In early 2006 I was diagnosed with celiac disease. One of the first things that other people with the condition told me actually scared me worse than my diagnosis did. Several people said that the sooner I accepted the fact that my life of eating out and travel were over, the better off I’d be. To say that advice was unsettling is quite an understatement.

Considering the fact that I am a bit of a “foodie” who always plans vacations around the dining options available at places, never eating out again (or traveling) didn’t seem acceptable at all.

Luckily, shortly after my diagnosis, someone told me about the Triumph Dining gluten-free dining cards, which had helped them learn how to eat out safely. I then found out that Triumph Dining also had a book that was full of “gluten-free friendly” restaurants all over the U.S. I felt like I’d just won the lottery!

The day my copy of “The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide” and dining cards arrived in the mail, I felt that it would be possible to feel “normal” again. Shelley Case’s book “Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide” allowed me to learn – and correctly follow – the challenging gluten-free diet. By the time I finished reading through the first section in the Triumph Dining guide, I knew I could learn to safely eat out again. Suddenly this challenging lifestyle didn’t seem so daunting after all.

Today it is even easier to eat out safely than it was just three years ago. More and more restaurants are offering gluten-free menu selections and many places have printed gluten-free menus. The days of ordering an undressed salad and plain chicken when dining out gluten-free are over. From large chains to small independent places, gluten-free dining options abound in the U.S. – finally!

I’m very excited to announce that I (Tiffany Janes – in case you missed the tiny name at the top of this post) just joined the Triumph Dining team as a contributing writer on this blog. My goal is to share product and restaurant reviews as well as gluten-free news with our readers. As always, we’ll share wonderful recipes from the amazing gluten-free blogging world. I subscribe to the motto at Triumph Dining which is “don’t let gluten win!”and I hope you will do the same!

What is your favorite place to dine out deliciously gluten-free?