Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Newly Diagnosed And Need Tips On How To Handle An Upcoming Event
0

4 posts in this topic

I wasn't entirely sure where to post this question so if I'm in the wrong place I apologize. Bear with me; I'm a newbie.

I'm now on day 6 of my new gluten-free life and am discovering that because much of my diet already consists of whole foods it's not as difficult as I originally expected. Avoiding cc because I share a kitchen with gluten eaters is the bigger hassle but again not terrible because my husband and daughter are helping. I'm still feeling emotionally fragile as I process this new, completely unexpected news but I'm hoping that will eventually subside as well. On the upside, I noticed that after only a few days the brain fog has lifted and the myriad odd little aches and pains are gone. It's amazing what gluten does to a body.

Anyway, my husband is a firefighter and we're attending his chief's 20th anniversary commemoration party on December 8th at the La Quinta hotel in our town. It's a full sit-down dinner with a limited menu offering a choice of beef, chicken or fish but I naturally worry about gluten-containing ingredients and cross contamination. We accepted the invite before my DX and because my husband is an officer he's expected to attend. I also don't want to miss the fun, so we agreed to go ahead with our plans to attend.

I'll deal with the emotional aspect of this when it comes...I'm hoping I'll have so much fun dancing and partying that I won't feel as isolated as I do now. But how do I handle the meal? I've read advice to eat before going to a party or bring something with me that I know is safe. But how do I handle an event with a dinner that's going to be prepared the same way for everyone? Should I contact the hotel ahead of time and explain my situation or seek out the maitre d' at the event and explain it to him privately? Or should I simply eat before we go and avoid the hassle altogether?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

It is possible the planned meal is gluten free, which you could find out by contacting whoever is in charge of that aspect. Of course, the potential for CC is high and it is possible that because your husband is an officer that you don't want him rushing you home sick right after you eat and that skipping their food is a better option so you can have fun! I would research your local area for gluten free restaurants or bakeries and find a nice treat for yourself if there is one. You can tuck a small sandwich or dinner container in your purse and ask for a plate as everyone is served so you don't have to watch people eat. You can also do this with something you make yourself. Whether you choose not to eat or to eat something you bring, if you want a quick way to deflect attention if someone brings it up, you can say something like I was recently diagnosed with celiac and have to eat gluten free, but we aren't here to talk about me... insert topic changer here.

Lots of people do the eat before thing. It isn't a bad plan at all, and I'm not saying it is. But come on... do you WANT to sit there and watch people eat? I wouldn't. When I was newly diagnosed I was not emotionally at a place where I would have been okay with that. If you are, great. But do only what you are comfortable with. I get that the going or not isn't optional, but how you choose to handle it is. As time goes on you'll find what works for you.

As for contacting ahead of time or at the event? Definitely ahead of time. There will be a lot going on that night and if you wait, the person you find to talk to may not be able to answer your questions or help you out at all. The last thing you want is to be hungry and unable to arm yourself with information.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Defintely talk to the head chef or caterer for the event ahead of time. They may be able to prepare something for you or buy something gluten-free themselves. They could probably do at least a salad ok but maybe not the salad dressing. There may be other people at the event who are dining gluten-free also, it woudln't be unusual these days.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some thoughts on this:

1. Talk to the caterers weeks in advance and decide if they seem trustworthy or even willing -

just went to an awards dinner, had to go because Hub was winning the award. The college it was held at has an excellant culinary school. If they were catering, I was willing to take a chance. When I found out they weren't the ones making the food, I didn't really want to trust them. The food service people didn't want to try to make anything gluten-free. Turned out there was a breading on the chicken and the whole plate had gravy on it. Any banquet at a La Quinta - I'm not trusting the caterer unless I have some personal knowledge of them. I'm betting it is an outside caterer, too, so you may have to talk to the Fire Dept "party planner" first. High end caterers or places that have fancy events might be OK. If you will just be stressed about the food, don't try it.

2. Eat first - This would have worked in this case because the food they were eating didn't look very tasty. No one was very pleased with it. If you choose this option, bring a little treat that you can eat like jelly beans or chocolate chips. Avoid the appetizer table. Bring some crackers or little pieces of cheese if you need something. Grab a little plate and it will blend in. Eating first works well if its a buffet and people are not all eating at once. You can always wander away from the food.

