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Sick Of Restaurants!
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Tonight I really wanted to dine out. Because we were out and many miles from home. But my daughter didn't want to dine out. And I hadn't bought any food for the week. My daughter had stomach issues last week so I wasn't sure if she would be eating or not. The Dr. had put her on a liquid diet until things settled down. Daughter wanted to come home and eat a bagel. I was like... No. That's all you want eat any more. Just no. I do have plenty of beans, rice, pasta and canned vegetables in the house. Also raw apples and carrots but not much else.

We did stop at PCC Natural Market. It's a local chain that's sort of like Whole Foods. They do sell prepared food and many are labeled gluten-free but... When we stopped in there to buy dinner on Sat., the only thing my daughter could find that she wanted to eat was a vegan chocolate chip cookie. I was pretty frustrated because they do have a ton of options that she could have. Far less for me. Gluten isn't an option for me but... Most gluten containing foods are out of the question for me given my other food intolerances which include dairy and eggs.

So tonight she pitched a fit and refused to dine out. We wound up going through the drive through at Taco Time. I dislike doing that because it wasn't the one that we normally eat at. They know us in that one and are really good to prepare our food specially for us. Tonight, only my beans had the "special" sticker on them even though our tacos were also special. They appeared to be safe. We ate. I feel like crud now. Not sure if I can blame that on the food or not. I may well have whatever crud my daughter had last week.

We do seem to fare best at Mexica places but... We do have to be careful. Daughter can't have peanuts and some of their sauces contain peanut butter. I can't have chicken and their rice often contains chicken broth. We have been eating at the same place weekly. They do prepare us special meals. And the food is good but... I keep ordering the same thing week after week and that's getting boring.

If we go to a place that isn't Mexican, I seem to be limited to getting the same few things. Hamburger patty and fries or plain baked potato. Maybe a taco salad or chili. But those things are iffy. I don't always like them. Hummus with raw veggies. Technically I can have the gluten-free pasta at the Old Spaghetti Factory or Olive Garden but I find it to be expensive, less than thrilling and because I am a diabetic I can only safely eat half of it.

So, just bleh. More than likely we'll have our Christmas dinner or lunch with the family out somewhere because they just love to dine out. And they don't understand our food issues. They think we are just being too picky. And oddly enough, most of the other family members do have issues with foods. They either do have or might have (but were never tested) food allergies or intolerances. They eat the food then get sick then complain. Now I don't usually mind complaints. But if you know that dairy or eggs or whatever makes you sick, then don't eat it and complain to me! Then they always push the desserts onto us. We keep saying, "We don't/can't eat dessert!"

So I am envisioning either another yucky meal or... Us skipping the meal. Or us just getting like a salad or something and picking at it. I can't even eat salad safely because I never know how much is going to be too much for me. And if I eat too much salad, I get sick.

I guess I just wish things could be like they were in the old days. I could go out and order a tuna melt or a patty melt or even a hot turkey sandwich! But no. These things are not safe for me in a restaurant. I can't even eat tuna or rye any more. *sigh* I can at least make the hot turkey sandwich safely at home.

Restaurants used to be a nice place to go. Now they just sort of seem like torture.

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Amen, sister. No words of wisdom, just -- yes.

One silver lining, though: I've felt this way my whole life, but didn't know why or what was safe to eat (until now). At least you know what the problem is and what is safe to eat.

And another "count your blessings" thing: some of the Crohn's folks are fed by stomach tube only, or are just on liquid diets.

Yeah, that doesn't always help me, either. So I have a glass of wine when I have to go out somewhere where I can't eat anything and sneak a rice cake. But if you're diabetic you're probably not a drinker. But small vices of some kind do help cope with this.

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Have you tried steak houses? I've had -moderently- good luck with them. I generally just get a steak, a potato (nothing on it, tried with butter once and well yeah), and the steamed veggies (minus the buttery stuff they put on it). I think what gets me is that its just a bit too greasy for me.

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Amen, sister. No words of wisdom, just -- yes.

One silver lining, though: I've felt this way my whole life, but didn't know why or what was safe to eat (until now). At least you know what the problem is and what is safe to eat.

