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For the holiday parties I have been to this year, I just bring something with me to share with the group. I make sure it is something that is somewhat substantial so that I can eat enough of it to keep myself from being starving if there is nothing else I can eat. A lot of the time there has been fresh fruit and veggies there too that someone else brought, so I eat those as well. Honestly, I have started carrying a gluten free sandwich with me everywhere we go now when it is a group get together that involves eating. That way if there is nothing I can eat, I still have my sandwich!
And remember, as stated by other posters, people do not understand celiac disease. I cannot tell you the number of times someone has told me that I can have WHITE bread because it is not WHEAT bread... They do not understand the real issue or the ingredients in food. If in doubt, err on the safe side, becuase it is YOUR health and the days of being sick is not worth sparing the hosts feelings!
I also like to use the get togethers as a chance to educate people about Celiac. When people ask me why I'm not trying the little finger sandwiches or the pumpkin pie, I explain to them that they contain gluten and that I am allergic to gluten. That is generally followed up by a "What is gluten?" question... so then I get to explain to an uninformed member of the public what Celiac disease is and tell them about all the foods that contain gluten. I just hope that they learn a little bit and next time something about it comes up, they will have a little more information.
Here are a couple of other suggestions. I know that there are a couple different books that are published (I believe on a yearly basis) that contain a list of all gluten free products by brand or by type of food. The only caveat with these is, you still HAVE to read the labels before you buy those products since ingredients can change often in foods. But at least that would give you a starting point for which products to look at first. The second thing I do sometimes is if I am in a store and I am looking at buying a product that I am not sure is gluten free, there is usually a 1-800 number on the product. You can call up the company right while you are standing in the store and ask them if that specific product is gluten free or not. They should to be able to tell you right away if it is. If they seem confused or cannot guarantee it is gluten free, don't buy it! Third, a lot of stores have a lot of gluten free products in their health food sections. I shop there a lot for convenience foods because it takes the guesswork out of it.
My boyfriend and I have eaten there almost once a week for the past 6 or 7 months. I haven't ever had any problems with the food I eat from there. Now, the options are definitely limited, but you can make a meal out of it! I emailed them a little while back and they were kind enough to email me a list of their gluten free products. -- Actually, it is the allergen listing, but it shows specifically all the products that are gluten free. I don't have the email anymore, otherwise I would post it here, but they got back to me within a few hours when I emailed them.
My Buffalo Wild Wings does have dedicated fryers for all the items I eat, so I think that is important to check on before you eat there. Some stores may have different kitchens or policies.
Anyway, here is a list of the things that are currently on their gluten free list (and again make sure they have dedicated fryers!):
Traditional Chicken Wings (make sure fryer is dedicated to just the traditional wings)
Bleu Cheese Dressing
SW Ranch Dressing
Sweet BBQ Wing Sauce
Miled Wing Sauce
Parmesan Garlic Wing Sauce
Medium Wing Sauce
Honey BBQ Wing Sauce
Honey Mustard Diping Sauce
Spicy Garlic Wing Sauce
Caribbean Jerk Wing Sauce
Hot Wing Sauce
Hot BBQ Wing Sauce
Mango Habanero Wing Sauce
Wild Wing Sauce
Blazin Wing Sauce
BBQ Ranch Dressing
Queso Cheese Sauce
Naked Tenders With Seasoning
French Fries (the regular ones)
Buffalo Chips with Cheese
Ice cream with chocolate sauce
Kids meal traditional wings
Kids meal naked tenders
So again, as long as they have dedicated fryers and you let your server know you have a gluten issue, I think it's completely okay to eat there. Like I said, we've been there a TON and I'm super sensitive and I've never gotten sick from eating there. I usually always get the 4 piece naked tenders with regular fries or buffalo chips. Then for sauces I get a side of ranch and a side of honey bbq. It's nice to be able to have a normal meal sometimes! )
I posted this under a different section pertaining to another topic, but it was suggested I post this review here as well in case anyone is traveling to Omaha:
