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I'm Miffed - Need Advice


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49 replies to this topic

#16 TB4me2000

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:17 PM

Newbee, I think the difference between having a dish for a vegetarian and having safe food for someone with a food intolerance or allergy is that a vegetarian isn't going to get sick if there's a mistake in the kitchen. Vegetarianism is a far easier restriction to cook for and understand sometimes than gluten-free.

Like others have said, you have a choice. You can put up with the restaurant they've chosen, be pleased with their attempt to accommodate your needs and have a good evening. Or you can stay home and be bitter about it. A wedding should be a time of joy. Is holding a grudge about the food available during one evening really worth it?
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#17 StephanieL

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:20 PM

You sound really bitter. Also, the karma comment was really mean. While Celiac isn't the end of the world, I would never wish it on someone even as a joke.

This is all new to you. You will learn to navigate as time goes on. Maybe you are too new to try eating out or are to uncomfortable to try taking food but that is the reality. If you think getting sick is worth the risk when people "try" that is up to you. Your friend, the vegetarian, is lucky to have a great friend who did that. My Mother for YEARS made DH and I special meals weekly as we were veg and the rest of the family wasn't. However, I will NOT let her cook for my food allergic/Celiac kids. There is a difference between dining preferences and necessities!
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#18 Skylark

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:25 PM

I don't know how sensitive I am to CC, I'm only less than 2 months into the gluten-free diet. I'm just trying to do what I thought all celiacs were supposed to do (avoid gluten and possible CC). Why is considered such a great thing if someone gives a little effort but the end result is the same? Doesn't anyone else feel we've been conditioned to not expect anything? So, wow if any effort is given at all that's a great thing. Before I knew I had celiac when I had parties at my house I made sure everyone had something they could eat. I had a friend who was vegetarian and made sure to make a dish just for her because I thought how awful to have a party and leave someone without anything to eat. Maybe it is just me . . .

Sadly, it is just you... I have some awesome friends, and I have some woefully insensitive ones.

As far as CC, it sounds like you were asking unrealistic things of the restaurants. Most restaurants do not use separate grills, pots and pans, or necessarily have dedicated preparation areas for gluten-free food. They should make sure things are clean and that there aren't bread crumbs in your food. Gluten sensitivity among celiacs varies considerably. As long as the restaurant is taking reasonable care by keeping food preparation surfaces clean, cooking gluten-free food in clean pots, and using clean spoons and spatulas for gluten-free food, the food should stay below 20 ppm. If your personal level of sensitivity is such that you need food cooked on surfaces that have never touched gluten, you really can't be eating in restaurants at all.
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#19 Newbee

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:43 PM

What do other celiacs do? I read at restaurants you are supposed to ask the questions I asked. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do.
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#20 Marilyn R

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:12 PM

I don't know how sensitive I am to CC, I'm only less than 2 months into the gluten-free diet. I'm just trying to do what I thought all celiacs were supposed to do (avoid gluten and possible CC). Why is considered such a great thing if someone gives a little effort but the end result is the same? Doesn't anyone else feel we've been conditioned to not expect anything? So, wow if any effort is given at all that's a great thing. Before I knew I had celiac when I had parties at my house I made sure everyone had something they could eat. I had a friend who was vegetarian and made sure to make a dish just for her because I thought how awful to have a party and leave someone without anything to eat. Maybe it is just me . . .



No, it's not just you. Everybody's angry for the first month or so. It isn't fair. You have to read all of those labels and cook more. Grocery shopping is (at first) a nightmare. You have to plan, pack, think, you can't use processed foods. You're whole world gets set upside down, and all of a sudden your focus has to be on you, and how you'll cope with this disease.

It's hard to realize now, when you are angry about it all, but your brother and his fiance were actually being exceptionally considerate. He must love you to bits!

As for planning for people with special dietary needs, I think it's improving for the most part, and yes, I always made do for anyone kosher or vegetarian. But those preferences are well known, celiac is not that well known. And I would have CC'd someone with celiac disease before I knew about it.

You can still have an uncut sweet potato or baked potato if you call that restaurant in advance, and see if you feel comfortable about anything else. (Like just green salad and you bring your own dressing.)

Wish you well, hope you have a good time and that your brother found the right one.

