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Guest dreams25

Having Trouble Eating Out

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Guest dreams25

I was diagnosed celiac disease in August, and am fine at home but still struggling with eating out, can anyone give me some hints..

As no one treats it serious.. been out twice both times meal was glutened ..

So help..... :(

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I'm a big advocate of continuing to eat out and enjoy this aspect of life, however given how recently you were diagnosed, you might want to give yourself a couple months to heal and really learn about the restrictions.

I successfully eat out pretty often and I find the keys are:

1) always be very nice (very important)

2) don't be afraid to speak up. Let them know your restrictions

3) Let your server know why you are ordering the way you are, but in laymens terms. A lot of people don't know what celiac is, and even less people are going to understand what you mean if you say you have a wheat and gluten intolerance. But I find it very effective to say, "I'm really sorry to be a pain, but I'm allergic to anything with wheat or gluten in it, so if you can just make sure they are really careful I'd greatly appreciate it."

I find if you acknowledge that you are asking for them to go above and beyond makes them take the opposite mindset of that's it's no big deal to help you out and they don't want to see you get sick.

Also you may want to order a set of these dining cards. I only used them once but found them to be very effective.

http://www.triumphdining.com/


Jillian

Positive Blood test and Biopsy

Inflamed stomach lining

Gluten free since July 6, 2005

Tarrytown, NY

"Sometimes being a b$tch is all a woman has to hold onto." - Dolores Claiborne

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Guest dreams25

Thanks for that... the cards are a good idea but as i live in Australia.. wouldnt be any good, maybe they have something like that here, will have to investigate ...

Just takes time i guess to get used to all this.. but will get there.. looking forward to feeling better thats for sure.

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...

3) Let your server know why you are ordering the way you are, but in laymens terms. A lot of people don't know what celiac is, and even less people are going to understand what you mean if you say you have a wheat and gluten intolerance. But I find it very effective to say, "I'm really sorry to be a pain, but I'm allergic to anything with wheat or gluten in it, so if you can just make sure they are really careful I'd greatly appreciate it."

I'm very newly gluten-free myself, and have only eaten out a few times yet (and survived the Minnesota State Fair!) But I'm already finding with friends and restaurant staff alike, that calling it a kind of wheat/grain "allergy" simply isn't doing the trick. People listen a lot more carefully and seem to take it more seriously when I say it's a disease, or an autoimmune disease. I.e., friends who a month ago saw me chowing down on waffles and panini are no longer asking why I can't just 'have a little", etc. I could be wrong, but I think restaurant staff are also more careful when they realize it's a big deal. (You probably could go overboard here and make it *too* big of a deal, in which case you might not get served at all because of liability fears. It's a fine line I guess.)

Have other people found this to be the case? Or is going the "allergy" (rather than "disease") route generally considered a more effective way to convey the gist of gluten-free to a general audience?

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You may be better off staying away from restaurants until you heal beacuse of the high risk of cross contamination. The average time for individuals to feel better on the gluten-free diet from polls on this board seems to be about 3-4 months.


Carrie Faith

Diagnosed with Celiac Disease in March 2004

Postitive tTg Blood Test, December 2003

Positive Biopsy, March 3, 2004

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Guest cassidy

Eating out can be very tough. I have found that when I'm in situations that I have to eat out with other people the restaurants don't mind if I bring my own food. I always ask and no one has minded. At first I felt funny, but I won't let myself feel pressured to eat out if I don't want to.

When I do eat out here is what I have found to be successful:

- I only eat in restaurants with chefs. Upscale restaurants where everything is made there - not places like Chilis or Applebees where things may be pre-marinaded.

- I ask the chef to come to the table. I ask if they can prepare gluten-free food. If so, how do they do it. I always say "as you know" it is very important that my food be prepared in a clean dish with clean utensils since a crumb will have me sick for days. Sometimes they say they didn't realize that they had to be that careful. I stress how much I'm trusting them and ask them to do their best.

- I usually order plain meat - chicken, fish, steak and steamed veggies. I've started asking for 1/2 the veggies when everyone else gets their appetizer or salad - this way I don't starve. I don't get a salad because they get me sick every time. I think kitchens think that nothing in a salad has gluten so they don't have to make a special one.

I stay away from gluten-free menus with sauces because I feel that there are too many ingredients and chances for cc. I tried the gluten-free menu at Bonefish and just ordered through the server and I got very sick.

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Thanks for that... the cards are a good idea but as i live in Australia.. wouldnt be any good, maybe they have something like that here, will have to investigate ...

Here's a link to some cards you can print off and laminate..

http://www.celiactravel.com/gluten-free-ca...11-english.html


It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required - Sir Winston Churchill

Nikki

Son diagnosed with Coeliac Disease Oct 2006 by biopsy (at age 13yrs)

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I have been working in the hospitality industry for many years, and I wouldn't trust talking to just the server. And in most restaurants it is difficult to pry the chef from the kitchen, if only because they are busy running the line. (But also because chef's are rather cranky by nature.) So from the restaurant's point of view, PLEASE don't come in on a busy Friday or Saturday nite and start throwing all these restrictions at us. Because we will fail and you will get sick.

My advice would be to come in on a Tuesday or something, and to come in early before the rush has started. Ask to speak to the manager on duty about your restrictions, or the chef if he's available. And be polite - I like both Cassidy's "as you know" talk with the chef, and jkmunchkin's "i'm sorry to be a pain" talk.

Find one or two restaurants in your area that you like and that you visit regularly enough that the management and/or waitstaff knows who you are, and the chef's are familiar with your restrictions. And make sure to leave an above-average tip! You don't want people to fight over who gets stuck with you when they see you coming in the door. And it probably also leads to a better likelihood that something will be cross-contaminated.

I would also defiantely stay away from salads. Especially if it's just a tossed side salad, as most of these are made beforehand with croutons flying wildly about the salad station.

As a newly diagnosed Celiac with only two months under my belt, there are only two restaurants I will eat at. And I know the owners at both of them. The one other time I ate out (at the restaurant I worked at for three years, no less!) I got sick as a dog. Granted, i knew the probability was good. And I REFUSED to throw up my thirty dollar steak. And I didn't. But it still really, really, really sucked.

-Courtney


Courtney - 25

Columbia, SC

Gluten-free since July 8, 2006

Casein-free since October 16, 2006

Went six weeks, and fell back into a deliciously painful world of cheese.

Casein-free (again and for serious this time) December 11, 2006

Stupid cheese addiction....2/07

Dx Hypothyroid in 1993

Dx Gluten & Casein Sensitive through Enterolab 10/06

Dx Adrenal *Exhaustion* 2/07

Originally from WI, I am still in denial over my newfound casein intolerance. I fear I will not be allowed back into the state if I can no longer eat cheese and drink milk. This could pose some trouble over holidays when I wish to visit my family. It also poses a problem involving the severe rage I feel when I have to throw away somebody's unfinished cheese sticks. That is so wrong.

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