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Fast Food
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I'm just newly diagnosed- have been eating gluten free for 2 weeks and I can tell it's helping me. I am doing Ok with the diet- still lots of questions but it's not as difficult as I first expected and I feel so much better. Now, I would like to be able to go out to eat with my family or a friend now and then but I don't know what I can safely order. Veterans- have you tryed fast food at all? I mean Wendy's salads or steak at Red Lobster or whatever? Baked potatoes? Anything I can eat? Thanks again.

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I haven't tried actual fast food since I went gluten-free, but I did have a good experience at an Eat 'n' Park (Western PA chain sort of like Denny's) restaurant recently. I explained my needs to the server and asked whether the plain baked fish would be a good choice, and she replied that she remembered waiting on another celiac customer who had ordered exactly that. I was impressed! (I don't think she was fibbing, either.) I didn't have any problems with the meal (un-floured fish baked in olive oil instead of butter since I am also dairy-free, plain steamed sugar snap peas, and a plain baked potato onto which I poured lots of salt and the puddle of oil from the fish), and it was delicious! I think part of the reason I managed to have a good experience there and not at some other restaurants is that we arrived between the lunch and dinner rushes, so the cook had the time to be careful! I also took along my own gluten-free bread and margarine. My only trouble was that I had to spend the entire meal staring at a picture of their absolutely delicious, now forever forbidden grilled sticky bread a la mode with honey-butter sauce! :( Oh, well!

At any rate, plain un-marinated, un-seasoned, and un-floured meats and fish are a good bet (but check to see what brand of chicken is used--some are injected with gluten-containing broth!), as are plain steamed vegetables and baked potatoes. Rice pilaf is NOT a safe bet, because it is almost always made with chicken broth. Grilled foods are often risky; a clean skillet is better if they can scrounge one up. Condiments and spreads are really only safe if they come in single-serving packets--you don't want the cook sticking a crumb-covered knife in the mustard jar, for instance! Salad bars are prone to cross-contamination, and you might want to take your own dressing for any salad, just as a precaution. (I believe some mainstream dressings are gluten-free, but I don't know which ones they are--and I am picky, anyway, and don't like most commercial dressings.)

Anyway, that's all I can think of right now. I hope it helps!

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I've eaten Wendy's chili and fries. I almost always order a salad when I go out to eat. I live in Canada, I don't know you guys have Lone Star up there, but I can actually eat fajitas!! I eat there all the time!

:ph34r:

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I also eat Wendy's chili and fries, chinese food with white sauce (after I made sure they did not use flour), and Outback Steakhouse, I usually have their ribs and baked potato, their salads are awesome they say their dressing is gluten-free but the it bothers me, I think it's the spices they use (it's a little warm).

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Regarding Outback.. Last I heard, their "chocolate thunder from down under" brownie if flourless and gluten-free! Cool huh?!?!

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Kathleen,

Have you tried it? I heard that they are really good about the gluten free diet, but if this is true it's a whole other level!!!

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Yeah, Outback's got a gluten-free menu (you can check it out on their website, but ask for one at the restaurant in case they made any local changes).

We went there for my birthday last year (a few months after going gluten-free) and I HAD to have the brownie (even though I usually don't have dessert). It was tasty. I'll admit to having had better, but I'm also a pretty big food snob! :-) It's definitely something that I would eat again, and yep - totally safe. (Well, as far as gluten is concerned, I don't know about dairy...) :-)

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I eat at Outback almost once a week. I love the steaks and the chicken. The Queensland salad is great also! And at least once a month I have to have the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under...the flourless brownie. It is a warm brownie with nuts topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream!!! I it very large so I usually ask for a couple of spoons and share it with my son. Somethimes I will order the grilled shrimp appetizer...minus the toast...so that I have room for the whole dessert!

Brenda

gluten-free for almost 2 years

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I am a big Wendy's fan- plain baked potato, fries, chili, and salads.

Caution on their prepared salads, though: the chicken they use in the Mandarin Chicken salad isn't just chicken, so steer clear. I like their burgers (bun free, of course)- one of the only fast food restaurants that's 100% beef, no additives. I always ask for 2 pieces of lettuce; makes it easier to eat.

Check out their website. It has all the nutrition and ingredient info. you'll need.

I love TGIFriday's but have had no success in getting information from their national people on the ingredients. They recommend that you speak directly with the manager at each restaurant to get the real scoop.... ;< which I haven't done yet. I tend to only order the very plain foods and bring along my own salad dressing.

