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amymh

We've Been Invited For Supper!?!

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I've been gluten free (I think!?!) since April 2004 Because I'm feeling better and because I am active in life...family and own my own business...there are any number of occasions when I or my family are invited out to eat or dinner at someone's home. So far family and friends who know me are considerate in asking what can I eat or they are comfortable with me bringing something for myself. I'm interested in hearing what anyone else's experiences are..Thanks

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Guest gfinnebraska

This is a rough one... I hate going to a new home for dinner. There is just too much explaining, etc. that I feel like they think, "Ugh! Why did I invite them??!!??" So, when it is someone new, I usually don't say anything and just eat around what I can eat. Sometimes I go home a little hungry, but at least I enjoyed the fellowship. With good friends, I can tell them what I can and can not have. No problem. It is the new people in my life that I have to ease into my dietary needs. :)

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It's a case by case thing depending on the people inviting me, the size of the gathering, and what's going on in my life at the moment. I almost always go, the question is whether or not I'll eat, and that's what varies.

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It depends for me too. If I don't really know them, I will usually bring something of my own...but ck to see if I can eat one of things they are offering, like a plain salad with veggies (and my own dressing) or a plain fruit salad for instance. Don't be bashful...do what you need to do. Pitch ins I always make sure to bring something substantial I can eat to share and then something else just for myself. Oftentimes I give the leftovers away as I have found they often become contaminated by other 'droppings' of food.

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My advice is that if you don't know exactly what's on the menu, eat something before you go. That way you won't be starving and surrounded by food that you can't eat!

Depending on the situation, bringing a dish is a good idea too.

Work situations are tough because you can't usually ask for the menu ahead of time and it's tough to explain your situation to virtual strangers.

Good luck!

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Guest Viola

It is tough to go out, but bringing a dish you can share is really good advice.

Do try and go out when you are invited. This is an ackward disease as food is such a huge part of any celebration or activity. But we can't just live our lives using our own homes as our personal bubble. We need to live our lives as normally as possible, and going out is a big part of that. I do have one set of friends who just "don't get it", I no longer even try to go there for a meal, but still go for coffee or card playing after dinner. But I've found that most people will bend over backwards to make something safe. I have one friend who will not make a gluten free meal until she has washed her whole kitchen down, and went so far as to buy a new cutting board and hides it safely away in a plastic bag. :D

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I have a wonderful friend who is also incredibly good about accommodating me!

I haven't really dealt with this issue yet myself. Maybe what I would do is ask if I could bring a dish and if they demurr, I might explain the issue. Its tough. I know once I had company that wouldn't eat a wide range of things and they didn't really let me know ahead of time, so that was inconvienent.

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Definately a tough one and depends on the situation. I found the toughest situations is when it is a party. Sometimes I'd rather not eat than risk getting sick. And people think I'm just being polite and don't want them to go out of their way, and I just can't make them understand that they really don't have to go out of their way because no matter what I'm not going to feel comfortable eating at the location.

For instance, we have a Christening for a good friends baby this weekend. The party is at a Chinese restaurant (not what she wanted). Both her and another good friend have let me know that they restaurant will accomodate me, etc, etc... but there is no way unless they are using a brand new wok and I'm standing there watching them wash the utensils will I feel safe from cross contamination. I'm very adaptive for the most part but a chinese restaurant terrifies me. And I'm really fine with bring some snacks to munch on, have a bowl of white rice and call it a day. But everyone thinks I'm just trying to be easy going.

And then I have to remind myself that they are only trying to be amazing friends and completely accomodate me by asking me 1,000 times what they can do.

So I guess basically I have the opposite problem. I have the most considerate friends in the world and they are so accomodating - lol!!

This probably didn't help. :(

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I've had this happen quite a few times. I can't eat eggs, dairy or soy either, so that usually makes it impossible for other people to cook for me. I usually just tell them that I have severe food allergies and I'll bring something for myself to eat, but would love to come to enjoy the company. Almost always, they will offer to make something special, but not trusting anyone I again say thanks, I don't want them to go to any trouble. The rest of my family can usually enjoy whatever is served and no one notices after we start eating that I have something different on my plate. I will eat plain salad if I'm sure there are no crumbs or croutons (I try to get to it first) and plain vegetables or fruit salad. Really, going to dinner at someone's house is a social time, so just concentrate on that.

Liz

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At the risk of seeming ungrateful, I've been glutened too many times by kind, well-meaning, concerned family and friends. I avoid eating food prepared by others. It's a variation of the "just say no" theme. Whenever possible, I prepare my own food.

