I love food. I love eating out as much as I love cooking at home. I have an autoimmune disease (Celiacs) that makes it near impossible to eat out without inadvertently ingesting gluten, despite my vigilance.
Cooking at home is always the first choice, and its where I can not only guarantee I’m going to eat something delicious, but also that it won’t contain gluten at all. Eating out however, is enjoyable, adventurous, and social. Especially when you live in a small mountain town where its not a lie to say, the minute I step foot into a restaurant up here, I’m sure to know at least half of the people dining there. Its a party up here.
I’m educated enough in this gluten business, to know where its likely to be hidden in restaurant foods; dressings, rice, anything that might have soy sauce in it, soups, anything fried, as the fryer undoubtedly had something cooked in it that contained gluten. The list can go on. Due to this I’ve said often that one of the ways to insure not getting ‘glutenized’ while eating out is bringing some of the things one might need to eat at a restaurant.
Its a bit awkward to be sure. Who wants to go to a really nice restaurant and while sitting at a table, pull out a baggie of home made gluten free from their bag and place it on the table? Or worse… as I ended up preparing for the other day, a small Tupperware with rice?! Can you imagine?
But here is the thing… I’ve gotten over it. I refuse to go to a restaurant and have to either compromise my health or sit there and have to order a dish that is utterly dissected with omissions and alterations. I’m too old for such nonsense, and as I get closer to 40 I’ve also decided that denial of pleasure and a full culinary experience is quite simply stupid.
So I’m that girl. I bring salad dressings, gluten free bread, and the other day, a small tupperware container of gluten free rice and gluten free tamari to a Chinese restaurant. The latter ended up not being used, as the restaurant ended up being closed, but you get the point. This is about self care and a commitment to not only take care of my body, but have the fullest and most conscious eating experience possible.
There is power in making such choices for how you will eat and how you will care for you body in the process. Food choices are part of the personal food practice and its most definitely about consciousness.
How about the rest of you gluten free foodies? I would love to hear if you have started doing this, and how it works for you.