Friday, December 9, 2011

Surviving the Holidays Gluten Free: Part 2

I will be reposting this series in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I pray that this series is an encouragement to you as you deal with being gluten free during the holiday season this year!

Last week, we talked about a few tips for those times when you will be eating at someone else's home. Yes, food becomes a central focus during the holiday season, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the holidays when you're gluten free!

What do you do when you're gluten free and invited to dine out at a restaurant as part of a holiday gathering? Of course, you can always pull the "GF card" and get out of it...but that's no fun! While I don't make a regular habit of eating out at restaurants, there are times when it makes sense and works out best for us. Here's a few tips for how to deal with this situation.

Do your research ahead of time. I can't stress this enough! Don't wait until you are in the restaurant to find out if you can eat there. If you do the research ahead of time, you'll be much more prepared. There's two ways to do your research:
  • Check the restaurant's website for gluten free information and a menu. Nowadays, the Internet is a wealth of information in the gluten free world! A quick Google (or Swagbucks!) search will turn up more than enough information about dining out when you're gluten free. Many mainstream restaurants post their allergen information online now, making it very easy to get the information you need.
  • Call the restaurant ahead of time and speak with the chef. If you can't find the information online, call the restaurant! Speak directly with someone in the kitchen who prepares the food - they will be most knowledgeable about the food and whether or not it's safe for you.
If you do your research and get sketchy information (or no information), I recommend finding somewhere else to eat. If a restaurant can't be 100% certain that their food is gluten free, don't eat there!

This is in no way an exhaustive list, but here are a few restaurants that cater specifically to the gluten free diet.
During this holiday season, don't be afraid to dine out with family and friends. While it requires some extra attention and planning, it certainly is possible!


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