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mediaseth

Vegetarian 18 Yrs. Gluten Free Almost Four Months.

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After eighteen years of strict vegetarianism (by choice), I can't get myself to go back to meat, nor do I really want to. I've been saddened to see gluten-free menus looking more like they were developed for Atkin's dieters, with nothing I can have but salad.

I live in an area North of Boston that hasn't even been friendly for vegetarians, though Boston/Cambridge/Brookline are. Where I live, it's very provincial in attitude and very meat-and-potato (and fried seafood). I can no longer help support restaurants in my own neighborhood, where one place at least had a veggie burger and another a pasta dish!

I know about the RAW/Veggie/Vegan/Gluten-Free/everything else politically correct restaurant in Beverly. I enjoy it once in a while, but I can't go there socially or even with my girlfriend because I don't know anyone else who will eat there. :(

Aside from the lack of options, I'm pissed off that at places like NEBO it's a whole $4 extra for gluten free versions of their pizzas. On one hand, it's great they offer them, on the other hand, it's price gouging. I know the ingredients cost more, but they don't cost that much more.

It's put a ding on my social life (well, a little), my wallet (gluten free price-gouging in restaurants and supermarkets), and options because I love all kinds of ethnic foods.

How do we educate the North Shore? I can't be the only one...well, I know of one other celiac Nahant.

-Seth in Lynn, MA.

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I lamented over this when I first started gluten-free because I was a semi-vegetarian most of my life and don't enjoy a good steak. I love good veg. dishes and would happily eat vegetarian meals. Are there any Indian restaurants in your area? That was a staple for me for a while. Maybe you could take a dining card in their language and ask alot of questions and work with them and develop a relationship. One place here was very impressed with the card in their language and offered to make a special gluten-free version of a dish that was on the buffet that I couldn't have(there were many that I could).

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Thanks! But, what exactly is a dining card?

There is an Indian place in Salem, MA. that I love. I just have to order very carefully.

I agree that building a relationship is important, but I take road trips a lot, and that was hard enough just being vegetarian. You should have seen what excuses for meals I had to have while on the road in the Maine logging territory! I was never one of those vegetarians satisfied with sides of vegetables and salad.

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After eighteen years of strict vegetarianism (by choice), I can't get myself to go back to meat, nor do I really want to. I've been saddened to see gluten-free menus looking more like they were developed for Atkin's dieters, with nothing I can have but salad.

I live in an area North of Boston that hasn't even been friendly for vegetarians, though Boston/Cambridge/Brookline are. Where I live, it's very provincial in attitude and very meat-and-potato (and fried seafood). I can no longer help support restaurants in my own neighborhood, where one place at least had a veggie burger and another a pasta dish!

I know about the RAW/Veggie/Vegan/Gluten-Free/everything else politically correct restaurant in Beverly. I enjoy it once in a while, but I can't go there socially or even with my girlfriend because I don't know anyone else who will eat there. :(

Aside from the lack of options, I'm pissed off that at places like NEBO it's a whole $4 extra for gluten free versions of their pizzas. On one hand, it's great they offer them, on the other hand, it's price gouging. I know the ingredients cost more, but they don't cost that much more.

It's put a ding on my social life (well, a little), my wallet (gluten free price-gouging in restaurants and supermarkets), and options because I love all kinds of ethnic foods.

How do we educate the North Shore? I can't be the only one...well, I know of one other celiac Nahant.

-Seth in Lynn, MA.

Seth...I was born in Lynn, raised in Peabody and currently live in the Framingham area. I am not a vegetarian but eat only small amounts of red meat. I take it you do not eat fish either? If not, I will admit being a gluten-free vegetarian must be incredibly hard in many ways. I eat lots of fish and some chicken and occasional red meat and even with all that, I sometimes want something really different. I can't even give you many restaurant suggestions because they mostly offer mainstream food that most of America likes to eat! I can understand why you cannot bring yourself to eat meat, either.....I could NEVER imagine eating wheat ever again, not even with a pill.

My complaint is when a restaurant does offer gluten-free bread, it's always white bread. I know there are whole grain gluten-free flours but the bread is always crappy white bread and I hate white bread. Legal's has gluten-free rolls and I have tried them but nothing to write home about. It's nice that they make the effort but I'd rather have no bread than the white stuff.

Have you been to Elephant Walk restaurant? There's one in Cambridge and Waltham and they have an excellent gluten-free menu that may contain vegetarian dishes also. It's great Thai food and the only place I can get a good Thai meal without worry. Other than that, I think it would be very hard to educate most of mainstream America on food. As you can tell, Americans have a huge disconnect with the food they eat and many just aren't interested in eating healthy and different. You know, I work at MIT and you'd think with all those uber-educated people, there would be some base knowledge on food. Yet, people are intrigued with what I bring in to eat and the only difference is it's healthy and different than what they buy at the cafeteria. You wouldn't believe the questions I have gotten! You'd think people had never heard of a chick pea...... :rolleyes: Things may change over time but when you eat different than the mainstream herd,

it's noticed but people don't want to go too far into it. I think it scares them or maybe we are reminders of how badly they eat. I haven't quite figured it out yet.

