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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Dining As A Gluten Free Guest
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23 posts in this topic

What do you do when you go over to other people's houses, and they have a bunch of gluten-y food that you can't eat?

How do you not offend them when you don't eat their food?

What if it's something really yummy, but they don't use gluten free substitutes? (Like my hubby requested pizza this weekend... AAAAACK!!!!)

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I think people are afraid of offending people far more often than people get offended. I would be MORE offended, as a host, if a guest ate something that could harm themselves (or just was really unpleasant) thinking that I couldn't handle them saying no to something.

Be polite about it, offer thanks for the intention, and take your own food (or eye the fruit on the counter) so they can feel comfortable about you NOT feeling uncomfortable (or hungry). (It's really in the "if you don't make a big deal about it, no one else will either" category.)

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As a followup, let's say a friend offers to make gluten-free food in a single serving (or enough sides that you will have food to eat). Should you trust them or worry about cross-contamination in their gluten-filled kitchen?

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I would kindly accept the invitation (Celiac is no excuse to give up living). Explain that you have a newly diagnosed food intolerance (or more understood, allergy). Tell your hostess that you would like to bring your own salad, or offer to make enough for the entire dinner party. Make it at home and buy some store bought croutons that you can add for others after you have taken your serving.

I have found, that there is almost always SOMETHING that I can eat (but I am not sensitive either). Most of my friends are not quite comfortable with serving me. They welcome me bring a dish.

After a while you can judge what would most likely contain gluten. And your friends would welcome questions.

I always tell my friends to plan their meal as they choose, but be open to a few questions and I always ofter to bring a dish or some kind. And close friends, save me the labels. :)

After all the company-fellowship-friendship is the important thing. :)

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i bring food - most people who know me already were trying to get me to eat! now, they're happy i'm eating even if i bring my own food :)

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I don't know why someone would be offended if you can't eat something that you have an intolerance to. That just doesn't make sense to me. I've never had this happen, or maybe I just don't care enough to pay attention since I am not an easily offended person I never really think about silly things like this offending others. Does that make sense :lol: Bringing a large dish to share with everyone that is a naturally gluten free item is a good idea. Salads, dips with chips or veggies, shrimp cocktail...just take your portion first!

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I convert them. :ph34r:

:lol:

At least that seems to be my track record so far.

I have yet to talk to someone whose house I frequent who has not raised an eyebrow at the myriad of things that have cleared up for me and looked into it themselves. I always hit on 2 or 3 problems they have. Once they go gluten-free they find that their symptoms go away and we have gluten-free meals together. ;)

Mind you I'm only a few months into this journey.

Now I have always always been a picky eater of some variety or another so I learned long ago to just bring my own. I tell the host/hostess thank you, I really do appreciate it/that is sooooo sweet of them, I'm sure their _____ is fabulous but that I get horribly sick with ____ or I have an ethical issue with _____. But really...most people understand, I have never had an issue at least not to my face. :P

I'm also not pushy about it and don't make a big deal over it. If they inquire further I happily tell them though as most of the populace has a gluten issue and it is up to us to help heal them. Their Docs sure aren't going to figure it out. :blink:

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I bring food too. If it's just me and a friend rather than a party (rare), I have a couple friends I trust to cook gluten-free. One has culinary training, the other an unusual amount of common sense. The rest I invite over and I do the cooking, rather than going to their homes to eat. I avoid offending by saying I wouldn't want to put them to the trouble of cooking gluten-free so why don't I cook?

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If it's a dinner I explain to the host that I need to bring my own food (and why) and I bring enough for everyone. I usually do a mixed greens salad with great toppings like nuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese, apples or pears. Sometimes I'll take a grilled chopped chicken breast to put on my own salad so it's more like a meal for me. And I'll have a couple choices of homemade dressing--balsamic or Italian usually. People are usually so impressed by such a fancy salad they don't miss the croutons at all. I always try to take my salad first or have a separate bowl premade for me so I don't have to worry about cc.

If it's not a dinner (just apps or snacks) then I will bring something in my purse to snack on(descretely, away from the main party) if I need it. I get a drink, keep it in my hands at all times and politely decline any food if offered. I alway try to keep my hands busy/full so that peopel that don't know me won't try to push food on me. If I know the host really well I might offer to bring a gluten free app or desert or a veggie tray or something, but I usually don't bring it up and if they ask I tell them to please not make anything special for me. I have gotten glutened from eating raw veggies at a baby shower before.

