I see you live in Dallas....I recently went back to North Dallas to visit my parents, and I found a completely gluten-free restaurant to eat at. It is called Laura's Bistro/Delicious-n-Fit....it was great to be able to order chicken fried steak and onion rings and get a delicious free chocolate cupcake for dessert. I am not sure if they are still around, as I tried to link the website and can't seem to find it anymore, but here is the address/contact info if you want to call and see if they are still there (if it is anywhere close to where you live):
930 West Parker Road
Plano, TX 75075-2378
I have been gluten-free for about a year and a half (have excaped with just a few mild glutenings early on because I am over-careful). Being a scientist, I think about everything as an experiment - myself included! Probably not the healthiest, but oh well.
So, that said, of course I started wondering how my symptoms would be different now than they were before, all spurred on by the fact that we will soon be taking a 2-week vacation to the caribbean which will include lots of sea kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and other activities where glutening symptoms could be "troublesome." I wanted to know what would happen in a worst case scenario (getting majorly glutened or having to eat something that I know is not safe due to nothing else being available).
I spent a week determining what would be a good thing to eat that would decrease the number of variables and isolate any effects to gluten and not extra grease, new food combinations, etc (yes, I am that big of a nerd). I decided on a sandwich from Jimmy Johns for dinner on a Friday. I used to love their bread, and figured that since I eat all the other ingredients that would be on the sandwich all the time, it should be only the gluten that would affect me.
So, to make a long story not quite as long, I thought I was ok for a few hours, until the dreaded gasiness started, then the migraine all day Saturday and Saturday night (which I never had before), then the dopiness for the next 4 days and the "uh-oh" feeling in my belly after eating anything from Monday through Wednesday, then some lovely constipation.
At least now I know the "timeline" of effects so If I get glutened I know when to avoid doing things that require balance (no rock climing), good driving skills (they drive on the left in teh Virgin Islands!) or a nearby bathroom (no remote snorkeling/kayaking).
Even though I know that eating gluten on purpose is not a good idea, I think I feel better knowing what to expect next time I am more-than-minorly glutened, and since I, too, was not given a "real" diagnosis (although doc did recommend going gluten-free), it does make me realize that it is not all in my head.
I will be going to St. John (also part of the US Virgin Islands) for two weeks this November.....broncobux, how was your trip? Did you have any problems? Do stores there have any sort of selection for gluten-free cooking (if you happened to go shopping)?
Anyone else have any experience here? The place we are staying does have a basic kitchen setup (i.e. fridge, stove, utensils, pots/pans) so I can theoretically cook stuff instead of eat out. However the pots/pans kind of scare me. Anyway, there is a limit to how much food I can cram into my luggage (I probably should leave some space for clothes), so I will eventually need to forage for something to eat.
Any advice would be welcome, even if it is just types of caribbean-style food that are probably safe or types that should be avoided.
I will try to post my experiences (good or bad) when I get back!
You know, I also live about 1/2 mile downwind of a large bakery, and can often smell the lovely scent of fresh bread baking (yes it is as torturous as it sounds). I have often wondered if whatever is wafting my way could negatively influence me, but I guess there's not really much I can do, since I also own my house and thus cannot just move elsewhere. I do wish there was an easy way to tell what, exactly, is being spewed out, though!
After noticing that the dog food we are feeding one of our dogs is actively advertising (on the bag, in National Geographic, etc.) that it is "gluten-free," I of course went right to the ingredient list. I should mention that we had not been trying to buy gluten-free dog food due to the limitations of finding one that also conforms to the food allergies/restrictions that one of our dogs has (ironic, I know!), so I was mostly just curious as to what the food actually DID contain. The ingredient list included RYE, two kinds of BARLEY, and OATS, which of course, mean the food is NOT gluten-free.
I tried calling, but was unsuccessful in actually talking to someone, so I sent the following e-mail after some deliberation regarding what I should say:
"I noticed that you advertise that many of your products are gluten free. However, many of them list rye and barley as ingredients. Barley is a grain that contains gluten, and for people such as myself that have celiac disease and must avoid gluten, it is a grain that we cannot eat.
If a person with celiac disease were to purchase your product because you claim that it is gluten-free, he or she could become very sick from coming into contact/ingesting your product via handling the food, getting licked by their pet, or simply having the crumbs around the house. In addition, your foods contain oatmeal, a grain that we also need to avoid due to the fact that it also adversely affects many celiacs.
I really cannot stress enough that you SHOULD NOT claim your product is gluten-free when it contains any wheat, rye, barley, or oats (or derivatives). It can make people (or their pets) that need to be on a gluten-free diet extremely sick! I would appreciate a reply regarding how you are able to label your product gluten-free, when it obviously is not, and whether you have any plans of removing this claim from your products.
Thank you for your time."
I got the following e-mail back in reply:
"Thank you for your interest in BLUE. All grains have a gluten component of the whole grain. When we say gluten free, we mean that we don