My office building has a beautiful cafeteria overlooking central park. The food offerings are plentiful, but I am a creature of habit. Before and after celiac entered by life I would get a salad with grilled chicken and an assortment of veggies. I had checked on the ingredients and determined that the chicken was cooked on a dedicated grill. I felt safe.

Imagine my horror when I stood in line and watched the server reach his gloved hand into the croutons and then place the crumb-covered glove into the various containers of veggies. I hadn’t started feeling 100% healthy on the gluten free diet and now I knew why. I had been warned not to eat from any buffets or salad bars by the wise participants at the Delphi forums, but I hadn’t heeded their advice. Watching the crumbs contaminate my precious salad toppings was enough for me to stop eating at the cafeteria. I tried talking to the supervisor, but in the end I decided that it just wasn’t worth the risk.

Now I keep an array of frozen veggies in our break room freezer. I have a Rubbermaid container in my desk that I fill up with different combinations of edamame, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach and pop it in the microwave. I keep yogurt, apples, chicken soup broth, and mustard in the fridge. For protein, sometimes I bring in grilled chicken from home or grab a few pieces of sashimi from Whole Foods. Low fat hot dogs or Gluten Free Garden burgers are great options too. If you are craving something sweet when everyone else is eating birthday cake try keeping Jello or pudding cups in the fridge. Salt and pepper shakers are easy to store in my desk drawer with the Rubbermaid container. Make sure when using a common microwave that anything you place in is covered to prevent any gluten crumbs from dropping in your food. Other areas to watch for potential contamination include the countertops and cutlery drawers. Try to place your items on fresh paper towels, bring your own cutlery or wash the cutlery provided by your office.

Of course you can always prepare lunch at home the night before and bring it with you to the office, but with all of my travel I found that to be quite cumbersome. This allows me more flexibility and options each day and the frozen items won't spoil.

As I'm "cooking," coworkers frequently comment on how delicious my food looks/smells and then they add with surprise “and it’s so healthy!”

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