Gluten allergy can really cramp your style when you need to eat out.
I find most restaurant food pretty risky (with some exceptions), even when the staff try very hard to make sure my meal is gluten-free.
Each time I have to go out for lunch, I weigh the risk versus benefit of exposing myself to potential gluten contamination in the food.
All to often, I feel terrible after eating out. I therefore assume that either there is some secret ingredient in most restaurant food designed to make me sick, or that most restaurant food has some gluten in it, hidden even from the cook.
So my conclusion, more than ever before, is to avoid eating out as much as possible if I want to stay healthy and maintain my gluten free diet.
But what about those times when I can’t avoid going out for lunch? What if I’m with a working group, and the group decides to go out for a quick bite, before getting back to work.
I’ve found that often the best solution to maintaining my gluten-free diet is to simply bring my own lunch.
That’s right, I bring my own food to the restaurant. I’m past caring what others may thing about it, even the restaurant staff. If you have a gluten allergy, then you’ve got to take care of your self any way you can.
My gluten allergy will knock me out for weeks. I can’t afford that. I can put up with some awkwardness and embarrassment to avoid gluten.
My friends and colleagues understand. You’d be surprised at how many of them have their own foods they have to avoid, if not gluten, then sugar, peanuts etc.
The easiest way to bring your gluten-free lunch to someone else’s restaurant is to go to a canteen-style outfit.
Since you don’t have to line up to buy your food, you go grab a table and reserve it for the group. Then sit and relax while they come back with their trash-that-passes-for-food that is so typical of cheap canteen-style restaurants.
Go ahead and eat your lunch with the others. The staff won’t notice, and they won’t care if they do.
If you have a a gluten allergy, maintain your gluten free diet at all costs. Your health, well being and productivity depend on it.