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Spending the Holidays at someone else's House

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Hello everyone, I'm somewhat new to these forums and I could use some help/advice. This Christmas I will probably be heading up North to Virginia to spend Christmas/New Years with someone important. He nor his family eat gluten free, and I unfortunately have celiac disease.

How can I cope while I'm living with them? What can I eat, how should I eat, will I have to prepare every meal I eat by myself? I'm sure we've all felt that we've never wanted to inconvenience anyone, but it is a disease with painful consequences. I remember once turning down gluten-free brownies because the person who made them(specifically for me) made them in a gluten kitchen which probably resulted in cross contamination.

So, does anyone have any helpful tips/advice/ideas that can help me through this holiday season? Thanks guys!

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Make your own versions of what they are having, freeze/vacuum bag your portions. Take these and inform them it is not intended as a offense but due to your disease you have to do this. Reheat your meals and eat on paper plates with disposable utensils. This way you can have the family experience and eat together with less chance of getting sick. Alternatively you can bring and eat meal replacement shakes during yout stay.

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Well, the bottom line is that YOUR health comes first.  Eat only the food you prepared or oversaw --  period.  

Are you flying or driving?  If driving, pack a cooler with lots of prepaid meals, snacks.  Plan on shopping at the local grocery store.  Search through "Find Me Gluten Free" for the area (I just did this last night for our upcoming vacation).  Make sure the reviews are written by celiacs.  (Luckily, I found several 100% gluten free restaurants and one that has a dedicated cooking area and who's Mom has celiac disease).  

Eat off your host's plates and use their silverware if they have a dishwasher.  If not, purchase some plastic and paperware.  Stick a pot from home in your luggage and a few utensils.  Use foil or parchment paper as a barrier.  I use paper plates for cutting veggies.

I visit my relatives and stay in their homes.  At my parents, I keep a bin of gluten-free cookware, etc.) at their house.  I oversee my Mom cooking gluten-free safe food.  I do not trust her completely because she does not have to be careful 24/7 like me.  

Will be traveling this Fall with another couple.  There will be just some meals that I will be eating out in the car or in my hotel room.  For me, a glutening can impact me for three months (as measured by celiac antibodies by my GI), so taking chances is not worth it.  

Will I have fun?  Plan on shopping, hiking, bike riding, tennis and relaxing by the pool.  Isn't that what it is all about?  

I get it.  These friends are now used to my ways.  They never push me into anything.  My relatives get it, but it took a while.  I was persistent.  I often dine out and just order a drink.  There's no reason to miss out on the fun of socializing.

Take the time to talk to your hosts and explain.  Maybe bring a printout.  Talk to your boyfriend and figure out what's going to work with his parents.  Bring or purchase some gluten-free goodies that can be shared (just be in line first at the buffet).  

I hang at my parent's lake house with 20 or more gluten eaters.  I oversee food prep, use my own stuff and hubby and I eat first.  We stash our food away from the crowd.  We have never been glutened ever.  Wash up before you eat and you'll be fine.  

It's work, but in the end you'll be happy and will not have to worry!  


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I go to  my inlaws every year for the holiday.  They love to cook and they're very conscientious at this point about my issues, but I generally bring up my own breakfast cereal and gluten free bread (and some wine!).  When I'm up there, I head to the grocery store and get some packaged cold cuts so I can make myself a sandwich when I need to, some yogurt and gluten free pretzels to munch on when everyone else is snacking.  When they make eggs, I wash out the skillet beforehand and ask that they use a fresh bar of butter to grease the pan.  I agree on the foil or parchment.  But basically, I don't try to replicate their meals - it's too much work and makes them self-conscious.  I just opt out of what they're having and fix myself a sandwich.  It's 5 days of inconvenience, but it's ok.

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