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okgrace

Can You Eat At A Friend's House?

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I am wondering what other people do when they are invited to dinner? My mother in law and many of our friends are willing to cook us Gluten Free meals when we come over to their homes. Is there enough residual gluten in their pans that it isn't worth eating? I know we changed our pans recently because of this issue but I am not sure how to deal with it on the occasional level. I am willing to bring food for us to other people's homes, but it beats the purpose of a dinner party. I am just not sure anymore what is going overboard and what is the right level of vigilance.

Thanks for your help!

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Good questions! I have some friends who are very aware of what I can or can't have, and go to extreme measures for me. I have other friends whom, while I'm sure they love me :rolleyes: it just doesn't seem worth the effort to go over and over it. I eat where I feel safe, otherwise I bring food, or more then once I've been known to eat dinner before I go out and then just nibble on fruits or veggies when i'm at their house. I also seem to have people over here a lot more then i used to, just seems so much safer and if they want to bring their gluteny dish they can :ph34r:


Ev in Michigan

GFDF since 8/20/05

Negative Bloodwork ~

Dr. encourages me to trust my

"Gut Reaction"

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We're new to this, my son was diagnosed in Dec. (I swear I start every post with that line!) We've been to friends homes twice in that time. Once was to a very dear friend who worked really close with me to plan the menu, how to cook it, etc. She was absolutely great and the evening was terrific. She kept everything gluten free so there would be no problems with the kids cross contaminating and just less stressful for us.

The following week we went over to some other close friends. Don't get me wrong, their effort and concern was just as wonderful, but it wasn't nearly the same experience. She made a mostly gluten free meal, but had a crusty loaf of french bread to go with the meal. The gluten-free portion was delicious and I felt it was very safe for our son. But that bread! It was really crusty. When she cut it up I swear I could see poison flying through the air. Then while we were in the other room the boys decided to play with cars on the kitchen floor. It nearly caused a panic attack, but then I got a grip and rationalized that my son is almost 9 and wasn't going to be sucking his fingers or putting the cars in his mouth and to just relax. Then the host went in the kitchen and I heard him joking with my son about eating his 5th gluten-free blueberry muffin. Yep, he was sitting and playing in gluten-free crumbs while eating a sticky muffin. UGH! He didn't get sick, but I was a wreck! It was anything but a relaxing night.

I'm sure we'll get better at it and we'll all learn how better to deal with situations, but I'm much more comfortable in my own little gluten-free world right now. For Easter we ate first and then went to our family gathering. It's just easier right now.

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I have better luck in restaurants then I have in friends homes. I tend to eat in "good" restaurants and I think most of them break down the kitchen every night and so very clean each day. Most people never "break down" their kitchen and so I think there is a far greater chance of cross contamination.

My friends try, they understand it, I just feel their kitchens are gluten factories!

Susan

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This situation does admittedly make me nervous. :unsure: I usually let the pan thing go, but I call ahead and get the menu plan so I know what to bring for my son. I CC seems very likely (for example pancakes, bacon and eggs at Christmas breakfast), then I will bring most if not all of my son's food. Otherwise I have things like chips set aside for him so there is not cc from many people reaching into a chip bowl. I also try to make sure I get his food first at meal time so it is not touched my lots of people or contaminated by any gluten.


Jenny

Son 6 yrs old, Positive blood work, Outstanding dietary response, no biopsy.

Household mostly gluten free since 3/07

Me: HLA-DQ 02 & 0302 (DQ 08), which I ran & analyzed myself!Currently gluten lite, negative tTG, asymptomatic

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The guy I'm dating just invited me to his house for dinner, he lives with 2 room mates and I'm way nervous. He's very educated in the gluten-free area but I'm still nervous. I'm not worried about a pot being dirt or a counter being dirty it's more of the CC factor by using the butter that someone used on bread or something like that. I will be there with him to cook but my nerves are going to be shot, I just know it! BUT he's been dying to get me over there and now I'm finally doing it. It will be fun, I know that but I'm still nervous.

Also, I feel the same about being more safe eating out then at a friends house.

Any advise?


all my life i have had an oat allergy.

gluten-free 5/2005.

active yeast free since... don't remember.

refined sugar free 5/2010.