And another "count your blessings" thing: some of the Crohn's folks are fed by stomach tube only, or are just on liquid diets.

Yeah, that doesn't always help me, either. So I have a glass of wine when I have to go out somewhere where I can't eat anything and sneak a rice cake. But if you're diabetic you're probably not a drinker. But small vices of some kind do help cope with this.

Yeah, I can't drink. I do have gastroparesis but... I quit going to the support groups for that because I felt out of place. At least I can eat some foods. A lot of the folks there are on feeding tubes.

Quite frankly both my daughter and I are starting to get burned out on all foods. If they could just put food in a pill or something, that would make me happy! At least for now.

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Have you tried steak houses? I've had -moderently- good luck with them. I generally just get a steak, a potato (nothing on it, tried with butter once and well yeah), and the steamed veggies (minus the buttery stuff they put on it). I think what gets me is that its just a bit too greasy for me.

No because I can't digest steak or most veggies. Actually I don't think we have too many steak houses around here. We did go to Outback but there again, I was stuck with the burger patty and fries and I was not impressed. My daughter had some sort of chicken dish and she didn't like it. It had some sort of cheese sauce something on it. Maybe it was mushrooms. I can't remember now. Pretty much the only safe meat for me in a restaurant is ground beef. I can eat turkey but in a restaurant they tend to smother it with gravy which usually has dairy in it. And although I can manage to eat turkey with mashed potatoes or stuffing, these are things that I have to make at home. They are never safe for me in a restaurant. And I really don't like turkey with other sides. I guess I can also eat chopped sirloin or whatever they want to call it in a restaurant but really I think that's pretty much the same thing a hamburger patty. Heh.

I need to go check the Red Lobster menu. That's one place that my family loves to eat. But with me being intolerant to all fish and shellfish, that has been out of the question. I did see a commercial for them on TV and it appeared that they had some new items on the menu. Like a hamburger. So maybe... And yeah, I know they could have cross contamination there.

Just trying to think about how we're gonna do Christmas. I know that having food at my mom's house would be out of the question. She is stressing out enough the way it is after having to put my dad in an adult family home. And it won't even be on Christmas or Christmas Eve because my nephew's fiance has to work on those days. So it's not like the rest of them could get a holiday meal when out.

I had ordered some tamales with a side of chili for me from TX that I had planned to serve at home for my daughter and I to eat for our Christmas. I love tamales and had always wanted to do that. But my mom hates them. So when I learned that we wouldn't be celebrating with her on the real day, I went ahead and ordered. Black bean for me and chicken for daughter. But then she pitched a fit and said she wouldn't eat them! She wants tuna casserole! So... I guess she will get Mrs. Leepers or whatever it is that I have in the cupboard. Teenagers! Sheesh!

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So, would you consider it your choice to not dine in restaurants? I was recently told it was my choice and it did not sit too well for me. Choice seems like whatever one prefers to do? But I would rather eat with the family (rather than in the car by myself) and have someone do the cooking for me. However, I can't take that risk on vacation? Is that my choice?

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Hmmmn. Ah, I see, just like it is their choice not to eat rat poison? People just say dumb stuff dont they?

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I'm one of those who, even after 10 years of being strictly gluten free, considers it a choice. You CAN eat gluten if you want. Just like you can smoke if you want. Just like you can go out and binge drink when you're in college. Just like you can fail to stand up for yourself around friends and family. There are lots of stupid choices we are able to make every single day.

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No, your family can consider that they have the choice to vacation in a different style that might include not dining in restaurants which don't serve gluten free food you can eat ! Gaaah... rude people.

The orig. poster is in a different situation, between her food restrictions and her immediate family's (daughter) food restrictions, in combination, they have a very limited menu selection anywhere, and it is normal, I think, to get burned out in that situation. I fully sympathize with the situation. It is not fun, sometimes, to be over an hour from home, hungry, and be rooting thru your carry- cooler for something instead of eating regular food.

