Gluten-free: Eating out

It’s been 18 weeks since a friend and I made a pact to quit. She quit smoking, and I quit junk food and fast food. That was the original deal. I’ve mostly stuck to that, but I also added gluten to the list. I figured since I was already cutting out a lot, what was one more thing. Obviously there are health benefits to cutting out crap food, but I also was curious to see if eliminating gluten would help my stomach and eczema.

I can’t claim much difference in the skin department; my skin just hates winter, apparently. However, my stomach feels much happier: waaayyy less bloating, reflux, gas, yucky-feeling-ness.

Eating out takes a bit of planning, but in the age of smartphones you can figure out pretty quickly if a restaurant you’re considering going to has a gluten-free menu, or at least some easily-modified options. I hope to post here occasionally about eating out experiences in case anyone else is looking for gluten-free options.

Also, I should note that my daily eating is much healthier than these meals! Eating out is a special treat, so I give myself some leeway. I get enough salads and such brown-bagging it through the week. πŸ™‚

First up, pictured below, are four cheese GF pasta from The Cheesecake Factory (left) and Mellow Mushroom’s GF pizza.

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While neither of these meals can be considered health food, they both were tasty and did not cause me any tummy distress later on. The latter being the main test of whether something really was GF as advertised. Now, I’m not celiac, and I can’t say if these products might cause a problem for someone with celiac. But with my level of gluten intolerance, both meals were great for me.

The pasta was tender, and there was a liberal amount of sauce and cheese. It was not dry or tacky as other GF pasta dishes I’ve tried have been. The Cheesecake Factory has a separate GF menu, which is nice. However, the menu does note that there is no separate cooking or prep area, and fried items likely are in common oil, so FYI if you are celiac or super-sensitive.

I was super excited to learn about the GF Mellow Mushroom pizza crust. I hadn’t eaten any pizza since going GF, so this was a real treat. I’ve eaten the Mellow Mushroom pizza twice recently with no ill effects. This one was the basic GF cheese pizza with pepperoni added. The crust is tasty and crisp, thin-crust style. It doesn’t taste “weird” or anything, despite what I expected given it’s made out of bean flour and tapioca flour and other such stuff. πŸ™‚ Their website is really good about explaining the product and the measures the kitchen will take to avoid cross-contamination. It says they will use a clean apron and utensils and use a screen pan to keep GF pizza off the stone when baking. The GF crust is available in the 12-inch size.

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OK, so I’m technically not supposed to be eating candy, but I give myself the occasional break. πŸ™‚ Hey, my friend has Chan.tix to help her, so I have the occasional tiny treat and then confess, haha. Honey Bear and I visited a nice candy store, Lolli & Pops, and they had a wall of Jelly Belly, how could I resist getting a few! Buttered popcorn is my favorite! πŸ™‚

Anybody else doing the gluten-free thing? Got any eating out recommendations?

Note: I received no compensation in return for this post. I simply want to share good food experiences. Eat at your own risk, or pleasure.

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