I can understand the whole "afraid of offending" thing. My MIL is a food pusher--the type that gets offended if you don't eat her food. The first time I met her we had just flown in and we had stopped to get food on the way because the airport was about an hours drive. When we got there (about 3 hours after dinner time) she asked if we were hungry, we said "no, we already ate." She proceeded to get out the leftover lasagna and make us both plates even though we said we were not hungry! It was like that scene in "My big fat Greek Wedding." Anyway, even people like my MIl can understand the words "Food Allergy" (the lasagna incident happened long before I suspected gluten intolerance). Anyone that keeps insisting you eat soemthing when you politely decilne is being ruder than your are for declining the food. And I tend to think that someone that gets offended by this has confused food with love--they think people aren't happy or having a good time unless they are eating. This is their problem if they are offended, not yours.

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This very situation happened to me last night when we were invited over for the first time to have dinner in the home of my son's girlfriend. When she emailed me to confirm, I emailed her back the following reply:

We are really looking forward to seeing everyone later this afternoon! I know cooking for me is such a pain since I can't eat any gluten or dairy. So, I was thinking I would bring something to add to our dinner. I 'm planning on bringing fried rice to share with everyone. I make it with natural brown rice, veggies, and frequently meat. That way it will make planning a lot easier on the cook, plus it's always fun to have something extra to share. See you at 4:00! Linda

My fried rice is really a meal unto itself. First, cook the rice. Cut up the chicken breast {or other meat of choice] into cubes and marinate while preparing and cooking the veggies. For the marinate, I like a gluten-free soy sauce [bragg Liquid Aminnos is my favorite], a little dried ginger powder, and pepper. Then, in a wok or frying pan saute onion in a bit of olive oil. Add a bag of chopped, fresh mixed stir-fry veggies [or any of your favorite veggies for that matter] to the wok. When the veggie mixture is cooked, but just slightly still crisp, remove veggie mix to another bowl. To the chicken + marinate to the wok with a bit more olive oil and stir-fry. When the chicken is done, add veggies and cooked rice back into the wok and heat through.

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If it's family, or close friends, I can't understand why they'd be offended if you a-bring your own or b-request that they scrub ever surface of their kitchen before they prepare your meal. Afterall, if they're family or close friend, then they're supposed to love you, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want you to get sick from whatever they feed you.

Or you can just take your own, and a couple bottles of wine so that the hostess gets a bit tipsy and doesn't notice you're not eating her spagetti and meatballs ;)

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Or you can just take your own, and a couple bottles of wine so that the hostess gets a bit tipsy and doesn't notice you're not eating her spagetti and meatballs ;)

I love it! Not that I drink even an ounce, and thus would not even know what wine would be good. (Or that any of my family and most of my friends drink...) Thus this wouldnt work. But love it all the same.

Yeah anyway, my family (includin my inlaws) is very kind and understandin and they really try to be helpful. (And my dear hubby even went out of his way this weekend to make sure I had a pizza I could eat... We bought a frozen rice crust pizza... [i woulda much rather made my own, but we were in a hurry...]) And my in-laws made sure I got all I wanted first and they cut mine first. Yadda yadda yadda. So my family is good to me. Though for some reason I worry more about offendin my own parents than the in-laws.

But yea, I will definitely make sure to parties and such I bring somethin to share and take mine first. And I have discovered there are a lot of yummy things that I can make gluten free that are really good if not better than "normal" food. (IE I love rice noodles better than the gluteny "normal" pasta.... mmmm) Like I just tonight made chx and potatoes that was yummy and completely gluten free. (And the gluten free bbq sauce was so much better than the gluteny stuff! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!) And I can make stuff my husband will eat, and so I assume most people who are not gluten free will eat it... Not that my husband is a picky eater.

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You are sweet to worry that they will be offended when they are being so supportive. But... stop it! LOL

You have an autoimmnune disorder which means that your body is attacking your intestines when you eat gluten and causing destruction in there. You might as well eat tiny little grenades. So... people who love you would never want to set off tiny grenades in your belly.

If anyone is offended they don't deserve to be on your people to visit list.

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But yea, I will definitely make sure to parties and such I bring somethin to share and take mine first. And I have discovered there are a lot of yummy things that I can make gluten free that are really good if not better than "normal" food. (IE I love rice noodles better than the gluteny "normal" pasta.... mmmm) Like I just tonight made chx and potatoes that was yummy and completely gluten free. (And the gluten free bbq sauce was so much better than the gluteny stuff! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!) And I can make stuff my husband will eat, and so I assume most people who are not gluten free will eat it... Not that my husband is a picky eater.

That's the spirit! I went to a pot luck last night and took homemade dal (Indian lentils), as there are some vegetarians in the crowd and the dish is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian. It all vanished.

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You might as well eat tiny little grenades.

:P:P:P

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At this point my opinion is "screw 'em if they're offended". Admittedly I'm biased because last night I ate things that I wasn't sure about so as not to offend my parents-in-law and I started paying the price on the drive home (only CC this time, but still). I'm bringing my own food next time or insisting that they let us cook for them.

