Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eating Out on a Gluten-Free Diet:

I'm thrilled to introduce you to a brand-new section on the blog:

"Eating Out"

You can find the link in the "Tab's" box on the right side-bar.

I have been working on this page for a long time now, and I'm SO, SO excited to finally release it!!
Before you go and check it out, I hope you'll take just a minute and read my disclaimer below:

Me and my family very rarely eat out.
Like, I'm talking maybe three times a year or so!!
It could be a little more than that, but that's only if ice cream counts, and still we rarely do that.
If we are traveling, we will or shopping all day or something, but other than that, we just don't.
Only ONCE in my entire life, do I remember us being at home, not cooking dinner, and going out to eat instead!

However, I like to know what different restaurants offer as far as gluten-free selections, and I get asked A LOT about what restaurants have what Gluten-Free food. You can go to most every restaurant's website, and find an allergen food list, or ingredient list, but sometimes it's crazy hard to find them! I don't know why they hide those lists, but some places do!
So instead of telling you to go to such and such place and look for a list, I thought I would share with you what I have found.

Before I do that, though, there is some things you need to keep in mind:
First, I am not a professional restaurant critic or anything! I'm just sharing what I have found!
Second, me and the members of my family that eat gluten-free DO NOT have Celiac Disease.
We have a "Gluten Intolerance". I personally have been on a gluten-free diet for 8 years now. At first, cross-contamination (even a single crumb) would have made me sick for days! After I have healed, I have been able to handle a few things like that.
Please don't think that I just eat a piece of bread every now and then, because it doesn't bother me any more!!! If you knew me, you would know that I have never done that, and will never do that! I will (and have, actually) gladly go hungry if I'm not sure or have hesitations about food. But let me explain what I'm talking about in concern to cross-contamination: If a restaurant cooks their breaded chicken nuggets and French fries in the same oil, the fries will be cross-contaminated. For someone with Celiac Disease, this could mean ending up in the hospital! We, personally, don't have any trouble with it now, but I realize that's not the case for everyone, because it hasn't always been for me and for some, it will never be an option.
So basically what I'm saying is, you have to take control of your health and learn what you can and can not do. If I have a hesitation about a certain menu item at a restaurant, I won't get it. I have no problem with that. I would do without for ever, before I would be willing to get sick again! On the other hand, if my mom or sister wants to try something that I'm hesitant about, they probably will go ahead and try it. Simple because they don't react as bad as I do. Again, they don't just going around eating a sandwich, hoping it doesn't make them sick! They still use caution. But gluten affects everyone differently and you have to know for yourself what you will and will not do, no matter what others do (even if they say they are "gluten-intolerant" or have Celiac Disease).
I hope that makes sense!

Now onto the info you really wanted to know about! 
You can check out my post HERE on a place called Triumph Dining.
They have a whole book on restaurants across the United States and what you can and can't have there. If you travel a lot, this may be something you would be interested in, however it's a little pricey. They do update it every year, but again, pretty pricey, so you would just have to decide if that's something you are interested in.

All the info that I'm sharing, is directly what I find from the restaurants web-site.
This information is updated often, and I HIGHLY, STRONGLY recommend, if there is a certain place you frequent, that you check out the information regularly, as it does change. Mostly for the good, but everyone now and then, something you get all the time, will be slightly modified and no longer safe for you to eat.
Whenever it is possible, I will provide a link to both the Allergen Food List and the Ingredient List.
The Allergen Food List says what "Item" is gluten free. For instance, most places will say that a hamburger is not gluten-free. But mostly that's because of the bun. So leave the bun off, and you have can  have it! The Ingredient list says what exactly is in each item (what's really in the hamburger, not the bun), that way you know why/how you can or can't have it. Sometimes in those situations, you could still have a certain menu item, just asking them to leave off one ingredient (i.e. the bun, croutons, etc.).

Also, check back to the "Eating Out" page often, because as I find out different things about different restaurants, I will be adding that there as well!

I hope it will be helpful to you and if you have any questions or there is a restaurant I don't have listed here, that you would like me to check out for you, please feel free to leave me a comment or e-mail me and I will get back to you and help you out if I possibly can!!

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