Going G-Free at Restaurants

Dad - you've heard me say this already. You always nod politely but I know you're sick of me saying this so you are free to move on. Everyone else:

If you are someone who recently was diagnosed with Celiac, I'd like to share with you the biggest lesson I've learned from watching someone who's going through what you are (and from someone with their own food allergies).

Once you've found a restaurant that can indeed cater to your g-free needs without risking cross-contamination or idiocy, try new things. Most of the food you're used to is not going to taste the same, so instead of being constantly disappointed with g-free versions of your standby meals, branching out is a must.

For instance, that bread that comes with dinner? The rolls at Legal Seafood, or the insane focaccia at Not Your Average Joe's? There may be gluten free options, but they will no way no how taste like what you were expecting. Your favorite restaurant chicken parm, or takeout pizza? Same. By all means indulge in a bit of self-pity. It's difficult to make big changes, especially since food equates to comfort for so many of us. But once you've had your moment, try to frame this as an opportunity to try new things. Instead of okay takeout four times a week, go out to one really excellent gluten-free place an extra half hour down the road and have a few glasses of vino (or G&T). Instead of a gluten-free hamburger bun you know is going to be hard as hell remind yourself you deserve a steak, or that surf and turf the woman at the next table just got that you want to grab. Whoa - hands off her surf and turf! Get your own.

Life is a little different, absolutely. But now there is so much more room to Treat Yo Self*.


*Treat Yo Self 2011, Parks and Recreation never forget.