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Stressing On My Birthday
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I am totally stressing out! Tomorrow is my Birthday. Every year, for as long as I can remember, my family and my husband's family, always cook me a Birthday Dinner with all of our family over. This was GREAT before my Celiac diagnosis! I am Gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, and egg free - BUT none of my family members understand this, and some of them don't seem to believe that I need to avoid all of these foods. Thankfully, my husband understands, and he sees how sick I get when I eat the wrong foods. My family tries hard to cook for me, but it is so stressful because it causes me SO MUCH anxiety! I am so careful at home with all of my foods and cooking utensils. People DON"T usually understand things like they can't cook food for me in a pot they just cooked pasta in, or that MOST packaged foods contain soy. I just don't want to do it ANYMORE, but I know it's going to hurt everyone's feelings (and knowing my family - I am sure of this). I don't know what to do.

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I know how you feel. I will have to have every family gathering at my house because I don't want to have people cooking for me. What a pain in the a :ph34r::ph34r: ! Just tell them that, at this point, you would rather just have a quiet night at home with your Hub. You and/ or he have a busy day the next day at work, school, painting your toenails.

Hopefully, you haven't waited too late! They might be mad if they have already fixed something.

You can also, tell everyone you have a bad cold, maybe the flu. I'll back you up. ;)

Next year, I may plan a trip for Xmas or Thanksgiving.

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Are there any safe restaurants you can eat at in your area? Maybe you can ask them to get you some take out from one of those places instead? That way they can still host a party and cook for everyone else, but you get a safe meal. I know it's a little last minute, but the birthday person should not have to decline food at their own party. Are there any gluten free bakeries around you? Maybe your husband can at least get a safe cake or cookies for you to take to the party (that way you can say he got it for you as a special treat and it's not like you are bringing your own cake, although you would be). Get yourself some coconut milk ice cream and some regular ice cream for everyone else. I hope they understand if you have to just bring your own food or bow out altogether.

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These food restrictions are so difficult to deal with. For the past 30 years I've been meeting an old friend for a joint Birthday dinner , she lives 150 miles south and we usually meet somewhere inbetween. A few years ago there was one restaurant which served gluten free meals but they went out of business. I always have anxiety as the date approaches but went anyway and made do with what was available. One time I drove 2 hours back itching with hives. This year I was having some problems and just could not go and she was very disappointed.

I think that the people who take their own food, dishes and such have the right idea. When I do that at community dinners I admire the food and tell the cooks how wonderful it looks and confine myself to a few olives or Gene's stuffed eggs. Sometimes people bring gluten-free/df dishes and I may eat some of them on a paper plate. I can eat raw vegetable and don't eat the dip, plain ham, turkey slices, baked yams or potatoes although I don't usually eat them at home. I make comments like 'I'm glad you made this, thank you.'

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I would let them know that you are looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating your birthday. Tell them that you want all of them to have a good time and that they should cook foods they love to eat. Tell them that you're still learning how sensitive you are to your "new allergy" and you will be bringing your own. If they want to do something special, have them help YOU make a mock apple pie with frozen apples, gluten free sugar cookie mix, gluten-free brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and butter. Or, you can bake a gluten-free cake and bring it for them to frost and put the new candles you bought in it.

happy Birthday!

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There is so much pressure on you right now, and you're working hard for good health.

You've made enough sacrifices in trying to discover and comply with your food intolerances that you shouldn't have to try to eat what your family prepares and then (presumably) suffer with the consequences. They cannot possibly know all of the derivitives of your allergen foods which are in, what, 65% of our foods?

Make your own safe food and don't let them make you feel guilty. If they ask, tell them that's what someone suggested because you've been so horribly ill, and you're taking every precaution for now, until you're better.

Your birthday's on a Tuesday and you have things you need to accomplish this week. And you don't want to go through the grand inquisition with everyone that brought food.