3. Bring your own food- This caterer said they would plate and heat food for me. This probably would have worked as it was a waitress that would do it and I think she would have taken care of my food. I chose to bring a steak salad so all I needed was a big plate. Build the salad upside down in the "Tupperware" Then you flip it onto the plate and the steak and cheese are on top. It was 10 times more delicious than the other food. If you bring your food, get a large purse that the containers will fit in. You can set it down by your seat at the table when you get there or check it with the coats (so you only have to carry a little purse for cocktail hour.) Won't look as silly as my orange polka dot lunch box. I got one at Target that was meant for carrying a laptop in. Fake leather & I figure I will use it over the years so didn't mind the $30.

4. If you know who wil be seated at your table, maybe hub could mention the Celiac thing ahead of time. Everyone at our table knew so I didn't get any questions or odd looks. When you are new to this, you probably don't want to make a fuss/be noticed. I'm old enough and been doing this long enough that I usually don't care.

5. Whatever you decide on the food, you will need to find the caterer or event planner when you get there to show them where you are sitting, etc.

Hope that was helpful.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,640
    • Total Posts
      921,544
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • I get these crazy cravings for some things I can not eat anymore. Not only am I diagnosed with celiac but I also have a allergy to corn, olives, sesame, peanuts, and intolerance to yeast, soy, dairy, and a very low tolerance for carbs/sugars, Top it off with I can not digest meats or egg yolks, they just give me the burps and come up later.
        To deal with these I find myself turning to Republic of Teas (They have a great desert tea line up all certified gluten-free) and sweetening them with monk fruit extract, or stevia. And I find myself making Puddings bases that I use for shakes, dips, and ice-cream for meals. The puddings are normally a blend of cashew, or almond milk with a thickening agent like agar agar, pectin, or knoxx gelatin, blended with a sweetener like xylitol, swerve, stevia, monk fruit or a combination. And flavored with Lor Ann Oils (all gluten-free certified and you can find the kosher ones listed as such) super strength flavors or fountain syrups to match something I can not eat normally a combination of two flavors (Strawberry Cheesecake, Banana and Carmel, Cookies & Cream, etc) Then I add a fat that matches best, like almond butter, cashew butter, hemp butter, ground flax seed, coconut flour, chocolate, Pumpkin seed butter or a combination) These bases are normally blended up and consumed with 1-2 scoops of protein powder and eaten with steamed vegges as a side dip or loaded into a ice cream maker for a desert after my meals.      Also found myself making desert soups....like a pumpkin soup that taste like pumpkin pie. I am sure we all have our little quirks but this is one of mine for getting that sweet craving taken care of. Most premade items are off my list due to the allergies and it seems most companies use the oils, starches I am allergic to as non stick or thickening agents, Even the semi safe ones tend to put way to much sugars in them and I find myself only being able to nibble . There is also my little binge issues with almonds, pumpkin seeds, and, cocoa but that was explained to me as normal And on my most craving for peanuts I have found sancha inchi powder to work great, The Powder itself taste like the girl scout peanut butter cookie sandwich from my childhood, And is great mixed with a bit of almond milk into a butter or used in baking and smoothies. Before this I have been making Artisan blends of almond butter for years and even made a market selling them to pay  for my own consumption. Baked goods wise I have a bunch of recipes I make for others and sell at markets and this allows me to nibble on a sample to check it, as most contain a bean or gluten-free Harvest Oats/Flour in them and the carbs from that and the coconut sugars bother me. Still helps with cravings there, I only have 2 recipes that sell good and are safe for me to eat full servings of but are so expensive as they use almond and coconut flours, low sugars/xylitol and are paleo that I only can afford to make them once a month. Posting to hear about some odd and out there ways others deal with substitutions and cravings. Please do not bash mine as odd as they might be as they keep me from going crazy. (Yes I know DROP THE OATS, fact is I only get them when tasting stuff and they are gluten-free Harvest, the only ones I have never gotten glutend with)  
    • After suffering pretty much all year with one illness after another I've finally managed to get a diagnosis and it turns out to be celiac. After my doctors consistently failing to even consider the possibility it might be that (as opposed to "IBS" or "stress") I kept pushing for the Iga TTg test and it was off the charts with a score of >128... may as well fail it in style I guess. So here I am at the start of what feels like the end of my life as I know it. Been doing nothing but reading for the past week and frankly it's terrifying. Here's a few things that are going round in my head and I'd really appreciate your thoughts with. Apologies if it's a bit of an essay  Diagnosis I'm still furious at my doctors for not even entertaining the thought that celiac could be the root cause of all my ills. Given the blood test is so simple it feels almost negligent that they don't run this right at the start to rule