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Thoughtful Thursday: My love/hate relationship with eating out

I have enjoyed eating at restaurants for as long as I can remember. It feels nice to eat out with family and friends. Restaurant atmospheres are often fun, which adds to the gaiety. It's nice to have a break from cooking, and trying new dishes is very  exciting to me as well.

The drawbacks
The not so good side of eating out is basically not knowing what you are really getting most of the time. That can be irritating and unhealthy, since a lot of restaurants probably use genetically modified foods, msg and preservatives.

In addition to that, the msg and preservatives can actually cause reactions in sensitive individuals. I am one of those individuals, and having strange symptoms/allergic reactions after eating out is sometimes not worth it.

Surely there are some alternatives to this dilemma! Eating at places like Whole Foods seems to be a pretty safe thing to do. Not only is it much healthier, but I have come away from Whole Foods more than once inspired to recreate in my own kitchen  the dish I have just eaten. Locally owned restaurants that advertise that they use local, organic ingredients and no msg seem like pretty safe places to try as well. And, some chain food restaurants may be ok, but generally the bigger the operation, the more wary I am about added ingredients.

Picnics are also a very good alternative to eating out. There are parks just about everywhere, so finding a nice scenic place to eat a meal brought from home should be pretty easy to do just about anywhere you go. Just be sure to store your food in a safe manner, using cold packs or ice to keep food a safe temperature when needed. 
What's your opinion? Leave a comment below! :)

Until next time.... God bless!

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