Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I have to hand it to Wendy's, they do a good job at being gluten-free friendly.  Most of the people I talk to love Wendy's because of how they're treated and the food quality.  I will say this now though, every Wendy's is different, make sure you talk to the manager to find out about how the food is prepared etc.  It's true that you can't go and get a full burger, but there are some really good alternatives.  I haven't tried to get a simple cheeseburger with a lettuce wrap, the one I went to didn't have lettuce leaves that were big enough, but I'm sure that other places will try if you ask.  Their baked potatoes are awesome!  Some places don't have all the toppings, but if you can get a broccoli and cheese baked potato, it's amazing.  Their Frosty's are gluten-free, so if you want a tasty desert, that's a good one.  The fries in some restaurants are gluten-free because at many of the restaurants they have dedicated friers...make sure you ask your particular Wendy's restaurant about how they fry their fries before you order them.  All in all Wendy's is a good place to head if you would like a fast meal that won't make you hurt when you're done.  If you would like a copy of their gluten-free menu go to Wendy's Gluten-Free.  Enjoy!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Carl's Jr.

If you're in the mood for some quick food that's gluten-free one of my favorite fast food places is Carl's Jr.  I used to only go once in a while, but since I was diagnosed and was searching for something fast I found that Carl's Jr. had some good things that I could eat.  Mind you, you do need to be very specific about your needs.  Try and go when it's not busy, they're more inclined to help you if there's not a huge crunch.  Be specific about them changing their gloves and cleaning the counters.  Usually they will do what you ask, if they don't seem willing (at any restaurant) don't feel bad about walking out.  They are willing to put any burger in a lettuce wrap (called protein style), but be aware that not all the burgers are gluten free.  The ones I have found that are gluten free are the Guacamole bacon burger, Famous Star, and Six dollar burger.  Carl's Jr. has said that these three burgers are their "gluten sensitive" burgers.  Their fries are not gluten-free, sorry, but the burgers are really good.  So if your in the mood for some tasty fast food, Carl's Jr. is a place you might want to check out. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Outback Steakhouse

When I found out that Outback Steakhouse had a gluten-free menu I got very excited.  Not only is there a gluten-free menu, but it's a decently big one as well.  My all time favorite meal at Outback is the Sweet glazed pork tenderloins.  A word of advice though with Outback, make sure you have your dining card and that you are not shy about talking about your issues.  They don't seem to get many Celiacs so they're not as aware of exactly what the problem is.  But as soon as you explain yourself and hand over your dining card, the experience should be really enjoyable.  Just like Chili's they have a problem finding gluten-free menus, so make sure you bring a copy of your own just in case.  Obviously every restaurant is different, so the Outback near you might be more prepared than others.  Unfortunately the bloomin' onions are not gluten-free, that made me sad, but there is a vast variety of other things that you can enjoy.  If you want a copy of their gluten free menu go to Outback Steakhouse Gluten-Free Menu .  Now go out and enjoy your evening! ^-^

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Olive Garden

If you're looking for a nice sit down place to eat, one place you can head to is Olive Garden.  True, their gluten-free menu is on the small side, but what they do have is very delicious.  Their salad dressing is gluten-free, so you can have the salad as long as there are no croutons.  Sorry, no bread sticks.  If you would like a copy of their gluten-free menu just go to Olive Garden Gluten-Free .  Most of the items are meat products, but there is one really tasty pasta dish.  The meat dishes are also very good, my favorite of those is the mixed grill.  Unfortunately you can’t get any of the soups, but there are options out there for you. They do have gluten-free menus available so just ask your server for one.  It is also important to know that when you tell the server of your needs they plug your order into the computer and instructions about how to handle your food is sent straight to the chef, so that he knows how to handle your food.   So the next time you want to go to a sit down restaurant you now know that Olive Garden is an option.  Go and enjoy! ^-^

