• Jenn

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Oooh I’m a big fan of ordering coffee for dessert – my husband and I do this quite often. We also have the extra challenge of communicating in a foreign language, but I was really proud of myself this weekend (after being appointed the family translator) for being able to communicate my father-in-law’s allergies to gluten, tomatoes, casein, and citrus in French, also communicate my husband’s gluten allergy, and be understandable enough that the waitress was able to follow everything I was trying to say.

    Another thing I do often is order a simple salad before the meal. It helps to fill you up a bit before so you are more likely to get that “full” feeling at a more appropriate time. We also do not eat out at “fast” or “chain” places. A restaurant that lets you sit for a few hours where you actually have to wait between appetizer and entree will give a more relaxed meal w/ less chance of us overeating. As a result, eating out has also become much more of a rare treat for us because such restaurants are typically a bit more pricey :)

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  • abbie

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 10:36 am

    you know your stories are inspirational. I have been really shy about going out to eat at restaurants after having bad cross-contamination experiences. Burgers from the “gluten-free” menu with no toppings, aren’t gluten-free on the same grill. Soy-sauce fried rice in made in the same kitchen as other foods made my stomach hurt before our meal was even over. So, I have just stopped eating out. And it is frustrating! How do you avoid cross-contamination? Do you simply ask that your food be prepared in a separate cook space? If I must eat out with family or friends, I just eat before I leave home.
    On the positive side, I have been in the kitchen a lot more cooking up fresh gluten-free meals, experimenting a lot, and eating very-well I might add.
    I love your blog, recipes and tips. They are so very helpful to a GF eater. Thank you!

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    Amy Reply:

    @abbie, I don’t have the same level of sensitivity to gluten as someone with Celiac disease so it’s a little different. It sounds like you have to be even more vigilant – there are lots of places with gluten-free menus now so that’s a plus.

    I would call ahead and explain your needs first. Often times, I call during the slow time (2 – 4 pm) and the manager will get on the phone. They want you to have a good experience there so if you educate them on what you need, they’ll tell you if it’s possible.

    I know it’s a lot of footwork just to eat out but I believe that eventually we’ll help the restaurant industry be more sensitive to food allergies and intolerances.

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    abbie Reply:

    @Amy, This is really great advice! these tips, calling ahead, during a slow time, and just asking tons of questions are really great tips. Thank you so much. I haven’t been diagnosed, but even without a doctor’s affirmation, I know my body just doesn’t like gluten. So at this point, I am just following my body.
    I think you are right, as those of us with gluten-sensitivities speak out more will hear, and respond. And, yes, I do use braggs seasoning, in addition to my wheat-free soy sauce. I don’t think I could live without sushi! :) Thanks for your advice!

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    abbie Reply:

    @abbie, for my upcoming birthday my husband is wanting to go out to dinner. I am still so worried about a tummy ache that I was scared to go. But he showed me that our Legal Sea Food has a gluten-free menu but also goes the extra mile for those with extreme intolerances making sure that even food preparation is segregated. I am still going to take a few of your tips and give the restaurant a call to find out what I should and shouldn’t order. But your encouragement has meant the world to me, and I feel a bit more emboldened to, well, just ask. Thanks!

  • abbie

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 10:37 am

    sorry, I meant soy-sauce-free fried rice. Soy sauces usually have gluten in them. As do the other Korean staples like red pepper paste and fermented bean-paste soup base. I don’t cook as many Korean meals anymore.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @abbie, Have you tried Bragg’s Amino Acids? I use it instead of soy – it tastes exactly the same without the gluten. No one can ever tell the difference.

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  • Ricki

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Great advice–thank you! I’ve also gotten used to calilng ahead and asking lots of questions. I do have one more for you, though: what do you say is the reason for your request? In my case, saying “I’m on a candida diet” usually meets with a blank stare, and I find they often don’t take it too seriously. So I’ve started saying “I’m allergice to mushrooms” or “I’m allergic to dairy” or whatever it is that I can’t eat. But I don’t think anyone has ever had an allergy to sugar. . . at least, it doesn’t seem to be known. I’d love to know what you say to the servers!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Ricki, I tell them I can’t eat white sugar. I no longer feel I owe them any explanation as to why I eat the way I do. It took me a long time to quit taking their responses personally and to stop feeling like I needed to apologize for the way I eat.

    My body doesn’t handle white sugar well. For some reason, I have an adverse response. Have you seen my fat pics?? Whew.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Amy. I guess I just need to get over it and not feel I DO need to give an explanation. I’m like you with sugar–except I haven’t posted any fat pics (seriously, yours have nothing on mine!). ;)

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Ricki, There might not be a medically identified ‘allergy’ with white sugar but with America’s obesity rate and my own personal experience, I know that there is something chemically that happens.

    Gosh – if yours are more extreme than mine, you must feel that there’s something to the white sugar thing too.

