I am new to gluten-free (2 1/2 weeks at it now). I have things coming up (not just the holidays that are stressing me out).
We have a wedding this weekend. I can turn down cake, but what if there is a buffet at the reception? The last wedding we went to , we were there for over 9 hours. I can't really pack a dinner and put it in my purse.
In December, we have a get together at a bar. Supposed to meet up at 8pm there and the band starts at 11pm. I rarely drink (only a few times a year), but when I do , I always have bread or something to help with the alcohol. I am planning on eating before we go. But what is safe to get at a bar? Drinks? Any food? What can I throw in my purse for a snack?
Then in January, we will have a Banquet. Last year, it was held at a seafood restaurant. It was a buffet with foods like salad, rolls, potatoes, fried fish, breaded chicken, pie, etc. Last year the banquet/award ceremony was from around 5pm-12am (and it was about 45-1 hour away so making dinner beforehand and eating and trying to get ready, etc would be difficult).
I know most people say don't eat out for the first 6 months of going gluten free. But I can't be a hermit for 6 months. Not sure what to do. I am starting to get very anxious (which makes me extremely sick).
I have to eat in restaurants rather often. Before I got there, I phone and explain them "I am with this group of 8 people, reservation was made by Joe Jones for thursday, I have to eat gluten-free". Until today all have said: "This ist no problem". When I am there I declare myself as the gluten-free who phoned a few days before. Last saturday, after a fine gluten-free-dinner at a banquet for 100 people (the sauces were specially prepared for me), there followed a buffet of delicious desserts. I went to the chef and asked him: "Which ones of these declious sweets can I eat?" He showed me the chocolate-cream, the raspberry-cream and the lemon-cream. :-)
Until tody, I had no problems at all. I found the chefs very helpfull.
One of the restaurants even served a gluten-free roll. My only "bread" in this 7 1/2 weeks.
I have stopped eating in self-service-restaurants. I am realising that in nearly every sauce there is wheat....
I always cary some corn-crackers with me. Yesterday at a working-place, were I was as a guest, we were offered canapés; I explained I had to eat gluten-free and that I had something with me. So I munched some corn-crackers and some grapes.
I have been gluten free for about 1-3/4 years. The first few outtings are definitely the most nerve-racking. It does get easier as you go along, but the diligence is always there.
What I have found helpful is to contact the restaurant/bar/caterer in advance. This allows you to get a feel for what you are getting into before you get there. It also allows the place you are going to try to accommodate you. I went to one wedding that was a buffet. They brought me out a whole plate of chicken (way more than 1 person could possible eat), and told me what i could and could not have at the buffet. I believe they have servers dishing it out, so there was less risk of spoons crossing to the wrong bowls. Some more informal gatherings (bbq buffet) the caterer assembled a meal for me in advance.
If I think that I won't be able to eat when I am out, I will pack some food in my purse (either a sandwich, or kind bars, etc).
Bar food - salads are often ok. also burgers, but make sure you can get them to clean the grill if they put burger buns on it. i did have an issue with this once, but usually have had decent luck. beware of anything fried (including tortilla chips if they fry them on-site). If I called ahead, and it didn't sound promising, I would probably bring a sandwich in the car to eat before heading in, and another for after in case I was hungry.
good luck! being prepared definitely goes a long way in alleviating the stress of these situations.
The seafood banquet might be tough. If the potatoes are baked, they might be a good option.
Nuts pack some protein and fat, I try to have a snack bag or 2 of those in my purse. Nuts on line has gluten-free nuts and are excellent. Cashews are especially filling.
Just remember that if you were Kosher (for the wedding) the caterer would make accommodations for you. You can request a separate gluten-free vegetable plate separate from the buffet, which can be problematic from other guests double dipping or sauces on stuff you aren't sure of. I've also carried in my own can of gluten-free tuna, complete with can opener and hit the salad bar section of the buffet. (But watch out for croutons!) A whole, uncut baked potato is another good idea, as previously suggested.
From my experience, a buffet is hit or miss. Hate the misses.
