9 Yr Old’s Food Allergy Birthday @ One Dish Cuisine

Most children can go to parties and eat anything they want, they can go to sleepovers and their parents don’t have to worry about food making them sick, or worse, killing them.  I know that I sometimes take for granted what we do here and how special our cafe, deli and bakery is for those children with Celiac Disease and/or Food Allergies. (see photos below)

A few weeks ago I was giddy, like a child, as we hosted a birthday party for 9 year old Matthew; who is Allergic to: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Egg, Shellfish and Sesame. The best part was that he was able to have Pizza, Cake and a Video Game Truck out in our outer parking lot. Even better; Matthew’s friend, Nick, also has a Milk Allergy and was able to come in and order whatever he wanted and enjoy the same cake as the rest of the gang!

Twenty of Matthew’s closest friends and family were here at One Dish Cuisine Cafe, Deli and Bakery for some fun and safe food. I don’t know who was more excited, me or Matthew. It truly made my day to be able to provide a safe environment for him.  Watching his excitement being able to have all of his friends at his own party was a thrill for me and the staff here too.  The best part was that his friends were so thrilled to come to “Matthew’s Restaurant” and be able to eat a meal and have birthday cake with him; instead of Matthew watching them eat! His friends see him go without at school and at other children’s parties and they were so tuned in to how special this was for him.  The best part is that all of the kids loved the pizza and cake.

This is what makes me wake up and smile coming to work each day!  Just give us a call if you need to set up a special day for someone in your life.

 

 

 

 

Drink the “Drano”; Dining Out Part 2

Last week I told you all about the anxiety I was going through prior to meeting an elementary school teacher and classmates out for dinner in Annapolis.  In this post I will tell you all how I handled the situation and then touch on the stigma that we all live with when it comes to Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, or Food Allergies and how we can get the message across about how serious our illness is to the “doubters”. (We get to the “Drano” which is a blue liquid, toxic, drain de-colgger at the end)

I arrived early at the Thai Restaurant and talked with the waitress. I told her about my experience a couple of years ago.  She said they get a lot of requests for GF meals and that they use clean pans and utensils but can’t make any guarantee that my meal will be GF. Then she added that she has been there for a year and a half and has never been told that they got anyone sick.  I asked her if they see many people with Celiac Disease and she said that the majority are just making a “dietary choice” and not Celiac. I explained that I have Celiac and I did get sick last year and that a person who is just making a “dietary choice” probably would not know if they were exposed to gluten or not.  I told her that I appreciated her honesty but could not take a chance dining there. She clearly understood me and the seriousness of my situation.

My friends arrived and we enjoyed some wine. When it came time to order I just explained that I have Celiac Disease and it is not safe for me to eat there and that I planned ahead and ate at home.  Everyone understood, one “teared up” and I explained that it is no problem for me and I just want to enjoy everyone’s company. That was the end of that and we all had a great time.

I thought about how lucky I was that this went so smoothly and was so thankful that I did not hear any of the nonsense that we all have heard from family and friends at one time or another. We have all heard the term “drink the Koolaide”.  Well, I have my own term “Drink the Drano”. Below are the insane things we often hear from doubters followed by my standard answer that I give. Many of you have heard me say this in my restaurant and in previous articles. People are very “visual” I have seriously considered carrying a little plastic container of blue dish soap with me. It would be my prop of “Drano” and would come in handy in every situation. (see photos at bottom)

“Just a little won’t hurt you”“Really? Drink this Drano first and let me know if it hurts you”

“What is the worst thing that can happen?”“Drink this Drano and find out”

 “It won’t kill you”“Drink this Drano and let’s see how you make out”

“I am a vegetarian; I know how you feel”“Drink this Drano and let me know if this is how you feel when you don’t stick to your vegetarian diet”

“Are you trying to lose weight?”“Drink this Drano and tell me if it would be worth avoiding at all costs”

“I heard that is a FAD.”“Drink this Drano and let me know if avoiding it will be a FAD or a way to avoid illness for you”

“I read on the internet that you can have sourdough bread and wheat grown in Germany”“Drink this Drano and let me know if you want to buy into that nonsense”

“How can you survive without bread” “Drink this Drano and you will see why not eating bread is the only way I can survive”

“It is gluten free; there is no wheat in it.” (Chef to Celiac who was questioning why there is Barley Soup on the GF Menu..yes; it was real barley in the soup). – Run to the nearest exit!

I chose to make a stand for myself and for all of those with Celiac Disease and Food Allergies by telling the waitress that it was not safe for me to eat there!

What are your thoughts? Will you make a stand? Would the “Drano Challenge” help you when your Celiac/Food Allergies or Gluten Sensitivity are not being taken seriously?  Feel free to leave comments here on the blog.

 

 

Anxiety Prior to Dining Out/ Social Situations

Well, today is my day off and I am counting my blessings and remember how lucky I am that I own my own Gluten Free and Allergen Free Cafe, Deli and Bakery. I can eat a safe meal anytime at work and bring a safe meal home with me.  However, I have plans to meet an elementary school teacher and old classmates out for a happy hour/appetizers in Annapolis tonight. The problem is that I have been stressed out and anxious for a week worrying about how I am going to handle this situation.

