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lovechild

First Time Eating Out With Family

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I have not been diagnosed with celiac but I found that I am sensitive to gluten, dairy and fructose. I have been gluten-free for 2.5 months now and I am slowly on the mend but feeling so much better so far.

 

This is the first time since going gluten/dairy/(high)fructose free that I have had to eat out at a restaurant with my family which makes eating very challenging especially due to cross contamination. Yesterday my grandma was in town with my uncle and they wanted to go out to eat with me and my kids and some other family members. I called the restaurant we were going to in order to ask them if they could prepare anything gluten free. They said they couldn't. I decided that I would just have a water then.

 

I mentioned to my Mom that Olive Garden was down the street (only a couple of minutes away by car) and do you think my family would mind going there so I could also eat along with everyone. My Mom said that no, they wouldn't want to drive anywhere so the original restaurant would be the best. Before leaving for the restaurant, I made sure to eat something at home so I didn't have to sit there starving through the entire dinner. 

 

Before everyone ordered their dinner, my Mom announced to my family that I wouldn't be eating anything because I was gluten free. They had questions which I answered. Then as the dinner came out my uncle offered me a bite of his breaded veal cutlet. I politely said, I cannot eat that as it has gluten in it. He said in reply "I feel bad for you that you can't eat anything". I wasn't too upset about that. What made me really angry was my Mom. She kept saying things like "ohhh, this tastes so good, want some?" while putting her fork in my direction. She did this the entire meal. This restaurant was worse than Denny's (a real dive) with unappetizing looking food so it was like she was teasing me on purpose. I couldn't believe how insensitive she was being. If she had a food intolerance, I would not be offering her the food and bragging about how good the food tastes while she sat there with a glass of water. 

 

As for my Mom, she has a lot of the same symptoms that I had before going gluten free like extreme bloating, hard stomach, nausea, belching, acid reflux, d and c, unable to lose weight etc. I mentioned to her that she could try going gluten free as maybe she is having the same problem as I did. I left it totally up to her. Now the past couple weeks she says things like "oh, I didn't eat gluten today and my stomach looks smaller", "I ate a sandwich today with wheat in it and my stomach looks the same size", "I am going to have a Subway sub today, because you know it is not going to kill me". I explained to my Mom that your stomach doesn't go away overnight when you go gluten free and that you need to be strict gluten-free otherwise your body may be still irritated by even tiny bits of gluten. She doesn't get it. But anyway, I don't know if my Mom thinks that my food intolerances are something that I am making up. She has seen that I feel better, I have way more energy and I have lost weight since I have cut certain foods out of my diet. 

 

I am just coming to terms with how hard it is to be around social situations and I am wondering how do you cope. Do you have any suggestions for me?

 

 

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This is so hard. I really do not have any suggestions for you. Just know that you are not alone. (It makes it easier on me knowing there are others who face this in the world). Many in my family are very rude and inconsiderate about my celiac too. I am trying to learn that it really doesn't matter what they think...I want to take care of my health.  Stay strong and continue to take care of your body. It will be worth it! Sending a hug your way!

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I wonder if this is just how your mom is?  If it wasn't gluten, would it be something else?  Usually nice people don't become mean when someone has to avoid a food.  You may just have to learn to live with it or take yourself out of some of the situations.  Do what you need to do for yourself. 

 

Some of this is the newness, too.  Once the family gets used to your eating habits, they will comment a lot less.

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Wow. That is so difficult. I'm sorry you had to go through that. For me, for the most part my family is very supportive so I don't have to deal with that too often.

At some point you might just lose your temper and yell at her, and if you do, that is OK. You have to get your point across somehow.

Just keep doing what's right for YOU.

 

HUGS.

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Thanks everyone for your replies and tips. I really appreciate it! It is going to take some time but hopefully my family (including my Mom) eventually gets used to my new eating habits and can sometimes be accommodating. 

 

Take care.

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