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ImanAlAulaqi

Possible accidental slip, not sure whether to start over?

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So yesterday was my friends birthday took her out for dinner at chilis and decided beforehand that I'm not going to slip.  I ordered a chicken salad and specifically told the waiter to not add any dressing to the salad other than lemon.  However after he got the salad I realized there's corn and beans and the chicken was breaded. So I did not eat the chicken I did not eat the corn or beans (Hopefully didn't eat any accidentally) I just ate the lettuce and tomatoes however while eating it I noticed that it did definitely did have dressing over it and I'm not sure what the dressing was or what the ingredients were.  Since I do not know what the ingredients were in the dressing I'm confused now.  Are salad dressings usually compliant? Or do they most likely contain soy/ or whatsoever? I'm not a fan of dressings so I do not even know what they're made up of.  I'm on day 16 today not sure whether I should call it day 1 again or continue and call it day 16? Never knew eating out would be so hard! I thought I couldn't go wrong with a salad and no dressing. Lesson definitely learnt!

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Just to be specific I had ordered:

 

The Southwestern cobb salad. The ingredients listed under it were: Boneless crispy chicken with corn relish, crispy beef bacon, diced eggs, mixed cheeses and fresh pico de gallo. Served with our avocado-ranch dressing.

 

I specifically asked them to remove the cheese and put no dressing (I forgot to remove the corn but did not eat it pushed it on a side). I basically just ate lettuce and tomatoes but not sure what was the dressing on them?

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Most dressings contain soy, at least here in the US. Most also contain sugar, and they could contain dairy, depending on what type they are. I don't know if they prepare beef bacon the way they prepare pork bacon that we usually have here, but it's difficult to find bacon here that doesn't have sugar in it. (This is based on what's widely used here in the US. I see you're in Dubai, and I have absolutely no experience with what things are like there, and there may be differences, even though Chili's is an American restaurant -- they do change the menu somewhat to reflect local tastes and customs.)

 

If there was soy, that usually is considered grounds for a restart. This article addresses how to determine if you need to restart. 

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Hopefully the dressing doesn't have any ingredients that calls for a restart. This is why I never eat out during a whole30. The waiters and chefs don't understand what you can't eat and don't realize that they have accidentally given you non compliant ingredients. I normally eat gluten and dairy free, I have never received a correct meal when I eat out. They always add dressing, croutons, or cheese. Good Luck!

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So yesterday was my friends birthday took her out for dinner at chilis and decided beforehand that I'm not going to slip.  I ordered a chicken salad and specifically told the waiter to not add any dressing to the salad other than lemon.  However after he got the salad I realized there's corn and beans and the chicken was breaded. So I did not eat the chicken I did not eat the corn or beans (Hopefully didn't eat any accidentally) I just ate the lettuce and tomatoes however while eating it I noticed that it did definitely did have dressing over it and I'm not sure what the dressing was or what the ingredients were.  Since I do not know what the ingredients were in the dressing I'm confused now.  Are salad dressings usually compliant? Or do they most likely contain soy/ or whatsoever? I'm not a fan of dressings so I do not even know what they're made up of.  I'm on day 16 today not sure whether I should call it day 1 again or continue and call it day 16? Never knew eating out would be so hard! I thought I couldn't go wrong with a salad and no dressing. Lesson definitely learnt!

 

Read the Dining Guide. The hard truth is, you need to have a conversation with your server if you are going out to eat. There are so many things in restaurant food, you can't just look at a menu and try to figure out what is ok on your own. You must talk to them about what you can't have or you will most certainly get non-compliant ingredients. Meats are often marinated in soy, flour/gluten is in things (like dressing) you would never expect them to be, same for sugar. Menus simply don't list everything as you saw for yourself with the corn and beans.

 

Here's how I start: "I cannot eat any gluten or grains, sugar, soy, legumes or any dairy. Can you ask the chef what menu options would meet those requirements or maybe there are a couple of dishes where the chef could omit those things without too much trouble?"

 

As long as you are nice about it, they always seem eager to help.

 

You will have the best experience and more options at nicer restaurants. Obviously places that just toss pre-breaded chicken into a fryer can't do much to accommodate you beyond a salad sans dressing.

 

Also, send that salad back if they forgot and added dressing! You asked specifically. It is NOT being rude to ask for what you ordered.

 

After all, if you're going to the trouble of doing a Whole30, it's worth it to really be sure. Why do all that cooking, abstaining and work just to let it get sabotaged?

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I was gluten free, dairy free, alcohol free, and nut free (allergy) even before my whole 30 (on day 17 now) and that morphed me into an excellent orderer. Ultrarunner is right - just ask. Be polite, but ask. You just never know. I've left restaurants before that couldn't accommodate my needs and would do the same today. One magical night last fall my ex bf was craving Italian (never a huge gluten free fave of mine) so we went to an adorable little Italian restaurant. I asked the waiter some politely probing questions, and then he excused himself. I know Marty and I were both thinking "great, now we have to find another place to eat" and then the chef/owner came out. He told me that his daughter was gluten free and had many other dietary issues and there wasn't a dish on the menu that he couldn't make work for me. He earned a customer for life, and I am now  good-will ambassador for his restaurant (Il Localino, in Atlanta).

 

The moral? Ask. Food allergies and intolerances are SO common nowadays.

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So while chilis doesn't offer ingredients they do offer a list of items that don't have specific allergens. According to that this dressing doesn't have soy but it does have dairy.

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FYI: the word "crispy" on a menu will ALWAYS, without fail, mean breaded and/or deep-fried. Also, I always assume that restaurant dressings contain sugar, because they sure taste like they do! Ask for olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon wedges instead.

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I loved reading these comments and the article up there you're all right I think it's because this is my first whole30 and first time eating out I wasn't aware of how hard it would be to get things right.  I actually first went to another restaurant and left because there was nothing on the menu I could order then for this one I thought if I omitted the dressing and didn't eat the chicken it'd be compliant but I was totally wrong.  Lesson learnt never again unless I make sure beforehand 100% that it is compliant and they could offer that not just say so because after 15 days of hardwork it felt a waste and I was totally disappointed afterwards.  But since it was my mistake I officially started over today and today is my day one.  I said I'd do a whole30 and I'm not gonna let one slip mess it up for me I'll just start over and 30 days from now I'd be glad I did it the right compliant way! What's an extra 15 days anyway? 

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