Monday, July 8, 2013

Special Needs Diets

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So many have dietary restrictions these days due to allergies, disorders, illnesses and conditions. I developed a gluten and a nut allergy about three years ago.  It makes things a bit difficult, but I'm learning more and more about how to eat completely gluten and nut free and also how to avoid gluten and nuts in products such as shampoos, lotions and powders and also in other household products.  I've learned to read all labels and to call 800 numbers to ask questions about products.

More and more supermarkets and restaurants are catering to the special needs of the public.  Stop and Shop and Giant has really gone above and beyond to help those with dietary restrictions.  This company is bringing awareness to the public of diseases which require special diets.  Check out their Celiac Awareness campaign.

Many supermarkets have followed their lead, but it is my belief that they are still a leader in this area and have the largest selection with the easiest access.  It's so easy to find the products you need because they take the initiative to stock and label in an effective manner.   I will make a special trip and drive out of my way to go to a Stop and Shop rather than other supermarkets.

my meal from BLD's 
I've also found restaurants willing to cook special for me so that I can eat gluten free and nut free.  It is such a delight to be able to go someplace and not have to worry.  When I find a restaurant that is accommodating, I frequent the establishment.  One such restaurant is BLD's.  They are absolutely wonderful.  They cook special for me all the time, their staff is wonderful, professional yet kind and caring and friendly, and their food is absolutely delicious.

We ate there two nights in a row once.  They willingly change their gloves, clean their grills and cook to accommodate my needs.  They made me grilled chicken with no seasonings, a baked potato and spinach with just butter and garlic.

I order my meal and ask for take out containers before I start eating.  I separate my meal and leave only the amount on my plate I should be eating.  The rest is already packed up to take home for a second meal.

This was my lunch the next day.  I weighed the chicken again to see if the second piece weighed only 5 oz too and it did.  So for lunch I had 5 oz. of chicken, about one cup of the spinach and the other half of my baked potato, plain.

The restaurant even purchased gluten free pancakes and now have them on the menu for their clients with gluten issues!  They did this on their own, I didn't request it.  I have not tried them myself, but I know their clients are very happy to have the choice.

Many restaurants are taking the initiative to meet the requirements of their patrons who have dietary issues.

Bare Naked Bakery and Cafe ships nationwide.  Their products are delicious and for those close by, it is worth a trip to the location.  I recently placed an order from them and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the products. I've tasted their pastries recently and they were beyond delicious!  I highly recommend them.

Shopping for food and going out to eat should be enjoyable and companies and establishments who are meeting the needs of those with dietary restrictions are making our lives easier.  Nothing is worse than going out to eat with a group of people and being a nervous wreck over putting anything in your mouth.  My allergies mean a trip to the Emergency Room if I accidentally eat or breath in something with gluten or nuts.  I carry an EPIpen with me 24/7 as it could save my life. Because there are those out there who are rising to the occasion and meeting the needs of the people, they deserve to be mentioned  and praised and the information should be shared for those in the same situation.

Thank you to these establishments for helping those in need.

Please leave any tips, recipes, names of establishments and names of restaurants in the comments so we can all help one another!

If you have any questions, want tips or would just like to chat, feel free to email me at!

Reene Pisi

For my intro click here


  1. G'day and well done, true!
    Any change in lifestyle initially is overwhelming but with positive thoughts, determination and persistence, one CAN always focus on what one CAN do!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Looking for some food love on FB

  2. Thank you Joanne. I'm enjoying the challenge, as I always enjoy all challenges. People are starting to notice the weight loss as well, which is nice.

  3. great post! Thank you for spreading JOY and sharing at the Oh What a HAPPY Day party.

    Holly at Not Done Growing

    1. Holly, thank you. I hope this post is helpful to others and helps to make their days a bit easier and happier.


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