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Lettuce For Lunch At Hospital Event.
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I'm doing a fellowship at a local hospital, two semesters. We finished the first semester this past week and we had a small "graduation" service. (a few people are not continuing on to the next unit.) Lunch was part of it. So a few weeks ago the director of program asked me what I wanted to eat for the lunch. He said that the director of the food service said I could have whatever I wanted.

Well, that sounds nice but truthfully, based on what I've seen in the cafeteria, I wouldn't trust anything they put in front of me. So I said "oh don't worry, I'll just bring my lunch." (with really is okay with me, I am not AT ALL offended by bringing my own food). He didn't like that idea. So he started quizzing me on what I can and cannot eat.

So earlier last week he told me that the food service director was "working it out, it will be fine, they'll just give you the gluten free part of whatever they serve." yeah, okay.

Well, the lunch was chicken caesar salad. There was one bowl without the chicken or croutons. It was just plain lettuce! :lol: :lol: :lol: They also had a fruit plate and a raw veggie and dip plate. They had two kinds of salad dressing, plus the dip. But no signs about ingredients in the dressings.

But, of course I'm smart after being gluten free for more than a year now. I just whipped out my lovely lunch -- leftover chicken parmesan with rice noodles, and a yogurt. I had heated the chicken before I came upstairs so it was nice and hot. In fact, the room we were in was kind of chilly and I think my warm chicken was nicer than their cold salad. :P

But, what was most interesting was my conversation with our director. This is a program for chaplains and pastoral counselors, so in our class sessions they are always asking us "how do you feel about that." :rolleyes: So when the director starting fussing about my plate of lettuce and how I'm having to bring my own food and blah blah blah I asked him "why does it bother you so much that I can't eat what you're eating? I've told you that it bothers me not at all to bring my own. In fact I prefer it because then I know I won't get sick. So why does it bother you?" :lol: :lol: :lol:

He didn't really have an answer but he did stop bugging me about it. I enjoyed my lovely chicken parmesan. B)

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LOL ! A bowl of lettuce, AGAIN! Anonymous salad dressings and a communal dipping area ! :lol::blink:

so why does it bother you?

Because he was a male and he assumed he could just somehow order something to be done, and he had come up short on his "effort" :rolleyes: anyway, and you have done a successful work - around anyway. Perhaps in his culture you are supposed to graciously accept that lettuce, and then not only be hungry the rest of the day but sick tomorrow.... Maybe he should be thinking about the patients, the poor celiac and gluten intolerant sick people who must sometimes cross the doorway of said facility.... here, have some lettuce, again! :P

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We are taught to be good hosts/hostesses. A good hos/hostess will make their guests feel comfortable and well fed. That's why it bothers people.

I think what us food challenged people forget in this whole mix is that WE are comfortable bringing our food because we know how impossible it is to make "safe" food; however, the uninitiated don't truly understand this.

Perhaps we need to approach our explanation differently?

"Thank you for being so concerned about my comfort. However, my food intolerances are so severe and difficult to work around, and the consequences of error so severe that I would be more comfortable bringing my own food. I hope this doesn't upset you, because I am really looking forward to the event and seeing everyone."

I guess my point is that people WANT to accommodate you. They just don't understand they probably can't, regardless of good intentions.

I struggle with this, also.

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Yes, I do understand about people wanting to accommodate us. And food is so much a part of being "hospitable". But what gets me is that this is a hospital! I've only been gluten free for a bit more than a year so I've never had experience with a hospital since my diagnosis. I guess I just expect hospitals to be experienced in diet for various conditions. When I expressed that to a friend who is also gluten free she said "yeah? well think again." :rolleyes:

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Yes, I do understand about people wanting to accommodate us. And food is so much a part of being "hospitable". But what gets me is that this is a hospital! I've only been gluten free for a bit more than a year so I've never had experience with a hospital since my diagnosis. I guess I just expect hospitals to be experienced in diet for various conditions. When I expressed that to a friend who is also gluten free she said "yeah? well think again." :rolleyes:

Exactly. Think again.

You know the other place I find no help? Vegetarian restaurants. They are so consumed with keeping meat out, and subbing there's tons of processed stuff in there and a lot of it contains glutenous grains. And if it isn't processed it's a "whole grain" of some sort... Grains shoved in wraps, grains shoved in salads, grains inevitably shoved up my a$$....

I'm better off in a butcher shop. Or even an Italian restaurant.

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Way to go! I love your question "Why does it bother you so much that I can't eat what you're eating?"

Glad you were smart enough to bring your lunch and didn't get stuck eating CC'd lettuce!

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it's the opposite here... the most allergy friendly restaurant I found in Dublin is a veggie, mostly vegan place with tonnes of coeliac options and staff knowledgeable about the ingredients in the food. they make really creative dishes, rotate their menu regularly... they use a lot of soya, but I can always find several options that work for my gluten-, dairy-, and soya-free self.

I do find that a lot of health food stuff is packed full of whole grains, tho, spelt EVERYWHERE, soya everywhere... and dang if the spelt isn't always confusingly placed with or nearby to the gluten-free stuff.

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it's the opposite here... the most allergy friendly restaurant I found in Dublin is a veggie, mostly vegan place with tonnes of coeliac options and staff knowledgeable about the ingredients in the food. they make really creative dishes, rotate their menu regularly... they use a lot of soya, but I can always find several options that work for my gluten-, dairy-, and soya-free self.

I do find that a lot of health food stuff is packed full of whole grains, tho, spelt EVERYWHERE, soya everywhere... and dang if the spelt isn't always confusingly placed with or nearby to the gluten-free stuff.

Don't you love it when they put the gluten-free stuff in a freezer next to the sprouted whole grain stuff??? Or gluten-free baked goods next to frozen cakes? Omg, gives me the willies.

Know of one restaurant that does vegan, gluten-free, and veg along with "regular". I've found if a place does vegan they are more likely to do gluten-free. But no vegan = grains everywhere. Why, I don't know....

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Grains shoved in wraps, grains shoved in salads, grains inevitably shoved up my a$$...

Oh, thanks. Now I'm laughing so hard I have half chewed apple slices up my nasal cavities. My spouse kept buying these freaking ^%$#@(*&%^$ "organic" "natural" condiments because they said "naturally gluten free" on them, and I kept rejecting them, because it's a bad company for c'c, and they kept changing their ingredients, so he said "oh, it's okay, I'll just eat them." So I found out last weekend he has been using one of these same bottles the entire time on everything. Like glopping it on the hamburgers. Because I find the near empty bottle of rejected, condiment with grain vinegar shoved back in behind the other stuff and the regular condiment (Not Bleeping Organic, but much more likely gluten free) has not gone down at all, on the shelf of the refrigerator. I used my marking pen in a politically incorrect way on that situation. :angry:<_<

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You go girl---- kudos to you.......

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