The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Many of those who suffer from a lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) use supplemental oxygen. While carrying around an oxygen tank might make day-to-day tasks more difficult, it doesn’t mean that the oxygen tank has to be a ball and chain. With a little planning ahead, you can still enjoy doing the things that you have always done, like going out and enjoying a nice meal.
Dining out with Lung Disease can be Very Enjoyable
Planning ahead is key to having a successful dinner out. Follow these simple tips for a great meal out on the town:
- Call ahead. Make a reservation so you won’t have to wait for a table. Even better, use an App like OpenTable to make the reservation so you can earn points toward a gift card. You can also request to have a table close to the restaurant entrance to minimize the amount that you’ll have to walk when you arrive.
- Check the weather. Choose to dine out on a day with milder weather – not too hot, low humidity, no rain, etc.
- Go at off-times. Eat lunch at 11:00 am or dinner at 4:00 pm to avoid crowds. You might also consider dining out on a weeknight rather than weekend. Dinner will be more enjoyable when you’re not in a big crowd and can relax and enjoy your meal at your own pace.
- Don’t overeat. It’s easy to overeat when dining out, especially with all of the temping appetizers, rolls and desserts on the menu. Restaurant portions are usually too large. One great way to avoid overeating is to divide your meal in half right when the server brings it to the table, and box half of it up to take home. That way you can just focus on eating what’s in front of you, and you won’t have to worry about cooking tomorrow. Another great option, which saves money, is to split your meal with another person.
- Choose the right food. Look for good sources of protein, like chicken, fish or other lean meats, eggs or cottage cheese. Heavier red meats are harder for your body to digest and therefore require more oxygen to work their way through your system. Many COPD sufferers also suffer from acid reflux. If you do suffer from acid reflux, try to avoid spicy and acidic foods.
- Be mindful of your medications. According to Livestrong.com, those who take blood-thinning medications should stay away from too many green vegetables or salads. Yes, you read that correctly!
- Go easy on the salt. The COPD Foundation recommends that you order your meal to be prepared without salt. Why? Salt causes fluid retention, which makes breathing more difficult and also raises your blood pressure. Reduce the chance of complications by reducing your sodium intake.
- Enjoy dessert. The reason for dining out is to have an enjoyable experience. If enjoying dessert makes the experience a better one for you, it’s okay to indulge a little bit! Choosing a more nutritious option such as frozen yogurt or a fruit cobbler is a great way to indulge a little without overdoing it.
Try these tips to see if they help to make your next dining out experience more enjoyable. Just because you have been diagnosed with a lung disease like COPD doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the small things in life.
The Lung Institute has helped several COPD sufferers regain their quality of life through stem cell therapy. If you or a loved one suffers from lung disease, contact one of our patient coordinators today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify.