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Arasmas

celiac disease in East Tennessee

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Anyone from east Tennessee?  I'm in my early 30s and live on the border of Sevier and Knox counties, kind of in the middle of nowhere.  I attend school in Blount county, so I spend a lot of time in the Maryville/Alcoa area too.  I was diagnosed 6 months ago and I don't think I ever realized how much of my social life revolved around food and beer.  I don't know anyone else with this disease and I lost a lot of friends in the year I was really sick before diagnosis.  In general, most people just don't seem to "get-it."  I've looked into support groups in the area thinking that would be a good way to meet some new people, but there don't seem to be any active groups around here and I've yet to find any dedicated gluten-free restaurants or bakeries.  I've found a few chain-restaurants I trust but East Tennessee is like a Celiac black hole.  It would be nice to meet some people who are in the same situation.  Where do you eat?  Any little gluten-free gems in the area that I've missed?

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Try this site for gluten free eating. Stick to the ones reviewed by people who are actually celiac.

http://www.findmeglutenfree.com

I used to live in Nashville at one point so I know exactly where you are. I wish you luck finding some other celiacs in your area.

As to the friends who deserted you when you were sick; they weren't really friends. They were only fair weather friends & fair weather friends are not worth wasting your time or energy on.

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Thanks, this site is great.  There are so many little restaurants with gluten-free-menus downtown that I've been afraid to try.  I wasn't sure which were truly gluten-free and which were fad-diet "gluten-free."  This will definitely help.

And I agree with you on the fair-weather friends.  Now that I am feeling better and want to be out and doing things I have had no desire to contact any of them.  Who bails on someone when they're sick?  I need new people. 

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The "Find Me Gluten Free" app is so useful.  I always look for the reviews written by celiacs!  

I am sorry to hear about your friends.  Mine have stuck by me, fortunately,  It took a while for them to get used to me just ordering a coffee or glass of wine when we go out, but now they don't think twice.  They also do not take offense when I bring my own food to their homes (I bring extra to share so they can see that gluten-free is  tasty!) and know that gluten can not be brought into my house (I really need a safe place where I can let down my guard). 

It may be time to find new friends.  You are never too old to find new ones.  I bet that some of your old friends just do not know how to handle your being celiac.  Offer to meet up for a coffee or a glass of wine.   I have taken to asking friends to hike/walk because everyone is trying to get into shape and we've had a blast.  Yah, never know!  

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I am hardly on here anymore, but came to look up some supplement info and I saw an East Tennessee post!  I am in Jeff. County!  You're right. There is little to no support system/groups locally.   It's frustrating. Wgg should start a facebook group or something :)   I can't be of much help on eating out. My husband and I have two smaller kids one who also is celiac so we don't eat out much and after a job change we don't have much money for it anyway. We've had luck at chikfila and yeh I think that is the only place I've eaten locally in the year and a half since diagnosis. Mellow mushroom is supposed to be good. Archers bbq in Kville. Margaritaville in Sville. I'm food paranoid so I guess I sorta just pack a granola bar and go about my business which isn't the best approach :-/. 

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Hi Stacy, I was so surprised to see a response to this.  I figured this post was a total long-shot.  It's nice to find someone who lives in the same area.  It's not nice that there is so little around here for Celiacs.  The only person I've met around here who even knew what celiac disease is was a really nice lady who works at the Wholefoods downtown (some great stuff at wholefoods, but so SO expensive). 

I know it's almost blasphemous here, but I've never eaten at a Chickfila.  I moved down here years ago (pre-celiac disease) and was so enamored with Hardees that it was the only fast food I ate.  I have had a gluten-free pizza at Mellowmushroom in Pigeon Forge.  It was pretty good (for gluten-free pizza) and I did not get sick at all, but really expensive.  I will have to check out Archers bbq, I love bbq but with all of the sauces and rubs and ingredients, I've been afraid to eat any that I haven't made myself.  Usually when I eat out I just go to Salsaritas on Broadway.  It's not too pricey, the only things in the restaurant that have gluten are the tortillas and the steak (and the beer), and each ingredient has its own serving spoon, so no one touches anything but the trays.  Eaten there at least 10 times when I'm out with my Mom and I've never gotten sick.  I miss food, I'm trying to be less paranoid but it seems every time I let my guard down I get it.  I've heard there is a gluten-free bakery down in west-town somewhere, but I've yet to investigate it.

I could not imagine trying to do this with kids.  I only have to worry about me and I feel like I spend so much time thinking about food, planning meals and snacks, budgeting for shopping and cooking.  I had working parents and I don't know what my Mom would have done without fish sticks, hamburger helper and chef Boyardee. 

We should start a facebook group or something.  We can't possibly be the only Celiacs in 100 miles.  

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Usually when going out I just say I have a gluten allergy. Good enough. People understand that, but celiac takes a lot of explaining and I'm not always up for that. 

I did some more hunting for you.  Archers bbq has great reviews on the find me gluten free app for being celiac friendly. Lots of options. There is a pizza place in Sville called Ninos. I haven't been there yet but a few weeks ago I called and was told they are very careful about cross contamination and to ask for the owner when ordering so they are extra careful.  Five Guys is supposed to have safe fries and bunless burgers. It seems tougher to find cheap gluten free food to eat when out than pricier options. Same as the grocery store though I guess.

Sam Mills makes a gluten free hamburger helper wannabe. Haha. As for doing this with kids it's tricky. Luckily or not we took him off gluten six months after I was diagnosed so I had a few months to get it together. It's hard for parties or things at school, but he has a little stash of treats at school in answer someone brings cupcakes or something and I keep cupcakes in the freezer for last minute parties that pop up.  Our house is now gluten free because I couldn't keep track of two different meals and who ate what when. I was losing it. As it is I'm tired of worrying about food. Even tonight I had a meltdown over fixing dinner. I want to go grab a box of fried chicken and be done, but that just isn't reality anymore and in the end we are all eating healthier. But some days....ugh

 

Gluten Free in East Tennessee has a nice facebook ring to it :)  and I agree that we cannot be the only ones. I do know two kids but that is it. We're so special and unique haha

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I usually tell people I have an allergy too, it's just easier than trying to explain.  I actually had a great waitress at Chili's in west town who asked if it was an intolerance or if I had Celiac Disease.  I almost hugged her and she instantly became the best waitress on the planet.  Then she spent the next 5 minutes back and forth between my table and the kitchen, telling me how the cook was going to prepare my food to make sure it was safe.  Best service I've ever gotten.

I will have to check out that BBQ place, I grew up in Michigan, so I'm still enamored with southern bbq.  And I'm still on the hunt for a great pizza.  I have to go to west-town today so while I'm out there I'm going to try Red Robin.  They're supposed to be great with allergens and have a very detailed gluten-free menu (and the fries are safe).

Food is so expensive!  I know I should just eat more fruits and veggies but sometimes you need a bun or bread or flour... and the gluten-free options are insane.  My palette is not all that superior to that of a kids and I have some quick-foods I like for no-cooking nights.  Tyson gluten-free chicken nuggets aren't bad if you double the cooking time and flip them half way through.  You can find them on sale at food city sometimes for $5.99 a bag.  Not cheap, but really convenient.  Snyder's gluten-free pretzels are fantastic (they actually taste like pretzels).  Martha White's gluten-free biscuits and corn bread are super cheap (about $1.50 a pack) and a very good. 

I actually found another Celiac in Jefferson county over on the forums on the glutendude page, who was just diagnosed a week ago.  We need a group.  I don't have a facebook page but I would set one up to join.   

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I think you guys should really go for the Facebook page to start a group! You are now 3, who knows how many more are out there wondering if there is anyone else.

 

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i am in roane county :)  DO go to the red robin in turkey creek and if you go on a saturday night, you can ask for paula - she will make sure you are safe!  actually, go anytime and you'll be fine.  they do a good job.  i eat there all the time.  i even order burgers to go when i'm going to a cook-out or something that i don't want to hafta fool with packing my food.  also, they will sell you the gluten-free burger buns - i have some in the freezer right now ;)  bonefish is also good and safe.  pf chang's and i'm hearing braziero's?  <but i think ima hafta save up for that lolz $$$  there are some places in market square (check the findmeglutenfree app) i've eaten at cafe 4 with no problem.  i hear tupelo honey is good but haven't tried it.  oh, and the bakery, if you''re talking about the one on campbell station rd, isn't much to write home about.......  but they do have some things in their store that you won't find other places (puff pastry comes to mind, you know, stuff like that)  i've eaten at both mellow mushrooms in pigeon forge, (the one that's not on the island has a bigger gluten-free menu)  i hear dixie stampede has gluten-free menu and melting pot is gig certified although i haven't eaten there.....

i thought it was bad trying to find somewhere safe to eat out around here until i went to tuscaloosa alabama.  nightmare.  good thing i brought all my foodies ;)

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Arasmas, I moved here from northern Indiana. It's funny how regional food is so different. Good luck at Red Robin. I ate at one in Ohio and it was great. I forgot about Turkey Creek having one. First time eating out at a celiac was RR and I got misty eating a burger on a bun. Plain fries were great too. 

Anything in a bag or box Gluten-Free is high. I found a brownie mix at Food City for $2.99 and was ecstatic.  We like the Martha White mixes too. We also stroll Big Lots and find new things to try every now and then. 

 

Working on that FB page. I created it, but it's blank so far. Minus my gluten eating husband because I had to add someone to create it.  Gluten Free in East Tennessee

 

Notme!, glad you saw this, too. I didn't know that melting pot was certified. Pricey, but good to know.  It seems a lot of sevier county options are ify and I think it is due to employee turnover, but that's just my take on it. 

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I'm so happy I started this thread.  I am sitting here mentally mapping all of my eating out for the next 2 months and getting really excited.  Food makes me happy, not doing the dishes makes me happier.

Notme - I think the bakery was down on Campbell Station, so thanks for saving me a trip.  It's a pretty long drive for me, so I'll wait to check it out when I'm down there for something else.  Is it a dedicated gluten-free bakery?  Or a bakery with gluten-free stuff?  I had eaten a Bonefish a few times before diagnosis and they always had fantastic food, I didn't know they had a gluten-free menu.  Tupelo Honey has been on my list to try and I've never even heard of Café 4.  Yay, food.  I have a feeling I'm going to be putting back on some of the weight I lost last year (and I never thought I would see that as a good thing).     

Red Robin yesterday was fantastic, well worth the drive to Turkey Creek.  Had a really weird burger with avocado, jalapeno chutney, some kind of citrus-tomato salsa... tons of ingredients.  I told the waiter I had celiac disease, he nodded his head and said no problem, I'll tell the kitchen.  I like it when they don't make a big fuss and call over the manager and bring the cook out to the table.  I hate being a pain and drawing attention, so when they can deal with allergens quietly without making me feel like a total jerk, it's great.  Then I sat there with a giant smile on my face and ate my giant burger like a messy dork.  I feel okay today, so I'm calling RR a success.

Okay, I'm going to have to set up a FB page today.  I've never really used social media or forums or anything, so I guess celiac disease and my deep-love of food is forcing me to be more social. 

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lolz!  i *always* eat my bacon cheeseburger at rr like this:  OM!  NOM NOM NOM!  i mean, yep, right out loud!!  and i am (regular people don't understand) always sooooo appreciative of eating out - good. ness.  one gets sooooo tired of fingerprinting every meal.  just bring me food, set it before me, i shall be eternally grateful.  aras, if you were at rr, you were right around the corner from that bakery.  yes, it is dedicated.  trying to think of what i bought......  a cherry (almond?) scone i think and a cinnamon bun?  either way, they were very 'heavy' if you know what i mean.  like, dense, not so cakey/fluffy like i was expecting.  i did go in there and almost cry because there were so many things and all gluten-free.  then i cry did when it sucked lololz  but i did get puff pastry there and i want to say there were ravioli??  i will go back again, i just won't get any baked goods <ok i probably will because i'm a sucker haha)

there are a few other people in my town - 3 have actual celiac (a friend of my 12 y.o. grandson, one old guy who is a gravy scraper <_< and an older lady wife of a doctor, no less, who tells me she has it while she is jamming a wheat roll in her face lolz) and a 25 y.o. who is gluten intolerant.   so, not much support in RoCo lolz.  if i had a nickel for everybody in church who makes 'discoveries' for me, i'd be a rich woman "GUESS WHAT??!!  dominoes has gluten free pizza now!!!!  yay for you!!"  yup, yay for me, i won't be eating there lolz

if you go to a show at the shed/harley place in maryville, you can bring a cooler with beer and leave it in the car.  they'll give you a cup and you can walk out and refill.   just be cool about it.  getting beer into bristol - put it in empty water bottles and it stays just fine (me and the husband with a funnel in the middle of the parking area lololz)  when my friend used to run the well in bearden, she used to let me bring a six in and the bartenders would 'serve' them to me.  barleys = jerks about it.  you hafta sneak it in (but it's easy ;)  )

stacy:  i looked for the fb page yesterday and couldn't find it?  i will look again :)  

waving to y'all !! :) 

 

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Ha! Notme, that is me in a restaurant.  My mom says I look like a little kid eating an ice cream sundae.  It doesn't even have to be something extra-special like RR, I dance in my seat eating a burrito bowl at Salsaritas.  In some respects it's kind of nice that my threshold for happy has been lowered to "give me food."  I fell for the gluten-free dominoes pizza early on.  About a month after diagnosis, back when I was blissfully ignorant of cross contamination and figured a gluten-free crust was enough.  I got so, so sick.  So sick.  And it wasn't really worth it, tasted like a frozen Udi's crust (yuck).

