Chapter 3 – Going Out Gluten Free
At some point after you go “Gluten Free”, you will have to venture out into the restaurant world. Most fine establishments now have a gluten free menu. If you are severely intolerant or celiac, you will want to make sure that the kitchen is cooking your food separately. This is not the case for many restaurants, but depending upon what the restaurant specializes in, you will have to make a responsible decision as to whether or not you can eat at their establishment. For fast food consumption, there are limited options even in an era where gluten free has become “posh”. Some good choices though are fast food establishments that specialize in bowls, where you put together your own meal with a protein and vegetables with or without a grain. As well, there are some farm to table fast food establishments that cater to gluten free patrons. This is ideal for the gluten intolerant, but can still be questionable for celiac patients.
It is best to realize, if you are serious about your health, that most of your meals need to be cooked at home, or in the home of friends who know and love you. Eating out a lot spells cross-contamination for celiac individuals. Cross contamination spells disaster in some cases to your organs. Make eating out a special occasion and splurge at high end restaurants. You will enjoy your meal, and you body will thank you for it.
So what should a restaurant be responsible for even if they don’t carry a gluten free menu. You should never patron a restaurant that will not provide you with an ingredient list. This means that things are not cooked at the restaurant, but are pre-cooked and being served from frozen, flash frozen, or canned, which means processed with Lord only knows what in the ingredients. Stick to healthy type restaurants that serve whole, real, food. Many ethnic restaurants do a better job than American home cooking type restaurants. A good indian food, or Thai restaurant per say may even provide brown rice instead of white, alternative sauces, and gluten free spices.
Even if the ingredients are whole, ask about the spice or sauce on the food. This is where most gluten free people fail at eating out. This should be a top priority for you! It will make or break your diet every time!!! This is an area we constantly work on in our home.