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shiffy k

Help, Please! I Don't Know How To Eat Out Or If I Can?

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I am going out of town here in a couple of days, and I will not have access to a kitchen. I was diagnosed today, so I have very little experience. I have a list of gluten free menus that I have printed out, but are these menus safe. Can I eat out? What should I tell wait staff at restaurants? Any and all tips are greatly appreciated! Thank you for all of your support.

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Are you driving or flying?  

 

The car's easy.  Just bring an ice chest (yeah, haul it into your hotel room) and fill it with gluten-free food.  Enough to last the length of your trip or you can replenish.  Keep a few non-perishable things in your purse or bag in case you can not find safe food.  You can always just order a drink if you don't think you can find safe restaurant food.  

 

Flying, pack a collapsible cooler in your luggage and fill it with zip locks of ice from the hotel and store a few items in it to keep in your rental car or room.  We always can find a supermarket! 

 

Eating out?  Try the app "Find me Gluten Free".  Talk to the head chef or manager.  Do not rely on wait staff to keep you safe.  Try to pick restaurants that cater to celiacs.  Look for reviews that are written by celiacs or NCGI folk -- not the gluten free dieters who think gluten-free is healthy or a means to lose weight!  

 

You can do this! 


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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We travel a lot, and this is something we really enjoy.   When I was diagnosed I didn’t want this disease to define me and or control my life and I decided then I would not change this aspect of my life.  In fact I was diagnosed in August/September and had a vacation booked for October.   In all my trips I have been glutened once.    That  first October trip.   Here is what I do, this works for me, but everything is a personal choice for everyone, so someone else may not do it this way. 

 

I go online to Tripadvisor and Find Me gluten free and google “gluten free in *Ussomewhere*”  then I look at their menus online.  I contact everyone I am interested in via email and specifically ask at that time if the “Chicken and rice” or whatever I think I would like is gluten free and then more specific questions about preparation area and things. 

 

I then print those and carry them with me on my trip, now I have choices, I know who and where around the area and I ask to speak to the person who sent me the email.

 

This has worked for me all over the US as well as Aruba, but I have not been anywhere else.  

Only once have I done all that and then when I arrived the person on the email wasn’t there and the manager on duty was CLUELESS.  Told me to just avoid pasta and bread….I did get up and leave that  restaurant.  

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Outback I would trust.. other's not sure.   Mexican food is good when you are in a strange place.    ALWAYS tell the waitstaff that you have Celiac.   I know don't want to broadcast but it will help believe me.    Recently, I've been asked is it a choice or an allergy when asking for gluten free.. I'm always upfront and blunt.   Celiac disease, allergy if you must classify it that way, extremely sick if you don't . please be careful!!    Haven't had a problem with my nice but blunt response.   :)    One local restaurant cook even don's gloves to make my breakfast on Saturday mornings   :)       It's doable - I've been at this 5 yrs and at first it seems daunting but it will get easier.. On your trip good luck.   Some of the places I have eaten at when traveling   Outback, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, local or chain Mexican (think corn tortillas) , Indian food (just skip the bread), and if at a diner type it's a crapshoot so be careful there.  Oh and last but not least Red Robin!!! 


*Judy
Food allergies to fish, seafood, tree nuts, aspartame(Equal),flax seed, and many drugs RE-TESTED ALL FOOD ALLERGIES IN JUNE 2015 AND THEY ARE ALL NEGATIVE NOW!  TIME TO RE-INTRODUCE FISH AND NUTS!!! 
Stomach issues since childhood
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) age 6-44
Diabetes age 44 to present now going back to Hypoglycemia since gluten free.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2005 and it's gone now that I'm aspartame and gluten free. c
Celiac disease- negative test in 2009, positive tests in Nov. 2010
Gluten free started 11/08/2010
Genetic tests positive- DQ2, positive -DQ6 (?) negative- DQ8 11/15/2010 

Hyperthyroid 2013 - benign tumors and entire thyroid removed

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Thanks. Can I trust gluten free menus from places like outback steakhouse and similar chains?