I recommend big hugs and thank you's and compliments for everyone, and wish you good luck and a very special gluten-free Birthday! I know this will be a better year for you! :D

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I am so happy that I found this forum!!! I feel better already! I am always SO WORRIED about hurting people's feelings that I don't even get to have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm done! I am definitely going to use some of your suggestions. It might be a pain in the butt, but I might just make some really cool gluten free dessert and then have everyone over to MY HOUSE to have some. It will be fun and different. So, well see.

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I know how you feel. I will have to have every family gathering at my house because I don't want to have people cooking for me. What a pain in the a :ph34r::ph34r: ! Just tell them that, at this point, you would rather just have a quiet night at home with your Hub. You and/ or he have a busy day the next day at work, school, painting your toenails.

Hopefully, you haven't waited too late! They might be mad if they have already fixed something.

You can also, tell everyone you have a bad cold, maybe the flu. I'll back you up. ;)

Next year, I may plan a trip for Xmas or Thanksgiving.

You are SWEET!!! I know......I keep thinking that we just need to plan trips for Holidays......it would be SO MUCH easier! If only I was rich - I'd be in Hawaii for every Birthday!

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Are there any safe restaurants you can eat at in your area? Maybe you can ask them to get you some take out from one of those places instead? That way they can still host a party and cook for everyone else, but you get a safe meal. I know it's a little last minute, but the birthday person should not have to decline food at their own party. Are there any gluten free bakeries around you? Maybe your husband can at least get a safe cake or cookies for you to take to the party (that way you can say he got it for you as a special treat and it's not like you are bringing your own cake, although you would be). Get yourself some coconut milk ice cream and some regular ice cream for everyone else. I hope they understand if you have to just bring your own food or bow out altogether.

Great Idea - We all LOVE Outback!

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Hope you had a very happy birthday!

Don't know if this will help anyone, but I've had the discussion (once) with family (in-laws and out-laws) that this isn't a "fad" diet, and it's not like choosing to be a vegetarian. It's a serious autoimmune disease that can lead to MS, Lupus, Cancer, Diabetes, GERD, Thyroid problems, and more. (I'm pretty sure Parkinson's Disease, but haven't seen any literature supporting that.) If there's a family history of those diseases, I've mentioned them by name, some of whom are dearly departed. First cousin Connie, MS, mother, two aunts, breast CA, etc.

I love my family, as we all do, and I love the things they cook, but I have to be super careful, as you do, about what I eat so that I can live my life as normally as possible.

Now they (the family) pretty much leave me alone on the food front. They don't make a big deal about what I will or won't eat at get-togethers, and I don't either. It's not about food. I bring my own food (with something to share) or eat before the event so I don't get sick.

My sister still tries to buy special things for me at parties at her house. Even though she's super smart, she bought me rice crackers for her last party and pointed them out to me. I told her I suspected they had soy in them. She hotly retorted that she'd read every ingredient and there wasn't anything I couldn't have: gluten, soy or dairy. I asked her to produce the package and sure enough, there was soy listed in the ingredients. I told her how much it meant to me that she went out of her way for me.

If she couldn't have produced the package, I wouldn't have eaten them anyway. It just isn't worth it. But I was genuinely grateful to her for trying. My sister wouldn't knowingly poison me, we love each other to bits.

So don't get pressured into eating what those who love you want to cook for you, unless you really trust their knowledge. Holidays and celebrations are not about what we stick in our mouth. If our relatives can't get that, then they have a bigger problem than we do.

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Happy birthday, Lexi! Tell us nosey folks what happened!

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I hope you had a great birthday and that all went well for you.

