Not Eating Out has Made a HUGE Difference in my Health

eating out as a celiac

A few quick Dude Notes before I kick things off here:

1) It’s going to be a short post. Time has not been my friend lately.

2) I got an email this morning, calling me among other things: a** sucking sycophant, name dropper, starry eyed, poser wannabe. That’s how I started my day. I responded in kindness and hope to carry on an open, honest discussion with her. For real.

3) I’ll be mentioning…ummm…taking about…ummm…sharing information on my…ummm…let’s just say…bathroom experiences.


My history of celiac disease has meant on and off stomach pain, seemingly random, but never going away. And when it’s bad…it’s so so bad. (♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ So let’s dance that last dance tonight!) Why do I get stomach aches? I have no idea. I figured it was just the nature of how celiac affects my body, even though I’m 100% gluten-free.

Not only stomach aches but my trips to the potty were anything but quick. Without going overboard here, they were (rhymes with bessie, jessie, and begins with an M. Cryptic enough for ya?) I’d have a few periods where I’d be in and out but looooong stretches of just the opposite and few and far between.

But since the Coronavirus madness started 10 weeks ago, obviously I have not eaten out one single time. And guess what? ZERO issues in the library. And I mean ZERO.

Now…I am still ordering in sushi once per week (our Friday night tradition). I have ordered takeout from Bareburger a few times. But that’s it. How often did I dine out often pre-Covid? I suppose it averaged out to be at least once per week. Did I do my due diligence, pepper the server with questions and play it safe every single time? Yep. Yep. Yep.

Not eating out is the ONLY change in my diet. And on top of that, I am not eating quite as healthy as I usually do at home.

So what does all of this mean? Good question:

  • It means during the course of the day, I now have about 20 extra minutes that didn’t have before.
  • It means I can now sell my stock in Scotts, Charmin and Lysol.
  • It means less emergency runs when I’m out and about.
  • It means I feel better…something we all deserve.

Now…a bigger question, what DOESN’T it mean?

  • It doesn’t mean there is a direct cause and effect here. This is hardly scientifically validated.
  • It doesn’t mean this is forever. But I’m enjoying it for the time being.
  • And lastly, it doesn’t mean I’ll never eat out again?

Wait. What?! You just said…I mean you feel better so why would you ever…Dude, what the hell are you thinking?

I know. I hear ya. Here’s what I say. When (if?!) restaurants open back up again, I’m sure a time will come where I’ll eat out at a non 100% GF restaurant. And we’ll take it from there. We’ll see how my stomach reacts. If it goes bad again, it means eating out is perhaps a bigger risk than I thought it was and restaurants perhaps don’t (or can’t) take the necessary precautions to keep us safe.

And that would be a bummer. A total celiac bummer.

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20 thoughts on “Not Eating Out has Made a HUGE Difference in my Health”

  1. I hear what you’re saying! I used to feel super nauseous every time I ate out even though I followed the traditional wait-staff-shake-down. I finally downshifted to only ordering salads when I’m out = boooorrriinnggg. It’s kind of a relief to take a break from it.

    BTW—my non-Celiac husband took himself out yesterday for his first burger in 9 (8? 10?) weeks and felt DISGUSTING afterwards. Not sure your restaurant issues are specific to you!

    Glad you’re well!

    1. I stopped eating out for that reason, if all I was going to eat was a salad I may as well stay home and eat one there for cheaper. I’m not about to drive all the way to town and spend money for something I eat at home pretty much every day lol

  2. I have been wondering if your immune system would let up attacking you after it directed its attention to your COVID-19 infection, and if so, how long that would continue.
    No research being conducted on that yet since the medical system is still valiantly endeavoring to deal with the ongoing pandemic.
    Mostly glad you are experiencing some respite 🎶