Seafood's always a good bet- steamed plain, or sauteed in olive oil or butter. Don't eat the imitation crab/imitation lobster stuff. I think they call it lobster stick??? It has very bad stuff in it....

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I think I will be making a trip out to Outback's. I need to try this brownie!! Ihave such a sweet tooth and I absolutely cannot cook or bake so all the better when a restaurant does it for me!!

:P

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Oh that brownie is AWESOME!! I crave it at least once a month :D . I tried to make gluten-free brownies and they did not turn out like that at all! It would be nice if they would hand over that recipe!

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Stacie,

My boyfriend makes me really good, gluten-free brownies!!! When he gets home I'll post the recipe. They are so good that all my family members and his (non celiacs) love them.

B)

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Cool, I look forward to it! Thank you so much!

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Are you guys serious??? A gluten free brownie? I am going there tonight if that is the case!!! Maybe my celiac daughter and I (also celiac) will go on a girl date tonight!!! I can't even tell you how excited I am!

I am brand spanking new to this board...but 8 yr old daughter and me are gluten free for about 5-6 yrs now! It is hard still but having somewhere to go and get goodies will be a nice change!

We always to to Mcdonalds cuz they have a designated fryer for their fries. Also...we do pretty good with most Mexican resteraunts. We get nachos which we both love!!! I just double check ingredients and almost always can't have the sour cream and guacamole (usually has sour cream in it). Every now and then you find a place that makes their own from fresh avacados and YUMMY!!!

Thanks so much for the Outback tip!!!

Can't wait...(did I mention that I was excited to go try it!!!!!!!!!!)

Lynette

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JsBabyG -

How can you eat a fajita from Lone Star???????????? That's a flour tortilaa, eh? and a mountain of other unsure foods?

Just curious?

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I'm the only Celiac in my family and we eat out regularly. OUtback is wonderful and the brownie is a welcome treat! I double-checked at the restaurant and it is gluten-free. I bring the gluten-free menu from the website with me and show the servers. They know nothing about it, but love that I bring it in. I've never had a problem there.

The local Mexican place is great! Very few servers speak much English so it is a known risk, but well worth it. The food is great and it's cheap too. Never had a problem and it's a great place for good drinks!

Chili's was always a favorite and I love them even more now that I am gluten-free. I know the official stance is it is not a safe place, but I have never had a problem yet. They just started a Adkins style low carb/bunless menu. Steamed veggies or chips instead of the fries and a bunless burger makes me so happy! The servers and managers are always very helpful and pretty knowledgable about the foods and cross-contamination issues. Plus if they don't know they ask questions and come back.

Wendy's is also a easy place to eat. I live on the Chili and cheese baked potato. The fries at the local store are in a dedicated frier so they are safe too. I'm not big on salads so I can't help you there.

My theory on eating out is simple, learn the trigger words for non-gluten-free foods and go at non-peak hours, if possible. Tell the server that you have the food allergies and you'll need to ask questions. Tell them you are not in a rush and then I expect the meal to run a little longer than normal. I ask about a dedicated frier for french fries and potato skins. I check about any possible appitizers. Then when it comes to the meal, I order something simple and plain and ask them not to put additional seasings on it (like garlic butter etc.). I bring salad dressings and BBQ sauce from home to use as seasonings for the meat. I don't expect a perfect meal, but I am pleasantly suprised on a regular basis.

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Has anyone had any experience with Schlotzky's Deli? They opened one several months ago here in Korea. Unfortunately, it was before I was diagnosed so I know exactly what I'm missing when my friends have the sandwiches! I usually opt for the Chinese chicken salad but I've had reactions a couple of times. Not sure if it's the dressing or if it's cross-contamination. None of the staff speak English and my Korean doesn't extend to nutritional vocabulary. Has anyone from the U.S. eaten there?

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I'm not sure if this has been posted before, but I was reading Chick-Fil-A's site and they have a gluten free menu as well... The link is http://www.chickfila.com/gluten.asp They also list other food allergies on their site, if you have others.

These are the items they say are safe (boy, I'm going to miss their nuggets):

Entr

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Attention those who live in Rochester, NY. There's a restaurant Atomic Eggplant there. Almost all the dishes on the menu are gluten-free. The food is delisious, portions really big, prices lovely. My daughter found that place when I was planning to visit her family there (I'm the one with gluten intolerance). Since then, every time I visit them, we eat out there. Can you tell you even more. They and all their friends whom she talked into trying it, fall in love with that place :P and either stay there for dinner or order the food and pick it up an hour later.