The place that was chosen is supposed to be very good at doing gluten free, but I know that I got “glutened” there a few years ago.  I don’t have to worry about Milk in this place, so that is not a problem.  I want to go where everyone wants to go. What I am stressing over is this: “how will they react if I choose not to eat anything?”

I play the scenarios out in my mind:

1) Order something; stressing again that I have Celiac Disease and hope the restaurant gets it right this time?

Mmmm. Well, if they get it wrong again I will be sick for about 10 days and will miss a lot of work. I have already missed eight days in the past month or so due to kidney stones and kidney infections.  Dave has covered for me and worked so many extra hours while I have been sick. It would be selfish of me to take a chance and then force Dave and my staff to have to cover for me. Valentine’s Day is coming up and I can’t be out of work this weekend.  As it is, I am on my second round of antibiotics to get rid of this latest kidney infection.

2) Order nothing and have to go into a big explanation of Celiac Disease and have my former classmates and teachers feel sorry for me or just feel uncomfortable eating in front of me.

Mmmm. Well this option is truly the safest option for me. But I don’t want to make everyone uncomfortable or awkward.  I just don’t have to deal with this situation much because I am always at my restaurant. I am truly out of practice! My family gets it and my close friends get it.  How should I handle this with old friends who don’t necessarily know what my situation is? 

-Is my need to make them feel comfortable more important than my health?

-Is my need to feel included more important than my health?

-Is my want of being able to eat  “Thai Food”,  that I did not have to make myself, worth taking another chance and eating at this restaurant knowing I could miss work on one of our busiest weekends?

What struggles do you all face? Please share your experiences. I will let you know how it goes next week!

Gluten Free Communion Wafers

Updated posting on Communion Wafers to eliminate any confusion!

Celiac Disease, Food Allergies, Autism, Gluten Intolerance

I have had many people inquire over the years (and as recently as last week) about GF Communion Wafers. So, I thought I would post some information for you.  Low gluten wafers were originally said to be at about 60ppm-100ppm.

However, the Benedictine Sisters have “perfected” making the wafers that “adhere to the strict guidelines of the Center for Celiac Research”.  You can purchase them yourself, or your church can order them.  The problem is they are low gluten and the amount of gluten is not written in PPM. So you have to extrapolate to figure it out.

Karen Broussard from The Gluten Free Travel Site has written an article about this as well.  You can also search, list and review churches that offer the GF/Low Gluten Communion Wafers on the GF Travel Site!  See link at the bottom.

About a year ago the Catholic Church approved a “low gluten…

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Gluten Free Communion Wafers

I have had many people inquire over the years (and as recently as last week) about GF Communion Wafers. So, I thought I would post some information for you.  Low gluten wafers were originally said to be at about 60ppm-100ppm. (20ppm is the maximum allowed for a product to be labeled GF)

However, the Benedictine Sisters have “perfected” making the wafers that “adhere to the strict guidelines of the Center for Celiac Research”.  You can purchase them yourself, or your church can order them.  The problem is they are low gluten and the amount of gluten is not written in PPM. So you have to extrapolate to figure it out.

Karen Broussard from The Gluten Free Travel Site has written an article about this as well.  You can also search, list and review churches that offer the GF/Low Gluten Communion Wafers on the GF Travel Site!  See link at the bottom.

About a year ago the Catholic Church approved a “low gluten wafer”, and I was all fired up about this in my facebook posting back then because I think they could have approved a GF Wafer.  Therefore, I don’t take communion; it is not worth the risk for me but you need to make your own decision. If I had a wheat allergy, I would not take the chance.

Some say that they can take 1/4 of the host and be fine.  The problem with Celiac Disease is that everyone’s level of sensitivity is different. (that is why we are certified GF to 5ppm at One Dish Cuisine Cafe, Deli and Bakery). Therefore you need to make your own informed decision.

I suggest everyone read the information (all the links) and decide for themselves. Another resource that I give to those who are Catholic is this site; catholicceliacs.org.  They really give you a lot of information so you can make an informed decision.  Click Here for Catholic Celiacs Org

Another site that is great is this one: Altar Breads BSPA; they break down the difference between “low gluten” and “GF” communion wafers.  I urge everyone to read the info in this link: Click Here for Altar Breads BSPA

Another place to purchase is from Cavanagh Company in RI: Click here for Cavanagh Company

One final note, don’t get caught up in “wheat grown in Germany vs wheat grown in the US”.  All wheat is still wheat, it does not matter where it is grown.  If wheat grown in Germany was safe for Celiacs we would all be eating regular bread made with German wheat!  Also, “Codex wheat starch” is wheat starch that has been processed to remove the gluten protein. This is approved for use in GF Products in Europe and in the US. Dr Schar uses it in many of their products. I will not allow it in our facility due to the risk for those with Wheat Allergies. (I did a facebook posting about this last year as well)

For a list of “GF” Churches and link to the Benedictine Sisters please visit The Gluten Free Travel Site at this link. Gluten Free Churches

I hope this helps you all out!

 

Communion Wafer