I blog gluten-free

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Living in a Strange World

I live in a strange world. Where wheat, barley,rye and such are to be avoided at all costs. Where blue cheese is looked at askance until I know who makes it and if it has a gluten binder. (And believe me, if it's not chunky, I LOVE blue cheese!)Lessons on living on a strict diet:
1) When family will not or cannot understand, beware even of normally non-allergenic/ glutenated items, like chicken and potatoes. Keep Benadryl and an Epi Pen on stand by.
2)Make nice with restaurants. Make them your friends. I can head over to a Pizza Hut, and have them work with me, call me by name, and give me wings I can eat, without fear, and often, free soda pop. Be polite. They're so awesome... so we need clean oil? OK! Would you like a drink while you wait? Sucks you can't have pizza here. Do you eat it? (Yes, I just have to make it myself, although I know a few places that do make a GF pizza.) That sounds interesting. See, even a typically non-celiac friendly place can work with you. It's attitude. If you're nice and are willing to work with them, it's infectious. They actually make sure I get clean counter space.

This goes for any restaurant. Be prepared to sacrifice. At one "celiac friendly" place, the advertising in the celiac community was pure puffery. My nephew and I had to make do on plain rice spaghetti, which they had to search for. What was 30 minutes for most took an hour for us. Make sure you're polite, friendly, but firm.
3)Tim Hortons asks people with allergies NOT to eat there. Ok... simple tip...the yogurt is good and safe. The coffee, unless a sadist is tossing in flour, is OK. The pamphlet asking for your abstinence is scary though. Admittedly, this is enough to make me feel like Snoopy when he tries to board a bus. Yes indeedie Mrs. McGreedie! This did indeed grab my attention. I was looking for allergy information. Not a strong suggestion that I needed to hightail out when the yogurt and coffee hadn't triggered my symptoms yet!

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