And worse than grocery shopping was dining out. But this is changing. There are some restaurants that are truly amazing; restaurants that have gone through the training and that train their staff on how to keep gluten free food gluten free.
(Of course, we also have to be careful of those restaurants who offer "gluten free" on their menu but lack the education. Don't understand gluten free completely? - please don't offer "gluten free" options on your menu. Frying fries or naked wings in shared oil is NOT gluten free. There are enough restaurants that we can dine at safely. Please don't jeopardize our health by offering what you think we want to hear. Not all restaurants offer sea food, or steak, or tacos; not all restaurants have to offer gluten free.)
What can still be difficult are those awkward social occasions: dinners at someone else's house, weddings, business luncheons or professional conferences. Caterers, when called ahead, can often can prepare a safe meal. Of course, this is hit or miss, and disappointing when we call ahead and speak with a caterer who has no idea what gluten is or desire to provide for those of us with special diets. In those cases - not worth the risk to guess what "looks gluten free." But more and more often, caterers are becoming educated and able to accommodate.
Now wouldn't it be great (with the increase in gluten free needs) if we start seeing more and more of this? - catered meals that are naturally gluten free? Of course, there was also a basket of bread on the table, which was fine. I would have loved to have a slice, slathered in butter, but its learning to appreciate what we CAN have, not what we can't. And what I was able have at lunch was wonderful!