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Old Country Buffet

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We're going to Old country buffet tomorrow for a family thing. Since we'll be there for a while in a large group with everyone else eating, i'd really like to find something to eat so the attention doesn't stay on me and my lack of food. We only go once a year so I'm not even sure what they have and can call and ask about.

Those of you who risk buffets, what do you eat? Any ideas on what's likely to be my best options? I have celiac so contamination is an issue but I don't react to small levels so I won't know if anything i eat actually was safe.

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NOOOOO! I think they put flour in the corn there! OK...I really don't know that. That place is a gluten filled mine field. Someone will use the pasta spoon in the corn. Stuff falls off the gravy spoon and drips into the green beans. There are rolls & biscuits! You could call and see if you have the rare one knows about gluten-free eating. I would bring my own or eat first.

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Buffetts, and diners, and pot lucks = oh my! :o

Gluten filled landmines!

Gluten Russian roulette!

How close is the ladies room to the tables? :rolleyes:

Would I eat there? no, never, nyet.

Sorry, hon. Too chancy.

I'm with Karen. Eat before you go and just enjoy the company.

I would ask the family (next year) to go someplace less scary? :ph34r:

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I get shivers just thinking about it!ohmy.gif

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I'm aware of all the potential issues and since not eating isn't an option, I'm trying to be proactive and make it as safe as possible.

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I'm aware of all the potential issues and since not eating isn't an option, I'm trying to be proactive and make it as safe as possible.

We know hon, but we honestly just don't see how it is possible.

Just being honest. Buffets are too cross-contaminated.

Why is "not eating" an option? I don't understand.

Risking it is very dangerous, IMHO.

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I'm so sorry but this scenario just is not worth possible regrets later. :(

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We know hon, but we honestly just don't see how it is possible.

Just being honest. Buffets are too cross-contaminated.

Why is "not eating" an option? I don't understand.

Risking it is very dangerous, IMHO.

When I searched, i found a couple mentions of people eating at OCB which is why I asked here. It had been done by members already and I was hoping to find their advice. It is a risk and one that I accept for a once a year event. My goal at this point is to mitigate it, not find to ways around eating there at all.

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I think Old Country buffet is one of the hardest to eat safely. I have been to expensive buffets and people drop the roll in the salad & pull it out. You could call ahead and see if they could serve you from fresh pans but I wouldn't think they would have a clue. Just bring some food if you can't eat first.

No one can force you to eat poison unless they are holding you down. I can't imagine your family would hold you down and force poison into you.

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When I searched, i found a couple mentions of people eating at OCB which is why I asked here. It had been done by members already and I was hoping to find their advice. It is a risk and one that I accept for a once a year event. My goal at this point is to mitigate it, not find to ways around eating there at all.

Call ahead to the one you are going to. You never know, one might be better at helping you then another.

But I guess we don't understand why it's so important to eat the food? Why that's more important then your health? Honestly, if I was going to take a chance, I think I would pick a place with better food. OCB is OK but it's not great.

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Call ahead to the one you are going to. You never know, one might be better at helping you then another.

But I guess we don't understand why it's so important to eat the food? Why that's more important then your health? Honestly, if I was going to take a chance, I think I would pick a place with better food. OCB is OK but it's not great.

It's not my choice of places but I'm doing the best I can. I'm definitely calling ahead, just not sure what to ask them about. Asking for gluten free stuff is likely to get me blank stares but if I can be specific on things, it should be better. I won't suffer from eating there because I don't react and I'm extra careful the rest of the time so I can keep my sanity in situations like this. sitting foodless and hungry for two hours while everyone else eats and makes me the focus of attention (not unkindly) is much worse than bending over backwards finding a couple things I can eat with an acceptable margin of risk.

It's not everyone's frame of mind and that's fine. I wouldn't force anyone to do this because it's a personal choice.

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I won't suffer from eating there because I don't react and I'm extra careful the rest of the time so I can keep my sanity in situations like this.

Then we don't have to remind you that just because you "don't react" ...you are still doing intestinal damage and triggering the autoimmune response every time you take such risks?

We are just looking out for you here, not trying to be difficult.

But as is everything in life, it's certainly your choice.

It is hard to deal with family that does not get it or with having to be "different" because of this disease, but the last thing I would do is put myself at risk for anyone else.

but that's Just me. :)

Just be careful. Best wishes.

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It's not my choice of places but I'm doing the best I can. I'm definitely calling ahead, just not sure what to ask them about. Asking for gluten free stuff is likely to get me blank stares but if I can be specific on things, it should be better. I won't suffer from eating there because I don't react and I'm extra careful the rest of the time so I can keep my sanity in situations like this. sitting foodless and hungry for two hours while everyone else eats and makes me the focus of attention (not unkindly) is much worse than bending over backwards finding a couple things I can eat with an acceptable margin of risk.

It's not everyone's frame of mind and that's fine. I wouldn't force anyone to do this because it's a personal choice.

I don't know what the place may serve but if you feel you have to eat there might I suggest that you eat before you go and then pick at (or push around) a salad and perhaps some fruit. Haven't you told your family you are celiac? If you have people that love you will understand if you go with a full belly and just enjoy their company. If you haven't told them you could just tell them you are on a diet and that is why you are just doing plain salad and cut up fruit. Eating before you go will keep you from feeling deprived and maybe have a nice tasty gluten free treat waiting for you at home. Some of us have been known to bring in our own stuff to a restaurant, perhaps you could bring some in and just put it on a plate on the QT.

