It is said the Non Celiac,who is choosing gluten free-ish, is going to be the demise of we who are truly physically affected by gluten. The reasoning is,since some come in and order off of the gluten free menu then follow up with a slice of cake or order the fries with the bit of wheat dusted on the french fri because they are ‘so good’, then obviously they are not ‘really’ gluten intolerant. The restaurants resent going to trouble to remove the wheat, if it isn’t going to kill the person if they have it. So when a ‘true’ celiac comes in and asks that all be gluten free, we get the repercussions of the patrons that cried wolf.
Do you see the problem with this line of thinking? It is NOT the person who is trying out being gluten free. It is the restaurant AND even the Celiac/gluten intolerant not taking responsibility.
To the Restaurant
- You have a responsibility to serve what the customer order. If you have a gluten free menu the items are to be gluten free.
- It is your responsibility to explain to each employee what gluten is and what foods contain gluten. Just as it is your responsibility to ensure all employees observe health code. It is not your responsibility to identify if someone is deserving of gluten free treatment. Asking if the choice of gluten free foods is for allergy or health reason is like asking a customer if they are drinking diet coke because they are trying to lose some of those extra pounds. It is not your business, your business is to serve the customer what they have ordered.
- If your restaurant is not a chain and your food not all precooked and shipped to you, consider removing unnecessary wheat and expanding your GF menu. If you are a chain, talk to corporate, suggest they change to more gluten free foods.
- Add Local Bakery,or Udi’s, or Canyon bakehouse to your vendor list. Serve GF bread alternatives, to whom ever requests it.
- Get a GF desert, beyond ice cream. Outback has GF chocolate thunder from down under, that everyone LOVES, Celiac or not.
- Train your staff. Explain to them that flour is wheat and you put it in your refried beans.
- Take the flour out of your refried beans, fish coating, ground beef, french fries, sauces (corn starch works better). Change your soy sauce to gluten free.
- Hire me, and I can show you how and train your staff to be more gluten free friendly.
To the Celiac/Gluten Intolerant:
- Seriously, do you think your food is going to be completely absolutely 100% gluten free coming out of a kitchen with glutened foods being prepared there also?
- Get real. If you are the celiac that cannot lick a stamp or use shampoo from Body works because they contain wheat… Don’t eat out, or find a gluten free restaurant like The Wildwood Bakehouse, in Austin Texas
- Those who are willing to risk a bit of cross contamination, go to restaurants with GF menus, or where the foods are fresh and not fried, and then ask questions.
- Tell your server you are Celiac or gluten intolerant or allergic to flour. A lot just have not heard of Celiac, nor gluten so “Allergic to flour” usually is understood. (If you say wheat they will say, “no they don’t have wheat on it, just flour.”)
- Tell your server your can not have any flour,wheat,gluten, even if you are ordering off the the GF menu. The educated server will steer you to the gf sides and substitutes.
- Ask the server to check if the sauce is thickened with flour (some put flour in queso to thicken)
- Ask if the hamburger has filler, such as wheat in it.
- Ask if the fryer is dedicated to fry the corn tortilla chips, the french fries, etc. Do they fry the chicken fried steak in the same vat of oil as the french fries? Some only have one frier some have more. This can even vary in chain restaurants, so alway ask.
- When the burger or pizza is delivered with it’s gluten free bun or crust, ask the server if it is actually gluten free. They have several customers, it is okay to remind them
- Choose wisely. Gravy, coatings, sauces,crusts, soups they probably have gluten. Eat fresh and grilled and without the carbs.
- Research your restaurant. Many chain restaurants have pre prepared food from corporate, they do not have the ability to remove the wheat.
- If you get glutened, contact the restaurant, explain where you think the fail may have been. For their information, not to get money back, not to complain, but to inform. The damage is done, help the next guy.
- Study up on your local/favorite restaurants. Ditch those that just can’t be safe, Ie Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, Panda express…
- Quit expecting the establishment to cater to your special needs.
- Take on the attitude to teach rather than be a victim. So you cant eat wheat, that is not a big deal. Maybe you can help out the undiagnosed waiter, and he can get over his IBS 😉
- Don’t blame the newbie Celiac, the guy with psoriasis who has self diagnosed andthat finds relief from removing wheat, when your tomato soup is thickened with flour.
- Hire me for gluten free 101 bootcamp and ask your friend who is trying gluten free living to join, we can spread gluten freedom to the point of people needing to ask for gluten full menus.
To those who are trying out gluten free living:
- Go for it. Keep on trying. You ARE feeling better because you have no wheat. You have diagnosed yourself now educate yourself. A teaspoon of gluten is the same as a ton. If you pay the extra 2$ for a gluten free bun, you are wasting your money if you eat the coated fries, and your efforts.
- Don’t choose GF living to lose weight, it don’t work. Most celiacs gain weight once going gluten free. Those that lose, lose because going GF automatically removes most carbs from the diet. I have eaten gluten free for over 20 years and am 50 lbs overweight, because I found plenty of ways to replace my wheat carbs with other carbs.
- Consider your M.D. may not have all the answers right, and your may at least be gluten intolerant. If you feel better without wheat in your diet, there is a reason. Claim Celiac, even if the blood test failed to show that result.
- Celiac is real.
- Gluten Intolerance is real
- Wheat is a real problem for everyone, even you
- If you dont want to give up wheat that is your problem. Really.