  3. Interesting comment gluten dude. Same here….I never felt well when I ate out. I eat out very, very infrequently, for me eating at home is my best choice. When I stopped eating out I noticed, no more bathroom problems, less aches and pains, no more headaches and less acid reflux problems. It’s sad, mainly for social reasons but my health is more important. To cut the “constant cooking stress “, I prepare large quantities. For example, when I cook, it usually renders 3 meals or more. I do all my veggie cleaning and chopping once or twice a week, this helps tremendously. I also get a great deal of my food delivered. Wild caught salmon, cod, shrimp, scallops etc. Also organic chicken and organic grass fed beef. These are all neatly trimmed and pre-packaged so that helps as well. Hang in there dude, and eat home more frequently. Difficult to find totally gluten free restaurants. Thank you for your support for the gluten free community and for looking out for us, we need all the help we can get.

  4. Thanks for this -good thoughts, as always.
    Also – trolls. WTF with TROLLS? Sorry that’s how your day started. You’re a damn hero. Take care, GD!

  5. Trolls….. I swear they are emotional vampires!!! I have been eating in at home for 6 weeks and we art totally GF. Still had Lower gi problems but none of my other ones ie severe heartburn and vomiting 🤮! So I guess home cooked is better for me and I have another underlying condition. Thanks for your wealth of knowledge and humor!!!!

    1. You are quite welcome Marcia. It seems the person is mad at me because she reached out a long time ago for help and I did not respond. Trying to get more info from her so I can help her.

  6. Just a thought…maybe you are having a reaction to the cooking oils that are used in restaurants? We discovered that with my mother. She can eat at home all week long, go out for one night to a restaurant and be in the bathroom for three days straight. Might be worth looking into.

  7. Glad you are feeling better, Dude!

    When things closed down here I immediately wanted all the restaurant food that was no longer available (maybe I am not alone in this?), but after a few weeks I noticed something surprisingly nice in the midst of this mess: preparing and eating all of my food at home, where everything is gluten free, actually allowed me to forget that I have celiac. There are no foods to avoid, no vigilance over cross-contamination, no more reminders that I eat differently than others. Frankly, it’s been awesome to forget and just…eat. I feel relaxed and happy about food in a way that I haven’t since my diagnosis. It’s an emotional rather than a physical benefit, but I’ll take it!!!

  8. It makes no difference whether I go out or cook at home. My gut does what it does 🙁 If I really wish to socialize, I just plain don’t eat at all. I’ll sip at a drink or something. When I’m really hungry, I go home. My gut always swells so badly I wear sweats or something very loose after I eat

  9. Yeah, learned this dragging my feet the whole way. It’s just better to eat at home. Will I eat out again at a non dedicated restaurant? Almost absolutely. But before I was diagnosed I ate out daily. Then it was weekly. Then monthly. I think I’ve settled on something like 2-4 times a year, and then with all the precautions.

  10. I always feel a little worse even after a fully GF restaurant. I just take it as the price for a pleasurable experience. And I know the difference between “a little worse” and being “glutened” so it’s not a big deal. I think it’s the restaurant supplies. I don’t think they’re all as perfect as we assume them to be.

    I learned something during this lockdown too. I have migraines. And I knew they’re carb related. But now I have absolute proof. It was stupid of me to think that I could eat carbs and go off my migraine meds. I’m not sure if I’ll go keto permanently or not. It’s so hard and expensive to buy healthy meat. And all the keto foods I love best require pork and forget finding healthy pork in the US. I would want heritage pork, not the post-1990s franken pigs that make no saturated fat. It’s ridiculous I may have to grow it myself.

  11. Denise, have you tried the Gluten Cross Contamination Elimination Diet? Google it. Developed by Dr. Fasano, a celiac specialist at Mass General Hospital.

  12. In the past year since I’ve been working from home my gut has been happier than I can remember it being. I’m not sure why. While GF, my pandemic diet has not been what I’d call “healthy” (so many snacks). It makes me wonder if I somehow was picking up enough gluten exposure in my normal office environment to make me just a little ill all the time and very ill several times a year. I always brought my own food from home, was careful about cross contact in the break room, took all precautions (at least I thought I did). At this point, I’m more leary of returning to the office than the virus.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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