I was only one of four people invited to my brother's wedding. I wouldn't have missed it for gluten, it isn't about that.
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#21 mushroom

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:17 PM

We all have to establish our levels of sensitivity to minute amounts of gluten. We do this by experience. It is really difficult in the first six months trying to eat out because of all the pitfalls and possible lurking places of gluten. And it is hard to figure out who to talk to and what questions to ask - this also comes from experience and depends on the type of place you are eating at. It is much easier to avoid cross-contamination at higher end restaurants than places like Applebees :unsure: and in those places you can often even talk to the chef who is preparing your meal. Sometimes you can establish a dialogue with your waitperson who will act as a go between, between you and the chef, to make sure your food is safe. Some places the manager will take control of overseeing the preparation of your food. As ravenwood said, some places will even heat up your own food for you and place it on one of their plates. Calling in advance is always the best way to go and, if you have control over it, eating at off-peak times helps ensure attention to your requests because they have the time to take care. There is a lot of pressure in most commercial kitchens during the busy times, and you will get things like the server chucking croutons on your salad automatically, as one example.

You have made a good start and have one experience now to store in your memory bank. Really, eating beforehand/taking food with you is not that big a deal and is the safest way until you are further along in the diet and have more experience handling these situations. I didn't try eating out until I was 8 months into the diet. I just didn't want to risk it. I have only been glutened at a restaurant once and I partly blame myself for that. :)
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#22 zus888

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:22 PM

I usually go to places that at least have a gluten-free menu available. I just had breakfast at Eat and Park. They have a gluten-free menu. I talked to the server about the fact that I have celiac, so that usually clues them in to treat my food differently. She offered to give me a gluten-free bun in place of the toast. I told her it couldn't be toasted in a toaster, but could be broiled in an oven on some foil or even cut and put on the grill/stove where they made my omelet. I don't know what they chose to do. A lot of it is a leap of faith on my part.

In regards to your dilemma, I'd be hurt, too, that my food needs were too complicated for them. Would I go? I'm not sure. I'm still 6 months in and very bitter about the whole thing. I KNOW this about myself. I also know when situations are going to be too much for me to handle. I've missed many a picnic this summer due to this miserable disease. Does it bother me that I stayed home instead of going? Absolutely NOT! I am doing what I have to do to keep as positive frame of mind as I can. And that means not putting myself in situations like that. I know people SAY it's about getting together with friends and family, but, really, it's about food. Picnics are about FOOD. Holiday parties are about FOOD. Do I go to company holiday parties because I can't wait to chat it up with my DH's co-workers? No. Hell no. I go because it's free food. Perhaps I'm still too food centric. Doesn't matter what it is, really. What it boils down to is whether I'll be miserable or happy.

I realize this is very self-absorbed, but it is what it is. Life is too short for me to put myself in uncomfortable situations. I guess in the end, only you can decide if it's worth the effort/emotional cost to you.
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#23 pricklypear1971

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:23 PM

In a city like Chicago there must be at least one gluten-free place that has take-out or delivery. Find it and make a call.
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#24 Newbee

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:51 PM

I usually go to places that at least have a gluten-free menu available. I just had breakfast at Eat and Park. They have a gluten-free menu. I talked to the server about the fact that I have celiac, so that usually clues them in to treat my food differently. She offered to give me a gluten-free bun in place of the toast. I told her it couldn't be toasted in a toaster, but could be broiled in an oven on some foil or even cut and put on the grill/stove where they made my omelet. I don't know what they chose to do. A lot of it is a leap of faith on my part.

In regards to your dilemma, I'd be hurt, too, that my food needs were too complicated for them. Would I go? I'm not sure. I'm still 6 months in and very bitter about the whole thing. I KNOW this about myself. I also know when situations are going to be too much for me to handle. I've missed many a picnic this summer due to this miserable disease. Does it bother me that I stayed home instead of going? Absolutely NOT! I am doing what I have to do to keep as positive frame of mind as I can. And that means not putting myself in situations like that. I know people SAY it's about getting together with friends and family, but, really, it's about food. Picnics are about FOOD. Holiday parties are about FOOD. Do I go to company holiday parties because I can't wait to chat it up with my DH's co-workers? No. Hell no. I go because it's free food. Perhaps I'm still too food centric. Doesn't matter what it is, really. What it boils down to is whether I'll be miserable or happy.

