Going Out To
KNOW YOUR DIET
Even though there
is scientific basis for the Gluten-free Diet, there are many personal
decisions that you will need to decide what you think is best for you.
Such as Deep Fried Foods (Contaminated Oil); Food Cooked on grills or
griddles that have had gluten items cooked on them; Pies without an
upper crust; etc.
KNOW HOW WHAT YOU LIKE TO
EAT IS USUALLY PREPARED
Before you were diagnosed you went out
to eat, ordered
whatever you wanted from the menu. You didn’t know all the ingredients
or how it was prepared, it tasted good and that’s all you cared about.
But now you NEED to know all the ingredients and how your food is
prepared. Look up the foods you like to eat out and find out how they
are usually prepared in restaurants. That way you know what to suggest
that the chef can do to modify those items you need to be Gluten-free.
WHO TO TALK WITH AT A
Always ask to speak with the chef or
someone who knows the ingredients and methods of preparation for the
food on the menu. NEVER let the well-meaning waiter play messenger. You
need the direct link to the person who is preparing your food. If after
you have that conversation, but you still don’t feel confident that you
will get what you need – go somewhere else if you can. Or just order a
dish that is very basic and you feel confident is safe.
BE ASSERTIVE AND CREATIVE
– BUT REASONABLE
When talking with the chef
regarding special things he can make especially for you – such as fried
calamari, Veal Parm, and such – and the place is busy – back off and
wait for another not as busy time for that real special item.
DO NOT BE EMBARRASSED TO
ASK PERTINENT QUESTIONS
No question is ever too dumb to ask if you do not know the answer.
BEWARE OF GLUTEN-FREE
Even if a restaurant has a Gluten-free or
Gluten-free friendly menu don’t assume that everything on there is safe
for you. Ask for the same person to ask your questions of as above.
If you go to a restaurant and they will not accommodate
your Gluten-free needs – spend your money at a restaurant that will
GLUTEN-FREE BREADS IN
Even if the restaurant says they
have Gluten-free bread, ask to see the package. If they toast the bread
ask if there is a separate toaster for the Gluten-free bread. If they
don’t maybe they can toast it on each side for you in the oven or
salamander -- due to cross-contamination.
As of this time most domestic flights in the USA do not
serve meals and most of the snacks given or sold are not gluten-free
either. This includes flights to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. On
international flights I ALWAYS order a Gluten-free meal – but rarely
eat it for a number of reasons. Quality, unsure if it’s really
Gluten-free, or I’m just being my picky self. I always recommend that
you bring backup food of your own for to and from. I always do.
When invited to a catered affair, just find out who
the caterer is and then call and explain that you are on a MEDICALLY
REQUIRED Gluten-free diet and need to know what is on the menu and the
ingredients. Then for those items that are not Gluten-free offer
suggestions to modifying or replacing those items.
IN DOUBT - DON'T !