Celiac Disease and Dining Out

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As a human being you probably have a desire to go out to a restaurant and have a bite to eat. Whether its a solitary dinner alone, a private intimate evening with a loved one or a group outing with friends or family. Chances are, you have thought about it at least once. For those who don’t know, this kind of thinking can cause anxiety to a diagnosed celiac. No one considers food to cause anxiety. Guess what? It can.

Finding the right place to eat out can be a trial on its own.

There are many factors to consider when deciding to dine out and eat at a restaurant. Making sure that they have some semblance of what gluten-free is should be the first sign that you’re possibly in the right hands. Gluten-free menus are often indicators that a restaurant has their stuff together an dare doing what they can to provide meals for everyone. It’s always amazing when eating establishments can create gluten-free food.

Above everything, a fully gluten-free restaurant is the PLACE you want to go. As diagnosed celiacs you know that your butt is covered and there is no worry about cross contamination of gluten-full and gluten-free food. The shame of it all, is that a fully gluten-free restaurant is hard to come by (YES there may be on win your town, but that doesn’t mean that there is one in every town).

You can’t truly search the county for a gluten-free restaurant when you live in a small town in Northern Canada, it’s just not practical.

The safest place for diagnosed celiacs to eat is obviously their own home, but the need to go out, interact and be social can be far to great of a feeling than sitting home all night and all day and for the rest of your life stewing about not being able to go out for lunch with friends.

Yes. Salad is always an option.

The only rule that truly exists when dining out as a diagnosed celiac is whether or not the diagnosed celiac is comfortable to do so.

With salad available, that means some kind of gluten-free food is available at the dining hall and you can go out to eat.

It’s not always enough. But it’s a start.

Is there anyway to tell in a restaurant truly cares about the need for you to eat gluten-free?

1) If there is an option on the menu for gluten-free you can be assured in the fact that the kitchen (and subsequent chain) have some knowledge abut what gluten and gluten-free is.

2) When telling the server about having to ‘order from the gluten-free menu’ they as if its due to celiac disease or an allergy. Better yet, any mention of celiac disease from this person should give you a better sense of security.

3) Does anyone in management come out to your table to talk to you? Kitchen Manager. Head Chef. Restaurant Manager. Assistant Manager? These are all people that should come out and see you and see that your order is processed properly.

There is no list or rules of how to do gluten-free at a restaurant. The places that have gluten-free options often govern themselves and do a pretty good job at it. By self regulating they can control what comes and goes from the kitchen. Each person has a job to do and handles one particular section of food and can be monitored more closely. The only rule that truly exists when dining out as a diagnosed celiac is whether or not the diagnosed celiac is comfortable to do so.

None of this applies to eating out in TRUErules’ fashion. Each individually diagnosed celiac is in charge of their own bodies and what they eat. Under no circumstances should anyone be told what they can and a can’t eat. If you have to eat 100% gluten-free for medical reasons like being diagnosed with celiac disease, then, make sure you do. Make sure you feel safe when you dine out and make sure that your voice is heard.

Follow Jordan Middlebrook or as you also know his King Gluten Free on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And for a safe a safe gluten-free catering experience contact Cori’s Cafe & Catering.

Undiagnosed Celiac can Create Public Speaking Fears

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There was a time I was in college.

There shouldn’t be any surprises when it comes to my post-secondary education. I also never finished college. I have no problem in admitting that I never made it through one year, or one semester. At the time I never considered that I was a ‘school person’. Sometimes I still think that I’m not one to take instruction from anybody (I can be stubborn that way). Then I look back on my time in the late nineties when I attended college for Art Fundamentals and see that I was partial right, and way way wrong.


One day while on set at Georgina Life (the television show I host on Rogers TV) I met with some of the amazing people at the South Shore Toastmasters club and they were riveting me to my seat as they spoke about finding confidence in yourself by finding your voice. A public speaking club which helps you develop better social and public skills and aides in your ability to be present in public speaking.

I recalled my memories of how in college; there was a seminar class, where I would have to spend the entire semester creating and building a subject and then presenting and hour long seminar about my topic.

I went to the first class, and no class past that. I dropped out of college.

Public speaking was frightening.

Even high school presentations I had my issues. Even to this day I still get extremely nervous at the idea of doing it. It’s all something that followed me from those days as a teenager and those days as an undiagnosed celiac.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008 and I was well into being the person I was meant to be and It was hard to change a lot of who I was. The diet was fairly easy. Switching from gluten rich foods to an all, 100% gluten-free diet was easier than I though, and now in 2017 it’s second nature.

NOW, I see that my fear of public speaking was partially because of my undiagnosed celiac and wasn’t always a figment of my imagination. I see that those times I buckled under the pressure of someone watching me talk was because the toll gluten was doing to my insides and ultimately affecting my mental state. Of course this revelation took almost two decades to figure out, but if I was diagnosed with celiac disease at an earlier age, I could have finished college and become the visual artist I intended to be or finished college and became a world renowned motivational speaker.

But I didn’t.

Here’s what happened.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 27 and then almost nine years later I became the host of a television show (speaking to the possibility of more that 10,000 people live) and a lot of my fear disappeared. Not before I was diagnosed with celiac and straighten out my shit. But, because I am now eating gluten-free I can maybe function the way I was meant too and not someone in constant pain due to the improper foods. Now, because I was diagnosed with a disease that is so invisible, I wasn’t diagnosed until I reached the pinnacle of my sickness.

My story isn’t new. But it can help someone to see what the potential of celiac can do.

Not only have I gone on to speak LIVE on a television show. I’ve also spoken about my celiac journey for the GLUTEN FREE GARAGE, GLUTEN FREE WELLNESS EVENT and the GEORGINA HOME & LIFESTYLE SHOW. All public speaking forums and all ways to motivate others that just because I was once terribly frightened by public speaking, a little bit of diagnosis and bravery can go a long way. Remembering that I still get butterflies and sweaty and gross when I have to go and speak publicly, but now it’s not crippling and now I recognize the possible reasons why.

If you suspect celiac disease GET CHECKED.

If your medical practitioner won’t check you of it. FIND ONE THAT WILL.

If being diagnosed with celiac disease and eating 100% gluten-free ends up corrections those things that were always written off as ‘shy’ or ‘mousy’, then why not take a stab at getting properly diagnosed?

It can’t hurt.

It can’t hurt you or your future.

Find Jordan Middlebrook updating DAILY on Instagram by clicking HERE and creating cartoon for Gluten-Free Living Magazine all through 2017.