June 12, 2014
Stess Less When Dining Out
Dining out can be frightening and down right stressful. Although many restaurants are providing Gluten Free fare and advertising so, often times they neglect safety in exchange for profit.
Over the years, I have developed a certain mind set when heading out to eat. I try to treat the experience like a job interview. Pretend that you are the employer. Ask questions. A lot of them. Remember, you are looking to see if the restaurant as a whole can safely meet your needs.
Be honest and just tell it like it is. You have an autoimmune disease called Celiac. This is why you need to avoid certain ingredients and it is also why cross contact with offending ingredients is a big no no.
Go with your gut instinct. If something feels off, or too good to be true, it usually is. This leads us to something extremely important. When in doubt, go without. That's right, say it again. Know that there is no shame in politely declining to eat, if you do not feel safe.
Applaud those places which are upfront and honest in not being able to cater safely to restricted diets. If you are somewhere which cannot accommodate your needs and you are comfortable not eating, order a beverage and enjoy some conversation with your party.
Research in advance, whenever possible. Email head office and get a confirmed list of Gluten Free options as well as a contact at the restaurant. Speak with the contact from this establishment and let them know that you will be visiting and when. If possible, print out the confirmed list of safe items and bring it with you to the restaurant.
Don't settle. If you are tired of the same old salad or baked potato, then go somewhere with more options. Or skip this round of dining out all together. There is no point in inflicting misery upon yourself.
Don't ever feel like a burden. You didn't ask for this health condition and you need to do everything you can to manage it safely.