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Need Advise On What To Say


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#1 Alphawave

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:02 PM

I am very nervous on what to say when I go to someone's house for dinner, etc. I have to go to a brunch next week, and I have a SS going to be there too, and if I say anything about the food.....well it will start a war.

Do I say to the hostess, "does this dish have wheat?" Or explain I have celiacs, or just say "Wheat allergy", instead of explaining about celiacs? My husband thinks I should say nothing, and possibly not eat. BUT, I am a diabetic (type 1) and not eating causes me a big problem. So what to do.
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#2 Ahorsesoul

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:31 PM

You could just explain to people that you have several medical issues that you are trying to control by diet right now and you are under doctors orders to limit a lot of different foods so it's easier to just bring your own. I bring my own food now. I've been glutened too many times.

If I go to some one's house that is serving a dinner/brunch I might bring a salad, some cooked shrimp and a dessert that could be shared by everyone. That way I know I will have something to eat. Oh, I always travel with crackers.

If I'm going to a type of catered event I pack a lunch box. Or I call ahead by a few days to find out if they can fix something gluten free. Even then I have food with me just in case their idea of gluten free is a salad with croutons. And I always have my back up crackers. lol

The one thing I've found that helps people not get upset that I'm not eating their food is to ask for their recipe so they know I noticed the hard work they did. I tell them it smells/looks good and I'd like to try making it. Kind of smooths the rough edges off of someone with hurt feelings.
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#3 Jestgar

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:50 PM

I say "I have some food allergies, could you tell me what's in this?" Ask to see the package/bottle if necessary.

I find that people are more concerned with my health, than offended that I'm not eating their food. And my friends and family are getting in the habit of saving the package, or just lining up the boxes for me to read the ingredients.

Be kind, but firm, people will respond.
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#4 redsidekick

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:22 PM

I remember going to visit a friend for brunch within the the first month of my d'xd. I told my wife how embarrassed I was that the meal had to made special for me. I never wanted to be an inconvenience. Our friend laid out the spread, and I apologized for having to be so particular about food, she stopped me and said I having nothing to apologize for and that she thought everyone would be understanding about my situation.

My wife, since she usually makes the dinner dates, will tell the hostess about my situation. She defines Celiac and explains CC and other issues. I always ask "How did they take it?" & all have been understanding, except for one person who invited us to a picnic. This time the wife emailed her our RSVP and also for info on what they would be serving, making it clear it was about my Celiac. We never heard a response back, so I went to the picnic and nibbled on fruit. That was the only "bad" experience I have had, everybody else has been great, understanding, and caring.

My view is tell them its b/c of Celiac. It also allows you to educate people on what it is. It usually becomes a dinner topic. I figure the more people who know about it...the easier it will be in the future to eat out.
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#5 Eric_C

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 03:50 AM

I just tell people a head of time. If its just strictly with friends then we offer to cook or we just tell them things that always work well.

If its a group we just tell them what is going on and offer to bring a few dishes that everyone will like that we can eat.

My wife makes a layered raspberry, pudding, whip topping, choclate flourless brownie dessert that is incredible. We usually bring that with us. Don't call it gluten-free, call it a chocolate flourless brownie. In years past that was considered a high end dessert. It has become more common, both Outback and Bonefish Grille serve it now.

Usually people are more than happy to accomodate. Plus we know what tastses as good and what tastes like crap when gluten-free so we just make sure we do not inconvience anyone else from that aspect.

For Thanksgiving dinner we used to bring along a single stuffed chicken. We use Energy white bread for the stuffing which really sucks to eat, but made in stuffing its awesome(bread, sage, celery, onions, salt/pepper and water)...so we make our own gravy and all that. After a few people tried the stuffing they had no idea it was gluten-free and now we supply the bread and they stuff the turkey with it. We make the gravy with corn starch and no one even knows the difference.

I'm never embarrassed to tell anyone anything about this. The more people that know the better simply because I think a huge portion of people's on going medical problems are the results of very early Celiac's. My symptoms for the first 7 years only turned into a stomach/bowell related issue maybe 3-4 times per year and I ate gluten every single day.

I had a doctor treat a rash I'd get in my inner thigh and ankles for 12 years with cortizone cream, that was related to gluten.