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I am not saying that her family shouldn't attempt to accommodate her choices. If you respect a person you should, logically, respect their choices ( unless they are causing true harm), and should respect their right to make those choices. So, I think the family, in this case, is just being mean and disrespectful and selfish by not offering a compromise.

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"Restaurants use to be a fun place to go, now they just seem like torture." Juliedove

Yeah, which is why I will not go there. Maybe once at the end of the vacation. There is no way to have me at a restaraunt. I don't have room for everyone's food in the family in the car oven. So if you see a person sitting in the car eating her dinner at Chipotle, Five Guys Burgers, or Jason's Deli parking lot be sure to say hello.

I highly recommend having a car oven and food along whenever one is very far from home.

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This year I have eaten four airline meals and two lunches at a cafe run by a celiac lady and her husband, where I feel really comfortable and relaxed. We are having Christmas at home. We have a new cafe in the village, arrived while I was gone to replace the one destroyed in the earthquake, and I am looking forward to establishing a relationship with them and finding out what they have to offer. I will try to make it work, but it may not..... It would be nice if we had somewhere local we could take friends out to dinner (or let them take us out :D )

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I'm one of those who, even after 10 years of being strictly gluten free, considers it a choice. You CAN eat gluten if you want. Just like you can smoke if you want. Just like you can go out and binge drink when you're in college. Just like you can fail to stand up for yourself around friends and family. There are lots of stupid choices we are able to make every single day.

True. And in the case of my family it is their choice to eat those foods that they know they should not. Which is fine by me except in the case where I think it caused an anaphylaxic reaction. I was really torn there. Really thought I should take this person to the hospital or dial 911 but she resisted. Other family member denied that it was a reaction like that and claimed that it had something to do with the drink she had being cold. If it were that, I don't think she would still be having trouble breathing some 6 hours later or have to dose herself with Benadryl. However, this person can be beyond stubborn and I didn't want to have to spend the rest of my life fighting with her for having dialed 911. I am already having to do that for dialing 911 on another family member who was in a medical crisis, IMO. Still convinced I was right there because he was taken to the hospital over a month ago and he will never be coming home again. He is in a place for old folks now.

When my birthday rolls around, I do not choose a place where I would like to dine. Because I know that the place I really like to go to is a place that my brother hates. I try to choose a place where we all can eat. Even though that place isn't my favorite. But the others do not necessarily do the same. They look at it as their day and they choose their favorite place to go.

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"Restaurants use to be a fun place to go, now they just seem like torture." Juliedove

Yeah, which is why I will not go there. Maybe once at the end of the vacation. There is no way to have me at a restaraunt. I don't have room for everyone's food in the family in the car oven. So if you see a person sitting in the car eating her dinner at Chipotle, Five Guys Burgers, or Jason's Deli parking lot be sure to say hello.

I highly recommend having a car oven and food along whenever one is very far from home.

I actually find that most of the time I can eat pretty well along the road. Of course it was a lot easier for me when I could have dairy. I am fine with eating dry cereal for breakfast. And beans straight from the can with some tortilla chips for lunch. Maybe the same for dinner if need be. Or peanut butter and crackers. Thankfully, gluten isn't an issue for me but if it were, I would bring a ton of gluten-free crackers with me from the start. Heck, I could probably even eat peanut butter on a potato chip! I also know where I can get single serve shelf stable hummus and that works for me too. And I usually travel with a few cans of green beans so that I can have veggies. Fresh veggies can be hard to come by on the road. I have seen more and more places that sell salads, but often they have cheese on them. But I have found Walmart or grocery stores and even though my husband gets mad at me for wasting time, I will duck in ther and get some veggies!

Probably our worst restaurant meal was one where they had a very limited menu. Daughter was eating gluten-free at the time. They did have chicken that was safe for her. But the fries were those waffle cut and those often contain wheat which was the case here. Luckily thyey did have hash browns and those were safe for her, but she really doesn't like them. I think she did have a green salad too. The really sad part was that it was a very fancy restaurant. But the menu was limited. So everyone around us was eating a huge big fancy plate of food and my daughter had her puny plate of plain food and I had my hamburger patty and fries.

