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eblue

Newly Diagnosed- Restaurant Help!

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Hey everyone,

I am new here. I just got diagnosed with celiac disease last week after being misdiagnosed years ago. I went through 4 horrible years of stomach cramps, severe bloating, gas, diarrhea, body aches, brain fog, and constant fatigue. I have only been eating gluten free for a week (except for once when I accidently ate soemthing that had hidden gluten in it) and I can already tell a major difference. I dont feel miserable like I used to. I actually have energy and my digestive issues are starting to get better! yay!! :)

 

Here is my situation: I am going out with some girlfriends friday night for dinner and I am totally stressing over it!! Im not sure where I can eat, and even if the "gluten free" menus that a few restaurants have around here are safe for people who actually have celiac. I've heard that often they are intened for gluten intolerant people or people who are just trying the new fad of gluten free eating. I am worried that it won't be safe for celiacs

 

Also, I have no idea what to say to our server. Or how to communicate my needs in a way that they will understand. I know I have to be careful about cross contamination, (even if I order a gluten free menu item) but what should I say? Should I ask to speak to the manager? Should I call ahead and ask questions? If so, what questions? This is my first time eating out since being diagnosed, so I am really not sure what to do.

 

Any of you experienced celiacs have any advise for me? I'd appreciate any input you have. I am soooo stressed out about this and I dont want to be sick and miserable all night by accidently getting glutened. I really want to enjjoy this night out! And I'm so tired of being stressed out about it! Thank you in advance!!! :)

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At this point, being so new and not knowing how to tell if a place understands gluten free - I would eat before I went. Once you have been doing this for awhile, you will understand it better and can make better choices. Eating out is always a gamble, even at the best places.

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Call ahead and talk to the manager.  Talk to him/her again upon arrival.  Most understand gluten, but need to be told about cross contamination.   When you're there, if you get a "glazed" look in their eyes, then don't order!

 

I just was on a day trip and we stopped for dinner on the way home.  Luckily I packed enough of our picnic lunch to cover my dinner (and the kids and even my girlfriend wanted to eat it but I said no as we looked for restaurants along the way!)  You can always order a simple green salad with no dressing and a glass of wine.   At some point, excuse yourself and go out and  wolf down some of your own food!  Or pull out some of your own gluten-free stash and consume it with your salad!  

 

Eat before you leave home just like Scarlett O'Hara (ladies do not stuff themselves in public).   :D

 

We ate at the Spaghetti Factory in Sacramento on Spring Break.  Although they have a gluten-free menu, I talked to the waiter and then the manager appeared.  Luckily, she was just diagnosed with celiac disease 9 months ago! Whew!  

 

I completely understand about the anxiety of eating out.  I have simply walked out of restaurants if I don't feel safe!  

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I have found I really don't enjoy eating out for so many reasons, obviously the possibility of getting sick is one, but actually, the fear of getting sick really sucks the joy out of it for me. see if you can eat first, or if it's the kind of place you can bring something with you. I do this alot. since you are new to all this, I agree that it may be too soon to try to navigate eating out just yet.

 

good luck.. and focus on the being with your friends part..

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Thanks for the advise. Depending on where they decide to go, I will probably just decide to get a drink and enjoy company. (eat before) I really do not want to get glutened. I am already starting to feel better (compared to what I was feeling) I am by no means well yet. I was just feeling SOOO terrible before that even the smallest amount of relief that I am feeling gives me hope for feeling back to normal again one day. I deffinately do not want to reverse that process!

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I'm not say eblue should never eat out. Just maybe not right now when she is still learning about gluten-free eating.

I'm assuming eblue is a " she" as she said " going out with some girlfriends". Or a really lucky guy?

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One thing I've found is that even well-intentioned restaurants don't think about soy sauce in marinades when deciding if something is gluten free.  I got very sick from a steak at a restaurant that really seemed to be going out of the way to meet my needs and seemed very knowledgeable.  The steak was delicious and only in retrospect did it occur to me that it tasted like there was soy sauce in the marinade.  So, if you do speak to the manager, mention soy sauce.

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