There’s so much to learn and adjust to when you get diagnosed with Coeliac Disease but one thing that fears everyone who is newly diagnosed is eating out.
I avoided eating out for so long and after I did start to eat out a little more, I was so nervous and unconfident and would only eat in the same places time and time again.
Nearly a year after diagnosis, I’m just about starting to get to grips with eating out and feel a little more comfortable, so I thought I’d share with you some top tips.
Do your Research
My biggest tip that I stress to anyone in this position is to do your research before you visit any restaurant.
Unfortunately, when you’re diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, you can’t really just walk into any restaurant and have something to eat, you have to do your research.
I always check out which restaurants are Coeliac UK accredited or at least look online to see if a restaurant I’m interested in has a dedicated gluten free menu.
All restaurants have to provide allergy and nutritional information but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cater for you, so always look for dishes that are clearly stated as gluten free!
Let Them Know in Advance
It’s only fair to give any restaurant a fair chance to prepare and cater for you by letting them know in advance about your needs and it will also help you to relax.
Either drop them an email or call up and ask to speak to the manager, knowing you’ve informed them about your dietary requirements in advance should ensure they can have suitable dishes available for you and avoids any awkward situations when you arrive and they can’t cater for you.
Check, Check and Check Again
You might feel crazy or a little rude by keep asking if something is gluten free and prepared in a safe area but there’s no shame in checking at every stage of the process.
When you ask for a gluten free menu, let them know you have Coeliac Disease, when they take your order, remind them about cross contamination and when your food arrives, ask again that it is gluten free.
You’re not being rude or doubting them, you’re just looking after yourself, so if you have to ask 50 times to help you relax, you do that!
If in Doubt, Go Fresh
If you only have to avoid gluten and you end up eating out somewhere that doesn’t have a designated gluten free menu, your best bet is to go fresh.
Ask for the allergen book and work with that but if you ask for something like a simple chicken salad, a steak and a jacket potato or a piece of fish with some new potatoes, you’re likely to be ok.
Eating out can be super difficult with Coeliac disease but in my experience, I’ve found that the more open I am and the more I talk to the staff and have trust in the restaurant, the better my experience.
I’ve found so many good, gluten free friendly restaurants, so if you’d like me to do a post on my top restaurants, let me know and I’ll do that!
Have you got any tips for eating out? Share them in the comments!