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Coping With Uninformed People


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44 replies to this topic

#16 Skylark

 
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Posted 30 June 2011 - 01:19 PM

I'm sorry but I can't feel very sorry for you if you really did everything you say. It is not appropriate to look for support for your celiac diagnosis or diet among coworkers. Save that for close friends and family.

You also can't assume people know what "gluten", "intolerance", "celiac" or any of the words we take for granted around here mean. You'll just make people mad using big words they don't know. Many people don't even realize flour is made from wheat any more. They seem to think there are flour trees and people pick 5-lb bags of flour off them. :lol: If you're going to attempt to educate casual acquaintances be prepared for a lot of eye rolls and general insensitivity. Most people don't want to learn, especially about something that doesn't pertain to them. If you are asked why you brought your own food say "I have allergies and I'd get sooooo sick eating the buffet! Look at that great dress Karen is wearing. Where do you think she got it?" It's very helpful to develop the skill of making fast subject changes away from your diet. (Which isn't their damn business in the first place.)

Bringing a gluten-free version of a normal food to a party to share is generally not a good idea. Bring fruit salad, potato salad, veggie sticks, or something else that is naturally gluten-free. Don't challenge people's expectations with a pie that frankly isn't likely to taste anywhere near as good as its wheaten equivalent. We are used to the flavor and texture of gluten-free food but most average folks are just plain disappointed by them.

And yeah, this is a "tough love" sort of post. Please don't be offended. It's just my thoughts after many years gluten-free and a lot of experience with both parties and ignorant people.
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#17 GlutenFreeManna

 
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Posted 30 June 2011 - 02:20 PM

My personal friends are still adjusting to the Gluten-Free me, and sometimes forget that, no, I don't want to go in for a pitcher of beer on girl's night out.


Tell them you'll be the designated driver on some nights. They'll probably love you for it! You can also get gluten-free beer and other gluten-free mixed drinks some places. Don't let this keep you from socializing. Yeah it stinks you can't chip in now but if they are your real friends they will adjust.
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A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

#18 Takala

 
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Posted 30 June 2011 - 05:29 PM

????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't challenge people's expectations with a pie that frankly isn't likely to taste anywhere near as good as its wheaten equivalent. We are used to the flavor and texture of gluten-free food but most average folks are just plain disappointed by them.



I'm sorry, but this seems not only harsh, but inaccurate.

Most commercial baked goods picked up in the supermarket aisle taste like cardboard chemicaled dreck. They use massive amounts of sugar, salt, and high fructose corn syrup to disguise the lack of quality.

It just takes a bit of practice to create better alternatives.

The average consumer can't even tell the difference between shortening with artificial flavor, and butter.
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#19 Jestgar

 
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Posted 30 June 2011 - 06:54 PM

"Oh, didn't realise you were one of those organic health nuts." and litterally stormed away.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

How DARE you feed her something that isn't pre-designed to fill her with crap chemicals and shorten her life a bit! As a party goer you have an OBLIGATION to provide nasty, saturated fat laden, salty and/or sweet delights that can be sampled in small portions so no one will notice that you have 14 of them ('cause they were small, after all...)

You totally blew this one. :P
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#20 JaniceS

 
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Posted 30 June 2011 - 07:46 PM

LOL Jestgar, how could I be so insensative? I think next time I'll bring a tub of lard and draw a big smiley face in it! :lol:

And Takala I agree with you, homemade gluten-free products - to me - taste far better than a lot of the stuff I use to buy from the store. Sometimes the crusts/etc. were so burnt or overcooked that you just couldn't cut it, let alone eat it! And I've only started eating Gluten Free so I am FAAAR from accustomed to the taste of gluten-free foods (though I have to say, it really isn't that big a change - expect for the smaller serving suggestions). Too be honest I think I like gluten-free pretzels more than I ever did wheat ones!

Skylark I think you miss-read my post, I wasn't looking for support from my coworkers, and I certainly didn't seek it or attempt to draw attention to myself. I was approached by them, and only when asked did I say anything about gluten. The flier thing was only a joke, hence the (haha). I'm not going to shove awareness down their throats. As for the pie, plenty of people bring "peanut free" or "dairy free" (etc) desserts to these functions and all are labeled, so really bringing gluten free wasn't really a stretch in my eyes, but I do see your point. However, gluten does sound like it could be some scarey, super processed, artificial substance to those who don't know (or perhaps people would just assume it is sugar free haha) so maybe I came off as a health nut, but hey, as Takala pointed out I should have realized I was suppose to bring unhealthy food! (Haha) The only 'support' I was looking for was from people on this site who have to deal with uninformed people as well. The gluten free I am pretty sure I can deal with, it is the other people that can make it difficult. But thanks for your tips, I will certainly use the distraction method in the future.


