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Friends Throwing A Party For Me With Food
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I just found out that some very nice people at my work, who do not know that I am gluten-free, are throwing a surprise party for me in 2 days, complete with cake and food. (I'm not supposed to know about it.) Obviously I won't be able to eat anything that they will have so thoughtfully brought and/or made. Any advice on how to handle this in the most polite way possible???

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You found out about it from someone, yes? If so I would speak to this person. At this late a date, I am not sure they will be able to make other food arrangements but maybe your middle person friend can bring some safe similar food in for you since they know you better?

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I just found out that some very nice people at my work, who do not know that I am gluten-free, are throwing a surprise party for me in 2 days, complete with cake and food. (I'm not supposed to know about it.) Obviously I won't be able to eat anything that they will have so thoughtfully brought and/or made. Any advice on how to handle this in the most polite way possible???

NOW that's a hard one. Have you confided in a co-worker that you are gluten free? Could that someone pass the word, but even so, it's hard to trust good hearted attempts at gluten free.

If not, walk around the food and eat what you feel you are able. And complement the wonderful food and cake. If a piece of cake is placed in your face, take it and say thank you and later set it down, discretely.

It's not the food, it's the appreciation. Give everyone a large thank you. And, you don't have to explain anything, unless you choose.

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NOW that's a hard one. Have you confided in a co-worker that you are gluten free? Could that someone pass the word, but even so, it's hard to trust good hearted attempts at gluten free.

If not, walk around the food and eat what you feel you are able. And complement the wonderful food and cake. If a piece of cake is placed in your face, take it and say thank you and later set it down, discretely.

It's not the food, it's the appreciation. Give everyone a large thank you. And, you don't have to explain anything, unless you choose.

I agree. Though even if I made a show of it, I wouldn't actually eat any of their food since its likely CC'd. Just don't rub your face!! if you know what I mean... In a moment of glad-handing and making the rounds you could put part of it down and then eventually all of it in some convenient out of the way spot...If anyone asks you could say "Doctor's orders" with a big smile and a wink and leave it at that.

The main thing is to make them feel appreciated for honoring you.

However, if you want, perhaps your informant can tell you what type of cake it is. Then you might be able to make your own, and then bring in a slice surreptitiously to replace the one they give you. Of course washing off your plate and hands etc. thoroughly beforehand somehow...and not shaking anyone's hands while or just before you eat and have already washed...

Aach! So crazy. And maybe way too much trouble. Maybe better to make cake and eat it earlier on in case you might otherwise feel deprived, or have some other goody instead.

Just goes to show eventually its usually better to let at least some of them know you have severe gluten intolerance, though as implied, now is probably not the best time. Plus I am betting different workplaces have their own set of politics in matters like this of whether its OK or not to show your difference. Its likely though that there are others there with food intolerances too who may be glad to let the cat out of the bag eventually and have other choices.

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I agree. Though even if I made a show of it, I wouldn't actually eat any of their food since its likely CC'd. Just don't rub your face!! if you know what I mean... In a moment of glad-handing and making the rounds you could put part of it down and then eventually all of it in some convenient out of the way spot...If anyone asks you could say "Doctor's orders" with a big smile and a wink and leave it at that.

The main thing is to make them feel appreciated for honoring you.

However, if you want, perhaps your informant can tell you what type of cake it is. Then you might be able to make your own, and then bring in a slice surreptitiously to replace the one they give you. Of course washing off your plate and hands etc. thoroughly beforehand somehow...and not shaking anyone's hands while or just before you eat and have already washed...

Aach! So crazy. And maybe way too much trouble. Maybe better to make cake and eat it earlier on in case you might otherwise feel deprived, or have some other goody instead.

Just goes to show eventually its usually better to let at least some of them know you have severe gluten intolerance, though as implied, now is probably not the best time. Plus I am betting different workplaces have their own set of politics in matters like this of whether its OK or not to show your difference. Its likely though that there are others there with food intolerances too who may be glad to let the cat out of the bag eventually and have other choices.

Yeah.....maybe just a "no thank you, I have an allergy" might work. But have a great celebration!

