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Weddings and a Celiac

Having celiac disease is hard enough let alone when you get that beautiful wedding invitation in the mail and your first thought is “ How will I be able to navigate this?”

I know it is incredibly hard at social events, parties, vacations, weddings etc. Trust me, been there, done that! What you need to know is yes it can be hard, but yes you can work around it.

I have never wanted to be the person that is seen as the issue all because of having celiac. Between this past weekend, and this coming November, my husband and I have been invited to 6 weddings and to tell the truth, I am having a bit of anxiety over it. So what do i do? What should you do?

The first thing that I suggest, is once you receive that invitation, check over the meal options provided on the card. Our first invitation, I actually felt close enough to the bride to bring up my celiac disease. I reached out apologizing in advance that I was a bother, but wanted to ask her permission if I could personally contact the venue to go over my dietary issue. I told her how excited I was to attend the wedding, but wanted to double check to make sure nothing gets cross contaminated. I know everyone is different on how they would approach such a thing, but it does depend on how close you are to the couple.

Luckily for me, the bride was very receptive. She said she would reach out to the venue and talk about my options. As the wedding approached, I found out that it was going to be stations in different corners of the room. The bride assured me that someone would come to my table that night, and go over my options. Once the wedding arrived, I obviously was unable to eat any hor d’oeuvres. As we sat down a lady came and told me what I could and could not have at the stations. Well the salad station I could have the salad, but the dressing was not gluten free! Who really wants to eat a plate of dry lettuce. (Lesson learned…. Pack a tiny travel cup of your own dressing for things like this!)

I had to steer clear of the pasta station and boy did it smell amazing! I was able to have the roasted veggies with the meat at the carving station. I brought along my Nima sensor, that I purchased solely for travel and occasions like this. I am happy to report that Nima came back happy for the meat and veggies! I loved the added reassurance just for that reason!

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For the weddings that are coming up, I did reach out to some of those couples as well. I let them know about my husband’s shellfish allergy, but also my celiac as well. I said there are many things that I can indeed eat, the issue is everything for myself has to be made in a separate prep area to avoid cross contamination. I am still waiting to hear back from a few, but most of the couples are happy that I reached out, because let’s face it…no one wants anyone getting sick at their wedding!

So here is my little tidbit of advice: If your very close with the couple or one of them I say be honest and reach out. Let them know that you are excited to attend but nervous about the food. I wouldn’t get into a full speech about celiac, but just explain a lot of items contain gluten and wheat like dressings or sauces or gravies. Ask if there is anyway your food could be made in a separate area and not the same pans to avoid cross contamination. If for any reason they can not accommodate or guarantee a gluten free celiac safe meal, I do suggest eating before hand.

Until Next Time
XOXO
Alicia
The Celiac Corner

gluten free reviews, Traveling Gluten Free

Great Wolf Lodge, New England

My husband and I recently surprised our kids with an end of school trip to Great Wolf Lodge. I brought along my Nima Sensor to test the foods at each meal/snack. Before our trip I did call the hotel as well as email the food and beverage person to discuss our food allergies, and my celiac disease. We were going there with a child who has a red-dye allergy, a husband with a shellfish allergy, and then myself with Celiac disease.

I have to admit, I was not too impressed with the hotel as far as getting back in touch with me to address our food allergies and celiac. I ended up calling a second time, and they transferred me over to the food and beverage department, to which I was told to leave a voicemail and they would call back. They never called back but finally emailed back two days prior to our trip.

Here was the response that was emailed back to me in regards to my celiac disease:

We have plenty of options for your GF/celiac disease, We have all gluten free fryers on the Al Cart line, in our main dining room we have a wide variety of GF items on our menu, we have gluten free pizza up at our outlet restaurant.

When you come to dine with us let your server know about your allergy, and we will have a chef come out and talk with you, and walk you through all your options.

We look forward to seeing you and your family.

So upon our arrival, I decided to check out every place in the hotel that offered food to see how their gluten free items were prepared or even if they were offered. First of all, I didn’t bother with the Dunkin Donuts in there because well that is already a no go. I did bring plenty of my own snacks though just to be on the safe side.

So the restaurant does have their own gluten free fryers as the email said, but I honestly didn’t want to eat there because the kids didn’t care for a sit down meal. It was very hectic and the prices were rather high. They do confirm that a chef would come out to the table to speak about the allergies or celiac and do change their gloves while preparing a meal. Since I did not eat there, I can’t review any of the items.

The ice cream shop could not confirm if their ice cream was gluten free and they did not offer any gluten free cones.

The pizza restaurant out in the arcade does offer a gluten free pizza as a personal size. They assured me that it was made in a separate prep area and separate oven. I did test the pizza with Nima and it came back a happy face. I however did not like the taste of it. The pizza was very thin and mushy.

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I ordered a salad and baked potato from the lodge restaurant and that I also tested with the Nima sensor. It came back with a big smiley face. They assured me that they prep things separately.

In one of the waterpark sections, there is a small food kitchen, that makes burgers, hot dogs, fries and chicken tenders. I asked the person the first day, and he told me that they do not have dedicated fryers, everything in the waterpark area is not celiac safe. The second day there was a new person and I of course wanted to double check the fryers and that person told me that the fries are celiac safe. I tested the fries, and it was confirmed by Nima that the fries contain gluten!

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All in all, it was a successful trip with the family, but I spent most of when it came to meal time, eating my own food that I brought from home. Even though I had the Nima which was an amazing addition to have, and asked questions all around, I was still very paranoid about accidental cross contamination. I didn’t want to chance being glutened and preferred to eat food from home.

My advice when traveling, is to do the research ahead of time. Make sure to call your hotel and restaurants that are around the area and ask questions until you feel comfortable. As a backup, I would definitely bring extra food for yourself especially if your hotel room comes with a fridge. Also, if your anything like me and like to not base everything off of word of mouth, I would totally invest in the Nima Sensor. It gives that extra peace of mind!

Until Next Time
XOXO
Alicia
The Celiac Corner