Dining without the worry!

Dining without the worry!

Following a gluten free diet does not mean that your social calendar has to be changed or that you cannot eat out and enjoy care-free visits to your favorite restaurants, cafes and snack-bars.

In fact a gluten free diet often helps us focus good healthy eating even when we are dining out. To guarantee the food is safe from cross contamination does mean extra planning.

  • Be sure to know what foods are allowed on a gluten free diet and which to avoid. Knowledge is really power in being able to plan ahead!
  • Become familiar with different ethnic cuisines – some ethnic foods are naturally gluten free while others tend to uses sauces that may contain hidden sources of gluten. When in doubt plain, naked food is always best.
  • Call the restaurant or even stop by at a nonbusy time so you can talk to the manger or chef. Checking with the chef ahead can alleviate questions when it comes time to order. It will also give you the peace of mind that your meal is being handled by someone you have direct contact with.
  • If you did not have the opportunity to speak to the restaurant staff ahead let the waiter know that your meal requires special handling. Then order your meal with exact instructions ( grilled salmon with only lemon juice – nothing else, a side of baked potato and grilled vegetables – the repeat nothing else on the plate or on the food) It may not hurt to let the waiter know that you will get very ill if your instructions are not followed exactly.
  • * Many support groups also have partnered with their local restaurants and many are now offering complete gluten free meals and some even have complete gluten free menus. You can find lists of restaurants at www.glutenfreerestaurants.org and by contacting your local celiac support group.
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It’s nice to be able to travel and relax. Often the thought of travel or even a vacation can bring a world of worries to the individual with celiac disease. However, we have good news, helpful tips and suggestions on gluten free holidays where you can leave the worries behind. Many airlines and vacation resorts now offer gluten free meals. It may take a little extra planning but a gluten free vacation without the worry is worth it! Are you traveling to your holiday destination by airplane? Then you should know beforehand which airlines serve gluten free meals on board. Attention: You have to state your request when booking! The international airline code for guaranteed a gluten free meal is GFML - Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program:

If you don’t want to have to worry about what to pack and what you are going to eat when you reach your holiday resort, and then you should look for destinations that provide gluten free meals. Disney, Club Med, and some cruise lines Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean all provide gluten free meals as part of their packages.

So as you can see a delicious world of good eating awaits you whether it is your local restaurant or a restaurant half a world away. The important thing to remember is to plan ahead, be familiar with the restaurants cuisine, know your alternatives and which foods to avoid. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the meal!