People have enough of a hard time figuring out the gluten-free diet but you are correct, if you state you are a vegetarian, they act like you have just admitted to having leprosy! There aren't many veggie restaurants around, except in Town and then you'll pay dearly to eat there. I wish I could offer more help.......

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Seth...I was born in Lynn, raised in Peabody and currently live in the Framingham area. I am not a vegetarian but eat only small amounts of red meat. I take it you do not eat fish either? If not, I will admit being a gluten-free vegetarian must be incredibly hard in many ways. I eat lots of fish and some chicken and occasional red meat and even with all that, I sometimes want something really different. I can't even give you many restaurant suggestions because they mostly offer mainstream food that most of America likes to eat! I can understand why you cannot bring yourself to eat meat, either.....I could NEVER imagine eating wheat ever again, not even with a pill.

My complaint is when a restaurant does offer gluten-free bread, it's always white bread. I know there are whole grain gluten-free flours but the bread is always crappy white bread and I hate white bread. Legal's has gluten-free rolls and I have tried them but nothing to write home about. It's nice that they make the effort but I'd rather have no bread than the white stuff.

Have you been to Elephant Walk restaurant? There's one in Cambridge and Waltham and they have an excellent gluten-free menu that may contain vegetarian dishes also. It's great Thai food and the only place I can get a good Thai meal without worry. Other than that, I think it would be very hard to educate most of mainstream America on food. As you can tell, Americans have a huge disconnect with the food they eat and many just aren't interested in eating healthy and different. You know, I work at MIT and you'd think with all those uber-educated people, there would be some base knowledge on food. Yet, people are intrigued with what I bring in to eat and the only difference is it's healthy and different than what they buy at the cafeteria. You wouldn't believe the questions I have gotten! You'd think people had never heard of a chick pea...... :rolleyes: Things may change over time but when you eat different than the mainstream herd,

it's noticed but people don't want to go too far into it. I think it scares them or maybe we are reminders of how badly they eat. I haven't quite figured it out yet.

People have enough of a hard time figuring out the gluten-free diet but you are correct, if you state you are a vegetarian, they act like you have just admitted to having leprosy! There aren't many veggie restaurants around, except in Town and then you'll pay dearly to eat there. I wish I could offer more help.......

Gemini, I've been meaning to try Elephant Walk even before developing a gluten sensitivity. I'll have to get to one of their locations real soon.

I've actually been working with a group of residents in Downtown Lynn to help revitalize the area and get people to enjoy our local restaurants, such as The Blue Ox, Tatiana's, Pho Lynn, Capital Diner.. but now I feel funny because I can't go to most of them! :(

I also agree with you about the breads..and pizzas! I grew up on NYC/NJ pizza to begin with, so I was dissatisfied even before the issue, anyway.. :D

-Seth

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The dining cards are from a company called Triumph. Get the International pack.

http://www.triumphdining.com/products/glut...ee-dining-cards

Tasty Bite meals are good for travel. They are vegetarian, gluten-free. They are sold in some grocery stores as well as CostPlus/World Market. Some of them come with rice and a curry and are microwaveable with the containers in the package.

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I've actually been working with a group of residents in Downtown Lynn to help revitalize the area and get people to enjoy our local restaurants, such as The Blue Ox, Tatiana's, Pho Lynn, Capital Diner.. but now I feel funny because I can't go to most of them! :(

I also agree with you about the breads..and pizzas! I grew up on NYC/NJ pizza to begin with, so I was dissatisfied even before the issue, anyway.. :D

-Seth

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Thanks, Gemini!

You may want to check out http://lynnhappens.com and http://dtlna.org . Both are sites I maintain (or try to). I'm looking for content contributors, writers for the first site..

-Seth

OMG, Seth! I looked at lynnhappens.com and clicked on the Goldfish Pond Association link and I have to tell you....that brought back so many memories! That's where my great-grandmother had her house...on Goldfish Pond. You'd have to know Lynn to know about Goldfish Pond. It's so important to save those neighborhoods and keep them nice. That's an area where many Irish immigrants settled and my great grandmother was one of them. Thanks for the links...it'll be fun looking through them!

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OMG, Seth! I looked at lynnhappens.com and clicked on the Goldfish Pond Association link and I have to tell you....that brought back so many memories! That's where my great-grandmother had her house...on Goldfish Pond. You'd have to know Lynn to know about Goldfish Pond. It's so important to save those neighborhoods and keep them nice. That's an area where many Irish immigrants settled and my great grandmother was one of them. Thanks for the links...it'll be fun looking through them!

They have a great neighborhood association and they've done a really good job cleaning up and beautifying the pond. I'm glad you found the site useful!

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