Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Here’s a situation that many people have experienced: You are walking down the street looking for a restaurant for lunch when you stop and browse the menus posted outside to pick the place where you want to eat. This experience is pretty much the same with a food intolerance, allergy, or sensitivity. Posted menus are extremely helpful when walking down the street. They allow us to find a few soy-free options before we sit down and help us determine if the restaurant will be a good fit. (Note: we don’t necessarily decided what to order before going inside, but getting a sense for the menu is extremely helpful before committing to sit down.)
When we are in the car and looking for food, Ashley and I operate in much the same way as if we were walking down the street. We’ll look up restaurant menus on our phones to find a place to eat that has some soy-free options before committing to parking and going inside. This method works pretty well as it allows us to be intentional about where we choose to eat. It keeps us from making poor choices (i.e., eating food that is more likely to have soy) because we think things through ahead of time. Having a plan helps keep us out of situations where soy could be in our food.
Ashley and I realized recently that this car-lunch-research strategy relies heavily on cell phone use to do research ahead of time. Take our phone away, and it is much more challenging to find a place to stop for lunch. We discovered this recently while in Canada: our plan was to stop for a late lunch on the way to Quebec. We crossed the border into Canada, then trouble: we couldn’t decide where to eat. We couldn’t look up menus on our phones, and since the restaurants weren’t our local places, we didn’t have a good sense for which would be a good option for soy-free food. We also weren’t passing by that many places to eat, so stopping the car would essentially be selecting a restaurant sight-unseen. Since our final destination wasn’t that far away, we ended up just pushing though to our final destination (where we used the wifi to find a soy-free place for dinner) and subsist on road trip snacks until then.
Ultimately, this experience highlighted the value of doing research ahead of time. When we weren’t able to do research, we felt uncomfortable selecting a place to eat without knowing whether or not it offered soy-free options. Whether we use our phones or just stop and read menus when walking along the street, glancing over the menu before selecting a place to eat allows us to be confident that soy-free options will be available for our meal. This research is incredibly valuable to ensure that we enjoy our dining experience, regardless of location.