Oooh! Gluten Free beer, I wonder if it is good? I'm perfectly fine with a glass of wine though or being a DD. Good suggestion, thanks.
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#21 Skylark

 
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 12:32 PM

Janice, I'm glad you understood what I was trying to say. I'm suffering obnoxious insomnia from an antidepressant and I fear I'm getting grumpy from lack of sleep. :(

I just find that most of the time, as with any health issue, it's best to provide the minimum information and move on. Sometimes I get peppered with questions and it always turns out that it's someone who suspects their own gluten intolerance. Then I get to help someone out.

If other folks are bringing allergy-friendly foods, perhaps "wheat, barley, and rye free" would be easier for people to understand. Plus it's clear for kids with wheat allergies. Other celiacs will definitely understand the sign, and even why you used that phrase. B)
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#22 sb2178

 
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 05:26 PM

I'm going to toss in the comment that SOME gluten free baked goods are equally good or better than wheat-based versions. Others are not. I'm probably never going to make garlic bread to take for non- gluten-free events. Cornbread? Totally.

Example of good:
flourless chocolate cake
coconut flour muffins (actually more cupcakes)
brownies (black bean or otherwise)
the occasional cookie (peanut butter tend to work well)
cornbread
pumpkin waffles
buckwheat cake (a la 101 cookbooks)
buckwheat crepes

Not so good:
bread, especially crusty French bread
that delicious dense rye bread won't ever be replicated
pumpernickel
most cookies
pie crusts
anything with Bob's Red Mill general all-purpose flour

Also, anything in mini-muffin shape tends to attract!
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2/2010 Malabsorption becomes dramatically noticable
3/2010 Negative IgA EMA; negative IgA TTG
4/2010 Negative biopsy
5/2010 Elimination diet; symptoms begin to resolve on gluten-free diet round two (10 days)
5/2010 Diagnosed gluten sensitive based on weakly positive repeat IgA & IgG TTGs and dietary response; decline capsule endoscopy.

Now, what to do about my cookbook in progress? Make it gluten-free?

#23 come dance with me

 
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:39 PM

I tell people why I pack my child's lunch if we are out somewhere but I still have people make comments like "Oh the poor child has to miss out on a normal childhood because she's not allowed to have fast foods" like it takes Maccas to have a normal childhood! I tell them she'll miss out on a normal childhood if she's in hospital for a time after each trip to such places.

I've had the whole "fad" thing too. We are vegan and I've been vegan or vegetarian (I ate eggs during pregnancy) for 31 years and my child has been vegan her whole 7 years of life but they still think it's a fad for us and they think the whole "gluten free" diet is a new fad for us too. I stay away from people like that. I had a friend tell me "well I'd make my kid eat the cheap bread" as if I had a picky eater rather than a coeliac child. We don't talk much these days.
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Lord please give me patience, because if you give me strength, I may just beat the living crap out of someone...

#24 come dance with me

 
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:46 PM

Oh I have to say I make short bread with the following:

Nutellex (half a tub)
Icing sugar (1 1/3 cups)
A capful of vanilla essence
4 cups of Orgran plain flour

Tastes exactly the same as shortbread made using wheat flour and dairy butter :)
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Lord please give me patience, because if you give me strength, I may just beat the living crap out of someone...

#25 cap6

 
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:24 PM

Depending on the situation but I will say that I am celiac and must be gluten free which is like having a very severe food allergy. Once someone hears the "severe food allergy" part they seems to get it and back off.
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#26 Skylark

 
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:40 PM

I've been known to say "it's not polite to talk about what happens to me if I eat gluten at the dinner table." That one shuts people up fast. :lol:
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#27 come dance with me

 
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:52 PM

I've been known to say "it's not polite to talk about what happens to me if I eat gluten at the dinner table." That one shuts people up fast. :lol:


Haha nice!!!
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Lord please give me patience, because if you give me strength, I may just beat the living crap out of someone...

#28 WinterSong

 
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Posted 02 July 2011 - 04:05 AM

Amusing story:

I went out to lunch with three of my family members: my very informed and supportive father, my grandfather (who does everything my grandmother says), and my crazy Jewish grandmother (not to stereotype - she's just a very Jewish woman who happens to be a little off her rocker - this is the same woman who told me, "I think I might have a little bit of the celiac").