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I personally struggle in this area, and I have been using my friends' reaction to my gluten-free speech to gauge if I should go or not. If they are genuinely listening, asking questions to figure things out or offer their meal and preparation ideas, I will usually go. Whereas, if they are kind of nodding and looking off into space as I am explaining myself or don't ask any questions or I can just tell they are not paying attention, I will simply say, "Thanks for the offer but I will be bringing my own food to your place so please don't be offended as I do it all the time...or you can come over and I can cook!"

It has worked so far, and I am pretty sensitive to low levels of gluten...and so far, those people I know who were listening to me and understand the severity of me being glutened have left me with great memories of good times and good food :)

Go with your gut; treat each situation differently.

Glutina


-Recently diagnosed with extreme gluten sensitivity

-Celiac test results: negative

-In and out of hospitals and doctors offices for past 5 years with stomach/digestive issues

-Eating disordered past (this most likely triggered gluten issues G.I. thinks)

Symptoms when glutened: Diah. and Cons.; cramping/uncomfortable abdomen; rash on forehead; extreme fatigue; sometimes excruciating abdominal pain; feeling of weakness; acid reflux

**New to the gluten free way of living, but feeling like my old, healthy self again!!**

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I personally struggle in this area, and I have been using my friends' reaction to my gluten-free speech to gauge if I should go or not. If they are genuinely listening, asking questions to figure things out or offer their meal and preparation ideas, I will usually go. Whereas, if they are kind of nodding and looking off into space as I am explaining myself or don't ask any questions or I can just tell they are not paying attention, I will simply say, "Thanks for the offer but I will be bringing my own food to your place so please don't be offended as I do it all the time...or you can come over and I can cook!"

It has worked so far, and I am pretty sensitive to low levels of gluten...and so far, those people I know who were listening to me and understand the severity of me being glutened have left me with great memories of good times and good food :)

Go with your gut; treat each situation differently.

Glutina

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I think you get better at this the longer youve been at it....I never allow myself to go anywhere hungry...we always eat before we go. I find that this lessens the anxiety a great deal. I also remind my self that while being glutened is miserable its not initself life threatening. Last weekend I spend 4 houre in the ER with a friend who's 10 year old son has a nut allergy. He asked and inquired at a birthday party...and despite his best efforts ended up in a very serious situation requireing an amublance ride to the hospital...So try to relax a bit and remember that being a full particpater in the spectrum of life events and activites is really worth the risk of being glutened.. We have an obligation to consistently do our best to be diet compliant but also to except the fact that every now and then an opps will happen..we find it happens less than we thought it would and that our anxiety is the worst part of the whole thing.

Good Luck!!

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my daughter seems to be highly sensitive to any amount of gluten at this point. The hardest part is allowing relatives to take care of her when I am not around. I know they wouldn't intentionally gluten her, but this a complex diet and you really don't learn the ins and outs until you have been doing it for a while.

I am still unsure about allowing other people to cook in their pans for her. But admittedly I am a bit of a phobe in general. :P It started with germs when I was pregnant and has moved to gluten. i guess I need to get a grip. It's tough though when it's not just her stomach that is upset, she's moody, can't contol her bladder and it effects he development. I know that she has been held back a bit by celiacs and it's important to me to help her catch up.

I am going to try and get a grip, thats all I can do. right? :)

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I am willing to bring food for us to other people's homes, but it beats the purpose of a dinner party.

I just wanted to point out that the real purpose of a dinner party I think is to socialize with your friends. The food is a kind of a nice context to do it but the real purpose is to be with friends. So I would say bringing your own food doesn't beat the purpose of a dinner party from my point of view at least. :) usually when I explain it to people this way they also agree.

I only trust a few people to really be able to cook for me safely, and one aspect of that is that they are close enough friends that I can be very involved in the preparations. But it depends a lot on the people involved, and how sensitive you are, so I think it's something everybody has to decide for themselves case by case. Very early into the diet it's maybe better to be extra careful to get the healing process well under way.

Pauliina

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It depends. I have some friends whose food I will not eat, and because I've always been very clear that I'll bring my own food, they don't even try to cook gluten-free (which is fine with me because it's easier to just bring my own food and not have to deal with the awkwardness of trying to explain why I can't eat the food they tried to make for me). Then I have friends who are fabulous about things and google all the brands before cooking and do a great job. I eat their food. Then I have some in-between friends who do the research but are still getting the CC thing down so I go over and supervise the cooking.