Monday, May 16, 2011

In-and-Out Burger

One of the very first places that I learned had a gluten-free menu was In-and-Out burger.  Unfortunately in Utah they're not very common, so the closest one to me was at least an hour a way.  So going there is quite a treat when I get a chance to.  So what's gluten-free at In-and-Out?  Everything!  Except the buns, everything is gluten-free, the burgers, shakes, sauces even their fries.  How is this possible?  Well, everything at In-and-Out is made fresh.  The menu is simple but delicious.  It is this simplicity that really makes eating there safe for those of us who have special diets.  You can get your burger wrapped in a lettuce wrap called "protein style".  The only thing that they warn you about is "animal style" the onions are grilled on the same area that buns are heated on, so you may have to avoid that.  The fries are made fresh everyday, and because those are the only things fried in the friers, they are completely safe.  They also have strict rules about making your food safe.  It is made in a separate area of the kitchen, they change their gloves and even make sure your food is in a separate bag if you're ordering with a gluten eater.  Even when you're ordering they make sure that your order is marked as a Celiac.  I love In-and-Out and I really recommend it to anyone with Celiac Disease.  The food is delicious and it is inexpensive. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011


French fries are one of my favorite foods on this planet.  When I found out that most fast food places fry their fries with breaded products I was horrified.  No place in the small town I live in had a dedicated fryer for their fries.  Then a Chick-fil-a was built.  True to my nature I started researching the restaurant to see if there was anything that I could eat.  Amazingly it has a large gluten-free menu, and strict rules about how to prepare food that is safe for Celiacs.  So one night my husband and I went out to eat.  I brought my trusty gluten-free menu and picked what I wanted.  Most restaurants will say their fries are gluten-free, when in reality they don't realize that frying their fries in a shared frier makes them not gluten-free.  So when I saw Chick-fil-a fries on the menu I ignored it.  "too good to be true" I thought.  Then when I was ordering the server said to me "our fries are fried in a dedicated frier, all our fries are fried in peanut oil while all our other products are fried in a different oil."  I was ecstatic!  So I made sure I got their fries and sure enough I had absolutely no problem with them.  Now I'm a frequent customer. ^-^  You can get their grilled chicken in a lettuce wrap, which is really tasty.  Their salads are very good as well.  If you would like a copy of their gluten-free menu go to chick-fil-a gluten-free menu Enjoy the goodness!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dining Card

Something that is very important when going to a new place to eat is having a dining card.  This is a simple card stating your special diet and gives more information to those that don't know very much about Celiac disease.  I take my dining card with me and give it to my server to give it to the chef to make sure that there is no cross-contamination.  I always make sure that my name is on my dining card so that they realize that I am a person, and not just money coming in.  Below is the dining card that I use.  I print it out and cut around it so that I can hand it to my server.  Feel free to use it, just make sure you change the name at the top. ^-^

My name is Amanda Arthur,
I have an illness called Celiac Disease                                                                    
and I have to follow a strict gluten free
I may therefore become very ill if
I eat food containing flours or
grains of wheat, rye, barley and
Does this food contain flour or grains
of wheat, rye, barley or oats? Or
is it prepared using the same utensils or
 surface which was previously used to
prepare foods with these grains?
If you are uncertain about what the food 
contains, please tell me.
I can eat food containing rice, maize,
potatoes, all kinds of vegetables and
fruit, eggs, cheese, milk, meat and
fish –as long as they are not
cooked with wheat flour, batter,
breadcrumbs or sauce that contains
these grains.
               Thank you for your help!
This is the size and shape of my dining card.  You can do it however you want, just try to make it on the small side, people don't want to read really long texts.


One of my favorite places to eat is Chili’s.  I adore ribs, and when I found out that their original sauce ribs were gluten-free I was extremely excited.  The first time I went there as a Celiac it was a little bumpy trying to get my issues across.  Luckily I had brought along my dining card and it helped the server a ton!  Once he took the dining card back to the chef I got a visit from the manager who informed me that they have strict rules about how to prepare food for those with special diets.  The rest of the experience was extremely nice and everyone was very helpful.  The only issue that I have with Chili’s is that they have a hard time finding gluten-free menus, so I would suggest printing out your own and bring that with you, it makes life a whole lot easier.  If you would like a copy of their gluten free menu go to Chili's Menu.  You'll find the PDF link at the bottom left of the page in a cream box that says "Download allergy info".  I suggest printing out menus and having them with you, it’s really helpful if friends or family want to go out to eat spur of the moment, and you won’t feel obligated to make them go to the same place all the time, or feel like you can’t eat anything once you get there.  I know having all my menus printed has really helped me out a lot.  I’ll try to post more and more restaurant menus and suggestions on how to get the best experience possible, this way you can stress less about going out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Restaurant Book

One thing that I did for my sister for her birthday was to print out all the gluten-free menus that I had found and put them into a book.  I did this after I had done the same thing for myself.  I have this book in the car so that I always have gluten-free menus with me.  The next few paragraphs are what I wrote in the front part of the book I made for my sister.  I thought that I would share it with you.

