Is Dinner Destroying Date Night?

Date night dinner: the anatomy of the destruction of a perfect evening.

You’ve been waiting all week to be alone with Mr./Ms. Fabulous.  You have an urban mating ritual planned: A little dinner, a few drinks, a little music and dancing.  If all goes according to plan, you and your partner will fall happily into each other’s arms at their place or yours and you will continue to celebrate your evening into the morning.

Au contraire, my good friends.  Instead of leaning into one another, you find yourself walking separately down the sidewalk.  Your partner is behaving strangely – as if they want to be interested in what you’re saying, but really aren’t.  Suddenly, they tell you that they have to go home early, that they have to _________ (fill in lame excuse here) early tomorrow.  You hardly get a peck goodbye before the cab whisks your target audience away.

What happened?  Everything was fine, or should have been fine.  Is it your breath?  Did you say something thoughtless or stupid?

Little do you realize that you blew your evening well before it even began.

Let’s flip the situation here.  Instead of your partner whisking himself or herself away from you, you are making certain to stand clear of them.  It is you who is trying to listen to them, but something hideous has your full attention.  Before they can even be the wiser, you have to get away from them.  Now. You give them a peck goodbye, tell them you’ll call, and take off in a cab like a shot, leaving your would-be love in a lurch.

Why would you do that?  I’ll give you a hint: dinner has caused you to crack the window.

Full disclosure: at this point, you may want to skip to the “What to do about it” section of the article.  However, if you still don’t get it and aren’t easily offended by reading about bodily functions, read on.

Gasssss and BLOAT!!!! These are quite possibly the #1 killers of Date Night in America, and no one wants to talk about it.  Why? TMI, that’s why.  Gross, that’s another “why.” Sadly, however much you want to ignore the obvious, it is hard to feel like a beauty when your belly rises life a fresh loaf of bread and your rear end wants to spout clouds of toxic waste.

Let’s back up a bit (no pun intended), to the end of your meal.  At the beginning of the meal, you were looking and feeling sleek.  Now, you look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy®.

Worse, that tire that’s filling up in your gut wants to use your anal sphincter as its giant, smelly carburetor.  Too much air! It needs to release! That’s just what you want your potential partner to hear and smell, isn’t it: Your sickly, gassy humanity in all its disgusting glory?

Its unrelenting.  It’s banging at the back door.  You try to shift in your seat, so you can release it quietly, but you already know it’s a Silent-But-Deadly.  You squeeze it back in and smile, and the gas cramps your gut in horrible retaliation to your resistance of the inevitable.

Your partner is saying…something.  Do they notice your hellish experience?  What are they saying?  Before you can even tune in, the gas attempts another forced escape – this time, with reinforcements!

While clamping your escape hatch closed and shifting to give your expanding belly room, all you can think about is getting away to your lonely home where you can release this disaster in private.  You quickly make up some dumb excuse – no time for clear forebrain thought – and make good your escape.

Night done.

So, Friend…what did you have for dinner? Steak au poivre? Fried chicken? Kung Pao? Pasta? Two sodas, beers, or glasses of fine vino? Some tiramisu or Death By Chocolate for dessert?

Well, whatever it was, it just cost you your night.  Even if your partner is the kind who loves you without reserve or judgment, you still aren’t going to feel good about sounding like a rhythmic whoopee cushion and smelling like a hot dog factory when you get intimate.

Luckily, there are ways to bypass the gas and get your act on track.

“What To Do About It”

Drink plenty of filtered water.

Unless it is a deliberately health-themed restaurant (and even those are suspect), almost all restaurant food contains way too much salt for your own good.  Why?  They’re trying to make it taste good – not make it healthy.  Good, clean, filtered water can help in oh, so many ways, not the least of which is to help flush out food stuck in your intestinal tract.  It also helps balance your sodium level so you don’t retain water.  Your food won’t ferment and release gas if it’s not stuck in your colon. By the way: tea, juice, coffee and/or soda do not count as water.  Water counts as water.

Eat leafy greens.

Leafy greens contain potassium, which you also need to balance sodium levels in restaurant food.  Whether sautéed, steamed, or raw, add some greens to your meal. Sweet potatoes, avocados, beans and bananas have decent amounts of potassium.

Speaking of beans…

Take digestive enzymes/probiotics

Beans, beans, good for the heart.  The more you eat ‘em, the more you…pass gas.

Digestive enzymes are just that: enzymes that help you digest your food.  Digestive enzymes help break down the cell walls of your food so your body’s natural processes can get to the good stuff and digest it.  If you don’t do this, it just sits there and ferments.  That produces gas.

Probiotics are good-guy bacteria that actually eat your food and digest it themselves. Good guy bacteria actually use the food to produce nutrients that give you energy and stamina – which you will need for later on in the evening!

If you don’t have either of these in gut-friendly amounts, not only will your food not digest properly, you could have an overgrowth of gut yeast called Candida albicans.  And you know what yeast does when given the chance: it expands and rises.  So your gut rises along with it.   It is Candida that ferments food and produces gas.  Ew.

So eat your digestive enzymes and probiotics with every meal (email me for suggestions).

Eat insoluble fiber

The leafy greens are good sources, and you need fiber in your meal to push things along.  Insoluble fiber doesn’t digest – it just cleans house like a broom or steel wool, only much more gently.  Brown (not white) rice, celery, other root vegetables, beans, apples, seeds, nuts, and berries all have insoluble fiber.

Or, if you know you’re not going to some place that has any of those, take a dose of fiber supplement with lots of water (email me for suggestions).

Eat organic choices on the menu

Try to choose organic choices on your menu.  “Natural” doesn’t mean anything these days.  Make sure it says Certified Organic.  Organic foods will digest much better and give you much more energy than conventionally grown and raised foods.  This includes your beer and wine.

Speaking of beer and wine…

Limit your alcohol intake

Alcohol is fermented.  Sometimes, if it is not really good quality, alcohol will finish fermenting in your gut (thank you very much, Candida albicans!).  Again, kids: Fermentation = Gas and Expansion.

Bonus: the less alcohol you drink, the better your performance at the end of the evening.  It will be much more enjoyable for both partners if you’re not drunk!

If these suggestions still do not work for you, you may have something more serious going on.  Consider having a chiropractor, naturopathic physician, or holistic medical doctor give you a check up and run a complete battery of tests to make certain there’s not anything more going on with you and your gut.

So take these words to heart, my happy compadres, and have a great evening!




About Dr. Claire

CLAIRE FITZPATRICK is a Doctor of Chiropractic in New York City. Her specialty is helping women and men aged 30-55 eliminate signs and symptoms of early aging. She is owner of JOY! Health and Bodyworks, LLC a holistic, integrative network of holistic practitioners who specialize in health issues related to early aging. She is the author of the ebook, "The Nine Essentials of Health: A Must Have Guide for Healthy Living."

Posted on 05/20/2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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