The Celiac Social Life
It would seem one of the most difficult parts of being gluten-free is when you’re invited to go out with friends or family. Whether you’re eating out or in, it’s always scary to be out of the safety of your own kitchen. I have had my fair share of good and bad experiences eating away from home. Here are a few tips to help make your outings a little safer.
Know Your Cook
Your mom was always there for you durring your awkward adolescence, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to know to use a new stick of butter or to use seperate utensils to cook the gluten-free part of the meal. The people you love have the best of intentions, but it’s important to know who you can trust to make a safe meal . It may be hard to be safe without any hurt feelings, but the more you talk about your condition with others, the more they will understand why you may seem so paranoid about what has touched what food.
Know Your Town
It’s always fun to go out with friends for a bite to eat, but where can you go that’s safe for you and still yummy for them? Do some research (a.k.a. Google) on what restaraunts around town have gluten-free offerings. Keep a list in your car so wherever you are you know where you can eat and where you can’t. You’ll be surprised how many restaraunt chains have created gluten-free menus, and how many privately owned gluten-free bakeries are popping up all over. Here are some restaraunt chains local to Southern California that have gluten free menues or are easily accomidating to gluten-free diets:
- P.F. Chang’s (Gluten Free Menu)
- Pei Wei Asian Diner (Gluten Free Menu)
- Outback Steakhouse (Gluten Free Menu)
- Yard House (Gluten Free Menu)
- Claim Jumper (Gluten Free Menu)
- Old Spaghetti Factory (Gluten Free Menu)
- Chipotle Mexican Grill (Gluten Free Offerings)
- Wahoo’s Fish Taco (Gluten Free Offerings)
Think Of Everything
You are now officially responsible for thinking up every possible situation that could cause your food to be contaminated with gluten. I just recently went to a wedding that featured a chocolate fountain. Because I couldn’t eat the teryaki chicken, chocolate covered strawberries ended up being my meal. I went in the kitchen, asked for the ingredient list for the chocolate, and they were happy to let me read the package. Everything seemed great… until I started to feel sick. I didn’t think to check the other foods that were being dipped into the chocolate fountain. Pretzels, Rice Krispy Treats, and several other glutenous goodies. I’m still recovering from that incident. But, you learn from your mistakes!
Eat Before You Go
There’s nothing worse than a stomach growling with tons of food in front of you but nothing to eat. Make sure you eat something at home before you go out with friends. This way you’re sure to make good choices using your brain, not your tummy.
Hope these tips help! Remember, being gluten free doesn’t mean you have to be a recluse. Go out, have some fun, and start enjoying your gluten free life 🙂