I recently had an AMAZING experience eating at a local upscale brewery (of all places!) in my city. I explained to the waiter that I had celiac, which was essentially an allergy to wheat, rye, oats, and barley and anything made from those. He said he completely understood what that was, had experience serving other customers with that issue. He brought the manager over and explained my situation. They were both VERY VERY nice and respectful and understanding. I felt like they were there to make sure I was happy instead of in some restaurants where I have felt like a burden. They brough their head chef out then and he personally went over the menu with me, explained which dishes I could eat and how they would change them to make them gluten free. The chef then walked me back to the entryway of the kitchen. He showed me where they would be cooking my food, which pans they would be using (newly cleaned ones), and how they would ensure my food would not be cross contaminated. Then he and the manager asked if there was anything additional they could do to make me feel more comfortable prior to cooking my food. I said no, thank you so much for the help, and I went back to my table with my friends and family. I am the only celiac sufferer in the group, and they were all jealous of the personal attention I received! When our meals were ready, the waiter brought over the rest of the table's food, and the head chef brought my meal out personally. He explained again the changes they made to the meal and he left it with me. I started eating it (it was absolutely INCREDIBLE, by the way!!) and the manager came right over to make sure everything was just perfect! I completely enjoyed my meal and time with my family and friends and it was one of the least stressful times I've ever had ordering since going gluten free! Needless to say, I will be going back there quite often! Also, just to make the point that Celiac individuals GREATLY appreciate the extra effort and attention given to our meals, our ENTIRE party tipped 40% on the bill.
It was an awesome dining experience! Not all of them are that great, so it's really nice the few times we get to feel comfortable eating! )
The restaurant I went to was Upstream Brewery and it is the one located in Omaha, NE downtown (we have a couple locations here). Now, I have not been to the other location here, so I do not know if they have the same diligence as the downtown branch, but I was definitely impressed with the downtown restaurant!
Hey! Welcome to the forum! Sorry you haven't been feeling well This is a great place to get some support though! I've definitely had to use all these wonderful people a bunch of times! They are always great though!!
I'm only 27, and I started having all my major Celiac symptoms when I was about 17 or 18, so I understand your feelings of not wanting to be so sick at such a young age. I was not diagnosed until March 2009. I understand how frustrating doctors are! Fortunately, my family doctor here where I live trys very hard to stay up to date with all the latest issues -- so he was the one who actually diagnosed my Celiac.
When were you diagnosed and have you been on the gluten free diet long? I haven't read any of your other posts, I don't think, so maybe you discussed that earlier, so sorry if you did!
I definitely had and have a lot of the same symptoms. I also got lots of headaches, diziness, nausea, bone and joint pain. I have actually had a cold almost continuously since I was about 17. I used to get night sweats all the time, but those have gone totally away since going gluten free. The doctor's can't find any reason for it, but I have a little couch most of the time and my head is congested a lot. I also get a lot of fevers...and I too check my temp daily
They can't really seem to find reasons behind most of it, so I tend to think it is just my weird immune system's way of dealing with things! My boyfriend is a college athletic coach, so I think that maybe he brings a lot of things home with him from all the students....who knows!
But I really hope you start feeling better and like I said, everyone on here is more than willing to be supportive when you need it! It's a great place to come!
I think that in the past 10 years or so, there has been quite a bit more recognition and research for Celiac. That is probably why you hear more about it these days. Trust me, it is definitely not a fad diet for most people. It is actually incredibly difficult to lead a completely gluten free life and still lead a "normal" life.
From my own personal experience, I have been gluten free since March 2009. I was sick for 9 years before that. And I mean really, really sick. I missed so much work and so many other activities because I could not get up off the bathroom floor. I would pass out, throw up, have horrible stomach pains, unbearable nightmares. I had pains in my muslces and joints so bad I could hardly walk or carry anything. My hair was falling out, I had skin issues, horrible migrains, my vision was getting worse. Since going gluten free, pretty much every single one of those things is GONE!!! I will NEVER NEVER go back to feeling that bad again!
