10 Days of Gluten Free

Eating Out Gluten Free: Share the Love

28 Comments 16 May 2012

Eating Out Gluten Free: Share the Love

Welcome to Day 8 of 10 Days of Gluten Free!  I’ve been sharing tips on dining out gluten free. Yesterday, my practical tip was to order foods that are naturally gluten-free. Today’s tip is more on the personal side.

Eating Out Tip #8 is…Share the Love.

This tip isn’t one that can be implemented in a single meal.  It takes a while to get to this point, maybe even years.  But when you finally have this experience, you know you’ve arrived in the gluten-free dining realm, and your bond with your dining companions will be unbreakable.

In the first few years of dining gluten free, you feel alone.  You are the only weirdo at the table asking a million questions and ordering like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.  But you can and you will get to the place where the people you dine with will embrace your gluten-free diet and actually order gluten-free meals along with you.

I can still remember the first time the Husband decided to order a gluten-free meal.  It was at P.F. Chang’s.  I couldn’t decide between two entrees, so he ordered one, and I ordered the other.  Both were from the gluten free menu.  After a few years of not sharing our meals, we had a beautiful reconnection over food.  We ate off each other’s plates like the days before my diagnosis.  We were just another couple saying, “This is so good, you have to try it.”  It was so special to me that he has ordered gluten free ever since.

When you ask for a gluten-free menu and a friend says, “Make that two,” that’s a true friend.

Dine with people who love you or are adventurous enough to order gluten free. Share the love!

Here are steps that lead to sharing the love, but these steps might take a year or more to go through.

1.  You ooh and ahh over your delicious gluten-free meal.

2.  Your dining companions see that your meal looks really good and not at all like cardboard.

3.  You offer your dining companions bites of your gluten-free meal.  (Use uncontaminated utensils!)

4.  Your friends realize that your meal is actually quite good and probably healthier than their choices.

5.  Your friends decided to order gluten free just once to try it, and they actually enjoy it!

6.  Your friends see how much fun it is to eat with you when you are all eating gluten free.

7.  You and your friends have fun sharing bites and enjoying a good meal together.

8.  You stop feeling like the odd man out and actually feel supported in your gluten-free lifestyle.

Share the love.

And what better place to share the love than P.F. Chang’s?  You can enter today to win a $25 P.F. Chang’s gift card!  You can leave two entries today by answering two dish questions or by answering one and letting me know in a separate comment that you followed Gluten-Free Cat on Twitter, “liked” Gluten-Free Cat’s Facebook page, shared this post on Twitter or Facebook, or subscribed to Gluten-Free Cat posts via email.

Giveaway Guidelines:

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older.
  • You are allowed two entries per “10 Days of Gluten Free” blog post for a total of 20 entries on this blog.
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts).
  • The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm central time on May 18, 2012.

No purchase is necessary.  Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.  The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond.  If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.

Join me tomorrow for Eating Out Gluten Free Tip #9.

Hungry for more gluten-free tips?  Visit these 10 Days of Gluten Free bloggers:

Readers, dish!

  • Do your friends or family order gluten free when they’re with you?
  • How do you feel when others order gluten-free meals with you?
  • Does “sharing the love” seem possible or like a dream to you right now in your journey?

Contest closed, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Your Comments

28 Comments so far

  1. Wanda Best says:

    I have so many times thought of Sally when ordering out , so refreshing to know I’m not alone. I am looking forward to the day that my dining companion orders gluten free along with me :)
    Thank you for the post! I loved reading it!

  2. I love PF Chang’s – so many delicious GF options.

  3. My husband sometimes orders gluten free and I agree with you – it’s so nice when he does so we can both enjoy each other’s dinners.

  4. Lynn says:

    thanks, and my husband will try to order gf along with me

  5. Cindy says:

    I like you on facebook!

  6. Cindy says:

    My husband will often order a different meal that is gluten free, because we have shared meals out since we got married, and I can’t imagine not sharing now!

  7. Bonnie B says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. We will try this and would love to try PF Changs too.

  8. Terrific tip, Heather! Hubby and friends have sometimes done this with me. It IS nice! Of course, the best times have been when my girlfriends and I have gone to Posana Cafe in Asheville, NC. That restaurant is 100% gluten free, so we can share and swap food as much as we want. :-) They agree that the food there is better than ANY of the other restaurants in Asheville we have tried to date, so it makes sharing the love quite easy. 😉


  9. pat J says:

    My friends do not order a gluten free meal but they want to make sure that I am able to have a meal that is GF where we choose to go

  10. pat J says:

    My granddaughter was diagnosed after I was. So when she got her diagnosis, she wanted Papa to go have lunch with her and it was very special.

  11. Natalie says:

    My husband tries to accompany me in the gluten free lifestyle as much as possible. My 2 teenage sons think celiac disease is a joke. They are often embarrassed that I have to order from a special menu. (Maybe they will grow out of it!)

  12. Jessica E. says:

    So far the only GF dining meals my DH has tried to share with me were various GF pizzas, but he just didn’t care for the texture. Hoping to go to PF Changs soon!

    I do cook a lot of GF pasta at home (both italian style with corn or rice pasta, and thai/asian using rice noodles or bean thread noodles. He doesn’t seem to mind those meals!

  13. Natalie says:

    I liked your post on facebook.

  14. Caitlin Leyden says:

    I mostly dine with my parents and they don’t order gluten free. However, I’m also a vegetarian and they also order meat.

  15. Susan Wong says:

    My Hubs always orders gluten free at PF Changs. We share and he likes it just fine. In N Out Burger is another favorite place. He takes great care of me.

  16. Debra G. says:

    Right now it does not seem possible to share the love…most of my daughters friends can not comprehend “Gluten Free”. Her prom date did order off the gluten free menu at PF Chang’s and my daughter was unbelievable happy about that! I liked GF Cat on Facebook.

  17. Day 8 that’s great! Thanks for all the tips, I look forward to 2 more.

  18. julie says:

    I love pfchangs, they make everything so easy. I wish my husband would share with me, but he likes his food waaay tooo spicy

  19. Emma says:

    I love it when my BF orders GF with me! :)

  20. Paula says:

    I’ve done that with my friends, and it has been so much fun!

  21. Rogene says:

    I love good gluten free food. I cook gluten free for gluten eating friends and family and they never notice any difference. I’ve had such bad experiences with gf restaurant menus (dry undercooked meat and vegetables no butter, no seasoning, no salad dressing) I wouldn’t want that to be what gluten eaters thought gluten free food is like. So while I would feed gluten eaters anything I make in my own kichen, I would have to know food on the gluten free menu was very good to try to get them to eat off the gf menu.

  22. Gina says:

    We haven’t gotten quite to this stage when eating out yet, but it certainly happens at home! My hubby, daughter and extended family have all shared in my gluten free creations and while I still provide them with some gluten options (I give them wheat bread, buns and pasta) my hubby is especially good about eating whatever I prepare with enjoyment and appreciation (even some of my less stellar offerings!!)! Gotta’ love that man… he’s very supportive of anything that keeps me well!

  23. Deborah says:

    My husband never orders gluten free. He tolerates my needs, but I’m not sure he actually believes in it.

  24. Cara says:

    So true! My boyfriend will order gluten free whenever he is with me. :)

  25. Cindy W. says:

    Sharing a gf meal would be a dream for me.

  26. Cindy W. says:

    I follow your blog via email.

  27. Emma says:

    Do your friends or family order gluten free when they’re with you?

    If we’re going somewhere with a several gluten free options my BF will usually order GF with me if we want to sample each other’s dishes. Otherwise, I don’t ask or expect it.

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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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