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GFAnnie

No Symptoms But Please Bend Over Backwards Hosts!

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I know there are 1000 posts about this in varying forms but here we go - my family is making their first road trip to visit family and stay with them post celiac diagnosis. My MIL has asked virtually no questions about our diet or food prep and she's usually a question asker.  My husband feels sheepish about saying much, other than, yes, food needs to be gluten free, because here's the thing... we were an odd bunch to be diagnosed because myself, my three year old and my one year old were basically symptomless.  As it turns out, I have DH, so now I know what those annyoing rashes were all about, but I still have them, even though I've been gluten free since late January. My three year old had no symptoms but his growth might have been a little slow.  And my one year old was also probably having issues with weight gain. But how do you tell an host about all of the special considerations they need to make when I don't have the "we'll be sick all weekend" line that most can use? I fear that if we did tell her all the special considerations and she didn't follow them she'd see that we ate her food and were fine so the whole celiac thing is silly.  You know?  In a way I wish I would get horribly sick so she could SEE the effect of gluten, but if anything, I guess my rash might get a little worse  a few days after we get home.  Not sure anyone can help me with this.  Maybe I  just needed to vent!  I know the best solution would have been to prepare all of our food and bring it but I just did not have time for anything like that.

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She is family and the grandmother of your grandchildren. You need to sit down and have a heart-to -heart and really explain your needs. It may help to show a copy of the test results.

I usually get off the plane and hit the grocery store purchasing some gluten-free goodies, cereal and fruit and veggies and all the others items I will need during my stay. Now my mom recognizes brands and will stock up which is nice.

Pack a few things that you will need to prepare food. I go often enough to keep a bin full of kitchen tools that I store there.

I hope this helps!

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Well, first of all you DO have a severe reaction to gluten. It's just not one that can be measured by getting visibly sick. Villi damage can lead to cancer and other difficulties. And if you're celiac, then each and every time you get glutened, you're getting damaged, regardless of the amount of symptoms. Perhaps sharing literature with celiac on family would help them to understand that "no symptoms does not equal no problems."

 

2ndly, I would avoid having other people prepare your food as much as possible. If you have little time, there's casseroles that can be thrown together in 5 minutes. I can give you a recipe for my tater tot taco bake. It's delicious and fast to throw to together and you could use a disposable foil pan.

 

If you don't have time to cook, I would strongly suggest just buying some gluten free frozen entrees and heating them up in the microwave. It's a little pricey but it's better than getting glutened. That way you won't be setting a precedent for your host that they are allowed to cook for you, because it's hard to start one way and then switch later on.

 

It is very, very difficult to prepare gluten free food in a gluten filled kitchen. Most people can't do it without some education.

 

Also, you could do ready made stuff for breakfast. I like to bring Kind brand gluten free granola on road trips along with a shelf stable container of non-dairy milk. Along with fruit and eggs, it makes a good breakfast.

 

GL!

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You need  to make  time  for  your  health  & your  kids....that  is  the  most  important  thing in this  world.... Can't  be  any   ifs, ands  or  buts......

I  agree  to take  gluten-free food  with you  then  you can  explain  to  your  MIL that  you  wasn't  sure  she  would  have  any gluten-free  food since they do not  have  celiac....At  that  time  would be  a  good  chance  for  a gluten-free  discussion....take  some  literature  for  her as well.... Going  to the  grocery store  after  you arrive  for gluten-free  food... if  you plan  on dining  out  do the  research  &  find  restaurants  that  have  a gluten-free  menu in the  area...You  are the one  who needs  to be  prepared  for  yourself  & the kids.... yes, it  would  be great  if  she  would  jump  into  the  gluten-free  diet  but  that  doesn't  always  happen....

I  think that  is  what  I miss  at  times  is  someone  else  caring  for  me  &  the other  three  who are gluten-free with celiac...it  always  falls  on me  to take  care  of  us  four.... I  cart  gluten-free  food  to  every holiday.....

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No symptoms doesn't mean no damage. It's up to you to be an advocate for yourself and your children. You need to clearly provide guidelines for her. Make it easy - if she's not willing to buy new cutting boards, etc. (my parents and in-laws keep a box of kitchen-ware especially for me), then bring your own. My husband and I have a "portable kitchen" box that we take with us when going to stay with others, on car vacations, etc.

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