Gluten-Free since September 15, 2005.

Peanut-Free since July 2006.

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I'm not sure how to tell people what my needs are. It goes so beyond saying I can't eat flour, grains or anything containing same. But I would feel awful about saying "by the way, don't use your butter or any condiments that you stuck a bread coated knife in and forget using your gluten peremeated wooden spoons". I thought about putting together a "card" and giving it to people upon receiving a dinner invitation.

Something along the lines of "Thanks for inviting me to dinner. I have celiac disease which is ...... Not only can I not eat ...... There is also the risk of contanimation, even just a little gluten may be harmful for me and may make me immediately ill. In order for me to eat safely at you home please remember ........

And sign it off offering to answer any questions, bring my own food etc etc etc.

I'm only one year gluten-free and might not be as prepared to write up something complete, does anyone want to put our heads together and come up with an all-encompassing letter?

Amelia

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I usually say something like this "Oh, great! I'd love to. So you know, I have Celiac, major food issues, so can I bring a hefty side dish that'll be enough for my dinner and to share as a side with everyone? It would be way too much to ask you to do the work necessary to make food safe for me, so I'd rather just bring something if that's ok."


If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

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I agree with Pixie - the odds are often better going to a restaurant than someone's home. I've been 50/50 on being glutened at people's homes.

Some folks are very nice and really want you to be comfortable but they stress themselves out over your visit so much that it makes you feel bad to put them through it. Nowadays I usually eat enough beforehand that if everything looks like gluten then I won't be starving. We bring a side dish too.

A major holiday at a distant relative's house can be disastrous if they load you up with questionable stuff and they hound you to death to eat it. Best bet is to stick to what is safe and serve your own portions.

I once had an in-law load me up with bread, stuffing, etc and she was upset that I didn't eat it - like I was faking it or something. She said "there's not much wheat in it, it's white bread, it should be OK". I'm not getting sick to make anyone happy. EVERYTHING they served from ham to deserts to some of the things they added to the mashed potatos had questionable ingredients on the packaging.

If your hosts are good listeners and appear genuinely interested in making a few small accommodations without fanfare it will probably work out. If they give a blank stare and just behave agitated when you mention additives and thickeners - pack a snack or you'll be sick and/or or hungry.

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Recently a friend invited my husband and I for dinner. She tried to cook for me, bless her bones.

But I've decided in the future to tell everyone " Please don't try to cook for my dietary restrictions. I can't eat wheat and cooking without it is dang near impossible. It takes years of practice to weed the wheat out of every dish and condiment, so don't trouble yourself. Cook whatever you and your guests would like. I will bring my own dish that others can share if they like."

I figure this is my own "cross to bear" and I will not impose it upon others. I don't even order food at resturants when we eat out. I just order something to drink--- and enjoy the fellowship. :)


CeeCee

Allergic to: wheat, peanuts and Penicillin

1995 severe anaphylactic reaction to Wheat

Gluten free since Sept. 2006

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently"--- Henry Ford

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I like the "bring a hefty side dish" idea, that can be shared with others so you aren't drawing the line fully between self and others.

I'm in a situation where it is impossible pretty much to eat in a restaurant, unless I get a bowl of plain rice. I do that when necessary. But we have also ordered take out, bring back and everyone else has that, while I eat my own meal. We are then able to do the social engagement stuff or business and I am not at risk. It isn't too hard to control the gluten when it is just in the dining area with throw away containers.

What I find difficult is social situations too many in a row, when I still don't feel well a lot of the time. My healing has been slow. I just don't have the energy to always do the cooking and bring stuff. Hopefully that will improve over time.

We are also trying to meet people for tea or coffee. When we go to Starbucks nobody notices that I don't drink anything, but when I am not eating and they are, people seem to feel more awkward. Dessert would work too, bring your own dessert and get together after the dinner hour.


4/2007 Positive IGA, TTG Enterolab results, with severe malabsorption: Two DQ2 celiac genes--highest possible risk.

gluten-free since 4/22/07; SF since 7/07; 3/08 & 7/08 high sugar levels in stool (i.e. cannot break down carbs) digestive enzymes for carbs didn't help; 7/18/08 started SCD as prescribed by my physician (MD).

10/2000 dx LYME disease; 2008 clinical dx CELIAC; Other: hypothyroid, allergies, dupuytrens, high mercury levels

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