I am only 27 years old, so I don't necessarily put myself into the "middle aged woman" category. I think as many people have said on this thread, it takes a long time for people to get diagnosed sometimes. Like in my case, I've had all these illnesses since I was 18 -- maybe before. If some people really started noticing their issues when they were in their mid-20's to 30's, and it took 10 years for a diagnosis, that could put them in their 40's. That may be why you think you see that age range more. Maybe it is the kind of restaurant you work in, also...maybe the clients that come into that restaurant are just not young teenagers or 20-somethings.
And for Celiac sufferers, eating out at restaurants is a really terrifying, stressful, anxiety ridden experience. I feel SO GOOD overall now compared to what I did, the thought of accidentally being glutened and having to feel that way for two weeks or more is just an unacceptable option for me. I actually have nightmares about it sometimes! It's very important to our health as Celiac sufferers to be completely gluten free. In addition to all the stomach problems, Celiac can also contribute to diabetes, other autoimmune diseases, miscarriages, and even cancer. I really do not want to have anything additional, would like to have kids some day, and would like to keep my cancer chances as low as possible! For me, the choice to be gluten free is not really a choice...it's simply a decision to live rather than die.
That's why we are so fanatical when we go to restaurants. That's also why we tend to frequent and be repeat customers at restaurants where we receive great service and where the staff are knowledgable about our condition. I can tell you that I recently had an AMAZING experience eating at a local upscale brewery (of all places!) in my city. I explained to the waiter that I had celiac, which was essentially an allergy to wheat, rye, oats, and barley and anything made from those. He said he completely understood what that was, had experience serving other customers with that issue. He brought the manager over and explained my situation. They were both VERY VERY nice and respectful and understanding. I felt like they were there to make sure I was happy instead of in some restaurants where I have felt like a burden. They brough their head chef out then and he personally went over the menu with me, explained which dishes I could eat and how they would change them to make them gluten free. The chef then walked me back to the entryway of the kitchen. He showed me where they would be cooking my food, which pans they would be using (newly cleaned ones), and how they would ensure my food would not be cross contaminated. Then he and the manager asked if there was anything additional they could do to make me feel more comfortable prior to cooking my food. I said no, thank you so much for the help, and I went back to my table with my friends and family. I am the only celiac sufferer in the group, and they were all jealous of the personal attention I received! When our meals were ready, the waiter brought over the rest of the table's food, and the head chef brought my meal out personally. He explained again the changes they made to the meal and he left it with me. I started eating it (it was absolutely INCREDIBLE, by the way!!) and the manager came right over to make sure everything was just perfect! I completely enjoyed my meal and time with my family and friends and it was one of the least stressful times I've ever had ordering since going gluten free! Needless to say, I will be going back there quite often! Also, just to make the point that Celiac individuals GREATLY appreciate the extra effort and attention given to our meals, our ENTIRE party tipped 40% on the bill.
I only tell you that to show you how serious Celiac is and how much we appreciate being given a stress free meal out. It doesn't happen often, but we DEFINITELY remember it when it does. I am planning on sending the owner of the company a very personal letter regarding the excellent service I received there from the waiter, manager, and chef. I can tell you, too, on the flipside, the places we have gone to where I was treated like it was a "fad" condition, like you stated, or where the waiters are like "umm...we have white bread instead of wheat bread" -- we NEVER go back to those places. Just think about how quickly a place would go out of business if they were incredibly rude to one out of every 133 customers. If management in a place received complaints from one out of every 133 customers, how long do you think the staff would remain employed?
You poor thing! I can sympathize with how you feel. I had a lot of the same things happen to me the first couple months I was gluten free. I kind of likened it to the withdraw that drug addicts feel. I felt better the first few weeks and then all of the sudden I just felt awful for about a month or two. It was like my body was so used to fighting and having all the gluten and now it didn't have any and it was rebelling! My muscles just ached, I had cramps in my feet and calves several times a day (the really bad ones where you can feel the knot!). I had headaches, shakes, and I was amazingly emotional. The smallest thing would make me cry. I think now, looking back, this was my body's way of getting out every last little bit of gluten. I also realized that on the gluten free diet, I have to eat MORE than I was eating before because I don't have all the fillers. I eat 6 small meals a day now instead of 3 bigger meals a day. I found that helped regulate my body better and it really got rid of the shakes!
