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Newbie Adjusting The Changes In Socializing

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Hello,

 

I was just diagnosed with celiac.  Does anyone have suggestions about how to cope with dinner invitations or requests to dine out?  People will tell me that a given resteraunt advertises a gluten free menu, but should I trust that?  How do I know it is really gluten free?

 

Also, how do you handle dinner invitations to somebody's house?  I started to say "thank you, I will be happy to come and share a beverage, but please don't be offended if I don't eat anything, as I was just diagnosed with celiac and can't have wheat."  As I also have another rare allergic condition, my diet is pretty darned restricted and I find that I feel "left out" at parties or work functions where everybody else is sitting there eating and there is nothing for me to eat.  It makes me feel really "different" like I don't fit in anymore.

 

Any advice on how to cope with that uncomfortable situation?

 

Thanks so much!

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It is uncomfortable at first, and that's exactly when you need to really be on top of your food game, because you're trying to heal.  Here's a couple of thing's I've done for dinner parties, probably from advice on the forum. 

 

You can ask if you can bring a salad.  Package your own portion separately, toss it on a plate and eat while everybody is eating.

 

Eat ahead of time and say you aren't hungry, or bring a portion of something you can eat so that you can join everybody at the dinner table.  I usually take a little cooler I can carry over my shoulder and slip into the kitchen to make my own plate.

 

Bring your own food and if anybody questions it, just mention that you have dietary restrictions or severe food allergies, then change the subject if you're uncomfortable discussing it.  I think the hostess is more uncomfortable if you don't eat at all, it generally works out better to eat something while everybody is eating.  Everybody makes a bigger deal out of it if you don't eat. 

 

I personally have had bad experiences with supposed gluten-free restaurant menus with the exception of one seafood restaurant, one Cuban restaurant and an Indian restaurant.  I generally decline on invitations to go out to eat, because the whole drill just exhausts me, and I don't like being the grand inquisitor at dinner.  You can call ahead of time, but you still need to rely on the wait & kitchen staff not to poison you.

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I'm new at the gluten free diet too - just passed the one month mark.  I went out to a restaurant for the first time since my diagnosis this last Friday night - it was a Halloween party and they had a buffet.  The wait staff could not have been nicer.  I spoke to one of the waitresses on the side, told her I was gluten intolerant (people seem to be more familiar with that than Celiac Disease - and assume they're the same thing) - anyhow... she actually knew what that was and quizzed the chef about what had been thickened with flour, etc.  She even brought me out the jar of BBQ sauce they had put on the ribs so I could read the label and make sure I could eat it.  I had gone prepared with some of my own food in case there wasn't anything there that I could eat but my point in all of this is that it IS possible to have a decent experience at a restaurant.

 

As far as social occasions at friends' houses, so far my friends have been very supportive.  If they weren't... I probably wouldn't consider them to be real friends.  But I agee with the other suggestions - take some food with you - eat what they have that you know is safe and add your own food to it.  If you're sensitive to cross-contamination, then only eat your own food.  Don't feel self-conscious about it - you're doing the right thing for you and your health.  I have found that most people wish they had the will-power to eat as healthy as I do.

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Thanks so much everybody, I really appreciate your input.  Actually, two of my friends also have celiac or gluten intolerance, and luckily, they are the one's who give the most dinner parties!

 

Ironically, there are only four people at my worksite that have it, and three of them are in my workgroup.  So when I bring cookies to meetings or things for holidays, all the "no wheaties" get a little bag from me.

 

Might as well have fun with it I say!

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I'm new at the gluten free diet too - just passed the one month mark.  I went out to a restaurant for the first time since my diagnosis this last Friday night - it was a Halloween party and they had a buffet.  The wait staff could not have been nicer.  I spoke to one of the waitresses on the side, told her I was gluten intolerant (people seem to be more familiar with that than Celiac Disease - and assume they're the same thing) - anyhow... she actually knew what that was and quizzed the chef about what had been thickened with flour, etc.  She even brought me out the jar of BBQ sauce they had put on the ribs so I could read the label and make sure I could eat it.  I had gone prepared with some of my own food in case there wasn't anything there that I could eat but my point in all of this is that it IS possible to have a decent experience at a restaurant.

 

 

 

 

A friendly warning - when I was at the one month mark, I could handle all kinds of CC and gluten traces.  As my diet became cleaner, however, I became much more sensitive.  Please be careful!

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A friendly warning - when I was at the one month mark, I could handle all kinds of CC and gluten traces.  As my diet became cleaner, however, I became much more sensitive.  Please be careful!

 

 

I hear you.  I really do.  My uncle is extremely sensitive to cross-contamination issues, so I know exactly what you're talking about.  I'm taking it one step at a time.  I know I don't get any gluten at all at home - I live alone and cook for myself.  Very few, if any processed foods, etc.  I only eat out a couple times a month.  So while I'm being very careful not to eat anything with purposeful gluten in it, I have not had to be too concerned with the accidental CC issues.  At least not yet.  I know it can - and often - happens (meaning getting worse over time).  I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

 

I also go back in about 5 months to get my bloodwork checked again - the doc. says that will also be an indication as to whether or not I need to worry about CC issues.

 

All that said... I do appreciate the head's up and the reminder.

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