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Well...I'm not concerned about going hungry or feeling deprived, I can have all the cake I want from the grocery store. I just want to be polite. And I want to know a good way to explain it to them, I don't want to hide anything, I want to tell the truth. And I definitely don't want to eat anything there b/c of the CC.

I'm thinking something along the lines of, "I have severe food allergies, I can't eat this, but I so appreciate you making it for me. And that just means there's more cake for YOU to enjoy!"

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I think that sounds great. I would also add something like, "let me go get something that is safe for me to eat so we can all enjoy this celebration together!" and then go get some treat from your desk. I think people will feel less weird about enjoying the cake if you are at least eating something . . .

Cara

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Thanks Cara, it probably would help to bring along my own piece of cake. That way others don't feel like they are eating in front of me.

I can get a fresh piece of cake from the store before I go.

That way people will also see the cake in my hand and say hey what's that...kind of a conversation starter!

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:) It's nice to be celebrated! :) You will handle it well, I'm sure! Since you'll have an audience, you can always use it for the springboard of "1 in 133 of us have celiac disease" and pass out the CDF "Am I the one" brochures!

Most of all, congrats on your upcoming celebration!

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Thanks for your help everyone. This will be my first big "test" of having to stand my ground and not eat anything under peer pressure. :unsure:

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Thanks for your help everyone. This will be my first big "test" of having to stand my ground and not eat anything under peer pressure. :unsure:

From my experience people can completely surprise you.

My aunt who's always been so sweet to me tried her worst to force me to eat chicken that was sitting on a piece of bread because she believed it was all in my head, while a friend who's basically a know-it-all control-freak and never heard of gluten was completely understanding and utterly supportive when I visited her at her new house party. You never know what these friends will be like, but it's good to make the best of it anyway

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"From my experience people can completely surprise you. My aunt who's always been so sweet to me tried her worst to force me to eat chicken that was sitting on a piece of bread because she believed it was all in my head, while a friend who's basically a know-it-all control-freak and never heard of gluten was completely understanding and utterly supportive when I visited her at her new house party. You never know what these friends will be like, but it's good to make the best of it anyway."

So true...I expected my mom to really fight me on this, but she's been amazingly supportive. In fact, she even tried to stop me once when I wanted to cheat!

Anyway, it went OK today. People were for the most part just happy to eat their own cake and not too concerned with what I was doing. (Which is good.) However, they did not understand what I was saying. They thought I said I had a "glucose" allergy. They kept saying things like, "Oh--watch out for this, it has sugar in it!" :lol:

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Congratulations! I'm so glad to hear it went OK today! :) we should all watch out for sugar :) ...first I have to tackle the gluten thing!

And congratulations on your successful celebration!

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"From my experience people can completely surprise you. My aunt who's always been so sweet to me tried her worst to force me to eat chicken that was sitting on a piece of bread because she believed it was all in my head, while a friend who's basically a know-it-all control-freak and never heard of gluten was completely understanding and utterly supportive when I visited her at her new house party. You never know what these friends will be like, but it's good to make the best of it anyway."

So true...I expected my mom to really fight me on this, but she's been amazingly supportive. In fact, she even tried to stop me once when I wanted to cheat!

Anyway, it went OK today. People were for the most part just happy to eat their own cake and not too concerned with what I was doing. (Which is good.) However, they did not understand what I was saying. They thought I said I had a "glucose" allergy. They kept saying things like, "Oh--watch out for this, it has sugar in it!" :lol:

Good for you! It took guts to "expose yourself"! And then just by having your own cake you brought no one thought much of it anyway.... Shows its best to be oneself, especially when everyone is trying to honor you. NO sad sacks here!

Meanwhile, diabetes is so much better understood/known than gluten intolerance, eh? But probably by saying what you did say someone there may have taken notice and it might help them in their own quest for better health. Its actually one thing that brought me and my bf together. I had no idea he was gluten intolerant too. I put on all these art and poetry events and told everyone I had to have my own separate food due to being celiac. Soon it became the new normal... Others came out of the woodwork eventually who have similar issues. And often were glad of the gluten-free food I brought.

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