All these little things I hear people complain about are things I used to complain about, until I gave up gluten....you'd be surprised, I've even had a few friends go gluten-free to see if it helped. Most it did but their issues were not severe enough for them to make the sacrifice.
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#6 tarnalberry

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:27 AM

Since I'm gluten and dairy intolerant, if I don't know the people well, I want to do the least explaining possible. I'll generally start with "I have a number of dietary restrictions. It's far easier for everyone if I just bring my own food." And I'm very clear that it is, indeed, easier that way. I don't even intone that the last statement there is a question. I state it as end-of-story truth.
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#7 buffettbride

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:03 AM

I am very nervous on what to say when I go to someone's house for dinner, etc. I have to go to a brunch next week, and I have a SS going to be there too, and if I say anything about the food.....well it will start a war.

Do I say to the hostess, "does this dish have wheat?" Or explain I have celiacs, or just say "Wheat allergy", instead of explaining about celiacs? My husband thinks I should say nothing, and possibly not eat. BUT, I am a diabetic (type 1) and not eating causes me a big problem. So what to do.


I would probably bring my own food as well (or, for my DD who has Celiac anyway). Perhaps call the hostess ahead of time and thank her for the invitation and that due to your dietary restrictions, you will bring your own meal. It doesn't do yourself or anyone else any good by trying to suffer through these occasions. You will feel empowered and enjoy the occasion much more if you have something to eat (it sounds silly to entertain the idea of NOT eating, to me anyway).

We often pack meals for our daughter when she is going to social occasions such as these. I don't think it would seem that out of place, although you may get some questions at the party. Maybe you can bring foods similar to what the hostess is serving so you can feel even more part of the fun.

But please, don't starve yourself!!! That is just silly!!!
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#8 Swimmr

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:04 AM

I am very nervous on what to say when I go to someone's house for dinner, etc. I have to go to a brunch next week, and I have a SS going to be there too, and if I say anything about the food.....well it will start a war.

Do I say to the hostess, "does this dish have wheat?" Or explain I have celiacs, or just say "Wheat allergy", instead of explaining about celiacs? My husband thinks I should say nothing, and possibly not eat. BUT, I am a diabetic (type 1) and not eating causes me a big problem. So what to do.


I suggest just bringing your own...

I've had too many glutenings at places who have gluten free menu's, but then they add seasoning to the "plain grilled" chicken breast that I asked for with "nothing" on it...this just happened to me over the weekend. And when I asked what was in the seasoning, the manager said, "it's basically just salt..." I for a fact know it wasn't and thought it extremely rude especially since I did ask for it to be plain and I explained that I have an allergy.
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#9 OptimisticMom42

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:19 AM

It seems the most frequent response to, "I'm gluten free." is "Oh, so is....." Most people have at least seen the "gluten free" on the box of Rice Chex at the grocery store. It doesn't have to be a big deal. Bring your own just in case but feel free to chat about celiacs and find out what your host knows. They may also be gluten free.
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#10 OptimisticMom42

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:29 AM

I suggest just bringing your own...

I've had too many glutenings at places who have gluten free menu's, but then they add seasoning to the "plain grilled" chicken breast that I asked for with "nothing" on it...this just happened to me over the weekend. And when I asked what was in the seasoning, the manager said, "it's basically just salt..." I for a fact know it wasn't and thought it extremely rude especially since I did ask for it to be plain and I explained that I have an allergy.



This has happened to me also so now I ask to see the label of everything going in or on my food. I even yelled at a gal working for subway because they took the chicken out of the box and threw away all the labels. She kept saying, "It's just chicken, nothing else" I said, "By law you have to be able to show me the label." I don't know if that is true but I was mad and hungry so eh.. I was being a meany. Mostly now I just take apples and nuts everywhere I go except to relative's houses. The relatives all seem to be curious and willing to make "just plain meat" and veggies for us.
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Dx Celiacs March '09

#11 Alphawave

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 02:51 PM

You all have come up with some great ideas! Thank you so much for the creative replies. I think in most instances the suggestions will work perfectly. These particular people (have been longtime friends of husband), are going to be a "hard sell". My husband is adamant that I don't cause any trouble about this, and they are very rigid, stubborn couple. I think I will just bring some snack food along in my purse, and not worry anymore.

I think I am fearful, as I got in a large argument with my in-laws when we visited them in their hometown last month. They were having chili and corn muffins. Ok, forget the cornmuffins, but I gently asked HOW my father-in-law made the chili. He replied, and added he had about a 1/2 cup of flour in the chili. Mind you I had been on the road for 12+ hours to get there. Ok, so I didn't eat. My in-laws insisted that it wasn't that much flour, etc., and in their day if someone came up with a food problem, then they could just starve! This really messed with my Type 1 diabetes, and had to fiddle with my long acting insulin. Not fun. I tried to explain to them about celiac, but they kept saying that why suddenly had I come up with this. I tried to explain about the lab tests and that I had not been feeling well for a long time. By the way, I have had a brain tumor diagnosed 5 years ago, and have had two very rough surgeries and chemo. I am hopefully in permanent remission. I pursued the very best surgeons, including one who is at Johns-Hopkins now, so my persistence and compliance has paid off dramatically. So now they are saying, as is my stepson, NOW WHAT????? Why do you have all these problems, are you sure you HAVE this, etc. etc. This is mind-numbing to me, and I am a nurse, on top of that.