 

Hi Shiffy.  Having the menu's before hand is great.  You can decide what you want before you get there.  BUT, you still MUST talk to the Chef or Kitchen Manager.  I usually go to the kitchen after we are seated, Going to the kitchen yourself also shows how serious this is for you and will cut out distractions for you and the Chef.

 

Things you need to ask are:

 

Do they use a dedicated Gluten Free fryer.  You cannot eat from a shared fryer

Do they use seasonings or sauces on the grill.  If so they need to clean an area or use foil on the grill.

Do they change gloves or have a dedicated preparation area.  Use you best judgement on this one.

 

Always have them double check dressings, sauces and seasonings for gluten.  Never accept a salad with croutons.  You can't just pick them off.  I was surprised once when whipped cream actually had wheat in it. 

 

Remember, Menu's are 'Gluten Friendly' and just a guide.  You can go to any nice restaurant, gluten-free menu or not if you stick with your questions.  Always keep some food with you in your purse.  You may run into a situation where they cannot meet celiac standards and you are stuck with a plain salad.

 

Good luck on your trip :D

 

Colleen


HAVE A SUPER SHINY DAY

 

LTES gem 2014


*Multiple AI Diseases

*General Insanity


"We cautiously travel through life to arrive safely at our death" - J. R. C. , my Son.

 

Are We There Yet? and Dad says...All you have to do it ride it out.

 

Comments/views/opinions expressed on the site are my own and are not representative of Forum Admin/Owner

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I want to thank all of you for sharing.... I too am going on a trip, first long one since being diagnosed April.  I went to New Orleans for a weekend trip and was please to find two restaurants that had gluten free menus and they were very accomadating.  In case anyone is going to New Orleans- Dragos and Muriels are the restaurants.  And I am so glad shiffy k asked the question... 

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To the national chain list  add PF CHangs, Pei Wei, most Brazilian Steak Houses, &  Bone Fish, 

 

Probably all Self-serve frozen yogurt places (No toppings), Dairy Queen soft serve, Wendy's Frostys - cause we need desserts.


 

 

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To the safe chain list add Red Robin, BJ Brewery. Because so many places now offer gluten free menus I make sure the server knows that I am gluten free but Not by choice, I am celiac. I discovered that some places actually prepare the foods differently if you are eating g.f. by choice as opposed to Not by choice!

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I eat out a lot - but I'm lucky I live in a city with a lot of options.  I don't usually bring a cooler along when we travel, but I admit that means I'm sometimes stuck eating potato chips and kind bars from the 7 - 11 on the road.  If you have healthier aspirations, bringing your own is a good idea.  

 

Just wanted to add that as a few have mentioned Mexican as a safe option - Yes, it is, but not everyplace fries their corn tortillas in a separate fryer, or they don't know if their supplier does, so that's a question you need to ask.  

 

I also find Indian very easy (I generally get chicken tikka masala, though I always ask first to make sure the sauce isn't thickened with flour) and carry my own packets of gluten-free soy sauce in case we get stuck at a non PF Changs Chinese place - I just use it on plain rice or rice and steamed string beans.  I think you can get the packets  on minimus.com.  If ordering Gluten Free pasta, you want to make sure they boil it in its own water.

 

Oh and Fine Me Gluten Free is a great app.  We've discovered many out of the way excellent places on road trips this way.

 

Good luck - it's really tough at first, but gets much much easier.  And then you feel better, so it's worth it.

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Eating out is always a challenge. It is one that you will eventually have to face. I am fifteen years into the celiac journey and it remains a concern where I ask a lot of questions if I don't know that the resto is celiac friendly. But many are, as previous posters have noted. Places where the kitchen prepares your meal to order are obviously better than places like Applebee's where they may just heat prepackaged meals.


Peter

Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000. I was retested five years later and the biopsy was normal. You can beat this disease!

Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986

Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator since 2007

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