I realize this is very self-absorbed, but it is what it is. Life is too short for me to put myself in uncomfortable situations. I guess in the end, only you can decide if it's worth the effort/emotional cost to you.

Thank you for your response! I was beginning to think everyone is against me. I'm not a bad person, but this situation has made me upset whether it should or not. It is times like these that I find this disease difficult to deal with. The thought of eating peanut butter and rice cakes while everyone else eats pizza is depressing to me. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, but hard starting out.
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#25 love2travel

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:01 PM

Thank you for your response! I was beginning to think everyone is against me. I'm not a bad person, but this situation has made me upset whether it should or not. It is times like these that I find this disease difficult to deal with. The thought of eating peanut butter and rice cakes while everyone else eats pizza is depressing to me. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, but hard starting out.

It certainly IS a difficult disease to deal with, especially at first, until it becomes second nature. Believe me - I had my share of bitter moments starting out myself! Food is a HUGE part of my life. I love it. I am obsessed with it. I did not think I would ever get to the point to say this but after six months it does not bother me nearly as much as it did to watch people eat their lovely pizza. Eating out is the hardest part of this by far (for me, anyway). At least at home you control the environment and cooking gluten-free is easy. But social situations can be tricky. So, having been there, I can understand but please know it will not always be like this (at least to this extent)! Seriously. :) Just think of it as one meal out of millions you will be having.
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#26 Skylark

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:29 PM

What do other celiacs do? I read at restaurants you are supposed to ask the questions I asked. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do.

It's very rare for me to find a restaurant that has a gluten-free menu that isn't taking adequate care to keep me from getting sick. I do generally tell the waitress that I'm celiac and really do need truly gluten-free food. Most are well aware of CC issues, including informing customers about shared deep fat fryers. Places that don't have a gluten-free menu are much trickier. I often order a whole baked potato, salad (no croutons, oil and vinegar), and meat cooked without any seasonings if it's possible.

What did you ask that "failed" two out of three restaurants? What does it take to make YOU feel safe?
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#27 anabananakins

 
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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:29 PM

It's very rare for me to find a restaurant that has a gluten-free menu that isn't taking adequate care to keep me from getting sick. I do generally tell the waitress that I'm celiac and really do need truly gluten-free food. Most are well aware of CC issues, including informing customers about shared deep fat fryers. Places that don't have a gluten-free menu are much trickier. I often order a whole baked potato, salad (no croutons, oil and vinegar), and meat cooked without any seasonings if it's possible.

What did you ask that "failed" two out of three restaurants? What does it take to make YOU feel safe?


Yes, I've not had any problems at places with a gluten free menu. It is a leap of faith, but the chef and servers want you to enjoy your meal (unless they are mean, bitter people!) and if they have a gluten-free menu then there is at least some level of understanding. It's not that hard for a restaurant to avoid CC if common sense is used. The bigger the kitchen, the easier I think. Different types of foods tend to be prepped in different areas (it's much more efficient to have someone cutting up vegetables, someone else making desserts etc in different areas and so there's much less chance of contamination there than in a tiny kitchen where it's all happening in the same place)

If the restaurant does not have a gluten free menu, then I get a bit more stressed because gluten-y items are so predominant in America (I live in Australia and things like croutons and bread served with the meal are much less common). But it's still do-able. I order things plain, no sauce, and emphasis no croutons etc - and it's still been fine. Really, my biggest concern is usually my table-mates spraying crumbs everywhere when they break open rolls. I also always ask if I can serve myself first from any (gluten free) shared platter.

But as for not being able to eat at all... we'll you get used to that too. Not eating morning tea at work has done wonders for my waistline. Maybe someone will stop off somewhere with you on the way to dinner so you can eat first. If I were going to this wedding we'd be stopping off at McDonalds or Chipotle on the way so I'd be arriving already stuffed. No need to eat rice cakes and peanut butter - that would just make me feel sad! At least take brownies or something else that people will be jealous of :-)
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#28 ravenwoodglass

 
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Posted 08 September 2011 - 03:38 AM

Thank you for your response! I was beginning to think everyone is against me. I'm not a bad person, but this situation has made me upset whether it should or not. It is times like these that I find this disease difficult to deal with. The thought of eating peanut butter and rice cakes while everyone else eats pizza is depressing to me. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, but hard starting out.