it out. Instead I got subjected to poisons like Omeprazole which made me even more ill, whilst being told the physical symptoms were all in my head. Just as well I knew better and kept hitting up Google until my self-diagnosis was proved correct... to think these people get paid highly to be so incompetent makes my blood boil. Does feel good having outwitted the so-called professionals though. Seems 9 months is comparatively quick from symptoms to diagnosis compared to some others that have gone years with the problems so could be worse I guess. Food and diet I'm male vegetarian (non-negotiable) which makes this even harder as so many of my protein sources are now ruled out. Seems many with celiac were having trouble losing weight whereas I'm in the opposite situation. Already lost best part of a stone in the past few weeks and it's becoming noticeable now. The MyFitnessPal app reckons I need 2600 calories a day to maintain \ gain weight - no idea where that's going to come from. On top of that I read sites like Gluten Dude where even the Gluten Free foods are seen as poisons and going on extreme diets like Paleo \ SCD are the only real way forward. Again being veggie makes that practically impossible and if I'm unlucky enough to end up with the dairy issues as well I'm well and truly stuffed. Right now I'm trying the gluten-free Quorn products to see how I go, as well as more eggs etc. Porridge has been my go-to breakfast in the mornings for a while after I cut out bread whilst self-diagnosing but depending on where you read even that's a potential problem (currently using gluten-free porridge oats and seeing how it goes) Seems many gluten-free people have to go right back to basics and cook everything from scratch. That's a problem for me as I'm utterly hopeless on that front and time doesn't permit waiting hours just to prepare one meal. Seems nigh-on impossible to do day-in, day-out. Health Rightly or wrongly right now I see this diagnosis as a death sentence long-term. Looks like it brings other associated illnesses with it and this particular article really scares me: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/the-gluten-free-lie-why-most-celiacs-are-slowly-dying/ I've only really had noticeable symptoms for the past year or so but wonder how long this has been going on for and what damage has already been done. All seems to have started from when I turned 30 (knew I was dreading that age for a reason) and right now I wonder how long I'm going to last before the really bad stuff starts. One of the other illnesses I'd considered as a possibility before getting diagnosed was Hashimoto's Thyroiditis; now it seems that's closely linked with Celiac so may not be out of the woods with that yet either. Just seems to be one big list of illness all triggered from the same point One positive change I've noticed thus far since cutting out gluten is that bloating seems to have gone down and bowel movements are better. Still getting headaches and muscle twitching, which could be as much a withdrawal symptom from gluten as anything else.  Some sites were suggesting stopping exercise whilst withdrawing but I can't face that as it's the only thing keeping me going at present. Again will keep going as-was and see what happens. Then to top it off it sounds like the next step is the biopsy - I'm scared of being put out for the procedure as a member of family went into hospital a few years back for something supposedly routine and never came back out. From what I've been told it's important to have done though as it shows just how broken the villi are so another thing to worry about in the meantime. Social life Seems like despite there being some gluten free options in certain restaurants (granted better now than years ago) I'm going to be hugely limited in food options. Either sitting on the side looking on or just plain not able to go out much anymore. Already had the first hitting-home moment watching colleagues eating pastries that were brought in while I just have to look on... then it dawns that this is never going to get better... urghhh Family life I'm really struggling to accept this lifelong illness and loss of health and it's taking a toll on the people around me at the moment. They won't be going gluten-free so will have to take my chances with the mixed kitchen environment; already gone with split toasters etc. so can't do much more than that. Dating Basically seems game over on that front, unlike many who are diagnosed with understanding partners \ spouses I'm still in the dating game, which is judgemental enough as it is without all the complications that the gluten issues bring. I'm reading even kissing someone with lipstick \ make-up is apparently a big no-no... once any date hears that they won't be coming back... forever alone status confirmed is how it looks right now. Overall feelings I still can't quite figure out if this illness was in me all along and just hasn't flared up enough to notice until now or whether the extreme stress I've been under for the past year or so has triggered it. If the second scenario is correct I can't stop thinking about the events that all led up to this almost year-long bout of ill health and life-changing diagnosis. Can celiac be brought on by stress alone or realistically was I always a ticking timebomb just waiting to be set off? For every person I see that's had a positive change after cutting out gluten (and getting by with reasonably achievable adjustments) there seems to be 10 others with horrible side-effects and long-term complications. Right now the future feels rather bleak - like all hope just been taken away. Help???
