, and chronically dehydrated. I was down to 113 lbs. I normally weigh around 125-130 lbs but I was down to 113 lbs in three months. Crazy right?

Things haven’t been that bad since I got out of college. Things still weren’t great but things haven’t been that bad in two years now. I still do have bad days though. Which suck. I still end up being dehydrated and fatigued. It also affects work and my personal life. I’ve had to take a day off before because I was feeling so shitty. I’ve also not been able to go on dates because of it. I used to never know when it was going to happen. I still don’t always know when it’s going to happen even with watching my food intake and keeping a food diary. Sometimes by body will warn me when it is going to freak out. But it’s not always a whole lot of time before it happens after I figure out what’s going on.

The good days are wonderful. I can do the stuff I want or need to get done. I don’t feel like I’m dragging around from the fatigue or feel super dehydrated. I really can’t wait until all of this is under control and it’s not affecting my life so much. When it happens I’ll have to figure out a way to celebrate that achievement.