I really wish more places would offer a plate of something like brown rice, beans and steamed veggies. Not that I like steamed veggies, because I don't really. But I did get that once at a very fancy place in Canada. Actually I don't think they had beans. Just the rice and veggies. I think more places should at least offer brown rice on the side. It's just sooo good for ya!

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This year I have eaten four airline meals and two lunches at a cafe run by a celiac lady and her husband, where I feel really comfortable and relaxed. We are having Christmas at home. We have a new cafe in the village, arrived while I was gone to replace the one destroyed in the earthquake, and I am looking forward to establishing a relationship with them and finding out what they have to offer. I will try to make it work, but it may not..... It would be nice if we had somewhere local we could take friends out to dinner (or let them take us out :D )

Airline meals scare it. I actually haven't flown in many years and hope never to have to again. Due to all the supplements I take, the four prescription meds and four kinds of insulin, flying would be a royal PITA.

In the past when I have flown, my breakfasts always seemed to consist of scrambled eggs, some sort of sickly sweet pastry or muffin and maybe some fruit. Lunch was only ever offered once and it was breaded chicken on a bun. Dinner always had a piddly little salad which was mostly what I ate. And I usually chose the pasta, but that would be out of the question now. Because invariably it would contain eggs, and/or dairy.

Even a vegan meal would likely be out of the question for me because people just seem to assume that vegans eat soy and I don't.

What do they typically put in a gluten-free airline meal?

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Everyone also seems to assume that if you are celiac you don't eat dairy and you do eat soy. Wrong for me on both counts. I always have to send out a call for butter because they always put a soy spread on the tray (they do this in hospital too, whilst giving regular passengers / patients butter :unsure: )

I could eat parts of my gluten free airline meals, but they have this horrible tendency to smother everything with tomatoes in some form or another. Scrambled eggs for breakfast are common, so are sausages which contain soy, both usually with a tomato sauce, and some form of potato which I also don't eat, with a roll and butter and some fresh fruit. Just occasionally, a yogurt. Dinner is often chicken of some kind, sometimes with mushrooms, ALWAYS tomato, often beans or peas and potatoes, so if there is some uncontaminated chicken I can eat that and the mushrooms. Roll with butter, a small salad with oil and wine vinegar dressing, cheese and either gluten free crackers or a roll and butter, often a dessert (pudding type) and usually some fresh fruit. The rolls are invariably awful but slightly better than they used to be :)

And flying international is always a PITA, gluten free or not.

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Everyone also seems to assume that if you are celiac you don't eat dairy and you do eat soy. Wrong for me on both counts. I always have to send out a call for butter because they always put a soy spread on the tray (they do this in hospital too, whilst giving regular passengers / patients butter :unsure: )

I could eat parts of my gluten free airline meals, but they have this horrible tendency to smother everything with tomatoes in some form or another. Scrambled eggs for breakfast are common, so are sausages which contain soy, both usually with a tomato sauce, and some form of potato which I also don't eat, with a roll and butter and some fresh fruit. Just occasionally, a yogurt. Dinner is often chicken of some kind, sometimes with mushrooms, ALWAYS tomato, often beans or peas and potatoes, so if there is some uncontaminated chicken I can eat that and the mushrooms. Roll with butter, a small salad with oil and wine vinegar dressing, cheese and either gluten free crackers or a roll and butter, often a dessert (pudding type) and usually some fresh fruit. The rolls are invariably awful but slightly better than they used to be :)

And flying international is always a PITA, gluten free or not.

Oh yes! Last time that I dined at a non Mexican restaurant I asked for a plain baked potato. Apparently to do me a favor or something they put some butter or margarine (not sure which) in a paper cup in my plate, next to the hot baked potato. Some of it had melted out onto the plate. I immediately grabbed the cup up, handed it to the waiter, told him I couldn't have it, wiped the plate with my napkin in the hopes of getting up the melted product, then asked for a clean napkin. And then of course I got sick that night.

