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Dining Out Success!
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Our whole family has been traveling for the last week, and we brought most of the food with us and prepared more on the road. Even so, we found three occasions where we risked dining out, and they all worked out okay. It's the little things that get you all excited after living such a restricted lifestyle, but lemme tell you what we found.

 

1) A non-chain pizza place - VIP Pizza - at the Hammerhead Marina - Grand Lakes area of Oklahoma. Went in for the restroom, glanced at the menu, nothing gluten free, so I asked the manager if they had any gluten-free options. He told me that his friend has celiac and helped him develop a procedure and that they do a totally safe gluten free pizza that has never made his friend sick. I was so shocked! We came back that evening -- all 16 of us -- and at the pizza. Success! The pizza was wonderful and so were the staff members. I nearly cried I was so happy.

 

2) Red Robin cheeseburger and fries. Normal have kid food for a change. Love that they have an "allergen" fryer that never gets used except upon request for gluten free or whatever allergen. They have great procedures in place and my daughter has maybe never enjoyed a burger and fries that much before.  We live in a very rural area, so this was exciting for us, lol.

 

3) Chick-fil-a -- Can't say enough great things about the service, attention to detail, lengths they went to to reassure us that they would handle everything properly. Daughter got a regular grilled nugget kids meal with fruit and waffle fries.

 

I know that all of these are "junk food", but it's so nice to have some options! I've been hesitant to try restaurants, but our experiences over the last week have been wonderful. Just wanted to share!

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I feel like we keep getting different information on Red Robin. Maybe it depends on which restaurant? I haven't dared yet..

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Ooh I also wanted to say congrats on a great trip and what sounds like no gluten accidents.

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I feel like we keep getting different information on Red Robin. Maybe it depends on which restaurant? I haven't dared yet..

I'm sure it varies from location to location. I've walked out of restaurants when I felt that they wouldn't be able to handle the food to my satisfaction. We went in at an off-peak time and when the host asked if he could help us, I told him that I wasn't sure and that I had some questions about their gluten free menu and how they handle gluten free food. He pulled out the menu, went through the procedures, told me that the bun was pre-made and pre-wrapped in plastic and that they open them as needed. I don't know that they would have taken the time or paid such close attention if it was noon on Saturday or some other busy time.

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Like most fast food places, everything depends on the manager. A good manager can make your experience safe and satisfying; a poor manager can risk the rest of your trip. Glad you had such good experiences.

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    • Hi everyone, I've been reading this forum sporadically and have some questions of my own. I'm in my 40s and was diagnosed with celiac last December by biopsy and blood work after months of tests by my primary and then a gastro. My husband, around the same age as me, was dx'd with stage 4 cancer a month later, so admittedly it's took me longer than I'd have liked to learn about celiac. Now I feel pretty on top of my diet. I mostly make my own food - proteins and veggies, with some certified gluten-free snacks in the mix - and am pretty strict about what I will/won't eat at friend's houses or in restaurants (I prefer to go to dedicated gluten-free kitchens whenever possible). I'm doing okay on the diet, but still getting glutened every so often, usually when I let me guard down outside the home. I also periodically see my primary and a naturopath (who happens to have celiac!), but still, I have many questions if anyone would care to answer:

      -FATIGUE. I'm still so tired, fatigued so much of the time. My doctors blame this on the stress of my husband's diagnosis and my periodic trouble sleeping. But even during weeks where I'm sleeping enough (8-10 hrs a day), eating right, exercising as I can, trying to keep stress at bay, I'm still so bleeping tired. Maybe not when I wake up, but by late afternoon. Often my legs even feel weak/wooden. Has anyone else experienced greater fatigue early on after being diagnosed? This will pass, yes? I know I could cut out the sweets and that could help, but also, being a caregiver is hard and sometimes it's nice to eat your feelings between therapy sessions.  

      -SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY FATIGUE? Sometimes I'll have other "feels like I've been glutened" symptoms if I haven't gotten enough sleep, though I'm trying so hard to sleep at least 8 hours a night these days. Hasn't happened in a while thankfully, but there was a point this summer where my insomnia was bad and my arms were achy and I had some crazy flank/back pain I'd never experienced before. For weeks. Doctor ordered me to sleep sleep sleep, taking Benedryl if needed. I did, and the symptoms went away, but weird, yes? Has this happened to you? I ask because I want to make sure I'm getting all strange pains tested to the full extent if there's a chance it's something other than celiac. I do sometimes still feel that strange side stitch after a CC incident.

      -SKIN PROBLEMS. I have had a smidge of eczema since I was a teen and it - and the dermatitis herpetiformis I've acquired with my dx - are out of control right now. I recognize the connection with stress, but also, has anyone found any great natural remedies for DH to stop the itching? I've tried so many useless ointments and medicated creams, a number of them given to my by a dermo months ago. I see my naturopath this week, but thought I'd ask here too.

      -MOSTLY gluten-free KITCHEN GOOD ENOUGH? My husband is supportive of my diet and mostly eats gluten free meals with me, but we still keep a gluten-y toaster for him and the gluten-y dog food in a corner of the kitchen and he still makes the occasional meal with gluten for himself on his own cookware (ravioli, pizza, mac n cheese, etc). Or sometimes I make eggs/toast and the like for him when he's too sick to move. Otherwise, we're militant about how we cook, which cookware we use, etc. He even has a kitchen nook off our den where he makes sandwiches. But sometimes I wonder if having two separate sponges in our shared-ish main kitchen is enough and I should just banish all gluten whatsoever from the kitchen. I can't be the only one with a mixed kitchen, right? How do you do it if you have a mixed-eating family?

      Thank you so much!  
    • Hang in there!  Count your blessings.  Do something you like to do and relax. I know that is hard to do as a young mother (as I sit here in the kitchen sipping coffee quietly as my teenager is sleeping in after a late football game last night where she marched in 90 degree plus weather in full uniform).   But seriously, take a few minutes to relax!  
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