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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

How To Deal With Food When Not At Home
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I'm having trouble figuring out how to manage a gluten free diet when I can't eat at home. It really just makes me want to stay at home as it is much easier and I can prepare better tasting meals. So for example some friends invited me to join them as they visit another friend that lives out of town. They are meeting at her house then going to lunch, will hang-out in the afternoon followed by dinner somewhere and then head home. I asked if I could meet them after lunch figuring I could eat at home and then meet them afterwards and thus have 1 less meal to deal with. They are unsure when and where they'd be after lunch and suggested I call them on their cell. I can do that but I don't know the town they are in so figure I'll probably get lost so it may be better if I just meet for lunch. But if I do that I'm trying to figure out how to handle it. Do I bring my lunch with me to the restaurant they have selected (I don't want to try and eat something there because of cross contamination). If I want to bring my lunch do I have to try and find out beforehand where they are going so I can contact the restaurant and ask them if it is ok if I bring my own food? I feel weird about bringing food into a restaurant anyway. So then wonder if I should try and eat on my own somehow. And then I have trouble with what to bring that is easy and portable. So far when I've traveled I've tried to bring rice cakes with peanut butter and baby carrots. But I'm SICK of peanut butter! I've even tried sticking a chocolate bar in with it which helps, but really would like to eat something else. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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I'm having trouble figuring out how to manage a gluten free diet when I can't eat at home. It really just makes me want to stay at home as it is much easier and I can prepare better tasting meals. So for example some friends invited me to join them as they visit another friend that lives out of town. They are meeting at her house then going to lunch, will hang-out in the afternoon followed by dinner somewhere and then head home. I asked if I could meet them after lunch figuring I could eat at home and then meet them afterwards and thus have 1 less meal to deal with. They are unsure when and where they'd be after lunch and suggested I call them on their cell. I can do that but I don't know the town they are in so figure I'll probably get lost so it may be better if I just meet for lunch. But if I do that I'm trying to figure out how to handle it. Do I bring my lunch with me to the restaurant they have selected (I don't want to try and eat something there because of cross contamination). If I want to bring my lunch do I have to try and find out beforehand where they are going so I can contact the restaurant and ask them if it is ok if I bring my own food? I feel weird about bringing food into a restaurant anyway. So then wonder if I should try and eat on my own somehow. And then I have trouble with what to bring that is easy and portable. So far when I've traveled I've tried to bring rice cakes with peanut butter and baby carrots. But I'm SICK of peanut butter! I've even tried sticking a chocolate bar in with it which helps, but really would like to eat something else. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

No wonder you're frustrated. I'd be frustrated too if I was living off peanut butter sandwiches! You'll be fine if you stick to whole foods. Veggies, fruits, beans, legumes, and grains like brown rice, and quinoa. Easily portable foods are cooked sweet potatoes, hard boiled eggs, raw or steamed veggies and fruits. Whenever I am eating out with friends I bring my favorite salad. Raw spinach leaves with baby romaine, topped with brown rice, black beans, avocado, tomato and salsa. Super yummy, people are often jealous of my food! On the side I always have a sweet potato with cinnamon and a piece of fruit. Easy to throw in a bag or lunch box, really nutritious and did I mention yummy? :D

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I am currently having the same trouble, i am going camping with a bunch of friends next weekend, 3 days 2 nights and i have to bring all my own food. I am a college freshman and had to deal with celiacs in high school so i am used to bringing a lunch, but i haven't dealt with more then like 2 meals outside of home. one thing i used to do was use a thormas and make french fries or rice or gluten-free chicken nuggets at home and they would still be warm at lunch. I find that perserves are great on rice cakes, i used to put peanut butter on them like you but resently i have started to react to peanuts :( (throat feels very tight) so i can't eat peanuts any more so my new favorite is blueberry perserve on rice cakes or gluten-free pancakes. I also will make my own pizzones (i know it is spelled wrong) were i make gluten-free pizza crust and then put in some type of meat, cheese (lactose free for me), onions, peppers or anything else i want on it and then i cook it like a pizza. I find these are nice in airports or long car rides, because you can eat them cold and they are sealed on all sides so they don't make a mess. I would defenately call the restaurant or maybe try to convince your friends to eat at a restaurant that you know does gluten-free well (outback steak house is my fav) you can also ask about the set up in a restaurant, i know when i have gone to places like steak and shake i will get a milk shake and tell them i have an "allergy :rolleyes: " and ask them to wash their blender, they usually accomodate me because they are afraid of law suits (use this to yourr advantage ;) ), you can also find seating outside, it is less weird to bring your food to a restaurant if you eat away from the crowds. Another thing that i do when i am with my friends and we go to a fast food place, they will get their food (mine is in the car) and then we will go to a park or sit by a river, it is easier to talk, because of less noise and we tend to have more fun because we can play and there are less distracting people.

i hope some of this helps :)

Nicole

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Do I bring my lunch with me to the restaurant they have selected (I don't want to try and eat something there because of cross contamination). If I want to bring my lunch do I have to try and find out beforehand where they are going so I can contact the restaurant and ask them if it is ok if I bring my own food?

