Eating out with Celiac Disease…I can hear the grumbling and resistant foot shuffling from here. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Going to restaurants was a the last suggestion on the planet that I wanted to hear after I found out about my food allergies, but as a teen in high school with car keys burning a hole in my pocket it was, inevitably, a part of my life. That is, if I wanted to go out, have fun and have friends! Let’s face it, it gets old, awkward and tiresome to explain yourself over and over again to your peers around a table when all you want to do is order your food and EAT!
When first navigating my way around eating out, the process often involved a ten minute interview of the unsure server of how I could modify the menu (typically a salad) to meet my needs. After being the spectacle of the table, the interrogating of my friends began. Followed by my attempts to change the course of conversation as much as I could, our food would finally make it to the table. For a good year, this would be lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and if I was lucky, some fresh berries. No dressing. Nothing. Plain. BORING!
It took a while for food allergy awareness to become a hot topic in kitchens, but it has made leaps and bounds across establishments and more eating establishments are adding gluten-free menus every day. Restaurants are becoming more accommodating, knowledgeable and creative with their food allergy offerings. (Shout out to the Walt Disneyworld Resort for the BEST gluten-free Mickey waffles around!)
Living in Austin, a food pinnacle and healthy living Mecca, certainly expands my options; but here are five tips for how YOU too can survive the “Social Scene” without jeopardizing your stomach, emotions or taste buds!
1. Have no FEAR! Say yes to the invitation out. There are ways you can prep ahead.
Check out some of my favorite allergy-free dining resources:
LOVE this website! You plug in what you need and see what results and options you get! Perfect if you are the one planning the outing.
This resource was extremely helpful when planning my journey to and from Orlando while I was on the Disney College Program. Great travel tips!
Taking the family to Disney? This website ROCKS!
Get allergy cards made! This is great if you have children or did not have time to plan ahead with a restaurant. Hand your server the card and you are all set!
There you have it; a quick survival guide to navigating the dining and social scene. Let me know what new restaurants you try and how you enjoyed an allergy-free night out!
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