...What is a gravy scraper?   That does not sound like a safe job for a Celiac.

I have yet to find a gluten-free beer I like.  I was a dark beer drinker, Guinness mostly, so the pale-ale style gluten-free beers just don't do it for me.  I typically smuggle in tiny bottles of booze to places and spike my lemonade.  So much cheaper than ordering drinks too. 

I know nothing about facebook groups, or facebook in general.

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On 8/18/2016 at 9:31 AM, Arasmas said:

Ha! Notme, that is me in a restaurant.  My mom says I look like a little kid eating an ice cream sundae.  It doesn't even have to be something extra-special like RR, I dance in my seat eating a burrito bowl at Salsaritas.  In some respects it's kind of nice that my threshold for happy has been lowered to "give me food."  I fell for the gluten-free dominoes pizza early on.  About a month after diagnosis, back when I was blissfully ignorant of cross contamination and figured a gluten-free crust was enough.  I got so, so sick.  So sick.  And it wasn't really worth it, tasted like a frozen Udi's crust (yuck).

...What is a gravy scraper?   That does not sound like a safe job for a Celiac.

I have yet to find a gluten-free beer I like.  I was a dark beer drinker, Guinness mostly, so the pale-ale style gluten-free beers just don't do it for me.  I typically smuggle in tiny bottles of booze to places and spike my lemonade.  So much cheaper than ordering drinks too. 

I know nothing about facebook groups, or facebook in general.

i'll hafta try salsarita's!!    indeed, it is humbling - i was a spoiled 'food snob' but i have since learned to improvise/compromise (ok i'll eat that because it beats starving lolz)  (or, ok, y'all are going to eat at my ex-favorite chinese restaurants, but i'll just eat my turkey sammich in the car.  no big.  :( )  i'm from jersey originally, so, my holy grail is decent pizza - even before dx i finally found the perfect place:  metro pizza in maryville.  since husband delivers to denso, i used to have him stop and see sal (sal is dead now :( ) from hoboken nj.  or big ed's in oak ridge.  but, no more.  when i was in nj this summer, my niece brought me a california pizza and it was delish.  

gravy scraper = eats the regular meals and scrapes the gravy off the meat/takes the burger off the bun/scrapes the pie out of the crust.  he showed me the dh on his hands - all kinds of cracked and blistery.  i'm like WHYYYYYYYYY??????   we are in the lions club and we meet at the HOSPITAL and their caterer can't do gluten-free.  :rolleyes:

i had the beer dilemma, too.  publix in t.c. has a few different brands - new grist was pretty good.  redbridge, which i originally drank in the beginning, is just horrible.  plus it will stain your teeth!  i set up a deal with my local tobacco guy to have bard's delivered to my town.  i have the distributor's # if you want to see where they carry it so you can try it.   funny story - my son works at lexus of knoxville and he set up service on the guy's car hahaha small world.  he says "that's your mom??!!  she's one of my best customers!!"  lolz idk if i'm happy or sadly pitiful with that one ;)  don't really care - i need allllll the calories i can get!!

i found the fb group and joined.  stacy, your husband is too funny :D  

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I was a food snob too.  Loved restaurants with fancy-pants menus and mysterious "chef's specials."  Didn't believe in making substitutions or questioning dishes.  A total beer snob too.  I've been drinking a lot more wine lately, kind of nice it's in the grocery stores now.  Only, ever since this all started, I can not hold my booze anymore.  I don't know if it's the malabsorption or if I don't produce enough enzymes to break it down, but I have become an embarrassingly cheap date.  I think I've only really tried 2 kinds of gluten-free beer, Omissions (tastes like Coors light, but double the price), and another big one.  I might need to adventure a bit more with it, but it's all so expensive for mediocre beer.

Oh god, I was really hoping "gravy-scraper" was some kind of euphemism or something... that can't be safe.  I don't get the dh rash, but you think it would be a sign you're doing something wrong.

I found the facebook group and joined, it says "pending".  Turns out I had an old facebook page that I must have set up years ago.  It's pretty pathetic, I have 4 friends, don't judge me.

