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spinsterwitch

Potlucks...

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Hello!

So I've been sick for about a year and it's been really bad over the past 6 months. Finally found a naturopath who told me to try gluten free for awhile, and my symptoms have been fading away. I've been doing this for a short time, but boy does it seem to be working.

But, I frequently go to gatherings. I think I may have it a bit easier than some because I live in the Bay Area and there are lot's of people aware. But my first experience at a potluck was horrible. I had to ask each person, as they filed in, sometimes really specific details about what they'd made.

The next one I'm going to I've figured out a bit: I sent around an e-mail explaining because it's a small group that I might need to know specifics where the gluten isn't obvious.

But I anticipate with the holidays showing up to a party or a potluck where I don't know most of the people and I'm not wanting to make a big production.

How do other people handle this and not get glutened? (which I did just this week taking generic acetaminephine from Wahlgreens...I found out after the fact that it isn't on their gluten-free product list...and I don't look forward to repeating).

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Potlucks are hard for me, too. This summer, I was doing something where people fed me lunch for two weeks straight. There was always a theme (like Italian one day... oooh, that was bad), but let's just say I was sick pretty much the whole month of July and into August.

What works is to either bring your own food, or bring a dish that you can eat, squirrel your way to the front of the line, and get some before it has a chance to be contaminated. Salads are generally safe, but the dressings are tricky. It is hard to actually get a true answer when you ask, because most people don't think about the 2 tbsp of flour that they put in there as an ingredient. And really, can you blame them?

The more your group adjusts to your change in diet, they'll start to be more aware of what they're cooking if you eat together often. Until then, patiently help them, but bring some things along so you don't starve!!

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I think my church is the potluck capital of Southern California :lol: but I just stopped attending them. I show up after the food and just attend the event that follows the potluck. The other option (which I have also done) is to just bring your own food - anything you want - and eat with your friends.

At our last Spring Tea they made an effort to accommodate me (another celiac was on the committee) but at the table everyone else was eating gluteny finger foods and then contaminating the water pitcher, salt and pepper shakers, paper hand-outs, and everything else that was passed around. I must have gotten up and washed my hands at least half a dozen times. It was so not worth it and I have no plans to attend another one.

At potlucks, not only do serving utensils contaminate other dishes, but everyone has gluten all over their hands from the ever-present rolls and cookies.

If you really want to attend I recommend bringing your own food and if anyone asks just explain to them that you have "allergies" and can't take any chances on getting sick. If they press the issue, yes a little bit can hurt and no you can't have it "just this once." Then change the subject or move on to talk with someone else.

Embed in your brain that if you eat what other people (non-celiac) prepare you WILL get sick. Period.

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I don't eat potluck food, unless it's something like a banana or mini oranges or hardboiled egg still in the shell that I KNOW cannot be CCed. I go to potlucks for the social aspects so I bring my own food and still socialize. There's no way you can guarantee any of the food is 100% gluten-free. Even something with gluten-free ingredients can be CCed by someone who simply doesn't realize the seriousness of CC. Read some of the threads about shared kitchens and the precautions people take - no way do people at potlucks understand all that. I usually don't bring anything to share either because it's such a pain to have leftovers that I can't eat due to the possibility of CC. If I do bring something I serve myself a portion before I put it out for everyone else to drop breadcrumbs in.

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What I always do at potlucks is load up my plate early with the items I brought and other things that I know are safe. That way I have plenty to eat - it might not be a huge variety, but at least it's something and I don't feel too much like an outcast.

Last night our book group had a little Christmas gathering. We each brought something to share. Most items were not in any sort of packaging, so I could not look at the list of ingredients. I brought shrimp & cocktail sauce, with a spoon for the sauce. I also brought a plate of rice crackers and some spreadable cheese. I made sure to serve myself first, and took items that I thought would likely be safe: raw veggies, hummus, cream cheese w/ berry sauce (I saw the ingredients on the bottle), salami slices, and the items I brought. Later on, I saw somebody using my spreadable cheese and knife on some wheat crackers. Now that the cheese is "contaminated," I didn't touch it again.

I didn't get to have the dessert - one of our members brought a pumpkin cheesecake that looked fabulous. She asked me if I could just not eat the crust, but I said no. She felt bad that I didn't have any dessert to eat, but I said honestly, it's not a problem at all. I don't want others to have to feel responsible for my food restrictions.

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I eat at home right before I go! And I keep a couple of gluten-free bars in the car. Dessert is a bit frustrating so you might want to try bringing dessert as your potluck entry. Since I am asymptomatic I don't react to cross-contamination but if you do then I think you'd better be super-careful. If cc is an issue then you pretty much can't eat anything at a potluck.

For Thanksgiving I had the turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and salad. That was it. At another recent potluck I couldn't eat any of the appetizers, couldn't eat any of the desserts, and could only eat the chili and fruit. I tried to engage the particular chef in a private one-on-one to ask about how something was prepared, if possible. I don't like to be a bother and I don't like to make myself the center of attention so it's easiest to eat at home before I go. That means I basically nibble, I eat only what I absolutely know to be safe, and I wait until I get home for dessert.

It's not really that bad - try to focus on the company and you'll still have fun. The rule is the same no matter where we eat: Don't eat anything that you are unsure about and you won't get sick!

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I just read in my gluten-free for Dummies book that since there are so many cooks for potluck meals, you should try to make your own dish to bring. That way you know whats in it, and you can eat it. The author also says, if anyone notices that you're gobbling up the dish you brought, simply explain yourself...i'm sure they would understand.

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Hello!

So I've been sick for about a year and it's been really bad over the past 6 months. Finally found a naturopath who told me to try gluten free for awhile, and my symptoms have been fading away. I've been doing this for a short time, but boy does it seem to be working.

But, I frequently go to gatherings. I think I may have it a bit easier than some because I live in the Bay Area and there are lot's of people aware. But my first experience at a potluck was horrible. I had to ask each person, as they filed in, sometimes really specific details about what they'd made.

The next one I'm going to I've figured out a bit: I sent around an e-mail explaining because it's a small group that I might need to know specifics where the gluten isn't obvious.

But I anticipate with the holidays showing up to a party or a potluck where I don't know most of the people and I'm not wanting to make a big production.

How do other people handle this and not get glutened? (which I did just this week taking generic acetaminephine from Wahlgreens...I found out after the fact that it isn't on their gluten-free product list...and I don't look forward to repeating).

bring your own food. expect to feed yourself at potlucks, DO NOT rely on other people to provide any food for you. I personally am extremely sensitive to gluten, and its just not worth getting sick over to eat other people's prepared food. a well intentioned friend is just that... well intentioned. if you didn't see it get cooked, DONT EAT IT.

because ultimately, a healthier you is more important that a few seconds of ego bruise or 100 calories of food.

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Iwent to an extended family pot luck Thanksgiving last Saturday. I ate a large snack before I went and took my own food. I went through the line and found a few things I could have. Since I had already eaten, that was enough food for me. I didn't need the food I had brought. It was a lot of fun and I didn't stress about the food that way.

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I always bring some food for me to eat, that everyone else will like, when I go to potlucks and I also eat some ahead of time. Some advice would be to get a good portion of the food you brought before anyone else touches it, so you do not get cross-contaminated later after everyone has been in it. If it is a potluck or dinner where I cannot bring something, I try to keep a small snack in my bag (raisins, cookies, an apple, or chips) for me to snack on. You can still enjoy the party even without the food. Good luck!

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