  • Thy Hand

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hello! I just discovered your site while searching for a sugar-free ketchup recipe for some salad dressing recipes I posted about that use honey instead of sugar (but one calls for ketchup). I linked to your recipe in my comments even though I haven’t tried it yet:-).

    I’ll be checking back here often as I am a new no-sugar convert and have a sensitivity to gluten. Thanks!!

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  • Ricki

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Hi Amy,
    Yes, I totally believe that sugar is just as addictive as any drug, and I’m a recovering sugarholic. Thankfully, one can live very well without sugar!

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  • joan

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I’d love to know what was in your gluten and sugar free ice cream! Or the brand name!!

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  • Holly

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Great tips, Amy! I totally believe that there is a chemical reaction to white sugar. I have also experienced some side effects from splenda and other artificial sweeteners. I have chosen to go with more natural sweeteners, and have cut way back on the sweets. I just believe we should eat food the way God intended!

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  • Alta

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Great tips. I’ve buckled down and purchased some of the Triumph dining cards in addition to doing those things that you’ve mentioned – in hopes that there isn’t something lost in translation between the wait staff and the chef. I’ve only been out once since then and they worked okay – I’m curious to see how they work in the long run. I am a very sensitive gluten intolerant person, so it only takes just a bit to get my sick, so I try my best to communicate that to those serving me. And I get to know those restaurants that have treated me well by coming back!

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  • Chelsey

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    What great tips you have there Amy. I try not to eat out too much, and if I do, I usually always order a chicken salad. That is a safe option for me, and I don’t feel deprived because I know how to whip up some really good stuff at home (where I know exactly whats going into it).

    I have to say I am totally addicted to sugar though. The more I eat, the more I eat! I am going to try eating absolutely no sugar during the week, and two meals/snacks with sugar on the weekend with friends and family. My thinking is that this will keep the sugar monster within from growing to some fearsome beast and save me from feeling deprived.!!!

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  • gfe--gluten free easily

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Excellent post, Amy! My very favorite part is that you don’t get upset by limited choices or having to go to a few restaurants before you find one that works. Many folks really get upset in these situations and it’s a waste of time. Staying positive and just going with the flow works much better. It’s most challenging when we take our motorcycle trip, because often hopping on and off the motorcyle repeatedly when dealing with gravel, questionable parking, etc. is challenging enough. Mr. GFE has gotten really good at figuring out the type of place I can eat safely at though. I’ve learned to just ask my questions matter of factly. Like you, I don’t necessarily explain. Sometimes I share to educate, but I play it by ear. Traveling and eating out gf/df/rsf will be more challenging, but I’ll do it, because the rewards are worth it, and soon enough it will become second nature again.

    Thanks, Amy! :-)

    Shirley

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  • Hallie @ Daily Bites

    posted on May 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Great tips. I just got back from a quick weekend road trip yesterday and was reminded again just how difficult it is to eat out with gluten issues. I brought my own food with me for most meals, but one evening went out for dinner with family. The restaurant wasn’t exactly the most accomodating, so I ended up eating pretty much a bowl of lettuce for dinner and then having something else once I got back home to my stash of healthy snacks!

    For the most part, though, I think when you explain to the staff about your food allergies and ask questions about the menu, they are usually pretty kind and helpful. I don’t eat out very often, but when I do I’ve just learned to have a good attitude about it and know that the food I get probably won’t be anything fancy or very flavorful. It’s the company of those who I dine out with that’s special.

    [Reply]

  • Simply Life

    posted on May 11, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Great tips- thanks!

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  • Ellen Allard

    posted on May 11, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Great post! Eating out has to be one of the most challenging parts of having any food allergies or intolerances. It’s tempting to believe every server or even restaurant manager who professes to know what they’re talking about when I ask about the gluten free/dairy free status of the food they serve. I’ve learned otherwise. Like you said, it’s ultimately really up to you. I’ve learned to remember that once I leave the restaurant and go home, I’m the one that ultimately has to deal with the ramifications of cross contamination. A difficult but important lesson.

    Ellen
    http://www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com

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  • Lex

    posted on May 11, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I’ve been on the anti-candida diet for a few months now. I’ve cheated….and paid…and cheated…and paid. But I get it now. I really had to test to see if this was for real – and it IS!

    I think one of the hardest things for me to adjust to is eating out….I freely did it all the time, and really don’t want to stop! This post has been quite encouraging. Thank you!

    Learning how to adjust to this new way of life has been overwhelming to say the least. Your blog is amazing.

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  • Nikki

    posted on May 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I know that Elizabeth Hasselbeck has a “bookmark” in the back of her Gluten Free book that you can hand to your server at restaurants and it explains gluten intolerance and the foods that need to be omitted from your dish. It makes all that information and explanations easier for the server and chef to understand and follow.

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  • Iris

    posted on May 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks for this post, Amy! I’m going to come back when I have more time to read all the comments as well.