I would definitely call ahead of time if you wish to bring your own food. If you make it clear that you have a food sensitivity that is sensitive enough that you feel cross contamination would be nearly impossible to avoid, AND that others in your party WILL be purchasing their food, usually they are accommodating.

I feel weird about bringing food into a restaurant anyway.

I know what you mean. It was never something I would have even contemplated before this. At this point, I figure the restaurant gets the business of my friends, at least, and they wouldn't be getting that if we ALL ate at home, so it's a sort of compromise. When I do bring food, I now bring it in a bento box, which is small, discreet, and compact. It doesn't feel as jarring as a huge lunch box, to me.

One possibility: get take out? If the weather is nice where you are, maybe you could see if there is a nice outdoors area that people eat at in this city? A park with lots of seating, a grassy mall, something like that? Then they could get food to go, you could bring food, and you could all enjoy some time out together in a nice, and safe, setting.

So then wonder if I should try and eat on my own somehow.

That's a possibility, too. You could ask the friends about a park nearby or somewhere you could eat outside/near, so that you could meet them later. Are they aware that you're having this difficulty? If not, maybe if you talk it over with them, they might have some suggestions, potentially?

And then I have trouble with what to bring that is easy and portable.

That is always a pain in the behind, yeah. We have insulated lunch bags, and are buying insulated bags for our bentos, so we can have things kept cold. Makes it sad when you want things that are hot, though! :(

For things that we've brought that were portable:

roasted chickpeas, for snacks. Lots of recipes on the web for various kinds. They're kind of like corn nuts, as a snack food.

I make homemade hummus, put it in a tupperware container. Then take some clean lettuce leaves wrapped in tinfoil/plastic wrap. When it's time to eat, I scoop out the hummus and wrap it in the leaf like a burrito. I have also added ground meat to the hummus for this, and it still tasted nice cold.

Falafel is also an easy one to take - it's portable, and it tastes good with the hummus dip. I believe there are a lot of gluten-free falafel recipes on the web. They're easier to make than you'd think.

hard-boiled eggs

japanese rice balls - these often have fillings inside like meats with soy sauce, fruit, etc...

plain or vanilla yogurt, and then take slightly crumbled gluten-free cereal that you can sprinkle over it as a topping. Or nuts that you've toasted, or glazed with honey or sugar. Also good to have this and then dip fruit like apples into it. Just keep the ingredients in separate containers until you eat, so they don't get soggy, you know?

roasted squash seeds. Whenever we've been using squash, we're saving the seeds and roasting them. Pumpkin, buternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash - it's all been pretty tasty.

potato or sweet potato wedges/fries.

Can you have any gluten-free tortilla chips? Maybe you can make a cold dip, like a thick guacamole or salsa, or refried beans, and keep that in a sealed container that you could dip the chips into?

Can you have gluten-free processed foods all right? Chex is gluten-free, and there are a few other gluten-free cereals too. I believe Enjoy Life has a gluten-free trail mix - I often see it mixed in with the gluten-free crackers, or gluten-free cereals, or gluten-free flours in the stores...but not with the regular trail mixes as much.

Not perfect foods, but maybe something so that it's not the same ole, same ole. :-)

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I am currently having the same trouble, i am going camping with a bunch of friends next weekend, 3 days 2 nights and i have to bring all my own food.

You know, one thing that helped us a lot with that was making our own, hmmm, easy meals? Like, a bag with salt, rice, dehydrated onions and a few dried spices. Sealed it in bags with enough for 1 serving, and then cooked it when we camped in our own pot. Brought potatoes, too, that we could just wrap in foil and pop in the fire until they were done.

A friend would always get a big, honkin' dry salami and literally jab a hook through it and hang it off the back of his backpack as he hiked! I wonder if Boar's Head might have something like that, a gluten-free dry salami that doesn't need to be refrigerated so you could take it with you and add bits to any rice/potato dishes.

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Camping - used to Pre- marinate steaks in a baggie, cooler. Dry pancake ingredients in a baggie, add wet, shake, cook. Canned beans in a pot. Cook sausage, etc. Boil in a bag rice. Fruits and veggies, cook in a pot or roast.

Energy bars. Anti-diarrhea meds, pain killer, bug spray, sunblock.

And don't forget the gluten-free beer, wine, and cider. And corkscrew/bottle opener/can opener!!!!

Yeah, we had fun camping.

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I'll have to look into getting a thermos. I hadn't thought of that. That would definitely help. Unfortunately I don't digest beans or lentils well. I'm avoiding them currently and hoping once my intestines heal I will be able to eat them. I don't eat much meat and tend to prefer vegetarian meals but hard to do without beans.

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Frittatas are great one-dish meals that are good cold or hot.

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