Positive improvement from elimination diet. Mother dx'd by Mayo Clinic in late 1980s. Negative blood tests and Upper & Lower GI biopsy. Parathyroidectomy 12/09. Recurring high calcium level 4/10. Gluten-free 4/10. Soy & Dairy Free 6/10. Corn free 7/10. Grain free except rice 8/10. Legume free 6/11. Fighting the battle of the battle within myself, and I'm going to win!
As of 2/12, tolerating dairy, corn, legumes and some soy, but I limit soy to tamari sauce or modest soy additives. Won't ever try quinoa again!
Discoid Lupus from skin biopsy 2011, discovered 2/12 when picking up medical records. Systemic Lupus Dx 6/12. Shingles 10/12.
I agree with calling ahead. I've had very good luck with this. Sometimes for business meals, if I don't feel like derailing the agenda with a discussion of celiac, I'll even arrange with the manager that I'm going to order "X", but don't want to have to talk about it, can you please make sure that the cross contamination precautions are taken (and discuss with him or her).
However, I'm in a big city and they're pretty used to this by now.
In addition to that, Kind Bars are your friend. They rarely get mushed up in your bag, there are more than a few varieties and you can find them in most delis if you forget to pack some. I'll also nibble on carrots or celery if they're on a buffet, as long as I can see that they're not near something crumby (I don't think I'm hyper sensitive to cc, though). Sometimes I'll pack a GO Picnic, just in case.
Go Picnics are great and are perfect for traveling!
Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014
Anemia -- Resolved
Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013
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Allergies and Food Intolerances
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If the banquet is being held at a restaurant again you can call the restaurant and ask for something to be set aside for you.
I always carry one or several of these things with me: gluten-free crackers, kind bar/think thin crunch bar/bakery on main bar/simply bar, nuts, gluten-free granola, fruit, bag of sugar snap peas. I'm constantly on the go, so I end up eating at least one meal a day out of my purse.
I personally wouldn't trust bar food. I stick with wine and bring crackers with me.
I went to a wedding recently and mildly glutened myself on some appetizers that the caterers thought were gluten free (I should have been more careful). Couldn't eat anything for the rest of the night and was feeling not so great. I'd say better to have your own snacks if the caterers aren't 100% positive that their food is safe. Just hold onto a glass of wine and take small sips all night. And remember that while food is a factor at social gatherings, the most important part is enjoying good company
Diagnosed with IBS - Fall 2007
Diagnosed with Celiac via blood test (tTg off the charts) - March 18th, 2011
Gluten free as of March 25th, 2011 and going strong!
Positive biopsy April 1st, 2011
Blood test results back down to normal levels November 2012
Yep, contact the restaurant/caterer and find out what they can do for you. If it doesn't sound promising, bring lots of little snacks, or ask if you can bring your own dinner and get it warmed up there or something.
I was at my cousin's wedding this past weekend, and since several of our family members are Celiac, almost all the food was gluten-free, and what wasn't was segregated and clearly labelled. They brought me some gluten-free crackers and rolls (crackers were good, rolls were like sawdust, but I appreciated the effort).
This was lucky though. I would never ever eat from a regular ol buffet with gluteny things living next to supposedly non-gluteny things.
And snacks. Always snacks in the purse. Don't be afraid to bring a bag of stuff. Better than getting sick.
~ Be a light unto yourself. ~ - The Buddha
- Gluten-free since March 2009 (not officially diagnosed, but most likely Celiac). Symptoms have greatly improved or disappeared since.
- Soy intolerant. Dairy free (likely casein intolerant). Problems with eggs, quinoa, brown rice
- mild gastritis seen on endoscopy Oct 2012. Not sure if healed or not.
- Family members with Celiac: Mother, sister, aunt on mother's side, aunt and uncle on father's side, more being diagnosed every year.
or ask if you can bring your own dinner and get it warmed up there or something.
This is a great suggestion! My uncle has Celiac and has very severe reactions and when we had a large family gathering at a restaurant he brought his own dinner and the restaurant was very good about heating it up for him so that he could eat with everyone else. Most places make an effort to be accommodating.