How to Get Free Press for Your Restaurant

January 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Restaurants

One great way to get free press for your restaurant is by having a gluten-free option on the menu.

The only time I go to Italian restaurants in America is when someone else invites me. In order to be polite and easy-going, I don’t tell people about my gluten intolerance unless they are making a meal at their house for me and it is a need-to-know situation.

I assume, sometimes wrongly, that I will be able to find something at any restaurant: salad (without croutons), steak, fish, chicken, or vegetables.

At Italian restaurants in the USA, the menu usually consists mostly of pasta options (wheat white flour) and other items that are breaded. French bread is always served on each table, gratuit. Such restaurants are generally hell for someone with Celiac Disease. It’s almost impossible to not have gluten tainted food. It’s in the air, it’s on the counters, it’s on the tables, it’s everywhere.

Often, I bite the bullet, to be agreeable, and go anyway, despite the dangers.

At this Italian restaurant Sorella in Fairfax, a quaint town north of San Francisco, west off the 101 highway, I was extremely surprised to see they had a “glutten free pasta” option.

I don’t know if it is a gluttony joke (glutton meaning a habitual greed or excess in eating) or an innocent spelling error, but in hopes of purifying my soul, I ordered the “glutten free pasta” with cream sauce Alfredo.

It’s been days and I can still taste it in my mouth — the Alfredo sauce and sweet tender pasta was a divine experience! I haven’t ordered pasta in a restaurant since 2006, I think, and this was definitely the right time to give it a try.

We also ordered an unbreaded version of Chicken Piccata with vegetables and a dairy-free coconut creme caramel. They had a little something for everyone, all of it delicious.

When food is prepared by someone else, for some reason, it always seems to taste a lot better! Being able to sit down and eat, not have to cook or do dishes, is a relief.

Sorella was adorable inside and out. The strange shape structure was made of wood with a fishbowl array of windows encircling it. Inside, they had a big fireplace in the middle, tables and chairs jammed together like in Italy, and a personable smiling witty wonderful staff. They created a unique and special vibrant dining experience.

Sorella was packed to the brim and sure doesn’t need my press because they have word of mouth and a great local reputation.

If you were a tourist visiting California, you would never find this place. Now you know — you should find it. When passing through Marin County, if you feel like getting off the beaten path, Sorella will take a load off your shoulders and minds.

If you have Celiac Disease, there’s a good chance that you might get sick here, as at any restaurant, but, it’s worth it! I mean, how often can you have glutten free pasta?

And that my friends is how you get free press for your restaurant: be on the cutting edge of developing food trends and also maintain the warmth of the old world!

Get on the gluten-free wagon before it becomes commonplace. Invite your local newspaper foodie columnist or nearby gluten-free bloggers and let them know about your thoughtful dietary special accommodations. Serve good food. Have fun servers. Warm up your place with charm.

If you are opening a restaurant, go to Sorella and see how it’s done!

Quick Cures for Severe Stomach Aches and Abdominal Spasms

January 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Celiac Disease Symptoms

Man down
Creative Commons License photo credit: Miles Cave

For millions of people, unbeknownst to them (or their doctors), ingesting gluten will cause uncontrollable painful abdominal spasms, spot bleeding outside a woman’s menstruation period from a spasming uterus, diarrhea or constipation from a spasming colon.

Since my earliest childhood memories, I had miserable stomach aches. In my 20s, it escalated to crazy incapacitating pain with terrible abdominal spasms in my stomach, my intestines, and my uterus.

The pain caused me serious embarrassment at home, in my private life, and at the work place, where people thought I was a complete freak for laying on floor, buckled over, and writhing in pain — not to mention the farting that would soon follow. They thought I was just putting on show, trying to get attention, when the reality was that of complete and utter humiliation.

At least 20 doctors were absolutely 100% useless. Not one single doctor could do the simple math: stomach + wrong food = abdominal pain. Duh! Not one single doctor ever asked me what I was eating. And having tried several different diets myself, I couldn’t figure it out because gluten is in EVERYTHING (it seemed at the time) — it was in everything that I had been eating, “healthy” or otherwise.

You can read the ABOUT page to get my general story and path…

Once I stopped eating gluten (found in foods made with white wheat flours, like pastries, pizza crusts, breads, crackers, cookies, food thickeners, and all the other junk foods, plus beverages like beer), my abdominal spasms ceased!

It went from a daily issue, that was entirely ruinous to my life, to only a few times a year now when I go out to eat at a restaurant or have a tainted food product at home.

QUICK FIXES to gluten-induced painful abdo spasms and gaseous farty flatulence…

The first thing you want to do is try to eat and drink glutenfree.

Even with best glutenfree behavior, you will still have issues with tainted food, so try these:

#1 PEPTO BISMOL !!! Life saver! Truly. Get traditional flavor pink.

You can get liquid or chew tablets. Liquid works better, but chew tablets are light and small and you can have them in your purse or wallet at all times!

At the hospital, when you overdose or have other abdominal food intake issues, they now use a fancy black version of Pepto, basically. (see #2)

Active Ingredient: Bismuth subsalicylate

Inactive Ingredients: benzoic acid, flavor, magnesium aluminum silicate, methylcellulose, red 22, red 28, saccharin sodium, salicylic acid, sodium salicylate, sorbic acid, water

#2 CHARCOAL PILLS These are the healthy super basic form of Pepto Bismol with no pink dye or other ingredients and they are found at health food grocery stores, nutrition centers, and drug stores.

#3 TUMS antacids. Mint! Don’t get the fruit flavor, it will make you want to vomit.

Tums are basically just calcium, so it’s not like you are taking a bunch of effed up meds.

“Although we do not use gluten as a filler in TUMS, there may be trace amounts of gluten in TUMS Smoothies Cocoa and Cream flavor via ingredients that are supplied by outside vendors. Other products of TUMS do not contain gluten. Review the “inactive ingredients” section on the bottle label to see if the variety you have selected contains gluten.”

Tums even has a Tums punching out a burrito on their ad right now — burritos have white flour tortillas (gluten), beans (gaseous), tomatoes (acidic), and hot peppers (ouch)… all great candidates for abdominal pain.

#4 GAS-X My mom lives by this stuff. She won’t stop eating gluten. What can you do? Different generation.

Active Ingredients: Calcium and Simethicon

Inactive ingredients: bunch of manmade stuff

#5 HOT MILK if you are NOT lactose intolerant, milk is a quick alkaline substance to sooth your digestive track. Milk, cheese, and yogurt help me a lot when I have pain or hunger. If you are lactose intolerant, dairy will be the ruin of you.

#6 BANANAS are alkaline and a soothing food to eat, if you need to eat something while you are going through this pain.

#7 SPASFON is an abdomen spasm-targeting medication you can only get in France — I have no idea why it’s not available in the USA or elsewhere, but it is belly ache gold and works better than ANYTHING I have ever used. So if you are visiting France, make sure to get some of this! A doctor prescribed it to me there. Is magick! If you have the money, it’s worth the trip!

Nothing completely saves you once the damage is done and you have already ingested something in the past three days, but these easily available remedies help a lot against belly aches and gas!

Seek out Calcium and ALKALINE natural substances for your intestinal troubles and food. Keep some of these suggested tablets with you.

ALWAYS CHECK THE INGREDIENTS LABEL!

Products may change or be made at different facilities.