At another restaurant, I ordered a plain baked potato for my daughter and they did something similar but worse. They put little cups of things on the side like sour cream, cheese, butter, bacon bits. The waitress said she felt bad for Angela because the potato looked so plain. I think told her that she had to have it plain because she had food allergies! They're not actually allergies but intolerances but in those days we were told by the Dr. that we had allergies.

Why is it when you are very specific in a restaurant about what you want, they sometimes put something else on the plate?

At another place, I asked about their dinner salad. Did it have cheese? Croutons? I was told that no, it did not. It was in fact just vegetables. So I said, "fine". And they brought me a salad topped with boiled egg slices. *sigh* I reminded the waitress that I had asked in advance and that I needed a salad that was just vegetables and nothing else. She acted like she didn't understand. She didn't want to take it back. But she finally did. And then brought me a plate with just lettuce. No carrots. No onion. No tomatoes. *sigh* So now even though that was the only time that I've ever had egg on a salad, I am always fearful that some other restaurant will do the same.

Oh and get this! I order a burrito at Taco Time. Gluten is not my issue so the tortilla is fine for me. I always say, no dressing, no cheese and no sour cream. Now several of the counter staff have said exactly this same thing to me. They get a confused look on their face and reply, "The sour cream is *in* the burrito!" I then reply, "Yes. I know it is. But I don't want it in mine!" But I really just want to shout. "Ohhhhhh! Duhhhhhhhhhh! It's *IN* the burrito!? That's fine then! Just don't freaking put it on the *OUTSIDE!* Hehehe. My daughter has gotten mad at me a few times when we went in there. I have a tendency to slam my hand down on the counter in anger and I get a bit of a not nice tone to my voice. The other thing we order is pinto beans. And many times they say, "Okay! One pinto bean BURRITO!" And then I'm like... "Did I say burrito? I said pinto BEANS!" The really odd thing there is that it is listed on their menu. I always have to point to the menu on the wall. Apparently we are the only ones who ever order that. And once, the counter person put something in that was 29 cents. The cook then came running out with a look of concern on her face, asking what it was we had ordered. She recognized us right away as the dairy free people. She knew full well what we ordered because we order the same couple of meal each week. Apparently the counter person found some thing on the register that nobody knew existed but it rang up as 29 cents for beans!

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Airline meals scare it. I actually haven't flown in many years and hope never to have to again. Due to all the supplements I take, the four prescription meds and four kinds of insulin, flying would be a royal PITA.

In the past when I have flown, my breakfasts always seemed to consist of scrambled eggs, some sort of sickly sweet pastry or muffin and maybe some fruit. Lunch was only ever offered once and it was breaded chicken on a bun. Dinner always had a piddly little salad which was mostly what I ate. And I usually chose the pasta, but that would be out of the question now. Because invariably it would contain eggs, and/or dairy.

Even a vegan meal would likely be out of the question for me because people just seem to assume that vegans eat soy and I don't.

What do they typically put in a gluten-free airline meal?

I do a lot of long-haul international flights. Up until our most recent trip, the meals I had were abysmal. Once the airline completely forgot so I did not get a single thing to eat on a nine-hour flight! Thank goodness I bring snacks along in a carry-on bag. However, on our last flights I was pleasantly surprised; in fact, my food actually looked BETTER than my husband's.

Airline meals in my experience on long-haul flights usually are an entree with a rice dish and maybe a cabbage salad. All is pre-packaged and kept separate. Celiacs get served first. Sometimes there is a roll (yuck) and butter and cookie (also yucky). This past time in addition to not-bad chicken and wild rice I had a fruit cup, vegetables, lactose-free yogurt and something else - I forget at the moment. Oh, yes. A brownie. Nothing like home-cooked food but it was the best meal I've had on an airline that I can recall, even before my diagnosis. I fly with Air Canada and then Lufthansa or Air France or whatever.

Always, ALWAYS take along a lot of extra snacks. Delays are very common. I have not found one single place to eat in most airports (except for Venice). Flying is next to impossible for me. I hate it because I have severe pain that becomes unbearable on flights. But I go anyway as I refuse to allow it to control my life. Plus our house in Croatia needs me! :P Or I need it. ^_^

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