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Visiting Friends And Relatives W/o Cd
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OK, my first overnighter with a gluten-free diet. In the past, due to lactose/casien intollerance, I always brought my own food for short functions, dinner, BBQ, parties, etc. or ate limited items and for extended visits, made due with limited foods.

Now I have a weekend with my husbands family and while they are all very understanding, they don't take care of themselves and their known disorders and I cannot chance contaminiation.

So, my question is this...do I take my own cooler full of food I have prepared in advance to reheat and eat in their house or chance that they will have plain meat and veggies for me (in addition to my fruit) since I cannot have corn, soy beans, or peanuts either. Is it completely rude to bring all that food?

We leave Saturday morning...thanks in advance.

-Kate

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Whenever we go visit my inlaws (and that means stay with them, since they're not close by) we hit a grocery store first thing so I can get some food to eat (unless I've left some there so it's waiting for me when we do visit).

I don't think it's rude at all to bring your own food (or get your own food). I saw, here in Ft. Wayne on my most recent business trip, ground beef that had wheat starch added!!! (I had a hard time believing you folks about that 'til now! ;-) ) What would you do if that happened? Or if (like all the chicken at the near by grocery store), the meat was "enhanced with up to 15% broth"? ("enhanced" my patootie!)

Let them know, of course, but yeah, do what you need to in order to be safe.

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We just take the food, and either nuke it or whatever. If this is family, they must know about the celiac, right? You can't just hope they have food you can eat, although certainly it's nice to eat what they do have that you can have -- but to rely on that would be silly. I think they might be relieved to know they aren't going to inadvertantly harm you. Travel safe!

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I frequently visit my in-laws' house, so we just always have some things in their freezer for my son to eat. If they have a couple of things that are gluten-free, we eat those, and if it isn't enough, then we "supplement" with our own food.

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I would definitely take some gluten-free food. When I go away or when I go to other peoples houses for dinner I almost always take my own food. Once I didn't take gluten-free food to a dinner/poyluck and I could hardly eat anything there! I had to ask everyone there what they put in the food they brought. I felt embarrassing becasue I felt like most people didn't understand why I was being so picky. One person told me that "you're on your own here!" I've learned from experience that people who don't have to follow a gluten-free diet do not always understand.

I don't think it's rude at all to take you're own gluten-free food as long as you explain why. If they don't understand then that's their problem!

-Carrie

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Thanks to everyone, I will take my own food just to be safe. After all, they are family.

One more question then - my boss and his wife throw a huge holiday dinner for the staff of 12 (small department) and she is an excellent cook, truely AMAZING.

However, even before I was gluten-free, there was little I could eat due to lactose/casien intollerance. So, now I doubt there will be anything except for the plain shrimp and baked ham that I will be able to eat.

I don't want to hurt her feelings (this woman is wonderful) but I don't want her to go to the trouble to fix something special for me, which I know she would insist on doing--that is just they way they are... So, from what I can see, the following are my current options:

- Call her a few days in advance to let her know about my severe dietary restrictions and that I will be bringing some of my own food

- Or let her know that I have these severe dietary restrictions when I arrive and to not be offended that I am not eating much

- Or if I should try to fake it and try to not let her see that I am not eating very much (I would then have eaten in advance)

- Or bring a couple of dishes like a fruit dish that I could eat with her ham

I am trying to figure out what else I could bring since this is not a pitch-in dinner, this is their holiday gift to the staff. Veggies would be tacky, meat, tacky, etc.

My boss knows, but he, well, I am sure this won't make it home to the wife. Once, he forgot to tell her he was going out of town for a week over his 50th birthday. She had the party without him since it was already planned.

-Thanks...Kate

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I would definitely call her and let her know your restrictions and that you would be bringing your own food. She probably won't let you (I speak from experience) but will discuss with you what you can have and then make one or more dishes that you can enjoy. Make sure it's not a honey baked ham as that has gluten in it. I've been through this twice and made it without getting sick. She'll probably make a salad and some plain veggies and you'll be set. Have fun. This is a nice treat.

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First bring all the food you need to the family trip. If you have a great dessert, brign enough for everyone to share.

As for the Xmas party, call her before and let her know about your food issues. Either bring all of your own food or bring something you can share like the fruit salad. I almost always eat before going to any party. That way it is easier to pass up the unsafe foods.

Good luck!

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I haven't had too much luck yet with relatives, my aunt made a chicken casserole and said I could just "pcik around the pasta!" Oh Well, it made me laugh. I ate the salad and other items I could eat. It is so easy to just stay home and cook what I want, I've made some really good casserole items this past week. I used gluten free pasta, dairy free cheese, my own tomato sauce and shredded chicken and baked it in the oven.

I've read a lot about people staying home too much, a recluse, to an extent, and I can sure see how that can happen. I live in a small town in Montana, and I am lucky to have a health food store to get some things at. But as for restaurants, I say wheat free or gluten free and they just stare at me and wonder what planet I came from!! It does get interesting, and I am trying to not let it get me down, but it is hard. My husband is a very social and outgoing guy and he always wants to go to the banquets, and the bbq's at the local stores or things like that, I go with and usually not eat for the most part. When we go to a potluck, of course, I take an item that I can eat, but one time I put my food on the table with the rest of everything else, and it was gone before I got there! :(

I sure appreciate all of you sharing your stories and different tips and ideas, this place is definitely a life line. Being from a little place, it seems like I'm the only one out there, so I really enjoy reading what everyone has to say. I check it out at least once a day to see what is new!

Bernadette

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Bernadette - I live in a little town and know what you mean. We attend a lot of little social functions and I have to bring my own food items. We have 1 little resturant in our community and it's nice since it is a small town that the cook will prepare gluten-free foods for me.

I bring my own foods to meetings also. Everyone around me seems to understand and I found it was less enbarassing than "picking though the casserole" for food that I could eat.

Melissa

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