Ever since my daughter was born, going out to eat has been a rarity. If we do go out, we are usually grabbing something while I’m in a rush to get to somewhere else. It happens so frequently that I even wrote a post about 7 places you can eat when you are in a rush. Even though it doesn’t happen often, the rare occasion does exist when my husband and I get a babysitter and get to go out for some alone time. One of the few pluses to having Celiac Disease is that I always get to choose the restaurant.
Check out 7 gluten free friendly fast food places, links to allergy menus are included!
Upon going gluten-free, eating out can become a nightmare. It can be like playing Russian Roulette. Unless the place is 100% gluten-free, you are never going to be 100% sure that what you are eating does not have traces of gluten. No matter how hard you try to plan ahead, and bring your own lunch, it is going to happen. One day, you are going to be out running errands, and all of a sudden it is lunch time. You need to pick up something, but you really don’t have time to sit down. I’m going to be honest with you. There really are not a whole lot of choices. No one has come up with a gluten-free fast food restaurant….yet. Don’t dismay, there may not be a lot of choices, but I have found a few where you can pick up a gluten free friendly fast food meal without it taking a lot of time.
Many people have a love/hate relationship with grocery shopping. They love having food in the house, yet the whole process of going to the grocery store can be daunting. Couple that with restrictions on what you can and cannot eat, most would rather visit the dentist for a root canal.
Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping doesn’t have to be hard.
Normally, I am a person who LOVES grocery shopping. Yes, it is weird, but I do. When we visit new cities, one of my favorite things to do is check out the market. It is amazing the differences in food based on the area you are in. But I remember those first few times I went grocery shopping after going gluten-free. I was confused. I felt lost. I cried (I seem to do that quite a bit). No one was there to hold my hand, and honestly the information I had received from the nutritionist at my GI Doctors office didn’t really help much. After the tears subsided, I proceeded to buy anything that said gluten-free. I had not clue what I was buying and spent a fortune in the process. Since those days the process of buying groceries has become much simpler, no longer are there tears, but normal, fun (at least for me) shopping trips. As I think through what has made the experience easier, I have come up with 8 tips to help anyone who is going gluten-free.
My wife and I are big on food. How big you may ask? Well, for our honeymoon we decided to go to New Orleans. We planned our trip based on the places we were going to eat. If you haven’t gone to New Orleans, stop reading now and just go book your trip, and make your restaurant reservations, I will wait…
Here are some links to help.
I absolutely love finding new gluten-free bakeries.
Sweet Love Bakery, located in Hollywood, Florida off Stirling (near the Hard Rock) is fantastic. Not only are they gluten-free, but they are free of many common allergies as well. 100% gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and peanut-free, with many of their products being vegan and grain-free. I know what you must be thinking,
How can it possibly be good if it is free of so many things? Where’s all the good stuff?
Well, let me tell you, their baked goods may be free of a lot of things, but the flavor is not missing.
My husband stumbled upon Sweet Love Bakery while looking for a gluten-free bakery so he could surprise me with birthday cupcakes. While he didn’t make it there the day of my actual birthday, he took me the next to pick up cupcakes to take to our families house for a birthday lunch. When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the adorable, decorated cupcakes. It is obvious that Sweet Love takes time to make their products look fantastic!
I’m petrified of the dentist. I haven’t been in years and if I wasn’t already scarred enough, the recent news stories about crazy dentists pulling out people’s teeth without their knowledge have not helped. Almost anything is better than the dentist, or at least so I thought.
Last week I finally sucked it up and went.
I did not want to, but I knew I had a cavity and let the responsible adult inside me make an appointment. I got a sitter and dragged myself there. After a battle to find parking I nearly gave up and left, but I’m glad I didn’t. It was the best dental experience I have ever had. Not only was my hygienist fantastic, the dentist nice and office staff helpful, but my gums were actually in good shape. It was the first time ever. In my past experience, no matter what I did, there were always problems. At first I could not figure out what was different, I was pretty sure not going to the dentist for 5 years or so doesn’t improve your teeth and gums, but then it hit me. I had gone gluten-free.
Could it be possible? Had going gluten-free really contributed to healthier gums and teeth?
I mentioned it to my hygienist and she said it was highly possible and it made sense, but she wasn’t sure. I decided to hit the trusty ole’ internet to see if their had been any studies done on Celiac and dental health. Low and behold there had been. There was even evidence of dentists being the first to see signs of Celiac disease and referring patients to Gastroenterologist. It makes sense. If your body does not absorb nutrients properly than your teeth are not getting the nutrients they need either.
According to the Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign of the National Institutes of Health the first step for many who discover they have Celiac is a trip to the Dentist. Some problems that can be seen involve tooth discoloration and poor enamel formation.
Lunches are easy…
When it comes to lunches, it is easy to pack a lunch and know that your child is safe from any sources of cross-contamination of gluten or other food allergy, unfortunately it is much harder within the classroom situation. Often teachers hand out snacks or candies as rewards, as well as the common instance of classroom parties. No parent wants their child to feel left out, but gluten is very common in many snacks and party foods. While most teachers are awesome and more than willing to read ingredients before giving your child a snack, there is still a risk, especially if you child has Celiac disease or an allergy to gluten or wheat.
Making lunches can be stressful enough, making lunches for a child with food allergies even more so. When it comes to lunch, most children have two options:
Buy lunch from school
Bring lunch from homeMaking school lunches is stressful, and even more so if your child has food allergies! Click To Tweet
Lunch From School
For a child with food allergies the safest option is always going to bring lunch from home, but sometimes it isn’t always possible. Miami-Dade Public Schools has a new function in which you can look up the ingredients of a specific school lunch. While it can be time-consuming, it can also be helpful in determining if lunch that day is acceptable for your child.
For Miami-Dade County the website is HERE. There is also an app available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Other cities should have similar functions on their school websites.
Children who have diagnosed Celiac Disease should also file a 504 plan with their school. More information on what this is and how to file one visit the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Unfortunately, upon review of the daily lunches, unless you have prearranged something with your child’s school, a gluten-free lunch is a rarity.
Back to school is stressful enough, but if your child suffers from a food allergy or intolerance, such as gluten, than it can be even more so.
Parents worry about creating gluten-free lunches, preparing snacks, and how to make their child feel included in school parties and the endless stream of birthday parties. What is a parent to do? In this three part series we will give you practical advice on how to handle:
Snacks & School Parties
Join us of next week as we discuss each topic, give practical advice on how to handle these situations, and prepare your for this Back to School season. There will be a separate post on each topic, complete with downloadable printables! Don’t miss a single part!
New in Town
There is a new bakery in town AND it is gluten-free and vegan. Start From Scratch has not even been opened a week and I have now been there twice, it is that good! Located in Pinecrest, just south of Trader Joe’s, they have a variety of baked good and a fabulous lunch menu, all from a certified gluten AND dairy free kitchen. It is rare to find such a place in Miami, and to find one this delicious is a real treat. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, owners and staff are knowledgeable, and it is the ONLY completely gluten-free bakery in South Florida. Delicious, vegan, organic and gluten-free, this place is sure to become a hit. Start From Scratch Bakery gets a green light when it comes to being Celiac and Gluten-Sensitive friendly!
My husband and I tried the
Pita Stuffed With Spinach, Tomatoes, Homemade Baked Falafel & House-Made Chipotle Mayo With A Side of Potato Fusion and Nachos Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Black Beans, House-Made Pico de Gallo, House-Made Chipotle Mayo & House-Made Sour Cream for lunch.
They were great. Pita bread was nice and soft, the nachos were full of flavor. I am not sure what is in vegan sour cream, but it was really good.