If anyone from Rochester is reading this message, that's my advice to you - try it and you won't regret it.

At the same time, I need your advice, people. My daughter is 24, an intelligent girl, studies alternative medicine. Her daughter, my granddaughter, is 4 yo, very skinny, her weight is 29 lb, hight a little below average. They both have no signs of gluten intolerance. The problem is she doesn't want to hear about getting tested herself and the little one though she knows the danger of this disease. How can I make her do it? Do I need to do it? I don't want them to suffer the way I'd been suffering until I figured out what was wrong with me.

Please, excuse my mistakes in English. I'm a former immigrant from Russia. If I stayed in Russia, I would've been dead by now for in Russia they don't know about this problem. Isn't that the great reason to be thankful to this country? I'll be glad to receave any response. You may also contact me at alexa11219 at aol.

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I've just read Aimee's message with the listing of dressings and found blue-cheese one there. As far as I know, blue cheese is not recommended for such "freaks" as we are as its blue/green stuff may be grown on some glutenous grains. It was my favorite cheese and still is a big loss for me :( .

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I also have my oldest daughter, who doesn't believe she has the problem. I've worked on her for 3 years now without result. I'm still hoping she will come around, but I certainly can't make her listen. So, for now, I'm backing off the subject. She and her children all need to be tested. Guess we'll both just have to be patient. It's difficult to watch her suffer. Also her oldest daughter, now has a little girl, our first great granddaughter, and I really think she shows the symptoms. Our granddaughter is trying to keep her on the diet. So I feel, at least part of the family is listening. Shirley

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Thank you Shirley. At least I know I'm not alone dealing with this problem. Anyone else has any experience in talking their children into being tested? I'll appreciate your responces.

Alexa

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;) Alexia, I have tried and tried to get my 7 children to understand that blood test is a snapshot at the moment. My children each displays their own symptoms and I hate the idea that they will get as close to death as I did. Still, I can not help that they will not listen. They seem to feel that the diet is a big problem. I don't feel it is. However, as my young grandson just found out peeling some potatoes, if you don't listen, you get hurt. No one can force any one else to do any thing. We just sit back and feel sad about the whole thing. God Bless, Royann
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Royann, Glad you're back on the web. I agree, if they won't listen you cannot help until they are ready to listen. Then you can be there for them. Shirley in San Diego

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    • Mnoosh,    Can you give us a link to the article you read about the increased risk after being diagnosed and maintaining a strict gluten-free diet??       IMO,   You are over reacting to a misprint or most likely a misread article.
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    • Take a deep breath and calm down!    The incidence of cancer with Celiac Disease is rare.......it can happen but the vast majority of people never have that experience.  You may have somewhat enlarged lymph nodes due to inflammation from undiagnosed Celiac but that will all calm down and go away once you get going on the diet.  Believe me, there are many of us that have things happen during the diagnosis and early recovery period and everything turned out just fine.  There is an elevated risk for some cancers with Celiac but that risk goes back to that of the general population after a couple of years on the gluten-free diet. I cannot remember the exact time frame but it is somewhere between 2-4 years, I think.  So many of us went years without a diagnosis and when it was all figured out, we have gone on to be healthy with little complications.  Really...do  not worry about this.  Concentrate on learning all the ins and outs of this disease and how to live gluten free happily.  We are here to help you and guess what? The diet is not as bad as some make it out to be. Many things can be made gluten free and are every bit as good as their gluten counterparts. The diet may not be convenient but it is not hard. I would not lie to you!   
    • Well....one common symptom that most celiacs have when they are diagnosed (or undiagnosed) is anxiety.  So, there is a risk of cancers, but science has demonstrated that that risk goes down on a gluten free diet (if you have celiac disease).  In goes down to the same risk as those without celiac disease.   I kind of was a basket case.  I drive my family a bit crazy because I was anxious.  I felt a bit stupid too.  I guess I had a little brain fog going on too.  All that resolved after I healed. Welcome to the fourum.  Read our Newbie 101 thread under "Coping" (pinned at the top of the page) and learn about hidden sources of gluten and cross contamination.  I think most of us do not worry about cancer. We mourn the freedom to eat anything anywhere!   I did not have swollen lymph nodes, but I am sure others have and they did not have cancer.  Hopefully, they will chime in and set your mind at ease.  If not, you can search for "lymph nodes" at the top of the page (little magnifying glass).  There are lots of members with the same issue!  
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