Anyway, I guess I just needed to vent this. AND thank you for the great suggestions.
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#12 tarnalberry

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 03:10 PM

alphawave, with stubborn people, family or not, close or not, I find that explanations are worthless. They're so self-centered on having a meal, an experience, their own way, that they can't possibly adapt to a new situation. I don't give them the option to be that selfish, or the opportunity for discussion. If it comes down to it, I will do something like the following:

"Oh, it's only a little bit of flour. I'm sure you could have some."
"No, thank you." (If I'm really annoyed, I'll add "It will make me quite sick.")
"You must be hungry. A little bit won't bother you."
"No, thank you." (If I'm really annoyed, I'll add "I have no desire to feel like I've got the flu for a week.")
"But it's quite good. Just give it a try."
"Really, I'm not going to eat it. I'm sure it's lovely, but I'm not going to eat it."

If they walk off in a huff, well... I'm every so very sorry that I couldn't give them exactly what they wanted. /sarcasm

I don't care if it's long time friends or not (yes, I mean that - manipulation by "friends" just shows they're not really friends, but rather that they're being 'kept in the social circle' for other reasons). They can think I'm a wanker about food; it doesn't matter. As long as I'm not imposing on them to make food I can eat, I expect them not to impose upon me to get sick.
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#13 carsondcat

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 04:30 PM

I agree that with stubborn people who don't believe in such things as Celiac Disease and think the gluten-free is just the latest food fad going round, you won't be able to explain what you require. So eat before you go and take snacks with you to be on the safe side.

That said i would be pretty peeved with my other half if he ever thought that my celiac disease was causing trouble for someone else after all you're the one that has the trouble not them... You need his support not his criticism.. Even my supportive Hubby got slightly agitated the other day at his friends house because they had prepared me a lovely salad and chicken they had even thought about asking me to dish up first me to so i wouldn't get anything in it, but i couldn't make my self eat the chicken because it had been grilled and i wasn't sure about CC issues and the grill and i ended up eating just the salad which I was happy with and had no issues over. I had to refuse the dessert of baked apple and ice-cream because of the pans i saw the apples baked in and the ice-cream was cc with apple pie crust, so even with the best intentions of others you still have to be vigilant and risk upsetting people to stay healthy, It often can't be helped. Diagnosed with celiac disease for 9 years now and still taking my own food with me.
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#14 Jestgar

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 04:40 PM

They can think I'm a wanker about food; it doesn't matter. As long as I'm not imposing on them to make food I can eat, I expect them not to impose upon me to get sick.

What Tiffany said.
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#15 Alphawave

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 05:12 PM

alphawave, with stubborn people, family or not, close or not, I find that explanations are worthless. They're so self-centered on having a meal, an experience, their own way, that they can't possibly adapt to a new situation. I don't give them the option to be that selfish, or the opportunity for discussion. If it comes down to it, I will do something like the following:

"Oh, it's only a little bit of flour. I'm sure you could have some."
"No, thank you." (If I'm really annoyed, I'll add "It will make me quite sick.")
"You must be hungry. A little bit won't bother you."
"No, thank you." (If I'm really annoyed, I'll add "I have no desire to feel like I've got the flu for a week.")
"But it's quite good. Just give it a try."
"Really, I'm not going to eat it. I'm sure it's lovely, but I'm not going to eat it."

If they walk off in a huff, well... I'm every so very sorry that I couldn't give them exactly what they wanted. /sarcasm

I don't care if it's long time friends or not (yes, I mean that - manipulation by "friends" just shows they're not really friends, but rather that they're being 'kept in the social circle' for other reasons). They can think I'm a wanker about food; it doesn't matter. As long as I'm not imposing on them to make food I can eat, I expect them not to impose upon me to get sick.



I absolutely love your answer! Yes, these people are manipulators. You would think I would be used to it being a nurse.....but when it is close to home......

Also, haven't heard anybody say "wanker" since my father, who was from Edinburgh, Scotland. Loved to hear it.
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