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celiac-mommy

A Different Houseguest Question

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I'd like some other opinions on this as my husband and i agree ( :o , :P ), but we are expecting company for the weekend and I am concerned about feeding them while they are here. We have recently become about 90% raw and vegetarian with some fish, eggs, etc... thrown in, but gone are the ways of "regular" gluten-free eating. We are all much happier with our lifestyle, and have told our guests (my inlaws....) how we will be eating while they are here. The answer we got was--"huh, that's interesting." Should I have other options there for them to eat? I do have a cupboard of cereal and stuff that I haven't cleared out yet as well as a few items in the freezer that they may enjoy alone, but if you're having guests stay with you, would you expect them to eat the same??

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hhmmmm. I tell people that anything I am providing suits my lifestyle. If they want something else, they are welcome to bring it, providing its preparation will not ruin my kitchen for me.

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I think a lot of it depends on your inlaws.

For instance, my FIL had a heart attack a number of years ago, so he and my MIL are very careful about what they eat - including making sure he gets plenty of "heart healthy whole wheat" and "cholesterol reducing oatmeal". Now yes, these foods can be beneficial for some people, but for goodness sake, Shredded Wheat is not the only source of soluble fiber! But as my diet is not their decision, their diet is not my decision either. Additionally, my FIL tends to be fairly... selective ;) about the foods he eats (they aren't terribly exploratory in their food, though they try :wub:).

So, they have the stainless steel pot I don't use that they can cook oatmeal in, there's one gluten-allowed cutting board (a huge one, albeit) to store their bread and prepare their wheaty sandwiches, and a cupboard that is permitted to have gluten-containing cereal and crackers.

But anything we eat together, anything that I'm taking part in cooking, is strictly gluten and dairy free. Of course, I cook things low-fat and otherwise in a way that accommodates my FIL's diet, even when it's a fair bit of a change for us. But I go as far as I can to make my food workable for them, so it's much easier for them to not have to make their own food.

In a case like a raw food diet, it can get tough. You might preference more "normal" raw foods (fresh salads, of the myriad of varieties) and present them as "a salad for dinner", rather than "a raw food salad" (unless they ask, of course). And since you're not 100% raw, let yourself be a little more like 75%, rather than 90%, that particular weekend, to try to meet them halfway.

That assumes, of course, that they're game for it and willing to give it a go.

(That's just my take, of course. Not trying to say it's the right answer. The right answer is whatever one works for you.)

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I don't think you should feel obligated to have any food in your house that you would not be able to eat. However, it may not hurt to adjust portions/ratios a bit. For example, if you would normally have a large garden salad and maybe a little grilled fish on it, make a larger portion of the grilled fish and let your guests have that as a main course with the salad as their side dish. That way you're not drastically changing the way you eat, really making two separate meals, or expecting your guests to eat something radically out of the ordinary. If served family style, your guests can just chose larger portions of the food they're more used to, and you can choose your favorites instead.

Anybody who makes a sudden and drastic change to their diet, even if it's in a healthy direction, can suffer gastronomical distress. So I think I would make an effort to minimize the impact.

If you want to have cereal on hand for them, I would try to pick something that would seem "normal" but wouldn't make me sick... Chex, for example... even if I didn't plan to actually eat any of it. OR, since you have a bunch of stuff on hand, you can just be right up front with them: "I can't eat this stuff anymore, but I still have a lot of it so hopefully there will be enough food you're more familiar with to make this feel like home. You'd actually be doing me a favor by eating this stuff."

-Elizabeth

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Thank you all very much, very good ideas! I never thought about the gi issues they would probably have due to their diet of fast foods and boxes of crap from the freezer. They ended up eating a pizza we had in the freezer for dinner, but my MIL was quite interested in the big fruit salad I made tonight for breakfast tomorrow. I do have options for them since my kids are only about 50% raw/veg right now, it's just that the rest of the food in the house is uber healthy. MIL thought the 70% gourmet chocolate I had tasted nasty-like baking squares....to each their own! I have been "preaching" to her how AMAZING I've been feeling, hopefully some of it will rub off!

Thanks again!

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