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I don't know what the place may serve but if you feel you have to eat there might I suggest that you eat before you go and then pick at (or push around) a salad and perhaps some fruit. Haven't you told your family you are celiac? If you have people that love you will understand if you go with a full belly and just enjoy their company. If you haven't told them you could just tell them you are on a diet and that is why you are just doing plain salad and cut up fruit. Eating before you go will keep you from feeling deprived and maybe have a nice tasty gluten free treat waiting for you at home. Some of us have been known to bring in our own stuff to a restaurant, perhaps you could bring some in and just put it on a plate on the QT.

We only go once a year so i barely remember what's there but there should be fresh fruit. Thank you, I can't believe i didn't think of that! A friend suggested they may have baked potatoes as well which would be great. I'd love something substantial but i eat worse at home so a potato, ice cream and fruit is certainly good enough for me.

My family knows but this is the best option for a large group and I told them to find what they could and I'd figure the rest out.

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If the baked potato is wrapped in foil, that may well be your best best. ;) Eat two.

ANYTHING that has a serving spoon-- even if it's cut up fresh fruit on the buffet line--could be a problem, though as Karen has suggested. If there are whole fruits, then you are in business! :) Or packaged pudding cups?

Hey, Do they serve anything at all off a menu?--you know, like made to order?

you could call and ask! You can't be the first celiac to eat there on a family outing.

I just hate to think of you getting CCed, that's all.

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I'm not familiar with that restaurant. B) Would it be possible to have a server mix you up a fresh salad in the back. Rather one that everyone has had their hands in.

You can explain your food intolerance to the manager and maybe they could be a bit accommodating. Or call before the rush starts and say you are coming in with a large party. Could he/she assist you in your choices.

I am going to a dinner tonight which is catered. I called him up a couple of days ago and asked if he could provide me with a gluten free meal. "Not a problem", he said.

Put the manager to work...that's their job. And good luck! :)

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I haven't eaten at an OCB since starting a gluten-free diet, it's been a couple of years since I've eaten there in fact. As I recall, they have different stations with different types of food (i.e. the meat in one spot, and sometimes a carver there carving some roast beef to put on a plate), that station *might * be safe, and the veggie station might also, but they might have mac & cheese right next to the green beans, so that wouldn't be good. Not sure about the baked potato. You might be able to find out the ingredients in the soft-serve that comes out of a machine, and just eat that. :rolleyes:

I'd call ahead and talk to the manager, probably your best bet. Or see if there's a manager available to ask when you get there.

I just did a search for old country buffet gluten free and came up with this, which might be helpful:

http://eatingfreedom.org/2011/05/26/restaurant-i-love-old-country-buffet/

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As mentioned, check to see if you can get anything fresh from the back. Depending on how they lay it out, some of the salad fixings could be fairly safe. Fruit. Baked potatoes even if not in foil. I don't remember if they have a carving station, but if they do as long as the meat itself is gluten-free, chance of CC would be less. Soft serve ice cream.

The CC chances often depend on the layout of the buffet.

richard

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    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

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    • Hi Bree, You need to avoid wheat, rye, and barley, including malt.  It is best to avoid oats and dairy for a few months at the start of the gluten-free diet.  Personally I would avoid soy also. The best thing though is to just stop eating processed foods for a few months at least.  And don't eat in restaurants and also cook your own meals.  A simpler diet is best for healing.  Plus if you are getting sick from a food ingredient it is simple to figure out.  Eating processed foods (like gluten-free pizza) etc you could take in 100 more ingredients in a day.  That means you have to figure out which of those 100 ingredients is making you sick.  Not an easy task.  So I suggest you simplify your diet and learn the easy/fast  way.  Eating out at restaurants will slow your healing/learning down. It is better to take some food with you if you are going out.  Nuts, fruit, hard boiled eggs are easy to carry around.
    • Please don't waste your money on Enterolab.  They have never submitted any proof for peer review verification.  They are glad to take your cash though. I am not familiar with the MC diet.  But many celiacs avoid additional foods beyond just gluten.  I don't eat dairy, soy, nightshades, carrots, celery, oats.  Probably a few I am forgetting.  Many others here avoid other foods too.  There is still plenty to eat though.  Meats and veggies, nuts, eggs etc.  There is almond milk and coconut milk in the stores.  What is helpful on starting the gluten-free diet is to avoid all processed foods and stick with whole foods.  Do all your own cooking and don't eat at restaurants for 6 months.  In celiac, even a small crumb can kick off the immune system reaction.  So we have to avoid cross-contamination of foods.  So no shared condiments jars like mayo, peanut butter, etc.  There is a very short list of ingredients on whole foods. Simplifying your diet is a good thing.  The fewer foods you eat the easier it is to identify a problem food.  Sometimes an elimination diet is helpful to find problem foods. We have a member ennis-tx who has ulcerative colitis.  Ennis eats a keto/paleo/gluten-free/df diet.  Maybe his experience would be helpful to you.  He also has lots of recipes because he is a chef. I'll try and point him to this thread.
    • Those food sensitivity tests on Enterolab are not accepted by actual Celiac doctors.  This sites probably gets a percentage of everyone they send to get the bogus tests.     And I am going to guess that 11 days will not be enough to heal the colitis.  Why not try a restrictive diet for a month or two and see if it helps?  I am surprised that your doctor knew enough to biopsy you for microscopic colitis but didn't advise any diet changes.  Did he say how bad or wide spread it was? 
    • There you go.  The gluten-free diet has helped you.  You might not need,that official diagnosis.   After all, the bottom line is achieving good health.   P.S.  Those Romans went everywhere!  I think now, northern  India (where they grown wheat and not rice) has an even higher rate of celiac disease than Europe.  
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