The restaurant had gluten free options (and very delicious bread!). All three of them knew about my gluten/lactose intolerance and my father basically explained that no one is to touch my food, and I can't eat anyone else's.

When the bread came out:
GM: How come she gets her own dipping oil for bread?
Dad: Because her bread is gluten free, and she can't share the same oil that we're using.

Halfway through lunch as GM was eating her salad (with cheese on it):
GM: Mmmmmm, this salad is so wonderful! Jessie, would you like some?
Dad: No, Mom! You can't have any of her food and she can't have any of your food!
GM: But it's a salad.
Dad: But it has cheese on it! And you just ate normal bread, so the fork that you're using has gluten on it. She can't eat your food.

Nearing the end of dessert:
Me: My flourless chocolate cake was so good! How was your sorbet, Dad?
Dad: Great!
GM: Why don't you try some, Jessie?
Dad: NO, MOM!!! I can't have any of her food and she can't have any of my food!! The spoon that I'm using has gluten on it because I had pasta for dinner.
GM: But she can try that bit on the side - your spoon hasn't been there.
Dad: Mom! My spoon's been everywhere!

The funnies thing was my dad saying, "NO, MOM!!" about six or seven times during the course of dinner. Thank goodness he understands. :P
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Diagnosed with IBS - Fall 2007

Diagnosed with Celiac via blood test (tTg off the charts) - March 18th, 2011

Gluten free as of March 25th, 2011 and going strong!

Positive biopsy April 1st, 2011

 

Blood test results back down to normal levels November 2012


#29 domesticactivist

 
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Posted 02 July 2011 - 07:42 AM

I think the first lady sounded genuinely curious. I like to assume that everyone who asks 'stupid' questions is just misinformed and really wants to know more. Just like talking sex ed with the kids, start with a little info and let their questions guide the way! I don't like the idea to say 'allergy' though. Spreading misinformation doesn't help in the long run.

I am disgusted by the number of people who think diet has to be about weight, or that what you eat is a commentary about what they put in their mouths. Those people are only worth dealing with if you actually can't avoid them.
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Our family is transitioning off the GAPS Intro Diet and into the Full GAPS Diet.
Gluten-Free since November 2010
GAPS Diet since January/February 2011
me - not tested for celiac - currently doing a gluten challenge since 11/26/2011
partner - not tested for celiac
ds - age 11, hospitalized 9/2010, celiac dx by gluten reaction & genetics. No biopsy or blood as we were already gluten-free by the time it was an option.
dd - age 12.5, not celiac, has Tourette's syndome
both kids have now-resolved attention issues.

#30 GlutenFreeManna

 
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Posted 02 July 2011 - 08:03 AM

Amusing story:

I went out to lunch with three of my family members: my very informed and supportive father, my grandfather (who does everything my grandmother says), and my crazy Jewish grandmother (not to stereotype - she's just a very Jewish woman who happens to be a little off her rocker - this is the same woman who told me, "I think I might have a little bit of the celiac").

The restaurant had gluten free options (and very delicious bread!). All three of them knew about my gluten/lactose intolerance and my father basically explained that no one is to touch my food, and I can't eat anyone else's.

When the bread came out:
GM: How come she gets her own dipping oil for bread?
Dad: Because her bread is gluten free, and she can't share the same oil that we're using.

Halfway through lunch as GM was eating her salad (with cheese on it):
GM: Mmmmmm, this salad is so wonderful! Jessie, would you like some?
Dad: No, Mom! You can't have any of her food and she can't have any of your food!
GM: But it's a salad.
Dad: But it has cheese on it! And you just ate normal bread, so the fork that you're using has gluten on it. She can't eat your food.

Nearing the end of dessert:
Me: My flourless chocolate cake was so good! How was your sorbet, Dad?
Dad: Great!
GM: Why don't you try some, Jessie?
Dad: NO, MOM!!! I can't have any of her food and she can't have any of my food!! The spoon that I'm using has gluten on it because I had pasta for dinner.
GM: But she can try that bit on the side - your spoon hasn't been there.
Dad: Mom! My spoon's been everywhere!

The funnies thing was my dad saying, "NO, MOM!!" about six or seven times during the course of dinner. Thank goodness he understands. :P


Wow! Is your GM related to my MIL? This is very similar to something I could see her doing. I call them "food pushers". They're not happy unless they make someone else eat something. It really doesn't make any sense to me at all. Even if you had no food restrictions you may not LIKE whatever she is pushing you to eat or you may be FULL or a million other reasons. She wasn't just trying to get you to just eat HER food which is really strange. She was trying to give your dad's food to you!
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A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)




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