Gluten Free Guerrillas

eating out

We ate out yesterday as a family - 3 coeliacs & 3 non-coeliacs. All of us enjoyed the meal, & the restaurant seemed to understand the diet. Some of us had eaten there before (including 1 coeliac) with no problems. This morning the 3 coeliacs were all complaining about tummy pains, whilst the 3 non-coeliacs all felt fine. Thankfully it was all quite short-lived, and by midday everyone was fine again.

Now wondering if they were "glutened" - or whether it's just because they are all fairly recently diagnosed, their insides haven't recovered yet & couldn't cope with a big meal very well. The coeliac who had no problems last time actually ate double the amount of food this time :-)

4 Replies

There two possibilities that I would consider:

1.The possibility of some contamination.

2. Level of sensitivity, after a few months some coeliac's show signs that very small levels of gluten is to much even that in the "Gluten Free diet".


I agree with Tony61 that it could be down to increased sensitivity. DS4 is now incredibly sensitive to even the tiniest amount, since we went totally gf in the house. However my brother - who lives in a gluten household (wife & 2 kids all eat gluten) has a constant low level of cross contamination so doesn't react so much to accidental gluten - it just makes him feel a bit under the weather.


Agree with the cross contamination theory and the sensitivity levels. It is very easy for cross contamination to occur if the kitchen is not strictly GF, even if they have a separate preparation area.


I'd also add Beckyf that it could just be what they ate was hard for them to process. Personally, I agree with all the comments above yet I know I had days in the first year of being GF when even a salad I had made myself, a piece of fruit or a GF milkshake made be bloat up like a whale and feel icky.

Healing Coeliacs often find their tums react to strange things. Yet when eating out it's always tricky to know if it was cross contamination or whether they reacted to 'low levels of gluten' in the gluten free meal. Also I and other Coeliacs tend to find any 'fatty' foods or rich foods hard to process, probably as the stomach works harder to digest them?

Hope you have better luck next time. In the early days of healing (weeks > year) it can seem as if the body is super sensitive. Rather like giving up alcohol and then drinking (you get drunk easily), a little bit of gluten/cross contamination seems to have a much more severe effect. Plus Coeliacs can all react in different ways e.g. I had nausea after stupidly eating a condiment sauce with gluten in the early days, tiredness and had constipation vs some peoples need to dash to the loo, get stomach pains etc.

Keep up the eating out! The more of us that do and quiz the staff/ mgrs on GF options the more they'll realise there is a demand to cater for.

These are the staple GF places I turn too for meals on the run/ unplanned with non-Coeliacs and I think they're pretty handy for Kids as well:


- one of the only places to have GF chips as they use a dedicated fryer and oil

- they have a great 'allergy' bible

- ask to speak to the mgr when you order/ arrive and they have a company policy of watching over your meal as it's cooked

- the chicken is cooked on a dedicated grill and the pitta bread etc separately so there's much less risk of contamination

- typical coeliac meal: 1/4 chicken, chips, macho peas (mint and chilli), corn on the cob

- get a free loyalty card, stamp it each time and you get a whole chicken and other freebies

- cheap fast food - that's a tad healthier than other 'gluten' places

- child friendly

- note; you order first at a main till then wait and the staff serve you that's how they keep the prices down

- GF desserts are lovely (one of the few places that offers them - ice cream that just is ice cream)

* I find if I have the unlimited fizzy drinks I feel icky and bloat like a whale (I can't tolerate the sugars - not that I ever was a big carbonated drink fan)

** I'd never set foot in a Nandos until I became a 'Coeliac'


- Menus all labelled GF, WF, DF etc !

- Makes ordering a synch for lunch on the run OR dinner

- They have a great loyalty club - sign up online

- child friendly

- watch out for their cakes - not wrapped separately - so too risky for me as they'll easily be cross contaminated


- many have a GF menu (ask and speak to mgr when order)

- they use corn pasta

- the GF menu is OK, mostly all veggie for some odd reason

- child friendly

- do double check their sauces are GF (I did once and discovered they were using up some old stock in the kitchen which wasn't GF - luckily I hadn't tucked in!)

- check any grilled meats are not on the same grill as bread (they often are)

- they do GF desserts

FYI: Zizzi, TGI Fridays have also launched new GF dishes.


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