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Business Travel and Chinese Buffet

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  • Business Travel and Chinese Buffet

    I had lunch with coworkers at a Chinese buffet place this week, and thought I would be okay just having steamed vegetables and some grilled chicken. Right after eating, I felt so thirsty I couldn't stop sucking water down, and a couple of hours later had heartburn and needed to go home with a migraine starting. There had to be MSG in the chicken even though it looked just lightly seasoned, or maybe even the vegetables.

    This was following about 10 days of eating strictly primal and feeling really good. It surprised me how I used to have big servings of fast food without any issues, and how strongly my body rejected it! I'd read about this happening to other people but never realized it would be quite so bad. On the bright side, I've finally identified a definite migraine trigger (MSG) and I've lost all remaining desire for fast food!

    Now I'm a bit worried because this is a brand new job and I don't want to seem antisocial when invited out for lunch. I also have two week-long business trips next month (with more to come) and will be eating in restaurants/hotels and having catered lunches. I'm thinking about what to bring along and ordered a couple of Paleokits to be ready. I think people will understand if I just say I have a gluten intolerance... hopefully!
    Last edited by KimNKY; 10-27-2012, 04:27 PM. Reason: Clarified something

  • #2
    I usually go straight for the sushi rolls! Sometimes a little rice and always lots of steamed veggies. Anything with sauce is loaded with corn starch and MSG amongst othe things.


    • #3
      Originally posted by otzi View Post
      I usually go straight for the sushi rolls! Sometimes a little rice and always lots of steamed veggies. Anything with sauce is loaded with corn starch and MSG amongst othe things.
      I knew that about the sauce, but naively thought I'd be okay with grilled chicken. Next time I'm either saying "no thanks" to the Chinese food, or going for sushi rolls and raw vegetables at the salad bar.

      I love your username! I was recently reading the results of the blood and DNA tests they did on Otzi- fascinating stuff!


      • #4
        Migraine avoidance is a perfectly valid reason to turn down a lunch at a restaurant, though many Chinese restaurants around me are advertising as "MSG-Free" so that excuse may not last forever.


        • #5
          I LOVE chinese buffets! They always have steamed crab
          My chocolatey Primal journey

          Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog


          • #6
            Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
            I LOVE chinese buffets! They always have steamed crab
            It depends. Lunch time @ Chinese buffets, depending on geographical location, can vary quite widely depending on city/state & price of the buffet.

            I find if I know in advance like that morning or ideally the day before, I can call & ask to speak to the owner of the restaurant. Just be sure you get the owner on the phone, as an emplyee will say they'll relay the message but really they won't or it doesn't do any good if they do. Explain to the owner, that you are coming in for lunch on so-&-so day @ such-&-such time, with a sizeable group of business associates & explain that you want/need at minimum, 1 MSG free protein dish, like whole fish or yes, steamed crabs, plus 1 veggie dish that has NO HIDDEN MSG in its sauce. I find that often, but not always, gives better results than crossing my fingers, & eating with gusto, armed only with wishful thinking.
            "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
            "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
            "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown


            • #7


              • #8
                If you get a few skeptical looks for the gluten intolerance excuse, a better one for avoiding the cooked dishes is to say you get ill from MSG.
                F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


                • #9
                  I get ill from MSG and avoid all fast food and chain-style restaurants because I've gotten so ill in the past. They tend to treat their greens and veggies with MSG to keep them looking fresh longer.

                  I recently went to a new Chinese buffet in my neighborhood (long story why), and I stayed with grilled meat and fish. I had a 'mild' reaction while I was there, but I think it helped that I was drinking hot tea constantly while eating. I won't go there again. Personally, I prefer to eat what I cook, but it's often necessary to eat out for social reasons, but I try to be careful about the restaurant. I never go back to any place where I've had an MSG reaction.


                  • #10
                    I often go to Chinese restaurants out of necessity rather than pure choice. Sometimes we do what colleagues want or do for traditional reasons e.g. Friday lunchtime team meal. I had however never made the connection between MSG and migraine until very recently. Hence my Google search and finding my way to this forum.

                    I used to enjoy just eating as much as I could. Then I got struck down with heart problems and forced to think straighter My wife and doctor orders. I could con my doctor but never my wife. (the latter is not lack of courage just she knows me too well and nothing gets past her at any time.

                    I am still in the process of learning (or rather relearning) but I have a lot of old habits to break at the same time. I ordered the primal intro book from amazon as most of the stuff given me by medics seemed more spoilsport than helpful guidance. However looking the shape of mark I am probably too old to try some of the exercises I suspect I am going to be challenged with. and too unfit to try some of the others.

                    But who knows what is ahead of me.

                    Just been reading about the food replacement packages. Does anyone know if these can be delivered to UK? I don't mean can they be shipped will they be acceptable to our customs and food regulations people.

                    Last edited by Ronson; 11-23-2012, 05:21 AM. Reason: clarifying last question to read what I meant


                    • #11
                      Well at least these spambots bring up old threads we have never read before!