Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dine Out or Opt-out?

I love when Dad and Mauri invite me to lunch. Well, sort of. I enjoy chatting and sharing in moments like the proud, "I'm drinking from a big girl cup" achievement above.

There's a strong connection between food and sociality. Think about it, most of our social gatherings involve, if not revolve, around eating.

Despite most restaurants best efforts to cater to food allergies, somehow it just doesn't ever really turn out well for me. I do my homework, and am careful to explain what I can and can't have, but I'm learning the risks of cross-contamination are just to high.

So what's a celiac girl like myself to do? Dine out, or simply opt-out altogether? Going along for the ride and watching others eat isn't very fun, but neither is being sick for hours, if not days, post dining out. Like anyone else, I want to eat out sometimes too! Not all dining invitations can be avoided, nor do I want to avoid them. It can be very frustrating, isolating, or debilitating, depending on the choice I make.

That said, we went out today and I had a nice bowl of vegetarian soup. It was labeled as gluten and dairy-free. Perfect, right?! Unfortunately, I still got sick. Nevertheless, I wouldn't trade the time spent with Dad and Mauri for anything. Perhaps next time I'll just opt for a drink and enjoy the company. That can be hard though, when the food looks and smells so delicious. Thankfully I'm feeling much better tonight.

Any other celiac/food allergy sufferers out there have tips? What do you do to keep healthy and still enjoy the dining out experience? To dine out or opt-out? That is the question.

With Hope,

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