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Tiny grenades? Oooh please? Can I? *grin* Okay maybe that's a bad idea... *chuckle*

ooh Dal sounds so good. Wanna donate a recipe? *grin* But yeah, I'm actually beginning to have fun with the gluten free diet, (especially now that I feel better. Its definitely a big help in my system) and I can't wait to make some fun dishes. Like the other night, I made gluten free taco soup. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad it was all gone by the time we went anywhere so I couldn't bring it. Oh well.

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Love your response, sandsurf, so true and to the point, and a great reminder that we need to stand up for ourselves, or be prepared for the consequences.

Because the consequences are so particularly horrid for us, I agree that it's best to take your own food as a group dish, and avoid what others bring. Sometimes I pack a smaller dish of my "safe food" so that I don't have to watch/worry about what other people are polluting it with. And I squirrel a few extra snacks away in my purse just in case we stay longer, like nuts or a Lara bar or dried fruit.

Searching the web for Thai and/or Vietnamese recipes for whatever protein you have will give you something new to add to your meal plan. I was thrilled to come up with a crepe recipe tonight with rice flour and coconut milk and water. (Of course I pondered how I can make chocolate crepes) Most Mediteranian and Indian cookbooks or websites offer gluten-free recipes as well. Your local library might be worth visiting...good luck, and best wishes for a great party without worry or consequences. B)

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Tiny grenades? Oooh please? Can I? *grin* Okay maybe that's a bad idea... *chuckle*

ooh Dal sounds so good. Wanna donate a recipe?

Sure, but I cheat horribly. :P I buy the MDH brand Chana Dal Masala at our local Indian grocery shop. It's a little box of premixed spices. Cook a cup and a half of red split lentils (get those at the Indian grocery too) in three or four cups of water depending on how soupy you like it. Mince a whole onion and saute it in ghee. Once it's starting to carmelize add two tablespoons of masala to the frying pan. Saute the spices lightly with the onion and then put the whole thing into the cooked lentils. Add a drained can of diced tomatoes if you feel like it, and I like a little extra salt. Simmer 5-10 minutes to let the flavors blend. Serve with some aromatic basmati rice.

Quite a few of the imported Indian masalas are naturally gluten-free so I like to buy different ones and play with them. You do have to check labels and the only gluten ingredient I've occasionally seen was wheat flour so it was not at all hard to find.

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So new question, I am invited to a college reunion on friday. (A reunion of my freshman group of friends really) I made gluten free cookies today, and I am rather fond of them (or the dough at least... I haven't cooked them yet but hey). Do "normal" people like them? Or should I just hoard them for myself? (I am tempted to do that anyway, but the way I make cookies it turns out nine and a half dozen... It will take me forever to eat em all myself.)

PS thanks fer the recipe for Dal. I'm excited to try it!

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We really don't go to peoples houses for dinner but the last time we did, it was pizza. :blink:

I know now to always ask what is being served. I brought watermelon and a salad. People did ask why I wasn't eating pizza. I told them, we chatted about it, got tipsy and played Rockband :)

My kinda people wouldn't get offended.

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So new question, I am invited to a college reunion on friday. (A reunion of my freshman group of friends really) I made gluten free cookies today, and I am rather fond of them (or the dough at least... I haven't cooked them yet but hey). Do "normal" people like them? Or should I just hoard them for myself? (I am tempted to do that anyway, but the way I make cookies it turns out nine and a half dozen... It will take me forever to eat em all myself.)

PS thanks fer the recipe for Dal. I'm excited to try it!

My family and coworkers have very happily eaten my homemade gluten-free cookies. If you've got nine dozen, hoard half and bring the other half to show off your skills. :)

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So new question, I am invited to a college reunion on friday. (A reunion of my freshman group of friends really) I made gluten free cookies today, and I am rather fond of them (or the dough at least... I haven't cooked them yet but hey). Do "normal" people like them? Or should I just hoard them for myself? (I am tempted to do that anyway, but the way I make cookies it turns out nine and a half dozen... It will take me forever to eat em all myself.)

PS thanks fer the recipe for Dal. I'm excited to try it!

I hope you can find the masala. There are scratch recipes but somehow the imported curries taste more authentic. I just probably haven't found a good scratch recipe yet.

I've done the Betty Crocker gluten-free cookies for friends. I was baking as they came over and the warm cookies disappeared every bit as fast as wheat ones would have. I have also taken brownies made with Pamela's Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix to pot luck parties and gotten compliments on them. I didn't even feel a need to tell people they were gluten-free. If the cookies taste as good as "normal" cookies to you, I wouldn't hesitate to share them with friends.

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