Health

Mitzi Dulan: Gluten-Free Dining at ZAGAT’s “Top Healthy Options” Restaurant

| by Mitzi Dulan

I’m thrilled to announce some great news from one of my favorite restaurants to work with over the past couple months: Bonefish Grill! I love going there for lunch with clients, Girls Night Out, Date Night with hubby, and also dinner out with my entire family (Hubby + 2 kids).

Did you know May is National Celiac Awareness Month? Celiac Disease is an allergy or intolerance to the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye. We know that 1 in 133 Americans – nearly 3 million Americans – have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. For sufferers of a variety of conditions, including celiac disease, gluten intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome, consuming gluten can damage or destroy the villi (the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestines) and create bloating and fullness. Many of these individuals have found that a gluten-free diet provides some relief. Many have suffered for several years undiagnosed and about 97% of these individuals remain undiagnosed.

The good news is food companies have taken notice of the gluten-free demand by offering new gluten-free foods and beverages, and they are also adding gluten-free labeling on packaging. (I’m sure you have also noticed the explosion of gluten-free foods available in your local grocery store!) One common challenge that my clients and others have faced is limited options when they want to dine out with their family and friends at a restaurant. This can be a frustrating experience when all they really want is to enjoy a meal that they know will be gluten-free and tastes great.

I always encourage my clients to talk with their waiter about how they would like their food prepared when they are dining out. Many people don’t realize that Bonefish Grill also offers an entire gluten-free menu, not all restaurants do. I’ve never eaten in a restaurant more willing and ready to make these modifications, and you can do it without worrying that you might be insulting the chef. They will grill your fish, steam or grill your vegetables, and serve it “clean and pristine” with fresh lemon, or with any of their yummy signature sauces to top off your fish. A few of my personal gluten-free favorites their Ahi tuna sashimi, Norwegian salmon with warm mango salsa and their decadent gluten-free chocolate macadamia nut-brownie!

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An added bonus, Bonefish Grill was recently awarded “Best Seafood” and “Top Healthy Options” by ZAGAT.

If you follow my blog, you know that my nutrition philosophy is to eat a variety of fresh, “clean” foods to maximize energy levels and be healthy. Just because a meal is gluten-free doesn’t mean it is necessarily healthier or fat-free. If you feel gluten makes you feel bloated or uncomfortable, please discuss with your doctor and a registered dietitian. And keep in mind, it is always a good idea to get tested prior to making changes in your diet so you can get an accurate diagnosis.