No one is against you. The diet is tough to get used to but we do learn how to cope in time. It isn't fair that we have to jump through so many hoops to keep us safe in this food centric world but we do have to jump them. We just don't want you to miss out on a special event because of the issue of food. You haven't been gluten free very long and may be still going through the greiving process which includes an anger phase. We don't want you to regret in the future not doing something so important with your family. If you isolate yourself because of this disease eventually you will find you no longer get invitations to special events. I have been through that and would give anything to have gone to those restaurants with my family even if it meant just sitting with a soda because now the invitations just don't come any more. Would hate to see that happen to anyone else.
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celiac 49 years - Misdiagnosed for 45
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Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002
Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis
All bold resoved or went into remission with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002
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Mother died of celiac related cancer at 56
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Children 2 with Ulcers, GERD, Depression, , 1 with DH, 1 with severe growth stunting (male adult 5 feet)both finally diagnosed Celiac through blood testing and 1 with endo 6 months after Mom


Positive to Soy and Casien also Aug 2007

Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test Aug 2007
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

#29 mommida

 
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Posted 08 September 2011 - 05:44 AM

When I compare that to the last 2 family weddings (my husband's side of the family) there was some effort made. A place for an "allergen diet" and kid friendly and how many other people are they trying to please?
One niece was having children in the wedding party, part the invitation said adults only. The cousins standing up ranged in age from 16 to 3. My kids at the time were 10 and 7. We knew that the cousin groomsman was 11 and staying the whole time for the reception. So it appeared the cut off was 10, just to exclude my kids and my sister-in-law's kids. We tried phone calling the bride to make sure it was correct, that all cousins except these 4 (ages 10- 7) were invited. We never got a single phone call back. So we went to the church ceremony and declined the reception. The 3 year old was sent home after the ceremony and pictures. Mind you 18 years before, the mother of this bride called me sobbing hysterically that her daughters not just be invited to my wedding but they have some special part in it. So they did come to the wedding and had a special parts to do throughout the reception.

The last wedding, YIKES. WE were told to sign-up for a website for details and information. We live in the midwest and the wedding was in NYC. We knew ahead of time it was another adult only wedding.The bride was supposed to arrange for babysitting in the hotel and once again the age cut off included the cousin one year older than my son as an adult. The permit to have the wedding on Gavernor's Island was revoked one month before the wedding. The bride was looking into how much the fine was instead of looking for another venue. (Just the person I would never trust to choose a babysitter for special diet children?) So let's look at the way I was "invited" to the shower. 4th of July weekend picnic Sunday evening, I was told "by the way, the shower is Tuesday night @ 6." Now some members of the family are quick to judge me harshly but, We never received an invitation~ not by mail, or e-mail (like the majority of guests received thier invitations by e-mail.) Biggest favor in the world not to get an invitation! The wedding was Friday, hurricane Irene hit full force the next day. Some guests were stuck in NY Til late Monday or early Tuesday.

I'm sure others have worse family wedding stories to share. Karma can't come quick enough for some.
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#30 GlutenFreeManna

 
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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:52 AM

It sounds like they made a great effort to accomodate you. I can understand not being able to eat out at very many places because there are only 2 or 3 places I can eat safely consistently (note, however, that this is more because of my other allergies and not just gluten). Had my family offered to LET ME CHOOSE the site of their reheasal dinner I would have been flaberghasted! I would have been overwhelmed at their generousisty in thinking of me. And my family is very accomodating most of the time but I can't imagine my brother/SIL doing that. They even have kids with food allergies but I don't think they would have changed their whole wedding weekend around for me--and I was a bridesmaid. If the three choices were places I had been and knew I couldn't eat I think I would thanked them for thinking of me and told them to just pick one and I would bring my own food as a back up. If they were places I had never been I would have picked one that I could eat as safely as possible in regards to my other allergies, asked the appropriate questions and chanced it. I'm so curious now what questiosn you asked that they failed? I also agree with someone else that said get some gluten-free take out to take with you. There's a PF Changs in downtown Chicago if you are going to be anywhere near there.
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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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