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I have not had any real problems with this. I just explain that plain meat, fruit and veggies is okay with me. Most of the time people will accomodate. If someone really doesn't get it then I just pass on it.

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The previous post mentioned fruit. That reminded me of a good example of what I run into even when people "get it".

Where I work, surprise birthday parties and cake are the norm. We are a tight group and have worked together forever. After I went gluten-free, one person in particular always felt very bad that I had to be skipped every year. She was the one person who actually "got it" and understood the protocols involved.

One year she got a bright idea. Instead of cake, she thought, why not a fruit platter? She called the company, interrogated the person who answered about ingredients, gluten, etc., etc. In other words, she did every right. She bought the platter. It was delivered. Everyone surprised me with a party. The person proudly explained all the steps she took to make sure everything was gluten free. We ate the fruit. And...I got very, very sick.

To cut to the chase, I finally came up with a plausible explanation with the help of someone online. What they told me was that sometimes the people who make the fruit platters use a special "trick" to keep the fruit fresh. They mix a small amount of wheat flour into water to activate the gluten. Then, they dunk the fruit slices into the mixture. The gluten coats the fruit like an edible version of plastic wrap and keeps it fresh.

I'm guessing that the person who took the order and answered the questions of my friend did not actually work in the kitchen and did not know that they used this special trick.

So bottom line, even when people try hard and serve seemingly safe things like fruit slices, I still get glutened. Go figure.

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Guest cassidy

I have been bringing a dish to share with me. I always ask what I can bring when people invite me over, and they always say nothing, so now I just bring something without asking.

The other week I brought mashed potatoes. My mother-in-law had already made sweet potatoes (for me, but I was scared) and potato salad. Everyone laughed at all the potatoes on the table, but people ate them. Not the healthiest dinner, but it worked.

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The worst is when people are well intentioned, go out of their way to accomodate me, do research, ask questions and STILL serve me food that makes me sick. It's almost easier when someone is just a dick about the whole thing and tries to serve me pasta. At least then I know where I stand and I don't have any social qualms about leaving, refusing to eat, or whipping out a bag of emergency snacks and chowing down on them at the table. Or if it's a restaurant, I don't mind giving the chef a hard time about what's in the food because the whole thing is essentially a business transaction. But when it's someone who is honestly trying to cook you a nice meal and do right by your dietary needs, it's so hard to point out to them any mistakes that they are making...especially when I made the same mistakes back when this was all new to me. "Thanks for the lovely meal. I was sick for three days afterwards...but it was delicious and entire the entire time I was on the toilet I was thinking, 'what a sweet gesture!'"

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"Thanks for the lovely meal. I was sick for three days afterwards...but it was delicious and entire the entire time I was on the toilet I was thinking, 'what a sweet gesture!'"

OMG--I'm still laughing-- :D:D:D

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The worst is when people are well intentioned, go out of their way to accomodate me, do research, ask questions and STILL serve me food that makes me sick. It's almost easier when someone is just a dick about the whole thing and tries to serve me pasta. At least then I know where I stand and I don't have any social qualms about leaving, refusing to eat, or whipping out a bag of emergency snacks and chowing down on them at the table. Or if it's a restaurant, I don't mind giving the chef a hard time about what's in the food because the whole thing is essentially a business transaction. But when it's someone who is honestly trying to cook you a nice meal and do right by your dietary needs, it's so hard to point out to them any mistakes that they are making...especially when I made the same mistakes back when this was all new to me. "Thanks for the lovely meal. I was sick for three days afterwards...but it was delicious and entire the entire time I was on the toilet I was thinking, 'what a sweet gesture!'"

You said it way better than me. Exactly!

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"Thanks for the lovely meal. I was sick for three days afterwards...but it was delicious and entire the entire time I was on the toilet I was thinking, 'what a sweet gesture!'"

LOL :lol: That is the worst! I totally agree!

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I've had marvelous luck with this actually. My best friend Jenny goes out of her way to make sure she won't make me sick, down to having different cookware for me. Whenever I'm going over there to eat the entire day and sometimes the day before, we're on the phone, she'll go over an ingredient list and then I'll give her brands that work, then she'll often call me from the store to double check. I've never gotten sick there.