As eating out can be a scary thing when you have a special diet many times you can feel as if there are no options out there.  But there are!  A host of foods that can still be enjoyed.  This small book is a compilation of some of the places you can still enjoy on a gluten-free diet.  Make sure you let your server know of your situation, and your fear of cross-contamination.  The number one thing to do is to smile and to be as friendly as possible, if they know you’re not just there to make their life difficult everything will go smoothly. 
       Even though Celiac disease is not an allergy to gluten, it is ok to use the word allergy when talking to servers.  If you just mention you can’t eat gluten many times they won’t take you seriously, and want to know how much you can have before you notice.  So even though teaching the wrong things to people is bad…it’s better for them to think that you’ll go into anaphylaxis right away from them contaminating your food than it being just a food choice.  Make sure you state “Wheat, Barley and Rye” when you talk to a server, you’d be surprised how many people have no idea what gluten is, or what it is in.  Try and take a dining card with you for the server to give to the chef.  Many places already know what a gluten-free diet consists of, but it never hurts to make sure that the chef knows what he’s doing.
       If it’s a sit down place, make sure you inform the server of your special needs as soon as you sit down, you may need the manager in some cases.  When the meal is done make sure to tell the server how amazing the food was and how grateful you were for their service.  This is a sure fire way to get them to appreciate your patronage and it will help other Celiacs in the future.  Most of the time you’ll be dealing with the manager of restaurants because of your special needs.  This is ok, don’t be embarrassed by it.  Make sure you are grateful to them as well, they will be more apt to helping others with special diets if they know they did a good job.
       All of this sounds weird and kind of preachy, but as a person that loves to go out and eat, I have been doing this for a little bit now, and I’m starting to figure out what works, and definitely what doesn’t.  The number one rule to eating out, don’t be afraid to talk to people!  Yes, it is out of your comfort zone, but your health is a lot more important than your pride. ^-^ 
       I hope this helps you in your quest at being more free in the world around you.  Go out and conquer! 


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Costa Vida!!

I had to start out with my favorite place to eat, Costa Vida.  When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease I found out that I could no longer eat at Costa Vida because almost everything in the restaurant had gluten in it.  I was totally crushed, but diligently avoided it.  Then, last month, my mother-in-law was watching TV and saw the owner of Costa Vida on a morning show talking about the new recipes making everything except the wheat tortillas gluten-free!  A few weeks ago I decided to go try it out.  We asked the manager and sure enough, everything had been changed to be gluten-free!  True, I couldn't get the huge sweet pork burrito, but I got two sweet pork enchiladas on corn tortillas with a side of rice and beans and that was amazing!  Just as amazing as I had remembered it.  Just remember to ask the server to change their gloves for you, and you should be fine.  Go and enjoy the deliciousness of Costa Vida again!

The Beginnings.

At the end of last year I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I was completely crushed because of what my doctor told me.  "You can no longer eat anything that contains gluten in it, such as wheat, barley or rye."  Basically he told me to cut out all happiness.  The dinner suggestions he gave me didn't make life any easier to imagine.  Oatmeal for breakfast, cheese and meat for lunch and some kind of soup for dinner.  Wow, that made me excited for this new lifestyle, I tell ya.  I will admit, I did break down from the news because many of the things I loved most were foods.  After I got over my pity party I decided that there had to be so much more out there than just gluten-free meat and cheese.  So with the help of my sweet husband, I went on a quest to find foods that had flavor and restaurants that I could go to without the pain of a celiac attack.

As I've gotten to know more and more people with Celiac disease, I was amazed at how little they knew about what was out there for them.  It made me sad that they had limited themselves to tasteless food when there was so much out there for them to enjoy.  This is the reason I have started this blog, to get the information out there for all those who suffer from a disease that limits the things we can eat.  Mind you, I am an extremely sensitive Celiac, and can usually tell within 10 minutes of eating something whether or not I've been contaminated.  I also suffer a lot if I am, so my quest for things that I could eat is a serious one, that can help Celiacs of any sensitivity. Throughout this blog I will be posting restaurant menus that are gluten-free and the experience of eating there as a Celiac.  I will also post about the foods out there that many people do not know are gluten-free, and some recipes that are really good and full of flavor to help your life be less dull.  ^-^  So take this Trek with me, to Boldly Eat Where There Is No Wheat!