The feelings passed in a couple months and now I feel AWESOME! Just give it time -- there is light at the end of the tunnel! Also, you may want to just let your doctor know what's going on, because you could have some kind of infection or some other autoimmune issues or other food allergies going on.
You guys are so awesome!! I always know I can count on this group! The bad thing is, now I'm REALLY hungry!!!
The party is not for another two weeks, so maybe I'll go shopping this weekend a try a few of these ideas out and see which one I can get to come out the best! I'm a pretty good cook, but not the best baker! lol
Thanks again for all the help everyone and keep the ideas coming!!
Well, it's getting to be that time of the year again where people have those parties where everyone goes and exchanges cookies and recipies. This is my first Christmas season gluten free. I just got an invitation from my boyfriend's sister (who will likely be my sister-in-law at some point) to come to her cookie exchange party. I know that there is about a 99.99% chance I won't be able to eat anyone else's cookie recipies, but I thought I should go to be supportive and social and bring some of my own gluten free cookies for everyone to try.
So, here's my issue.... I don't have the first idea about how to make cookies! Does anyone have a good gluten free holiday cookie recipe?
Also, how would/does everyone else deal with that type of a party in terms of eating beforehand? Politely declining to try someone else's cookie recipe?
Yep, you are right. Many Celiac's have a hard time handling milk products until they have been on the gluten free diet for a while and have had time to heal. I've seen several people on here suggest to new people that they refrain from consuming milk products until they have given themselves a little while on the gluten-free diet. Also, people with Celiac are also likely to have other food allergies. So, it could just be that you have an allergy to milk products also.
They just started carrying Udi's last month at my local Hy-Vee (the only place I can get it here!!), so I totally understand where you are coming from. Before that, I had completely given up on sandwiches. When I wanted a sandwich, I went and bought corn tortilla shells and put my ham and cheese on those. I happened to stop into the freezer section of the health food part of Hy-Vee a month or so ago and there it was...Udi's! I'd heard so much about it on here that I HAD to try it. I have gone through a loaf a week since then! I always make sure I have one ready in my freezer!! It's so good my boyfriend actually prefers it to his normal gluten-filled bread!! I love that it doesn't just melt away in your mouth and it is actually fairly substantial! Now I can have grilled cheese again and really enjoy it!! )
I think for most of us it is requirement. If what you have is Celiac Disease, every time you ingest gluten you are doing serious damage to your body. There are some people who do not show any symptoms and there are some people (like me) who have been absolutely miserable for years with symptoms prior to going gluten free. If you are a person who only shows mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, you are still damaging your body when you eat gluten. It is making it harder, or impossible, for your body to absorb proper nutrients, damaging your small intestine, increasing your risk of cancer and other diseases. Untreated Celiac can cause miscarriages, infertility, neurological problems, and a host of other horrible things. You can get all these things even if you aren't miserable on a daily basis with the stomach cramping, foggy head, headaches, joint aches, diahrrea... Going COMPLETELY gluten free allows your body to repair some or all of the damage caused by gluten. You should start absorbing nutrients properly again, you will feel better, and you will decrease your chances of getting some of those other issues. So, yes, it is a requirement for Celiac sufferers. I've kind of heard it described from my doctor as eating glass.... if there was a whole bowl full of shattered glass in front of you, knowing what it would do to your insides if you ate and swallowed it, would you still just eat a little bit? That's kind of what Celiac does... It's kind of like the little shards of glass. Whether you eat a little handful of shards or a big handful of shards, whether you just eat shards once a week, or all the time, they are still going to cause a significant amount of damage to your body. It's best just not to have any.
Now, if you haven't started the gluten free diet totally, you should go get tested by your doctor. Then, it wouldn't hurt to meet with a nutritionist to discuss the ins and outs of the gluten free diet.
I know it can be REALLY REALLY overwhelming! I totally understand where you are coming from there, but the thing is, if it's what you need to do to keep your body healthy and to make yourself feel better, then you have to do it. It's totally worth it!
There are a lot of great people on this forum who are more than willing to help out with some advice or to just listen when you need to vent. Just remember, you are not alone in this and we are all in this together! That's why we're all on here!