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selrdoor

Moving Out New Issues

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Okay, so I feel a little ridiculous writing in as I have been dealing with Celiac for 16 years (I'm 19, diagnosed around my third birthday) but I recently moved out of my parent's house (I took a gap year last year during which I lived in apartments and houses with several others and this year I'm in college) and I'm finding that a lot of new issues are coming up. When I was younger and ate most of my meals with my parents I was very careful and never cheated and had something that I new could have gluten, but now that I'm eating more with friends I'm having a hard time being as careful. Whenever I go out to eat with friends or even if I'm in the dining hall, I feel like I can't ask too many questions or be too demanding that we go somewhere that I can eat because it's so inconvenient for them. I've tried just insisting that my health has to come before what someone feels like eating, but usually people just tell me that I'm being too uptight or that I don't trust them enough. One guy in my apartment last year even called me a food nazi because I put signs up by the fridge saying "please no double dipping!" after I found crumbs in the butter (I had already asked people to be careful and they'd all agreed). I know that I should withstand the pressure and make eating safely my top priority but I don't want to sacrifice friends and experiences. Any advice?

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You have to be serious about your food issues. Usually I just eat before going out or bring something with me to eat. That way I don't have to worry about being sick or finding nothing to eat. As for the storing of food issue- just have a set of your own things. That way they can't make comments and you know yours is in it's own container. It is hard for people who aren't used to the whole cross-contamination thing. Good luck!

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My kids were diagnosed young. I have spent the last five years teaching them to be serious about what they eat and how their health depends on it. You have to stand up for yourself. You find out who your friends are when you are on a gluten free diet. Any one who isn't supportive of your needs is NOT your friend.

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Just one question. :How well do you remember being sick? I was diagnosed in '04 and Let me tell you. When you've been sick like I have for most of your life you tend to takeyour health more seriously. I get embarassed when ppl make a big deal about what can I eat but i have to stick to my diet. I hate ordering a hamburger without a bun and then sitting there looking like an idiot with a plastic container and plastic silverware cutting up a little patty but it has to be done. I get seriously sick if i don't. Take it from someone who knows their bodies limits. Don't worry about bein annoying. It's something that has to be done. It's not as if you're on some fad diet and trying to shove it down everyones throat. This is essential to your health and you should tell that to anyone that has a problem.

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I struggled with this as well when I was in college (last 2 years). Going out to dinner was the hardest part for me. There is this little italian place all of my friends love (I did too in the past!). Recently I became tired of ordering a salad or plain chicken so I started bringing a little container of sauce, some gluten-free bread, and my own dressing. It seems embarassing but when people really care about you, they won't make fun of you. Sometimes I laugh at myself just to brush past the topic...then I dip my bread in the sauce and enjoy the food.

It took me a while to be comfortable to do that, but you'll get there. I bring food to resutarants all the time now, I always bring pieces of bread and ask the server for butter...or i put some of the table butter on my plate before anyone else touches it. I keep little packets of soy sauce and dressing in my purse at all times. I also eat before I go to places in case all I can get is a salad.

If your roommates are dipping into your butter and sauces, maybe you could buy your own. I had my own of everything, never shared - I put my initials on everything and gluten-free in bold letters. I told them that I'd get really sick if they used it but if they accidently did, to just tell me and I won't be mad. I also had my own pots and pans and did the same thing. You're health is SO important, you cannot let other people hinder your success at the gluten-free diet - it's hard in college but people will understand if you discuss it a lot and be open.

Sorry this is so long! But one more thing. If you know beforehand where your friends want to go, call the restaurant and ask if they can accomidate you...most of the time they can. I was invited out to a group dinner and I was stressing over it...but I called and they ended up making me a gluten-free chicken parm! It never hurts to ask, and if you call first that way you don't have to ask any questions at the table. Hope this helps a little, good luck!

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Okay, so I feel a little ridiculous writing in as I have been dealing with Celiac for 16 years (I'm 19, diagnosed around my third birthday) but I recently moved out of my parent's house (I took a gap year last year during which I lived in apartments and houses with several others and this year I'm in college) and I'm finding that a lot of new issues are coming up. When I was younger and ate most of my meals with my parents I was very careful and never cheated and had something that I new could have gluten, but now that I'm eating more with friends I'm having a hard time being as careful. Whenever I go out to eat with friends or even if I'm in the dining hall, I feel like I can't ask too many questions or be too demanding that we go somewhere that I can eat because it's so inconvenient for them. I've tried just insisting that my health has to come before what someone feels like eating, but usually people just tell me that I'm being too uptight or that I don't trust them enough. One guy in my apartment last year even called me a food nazi because I put signs up by the fridge saying "please no double dipping!" after I found crumbs in the butter (I had already asked people to be careful and they'd all agreed). I know that I should withstand the pressure and make eating safely my top priority but I don't want to sacrifice friends and experiences. Any advice?

Well first of all you can ask all the questions you want when you go out. They are being paid to serve you and any person should understand your situation. If they wanna be a real Jack@$$ about it then dont leave them a good tip. When it comes to your friends they will surely understand. When we go out to eat either with family or friends, where we go is based on my sister and I. No one ever complains because we are the only one with restraints. Or we pick a place that is generic and serves all types of food. Sometimes we feel bad so we will go to a pizza place with them or italian. If they want those types of food there are gluten free restaurants. Olive Garden has a gluten free menu. I dont know where you live but we have a place called Sammy's Woodfire Pizza who has a gluten free pizza. So try suggesting those places. If you feel awkward about always asking them to change the spot just be the first one to suggest a location.

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