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So, I am a Loser! I wasn't able to stand up to my familly and tell them I didn't want them cooking for me. My Mother in law called and said she had the whole meal and dessert planned out, and I "chickened out" and said it would be fine. I stayed out of the kitchen the whole time, and acted like I wasn't Nervous, (even though I was). The meal was really good, but sure enough, I was sick for the entire next day. Sometimes I have this crazy thought that they will purposely put gluten in the food because they don't believe me. Then, a few days later, my Mom also cooked me dinner. She had promised that the whole thing would be gluten free. When I got there, I saw rolls in the oven. I was like, "What's this"???? She said that everything was gluten free except the rolls. She didn't feel it was fair that everyone else should have to go without rolls. Really??????......I mean Really??????? The family can't go without rolls on one dang day a year......geeeeeeezzzzzz!!!! I was pissed. Her meal was also good, and she made me a REALLY GOOD pumpkin cake, and I WASN"T sick the next day!!!!! I was excited........however, still pissed about the rolls - Oh well.

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So, I am a Loser! I wasn't able to stand up to my familly and tell them I didn't want them cooking for me. My Mother in law called and said she had the whole meal and dessert planned out, and I "chickened out" and said it would be fine. I stayed out of the kitchen the whole time, and acted like I wasn't Nervous, (even though I was). The meal was really good, but sure enough, I was sick for the entire next day. Sometimes I have this crazy thought that they will purposely put gluten in the food because they don't believe me.

If you can't stand up to your MIL, can your husband? Did he see that her food made you sick? Maybe he can help you with this stuff. When my MIL was alive, I wasn't gluten-free. We still had to tell her someone else will cook cause she was undercooking meat and alot of dangerous cooking practices. For you, your MIL has dangerous cooking practices.

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I would let them know that you are looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating your birthday. Tell them that you want all of them to have a good time and that they should cook foods they love to eat. Tell them that you're still learning how sensitive you are to your "new allergy" and you will be bringing your own. If they want to do something special, have them help YOU make a mock apple pie with frozen apples, gluten free sugar cookie mix, gluten-free brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and butter. Or, you can bake a gluten-free cake and bring it for them to frost and put the new candles you bought in it.

happy Birthday!

This sounds like an interesting recipe. Could you please write it out? It mught be the perfect Thanksgiving dessert for us.

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Lexi I understand your frustration. I've been at this for years and my family still insists that it's not fair for everyone to have to eat gluten free on my birthday. So, for the first few years we had two cakes and I had to put up with children going "yuck gluten free stinks" and feeling sick because my gluten-free food really wasn't because there were two dishes of everything made in the kitchen at the same time right next to each other. I even had my ex mother in law stick a piece of cake in my face once and say "look what I can eat you can't haha." So my solution for the next few years was to stop eating their food and make my own birthday cake and still put up with their crap. But now I realize it's my birthday and I call the shots. If it doesn't work for someone they don't have to come (and some don't and others just aren't invited). It's taken years to get my birthday back and find a solution that makes me happy. It stinks that it has to be that way but they are the insensitive ones and it's not my problem on my birthday. I wish things could be different but this is reality for me and I accept it openly - it comes with the territory.

I'm sure next year will be better! And, you are not alone by far. An accepting family is an exception most of the time :)

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I would let them know that you are looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating your birthday. Tell them that you want all of them to have a good time and that they should cook foods they love to eat. Tell them that you're still learning how sensitive you are to your "new allergy" and you will be bringing your own. If they want to do something special, have them help YOU make a mock apple pie with frozen apples, gluten free sugar cookie mix, gluten-free brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and butter. Or, you can bake a gluten-free cake and bring it for them to frost and put the new candles you bought in it.

happy Birthday!

This sounds like an interesting recipe... Could you write the complete recipe out?

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I am so happy that I found this forum!!! I feel better already! I am always SO WORRIED about hurting people's feelings that I don't even get to have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm done! I am definitely going to use some of your suggestions. It might be a pain in the butt, but I might just make some really cool gluten free dessert and then have everyone over to MY HOUSE to have some. It will be fun and different. So, well see.

The most important thing is to celebrate your birthday with people you love and not have to be stressed out about doing that.