I had dinner with friends last night, my best guy friend has a new girlfriend and she had invited us to her house to a pasta dinner with them, I replied that my gluten free issues were very difficult, why didn't they come to our house instead. Amazingly, she replied that she had grown up gluten free because of her mom, and that my friend Eric has been eating rice pasta since they started dating and he didn't even know it. She's not 100% gluten free, but she totally understands it, and I was completely confortable. She had cheese and meat plates out for snacking, and everything had its label that had been removed from the package and placed next to the item for me to check, and everything had its own knife and seperate plates. The stuff I wasn't sure of, I just didn't eat. It was awesome.

I also went to a party with another set of friends, and the host was making brushetta as his dish, and saves me some of the tomato makings so I could bring my rice crackers and have some.

The crazy thing is, I've discovered that almost all my friends have a food allergy or intolerance that I was not neccesarily aware of. My one friend can't eat mushrooms, the other can't have onions of all things, and several people are related to celiacs. So most of the people around me that I interact with the most are hyper aware.

My family has accidently made me sick, but more from the smal mistakes we all make as were learning stuff than anything else. ( ie: wheat free doesn't mean gluten free)

The important thing is, apart from everyone listed above, anyone else who has a party or something, I'll bring some snack ( or seven) in my purse. My health is more important than hurting someone's feelings because they made something special and I'm scared to eat it. They can deal with it, and if they can't, then its probably a good indicator they don't need to be my friend.

Unless I know for sure people "get it" I'd rather they not try, so I just tell them I'm bringing my own food, and not to worry. And if they do worry, and try, and get it wrong I will politely thank them, and still not eat thier food. Minimal fuss.

It's a PITA, but its my health, so there we are.

Elonwy

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"Thanks for the lovely meal. I was sick for three days afterwards...but it was delicious and entire the entire time I was on the toilet I was thinking, 'what a sweet gesture!'"

ROTFL...My non-celiac disease husband had a great laugh with this one, too.

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I was just talking to my dh the other day saying that none of our friends ever has us over for dinner. He laughed and said it was because they don't know what to fix us. Then right as I said that a friend called and invited us for dinner. They were grilling veggies and meat so we said sure. About 10 mins. later they called back and asked what I could and couldn't eat as far as sauces and things like go. My dh is allergic to peanuts so they were checking with that too. They were very nice and thoughtful about making a dinner for us. We had a great time too! I don't see a problem letting people know what you can and can't have. It's not your fault and it's not by choice for sure.

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On this topic, we went to a friend's place recently. They're fairly new friends, but I'm up front about my dietary restrictions. And while I was nervous about eating food she cooked, she worked with me really well on the ingredients, and I brought over two items (broth, as she had one of the Swanson's that isn't gluten-free) and taco seasoning (as she had a Lawry's that had wheat). Then she mentioned how she had been so careful about picking out a clean pot (and washing it by hand a second time) and wiping down the counter. There are some fabulous, amazing people out there! :-)

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Guest BERNESES

Oh my gosh- the three days on the toilet was hilarious! So far, I've had pretty good luck but I always carry back-up food just in case. I

would be surprised if someone was offended that you didn't eat questionable food if you explained to them how serious the reaction is. My line is usually, "Well, it's like a really bad case of the stomach flu on top of a hangover that can last up to three weeks." That usually does the trick! :P Beverly

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I ALWAYS offer to bring a dish. People don't seem to get offended and I too say I'd love to come for the company. My mom is the only one who I trust to cook for me....my mom-in-law doesn't even make an attempt - LOL!

Funny story while on this topic. Invited for dinner at friends home. Brought my own cooked pasta. Another mutual friend shows up with a bag of tinkyada - she's not celiac disease, but watching gluten. She tells me to share hers and bring mine back home. When it's done, she laddles on the meatsauce. I'm a vegetarian!!!!!!!!! LOL

moral of the story, I ALWAYS offer to bring a dish. (in this case, I really needed it!)

ps-always loved the 'great food - toilet' comment! ROFL

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Guest cassidy

What about a wedding? We just got a wedding invitation last night. My choices are chicken or beef. I am friends with the groom but we live in another state so he doesn't even know about my allergy. I don't know if I should put an explanation on the reply card. If it was a buffet I don't think people would notice if I didn't eat, but with a sit down dinner I think it might be ackward if I just don't eat the food. Then I'm not sure I would be comfortable eating anything they say is safe without talking to someone who is involved with preparing it. Any ideas?

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Cassidy -

Is the reception at a restaurant? You could call ahead, explain your situation and see if there is anything they can do for you. They may let you order your meal seperatly (as if you were not with the wedding party) and then you could just pay seperatlly. Just an idea!

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