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I live in Knox County, and I can safely eat at Red Robin, Tom & Chee, Chipotle, Bonefish Grill, and Outback Steakhouse. I always ask them to put on (or change) gloves when preparing my meal. Benefit Your Life on Campbell Station Road has a bakery, freezer case, lunch every weekday, smoothies, and they cater and make birthday cakes to order. Look them up online and get on their list for a weekly email. 

If you would like to meet one day for lunch or Donner, send me an email at morna1953@gmail.com. We can talk.

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Hi Morna.  I will have to add Tom and Chee's to my list.  I have found so many new restaurants on this forum. 

My family's birthday season is coming up (I swear, everyone was born between September-December), so I am going to have to check out the bakery on Campbell Station.  Sneak in some gluten-free cake and goodies and see if anyone notices.  I miss cake.

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i've had good luck (and people at my church compliments') with betty the box cake mix - i use melted butter instead of the oil, i add an extra egg, and a tablespoon or so of sour cream.  i've doctored the chocolate cake into red velvet, same thing :)  everybody was amazed that it was gluten-free.  

morna, i would love to hang out with a celiac sista but i'm stuck most of the time with these little creatures that call me 'meemo' ;)  the husband and i had tickets to the sister hazel show at the coliseum, we told everybody about it TWO WEEKS AHEAD OF TIME and i was still dropping off kids here and there the night of the show!!  (hey, man, can ya watch your kid for me tonight???!!  lolz)  daughter works nights, son works days....  ended up dropping 2 at my brother's lololz

my not-son works at central flats and taps.  they have wine and an outdoor patio :) i may or may not have sneaked bards in with a backpack and a koozie ;) 

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Hello, I think I may have already talked with at least one of you on GD website recently which is not as active as this one.  I am newly diagnosed (August).  I will check out the FB page you all mentioned.  I live here in Knox County and work in a neighboring county.

Interestingly, I was at the Kroger store a couple of weeks ago and the lady in front of me in line had gluten free pasta.  I asked if it was any good which led to a conversation about a support group she went to.  The leader works with local restaurants to get them to prepare a gluten free menu and they eat there once a month.  Unfortunately, it's during the day time at 11 am and I work, so I couldn't attend.  

I'm still learning and trying to deal with the diet plus I've just been diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia and will be getting iron infusions.  One of the hardest things for me is a lack of support and not being able to connect with other celiacs.  I would love to be able to do that!  

Chrystal

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hi, chrystal, welcome to the best club you never wanted to join ;)  lolz - i have been on the gluten-free diet for 6 plus years now - it gets easier, trust me!  last friday, husband took me out to dinner at bonefish in turkey creek.  they do a good job keeping things safe.  i always ask for a menu, then order the exact same thing every time hahaha the red robin there is very handy if i'm going somewhere like a picnic or cookout or whatever i don't feel like cooking/packing for, i just order a burger to go :)  they only messed it up once (server didn't mark allergy on the order) and when i took it back to get the gluten-free order, they were more than happy to replace it.  

i tend to lean toward tinkyada pasta, although recently tried the barilla elbow macaroni and they were awesome (can't remember where i got them!!  i am on a scavenger hunt wherever i go - you'd be surprised where you can find different things lololz)    ooh - and my husband runs to michigan twice per week so when i heard the 'good' gluten-free flour tortillas (mission, baby!!)  had made it to stores in michigan, he stopped and got me some.  he tried them last night and he was like 'these taste like you can't taste the difference' :)  yayyy!!  you just never know when those little cool surprises will pop up :D  

ps - i am in cornstalk heights in harriman - we have quite a few gluten-free people around here - surprisingly i have either met them from church or the lions club, so if you have time or opportunity to volunteer or attend somewhere, you might find somebody who is gluten-free (except leroy.  leroy is a gravy scraper.  bad leroy. ;)  )  i think it must be the fellowship part of things that make people chat more....?   

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Has anyone tried Targets Market Pantry Gluten-Free noodles?  They're certified and cheaper than most if not all other brands. I order online with the red card to save a bit more and get free shipping. We all like them so worth a shot if you want to try something new. :)

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On 11/5/2016 at 2:43 PM, Stacy0w said:

Has anyone tried Targets Market Pantry Gluten-Free noodles?  They're certified and cheaper than most if not all other brands. I order online with the red card to save a bit more and get free shipping. We all like them so worth a shot if you want to try something new. :)

noodle noodles?  like egg noodles????  dooooo tellllll - stroganoff has not been the same lolz i just realized how long it's been since i made stroganoff and that's probably why i haven't - no noodles.  i did find some a few years ago (on vacation, in some wierd little supermarket store in fort myers beach)  but, ya know, can't always run to florida hahaha :)

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