I agree with you that finding this forum is the best thing that has happened to me since I was diagnosed with Celiac.It is the wisest, kindest and most knowledgeable bunch of folks united in one place!!!!!

If you have the energy make yourself something gluten-free (like a birthday cake?) for when your company comes or if it's too much work just enjoy the company. Just remember how special you are.

BTW, Happy Birthday!!!!

Loey biggrin.gif

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The Pumpkin cake was so yummy and so easy! I thought it tasted like pumpkin pie because it was so moist. I helped my Mom make it to make sure it was gluten-free. I found these new mixes that I REALLY like, and I get them at Native Sun. The brand is Hodgson Mill. I have had the chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and yellow cake, and loved them all. Anyway, I used a box of the yellow cake mix, and followed the directions on the back except I used Canoloa oil instead of butter, and I substituted a can of pumpkin for the eggs. I also used vanilla coconut milk instead of the buttermilk. I omitted the almost extract. I am definitely making it again for Thanksgiving!

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Lexi I understand your frustration. I've been at this for years and my family still insists that it's not fair for everyone to have to eat gluten free on my birthday. So, for the first few years we had two cakes and I had to put up with children going "yuck gluten free stinks" and feeling sick because my gluten-free food really wasn't because there were two dishes of everything made in the kitchen at the same time right next to each other. I even had my ex mother in law stick a piece of cake in my face once and say "look what I can eat you can't haha." So my solution for the next few years was to stop eating their food and make my own birthday cake and still put up with their crap. But now I realize it's my birthday and I call the shots. If it doesn't work for someone they don't have to come (and some don't and others just aren't invited). It's taken years to get my birthday back and find a solution that makes me happy. It stinks that it has to be that way but they are the insensitive ones and it's not my problem on my birthday. I wish things could be different but this is reality for me and I accept it openly - it comes with the territory.

I'm sure next year will be better! And, you are not alone by far. An accepting family is an exception most of the time :)

Thanks for your response! It is nice to know I am not alone, and that other people can sympathize with me concerning my insensitve family members. I totally admire the people who can say what they REALLY feel. Maybe one of these days I will find the courage. I want to get My Birthday Back too!

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The Pumpkin cake was so yummy and so easy! I thought it tasted like pumpkin pie because it was so moist. I helped my Mom make it to make sure it was gluten-free. I found these new mixes that I REALLY like, and I get them at Native Sun. The brand is Hodgson Mill. I have had the chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and yellow cake, and loved them all. Anyway, I used a box of the yellow cake mix, and followed the directions on the back except I used Canoloa oil instead of butter, and I substituted a can of pumpkin for the eggs. I also used vanilla coconut milk instead of the buttermilk. I omitted the almost extract. I am definitely making it again for Thanksgiving!

oops! I meant almond extract! :)

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The most important thing is to celebrate your birthday with people you love and not have to be stressed out about doing that.

I agree with you that finding this forum is the best thing that has happened to me since I was diagnosed with Celiac.It is the wisest, kindest and most knowledgeable bunch of folks united in one place!!!!!

If you have the energy make yourself something gluten-free (like a birthday cake?) for when your company comes or if it's too much work just enjoy the company. Just remember how special you are.

BTW, Happy Birthday!!!!

Loey biggrin.gif

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Thanks Loey!! I wish my family could make me feel as special as this forum does! :)

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This forum has become my extended family. If you ever want to just laugh go to the bottom of the forum page and then the link anything but celiac disease. There's a thread there called Tickle my Elbow. It's a fun loving bunch of people who will give you a laugh (and support) when you need it.

Your Pumpkin Cake sounds like it was delicious. Most people wouldn't even notice it if they were eating something gluten-free.

I'm lucky that most people in my family understand my dietary problems but they still get frustrated when they can't cook for me. My husband and son eat gluten-free at home and are great about it. We're going to a funeral this weekend and I'll have my own container of food.

Just remember we're all here for you and you ARE special!!!!

Loey biggrin.gif

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