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I Dread Eating Out, Please Help

restaurant allergies gluten free

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21 replies to this topic

#1 pretty in paleo

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

Having celiac disease has ruined the restaurant experience for me. i try to be clear about my condition to wait staff, and they are dismissive, resentful and always confused. Then i get to read down a long list of foods i can never eat again. I end up getting something plain like a salad. later i am asked if i got enough to eat. i lie. Sometimes i have to send my food back and this makes me feel like people think im high mantenence! im sorry if i sound bitter. but its an awful exp . need tips to make it easier :) thanks :)
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#2 psawyer

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

Your experience is rather different from mine. While there are a few ugly cases in the dozen years I have been doing this, I have found that the majority of restaurants listen and at least try to meet my needs. You are likely to do better with chains, where there may be a corporate awareness, and with upscale independents. Try asking to speak to the manager on duty. They will be more aware, and will understand the basic rule of business, which is that they want yours. The manager would rather see a bit of extra effort spent than see you walk out the door.
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#3 Juliebove

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:06 AM

Oddly enough, salads are rarely a safe food for me! Can't tell you how many I've gotten with croutons on them. Or they put them on and then pick them off. Or I'll get towards the bottom of the plate or bowl and there is the lone crouton. Gluten isn't an issue for me but eggs, dairy and other things are so bread and pasta usually isn't safe for me.

Daughter and I do best if we find a place that cooks from scratch and frequent it often. Get to know the staff. Tip well if they do your food right. Heck I even tip well if they don't. For the first time anyway... People who don't have food issues often don't understand.

Try ordering side dishes even if they aren't exciting. Applesauce, canned pears or peaches and usually even fresh fruit are usually good choices and free from cross contamination. Chili is usually safe (but ask to make sure). Soup is often not safe. Baked potatoes are usually safe. Mashed potatoes may or may not be. They might mess up and put gravy on there. The butter or margarine could have had a knife in there that had previously cut bread. Chicken breast may or may not be safe. Some contains wheat. Cottage cheese should be safe. And bacon. Or ham. You can usually ask for something like a sliced tomato.

Or you could try dining at places that offer a gluten-free menu. We have had problems with Olive Garden bringing us bread and putting croutons on the salad but others have had a good experience there.
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#4 julissa

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:13 AM

I hear you loud and clear and sympathize with you. when I first went gluten, dairy and soy free around Thanksgiving, eating out was too difficult for me because of the fear. now, I have been eating out maybe once a week at restaurants with gluten-free dedicated menus. so far so good. I still go through my instructions, explanations, letting them know I am not on the latest trendy diet, but will get sick if it's not right. sometimes the manager comes over to make sure it's all done right.

I won't lie and say it's not still scary, but I have been fine so far and it's nice. last night we went to Outback, and I had the best ribs.
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#5 rymorg2

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:17 AM

I'm right there with you. I've been avoiding eating out and the one time I did I got accidentally Glutened. Next week I'm out of town for work and I'm concerned about it but I'm staying somewhere where I should be able to get groceries instead. I just feel for me it's not worth it right now.
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#6 cap6

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:19 AM

I have had good luck at some of the chain restaurants like Oiutback, P.F, Changs, Texas Roadhouse, red Robin but they seem to be more aware and do offer a gluten free menu. When i go to a new place I usually ask for the kitchen manager and that seems to help. That's no to say that I haven't been served a salad witgh bread but returning it and reminding them it's gluten free or I get sick works.
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#7 tarnalberry

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:56 PM

I find that the bulk of being able to eat out reasonable is VERY careful selection of the restaurants.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
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#8 pricklypear1971

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:29 PM

You should also order some Triumph dining cards. The cards explain what the cook needs to know, and the wait staff can take it back to the kitchen. I think this site sells them.
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#9 Sarahsmile416