    • It sounds like you're doing great. That's amazing that your anxiety has decreased like that. You're obviously doing something really good for your health. With the other things I'm sure they will get better in time. After I gave up gluten I had a bad year but overall it got better. Things like anxiety and insomnia massively improved over time with being gluten free. However, going Paleo (which you are on your way to with the no dairy too) really helped my anxiety, as did running and self-taught acupressure. In particular I found processed gluten free foods were awful for my mood. I know you have to find your own way but I really want to encourage you to see how you feel without that if you haven't already. I also can't afford therapy but when I did have it, that helped too but just being well, gives you the chance to sort your own thoughts and feelings out even without a therapist. Good luck
    • Thank you so much guys. Reading that last response and those from forum members who seemed to be mind-bogglingly sensitive to gluten at times helps me feel like less of a freak  Perhaps worse than the symptoms themselves was my fear that I'm the only person on earth who has gone through this and that if it continues, I will end up with all of my friends and family washing their hands of me because it would look to them like I'm the only one with this and so I must be crazy. It's really good to hear that the sensitivity can go down too. I've been holding onto this idea through the tough times, reminding myself that I also had really bad hayfever for a few years, and asthma at a different time and they both got better.  It has been a whole month since I had a bad reaction to gluten. It has also been two weeks since I even had a small reaction and I'm feeling SO much better. I'm still going to take every precaution I can but this feels worlds away from how it was. At my most risk averse, I had a day on holiday where I only ate bananas and avocados because I could eat them without them having been touched by human hands, even my own! (This was straight after getting sicker and sicker and hunting down what it was that made me ill. I found the refill bottles of soap in the house where I was staying and read that they had wheat in them - not an airborne reaction I imagine but when I washed my hands to prepare food it was probably contaminating my food. Plus because I didn't speak the language, I couldn't be sure the new soap I bought was gluten free.) Now, I am still avoiding environments with lots of gluten and staying clear of grains, but I have reintroduced rice using the food challenge method as directed by my dietician (since I understand that rice is, according to Dr Fasano, the lowest risk of gluten contamination of all the grains) and I am building my weight back up. My Paleo+Fasano diet has been assessed by a registered dietician to include every nutrient and micronutrient that I need so I guess having a really good diet is helping too. My husband has been able to see also that the last time he cooked gluten in the house was the last time I got ill. So it is reassuring for him to see that the sacrifice he is making is making such a difference to me. I also took the advice about new cooking utensils - thanks! I have my fingers crossed for me. I want this better health to continue but right now I'm happy to know that there is a break in the clouds and to know that I can feel like me again. A lot of the steps I have taken to avoid gluten would be seen by some as over the top but I can say that for me, when I introduced these steps, that's when I stopped getting reactions and it's all worth it. Good luck to everyone, sensitive or not, who gets into a bad place with managing their reactions. Hang on in there!        
    • Hello all  I have been living gluten free now for 6 months, as directed by my family doctor after a 6 week elimination diet revealed that I may be celiac or gluten sensitive. I was tested by blood work,  which showed nothing, and am awaiting a specialist to get a biopsy done. I am no where close to getting into see her as it is cased as a non emergency. I have been constantly having bowel problems, rashes all over my body, low iron, weight fluctuations, no energy, depression  and anxiety now for 6 years. Have been a huge nuisance(imo) to my doctor requiring constant antibiotics for this,  creams for this "mystery rash" and either laxatives for constipation that would sometimes go on for over a week to diarrhea that would keep my home- no in between . It hasn't been easy, especially whenever doctors are so quick to blame all symptoms as mental illness. Even though I have continuously told them I feel my issues are something simple...  not a mental illness. Anyways long story short, after going gluten free I have had somewhat Nnormal bowel functions, less rashes around my stomach, been able to cut back drastically on my depression medications and anxiety meds, and energy has taken a huge improvement  which all is great! But .... I am constantly HUngry have gained 20 lbs and can no longer fit into most of my clothes. This is really bothering me because I am afraid I am approaching a weight problem.  At only 5'5" weighing 165lbs is large to begin with. Especially whenever I have two children and have only EVER weighed this much while being pregnant with them. I am 26 years old and just tired of not being myself. I am physically healthy and just would like my body to act it. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I said I am only 6 months into my journey and have definitely re exposed myself to gluten (accidently) many times in between. Much love. 
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,643
    • Most Online
      3,093

    Newest Member
    moojoo
    Joined