    FYI, I’m adopting you for May’s Edition of Adopt A Gluten Free Blogger, which I’m hosting. Can’t wait to finally try some of your recipes!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Iris, You are so sweet!! I will have to find out the deadline…we are traveling a lot this month so I might not be able to participate. Regardless, I can’t wait to see the results!

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  • Bettie@Wineablegifts

    posted on May 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Please check out my most recent post for Moroccan Couscous with Saffron. Quinoa can be substituted for couscous to make this gluten free. Hope you enjoy.

    [Reply]

  • Aubree Cherie

    posted on May 17, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I’m going to cling to your promise of ‘it gets easier’. I find that I loose my nerve at restaurants. The smells kill me. I usually do okay, but I especially appreciated your comment about starches. I tend to eat tons of starchy foods at restaurants because its easy and cheap. But when I do, I leave feeling pretty gross. I’ll definitely try to stick to salads!

    ~Aubree Cherie

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Aubree Cherie, Joe and I were just at a really nice restaurant the other night and I’d done my homework and called ahead. After ordering my meal, I double checked with the waitress and she asked the cooks…long story short I was given the wrong information over the phone. The only thing they told me I could eat on the menu actually had wheat flour in the sauce.

    We canceled the order and left. I was a little teary eyed because I was tired and hungry and we now had to start from square one. But, I left with a clean conscience.

    Sometimes taking a difficult action produces simple-to-live-with results.

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  • Dee Dee Burnette

    posted on August 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I am also gluten free/sugar free and will be traveling to Disney in the fall. I am stressed about all the desserts, but was excited by the ice cream. What is is sweetened with? I am allergic to aspartame and splenda. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Dee Dee Burnette, I wish I could remember. It was almost two years ago. They’re great about providing ingredient lists…just be sure to ask.

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  • Clare

    posted on September 3, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Hi Amy, Ive just come across your website and Im loving it. Its good to know that there are other people in the world that have the same rection to sugar and white flour that I do. I thought I was imagining things or just being paranoid. You have inspired me to be ‘really’ sugar and gluten free. I have tried it many times before and didnt last long, and felt like I was missing out, I was never really ready to embrace the fact that sugar and gluten are not good for my body and kind of hoped that I was wrong and that I can have them. It will be a big adjustment, I hope I can do it.
    It requires a lot of preparation for a day out of the house doesnt it? What type of snacks would you eat?
    Thanks for your inspiration once again…

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Clare, Check out my recipes page – I have lots of foods that I eat there. As far as ‘snacks’ I don’t do much of that- instead of snacks I eat 4 -5 smaller meals a day. That works really well for me. One of my favorite simple to prepare meals is my Cottage Cheese & Fruit Salad – I throw it in a little lunch box cooler with an ice pack and I’m good to go. Fresh fruit & nuts is also something that travels well.

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  • Jill

    posted on September 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I found your blog a couple of weeks ago..and I am now transitioning my family of 4 to ss&gf! Whew! THANK YOU! I can’t WAIT for your cookbook! I hope there is enough vegetarian options in there, too!

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  • Jane

    posted on June 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I tend to avoid eating out unless it’s a place I know is okay…the only times I’ve been glutened are in restaurants. One place gave me soy sauce by accident (instead of balsamic, for oil/vinegar dressing)…at another the chef told me their soy sauce was “made from mung bean, no soy and no wheat”… when I read the label after eating some of the food it said “made from soybeans and wheat.”Just regular soy sauce. Why….?????) At yet another, the staff said the corn tortillas (handmade) were just corn.. I met the baker later who said “you wouldn’t be able to eat my tortillas- I add wheat flour to them to make them more pliable!” LOL.. I’ve lost trust in waitstaff. People will gluten you- hopefully unintentionally, but they will.
    I eat at a local Asian place that is gluten-aware and uses wheat free tamari.
    I mainly just don’t eat out anymore. Have heard even plain grilled fish is often suspect- chefs will sprinkle flour on it to help it stay moist and glossy. Argh. The wait staff generally knows so little about how food is prepared- again that came from the chef on staff… I cook a lot so I eat at home. I would suggest people learn about cooking processes so…they know the questions to ask.

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  • Michele

    posted on April 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Hey, just an FYI about the sugar “allergy” thing. I had an iga/igg test and I’m practically off the charts with extremely high allergen response to sugar cane. So, now you’ve heard of a sugar “allergy”, although I think it’s considered sensitivity or intolernace. I have also developed an extreme sensitivity to gluten, meaning I get a terrible gut ache when I consume it. But it wasn’t always that way, and I tested low for wheat gliadin and wheat gluten. That said my ND highly suspects leaky gut, most likely from the damage done from my extreme (and not realized until I saw the results) intolerance to all dairy, plus the cane sugar intolerance. So several things that didn’t show on the test I’m avoiding. I’m also going to go on a candida diet with all the bells and whistles for a month because it appears that could be the root of my inability to lose weight for the past 10 years. So, eating out, really hard just with the dairy/sugar avoidance combo.

    [Reply]

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