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:48 AM

I understand as well. Eating out can be a crap shoot for me...sometimes I have no problems and other times it can be a nightmare...and sometimes, yes, I am forced to order something small in order to stay safe from a reaction but then I leave hungry. The other night, my husband and I went to Champps for the Super Bowl - I ordered a French onion soup sans bread and within an hour was in the bathroom (apparently even the presence of cheese was enough to cause a reaction), then later, I ordered something I thought was safe - a steak, white rice and steamed broccoli - and less than an hour later, I was back in the bathroom. It can be very frustrating sometimes!
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#10 pretty in paleo

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

I understand as well. Eating out can be a crap shoot for me...sometimes I have no problems and other times it can be a nightmare...and sometimes, yes, I am forced to order something small in order to stay safe from a reaction but then I leave hungry. The other night, my husband and I went to Champps for the Super Bowl - I ordered a French onion soup sans bread and within an hour was in the bathroom (apparently even the presence of cheese was enough to cause a reaction), then later, I ordered something I thought was safe - a steak, white rice and steamed broccoli - and less than an hour later, I was back in the bathroom. It can be very frustrating sometimes!

Same here. I ordered a plain grilled fish at at restaurant, nauseated for hours until i finally threw it all up :unsure:
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#11 CommonTater

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:26 PM

I'm scared to eat out now too. The last time I was in the bathroom on and off for hours and for days afterward I was in extreme pain. I don't think it's worth the risk.
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After many years of suffering from Late Stage Lyme Disease I became Gluten intolerant and I'm extremely sensitive.


#12 pretty in paleo

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

I find that the bulk of being able to eat out reasonable is VERY careful selection of the restaurants.

True but once in a while you dont get to choose. Once I was visiting my parents and they really wanted to go out to this restaurant that specializes in pot pies and was really close by. So I was dragged along
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#13 mushroom

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

True but once in a while you dont get to choose. Once I was visiting my parents and they really wanted to go out to this restaurant that specializes in pot pies and was really close by. So I was dragged along


Order a glass of water (or wine, or coffee) and some ice cream. Let them sit and feel uncomfortable because you can't eat, rather than you be uncomfortable because you must eat. (And always have something in your purse :ph34r: )
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#14 tarnalberry

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

Order a glass of water (or wine, or coffee) and some ice cream. Let them sit and feel uncomfortable because you can't eat, rather than you be uncomfortable because you must eat. (And always have something in your purse :ph34r: )


This.

But also, people actually cannot "drag" you somewhere against your will (legally, anyway, since if they did, it would be kidnapping). I'm not trying to be pedantic; I feel it is an important distinction to realize that you are agreeing to go somewhere you otherwise would not go for the feelings of other people, not that you are being forced to go somewhere against your will. There are two reasons I find this distinction important: 1) it gives you back the power of the decision in your own mind, which mentally can make all the difference in the world and 2) it helps you realize what you are *actually* doing - enjoying a social activity with people you care about. If that means, in order to eat, you have to stop by a grocery store and buy a couple apples and a fresh jar of peanut butter so you have some food, so be it.
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#15 Celiac Mindwarp

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:44 PM

I agree, it is really important you understand that you can choose.

I made all my family come to me for the holidays so I could be in control. I am off to visit 3 different sets of friends soon, and have confirmed with each that I will prepare my own food while there, taking my own utensils. All are fine with it.

Good luck, it can take a while to realize you do need to stand up for you health.
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- Symptoms from 2001, maybe before. Across 20+ years, these have included, vomiting, D, migraines, headaches, recurrent miscarriage, inflammation problems (failure to heal from injuries) brain fog, anxiety and more!
- Elimination diet using Atkins, 2003 – excluded wheat, caffeine, quorn. 2005, excluded sesame, alcohol
- Started diagnosis route April 2012, blood tests, endoscopy – said negative, gluten challenge, clearly something very wrong, had to stop after 3 weeks.
- Gluten Free, August 2012, Corn Free, September 2012. Removed most processed gluten free foods.
- Genetic testing, December 2012 – negative – Diagnosis – Non Celiac Gluten Intolerance (NCGI)
- Elimination diet, January 2013 – all of the above plus dairy, legumes, all grains, sugar, additives, white potatoes, soy. Reintroducing sloooowly now. Health improving.
It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. ~Albert Einstein Posted Image



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