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Eating Out
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I am new here, and have only recently decided to try being gluten free (after 6 years of tests and no diagnosis aside from IBS and basically being told I am constipated and to take laxatives, i decided to look at my options diet wise because i have almost every symptom of gluten intolerance...now 2 weeks gluten free and although I don't feel 100% better yet, the debilitating stomach pains are minimal and I have WAY more energy, significatn decrease in gas, and don't have the urge to eat 24/7 to try and mask the stomach pains).

Anyways, I have been doing pretty well and am finding alternatives to most of my favourite foods. My biggest issue is finding something I can eat at a fast food restaurant. I actually very rarely eat at fast food places (aside from Subway or Pita Pit which obviously I will only be able to order salads there now and hope there is no CC) but sometimes I have no choice. For example, last night I left work and had to catch the train to go to a concert in Toronto....well I clearly wasn't planning ahead as I didn't bring dinner to eat at work before I left so i had to find something to eat. I ended up ordering the only salad McDonalds had and luckily it was just greens, chicken, cranberries and Renees dressing (which i checked they are all gluten free). I was nervous because the chicken did have seasoning on it. I think I actually psyched myself out and gave myself a stomach ache after eating it. I was still hungry so i ate a bag of plain potatoe chips. By the time the concert was over i was so hungry my stomach was grumbling and I felt sick.

So I guess my question is how do you deal with those times where you have no choice but to eat out. I am not good with just snacks as a meal replacement so even if i bring gluten free snacks I will still be hungry. It has been easy so far until last night! GAH I am sure there is no easy answer (would be nice though!) but maybe some tips would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

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hmmmm. I never eat at fast food places. If I'm stuck without food I'll go to a grocery or convenience store and buy some deli meat and cheese. gluten-free crackers if they have them.

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I have never eaten out at a fast food restaurant while gluten-free. Actually, I rarely have anyway because we do not have any in this area that have anything truly good and flavourful. I just would not chance it. We have literally NO restaurants in town I can safely eat at so we must drive to the city three hours away to eat out. Like Jestgar, I pack snacks instead including fruit cups, pepperoni sticks, fruit, veg, lactose-free yogurt, homemade muffins or cupcakes or cookies, etc.

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So I guess my question is how do you deal with those times where you have no choice but to eat out.

I do my absolute best to NEVER put myself in that situation. Make sure you always have a choice. I keep 2-3 Lara bars in my purse plus a few Sesame snaps and usually and Enjoy Life bar or two as well. In my car I have a survival kit with enough food to feed myself for a day or two. It's nothing fancy and it's certainly not as satisfying as a proper meal but it's better than risking 2 weeks of my life being sick.

Alternately you need to do some research. Keep a list in your purse of exactly what you can eat at various restaurants. If I go to the mall here I know I can have New York Fries, a Booster Juice (I skip the boosters because some of them have wheat and I'm not sure they are kept separate enough to avoid cc) or an Orange Julius. That's it. I don't trust Subway to make a salad and not cc me. There is just so much bread all around and hands in and out of vegetable containers.

In a pinch I'll go to a grocery store and get some fruit, rice crackers and cheese or some sushi and no soy sauce.

If I'm going out for the day I plan on where I am going to eat but I also pack everything I need to eat in case the food I planned on is unavailable.

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I agree that eating out is the biggest challenge for dealing with a gluten-free diet. I am a single man who up until less than a month ago ate out most of my meals. While I always had an eat to live mentality I ate out with friends or dates as a social thing. I think there is a difference for those who have a family life in the home and either they or a family member prepares and cooks their own meals and someone like me and maybe you.

I suggest that when eating out that you change the type of places you eat at. Firstly, stay away from fast food places that serve highly processed food and eat at places like Chipolte or similar where they use more whole-type foods. Secondly, when eating at a non-fast food restaurant learn the difference between highly processed bar type food and stick with a place that serves healthier choices that are again whole-type foods. You will always have the chance of CC no matter what but always attack your food choices with the most obvious (whole-foods) first then fine tune your choices to mitigate CC.

Lastly, educate your friends and if they don't work with you when deciding where to eat then get new friends. Surround yourself with a**holes and they will always let you down. A good person/friend will respect your needs.

Wish you luck!

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Welcome to the board! Big chains I know of are Wendy's and Burger King. Wendy's is celiac heaven because the chili is gluten-free so you can get a filling meal of chili and a baked potato. I'm not crazy about BK, but you can get the chicken salad and usually the french fries are in a dedicated fryer. Boston Market is another chain where we can eat a lot of the food. I also go to Chipotle and In-N-out but I think those are local chains.

Do check those McDonald's salads carefully. It looks like they are in the middle of changing from a gluten-containing to a gluten-free chicken breast recipe.

http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutritionexchange/ingredientslist.pdf I recently was at a McDonalds that had berry smoothies. I imagine they have a gazillion calories but it was a nice treat to find on the road.

I eat McDonald's fries without problems, though I know some celiacs are scared of them. They have a flavoring with a tiny bit of wheat in the oil early in the processing. Independent testing to shows the gluten doesn't make it through to the finished product. Some people steer clear anyway.

After getting a salad with visible crumbs in it, I do NOT eat at Subway.

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Thanks everyone!

I am still figuring out how sensitive I am so I guess I will see once I have been gluten-free for a few months!

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