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Eating At Relative's....
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This is my situation - we're invited at least once every 2 weeks or so to eat at my mom-in-laws or at my mom's house. Or I go visit my mom and she insists on giving us some left-overs for supper. They're trying really hard to not use anything containing gluten and asking lots of questions, and I'm also careful to double check spices and ask questions about anything I'm unsure about.

However... I can't exactly ask them to keep separate utensils, pots, spoons for making gluten-free foods. I'm also sensitive to soy, and I feel really bad telling my chef brother that I'd much rather have those prawns plain without the soy sauce and possibly gluten-containing coconut milk. How do I explain after telling them the problem is with gluten, that soy could be an issue too?

Oh, and don't even start with their cutting boards, or with non-stick pans. Both families are very big on bread, so assume bread crumbs anywhere.

I'm still trying to figure out what's safe for me or not, and I feel every time I eat out I run the risk of introducing some gluten, and then not knowing why I'm feeling ill.

Should I just tell them all no lunch/supper for a few months until I get it figured out? That we'll come to visit but won't eat? I'm worried I'll insult them, after all the trouble they've gone to already? Both families have even gone out and bought gluten-free bread/muffin mixes to bake (using their non-gluten-free pans of course...) I'm trying to toe the line between being careful (which they understand), and just sounding plain crazy/obsessive!

How do you guys handle families? :/

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They sound nice. So assuming they are reasonable- I would just tell them calmly that, because you are new to this gluten-free thing, you are still learning. You didn't know in the beginning all the stuff you are learning now. For a few months, you are not eating at anyones house but yours. You have found it's not as easy as you thought and that there can be other food issues. Invite them to your house. If they insist on bringing something they think is gluten-free, make enough food that no one will notice you don't eat theirs.

You can elaborate if they ask.

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i agree. it sounds like they are trying to help you in anyway they can but don't fully understand how easy cc can be for you. we get together with our folks every other week specifically for supper and we have them come to our house. i cook, they bring something (since that makes them feel like they are contributing) but i KNOW what exactly is in my food.

i said something along these lines - "i know i sound high maintenance and overboard but after researching how to treat myself i have to be extreme or i will never fully get better and since i know y'all love me and want that for me i hope you will try to be understanding."

best wishes! and remember cc is just as bad as eating a bite or plate of gluten!!! :)

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Honestly, I bought a couple of pots for my parents' house and as soon as I get a chance I'm getting them some glass containers for my leftovers and some plastic spoons that I'll mark gluten-free somehow. That way I don't feel bad about asking them to use my specific tools.

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Honestly, I bought a couple of pots for my parents' house and as soon as I get a chance I'm getting them some glass containers for my leftovers and some plastic spoons that I'll mark gluten-free somehow. That way I don't feel bad about asking them to use my specific tools.

You can get utensils and containers in red if they don't already have that color. I also use Duct tape brand masking tape that comes in colors. I put the red tape on my jely, PB, pan handle, etc. I have red cooking spatulas & spoons. The tape comes in lots of nice colors so, pick your favorite.

You can get paint pens at the hobby store & Walmart. White or silver show up on dark colors.

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You can get utensils and containers in red if they don't already have that color. I also use Duct tape brand masking tape that comes in colors. I put the red tape on my jely, PB, pan handle, etc. I have red cooking spatulas & spoons. The tape comes in lots of nice colors so, pick your favorite.

You can get paint pens at the hobby store & Walmart. White or silver show up on dark colors.

Thanks for the tips! Can the duct tape go through the dishwasher?

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Thanks for the suggestions! Inviting them over is a great idea, it's just that our place is *tiny* :P But I can squeeze us in at a push.

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Since eating there is a regular event, I think I would cope by not having them cook for me at all for a while. If they are willing to give you some freezer space, you could make up several Gluten Free freezer meals at home, and take them there. That way when you are there they can just pull your meal out to reheat for you. It's not the same as having something they prepared, but at least you would be eating something safe. Maybe you could get away with eating a plain salad along with your meal if they have salad without croutons and the veggies haven't been chopped on CC'd cutting boards. But I think you need to explain that you are still getting sick from some unknown source and you want to be super careful until you get it figured out. If they are already trying to help you by buying gluten-free stuff then they should understand.

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Thanks for the tips! Can the duct tape go through the dishwasher?

The colored kind is a cross between real duct tape and masking tape. I hand wash my pans and utensils most of the time. So I don't know would be the answer to that. The paint pens can usually go through a couple of times before you have to re- do. But that depends on the surface you write on.

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I think you need to tell them the truth, that you're feeling better but still reacting to something, and trying to sort out whether you're one of the unlucky soy-sensitive celiacs or just reacting to crumbs. I would make sure they know how much it means that they're trying to work with you, but that you can't tell them exactly what your dietary needs are yet as you're still experimenting. It's OK to laugh at yourself for feeling crazy/obsessive, and to tell them that some days you think you're losing your mind. :P

With family it's usually pretty easy to offer to bring a safe dish to share. "Lunch sounds great, Mom. I'll bring some homemade soup to share."

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