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virginiagl

Coworkers Are Not So Understanding

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So while everyone is enjoying their donuts and other gluten/carb filled treats, I am stuck with an extremely limited diet of basically fresh chicken, limited fish, pork, and only some kinds of fruits and vegetables. I am inolerant and allergic to most everything else. I found all this out a couple of months ago after years and years of being very sick. It has been a huge strain on my psyche as I try to negotiate eating a healthy way for myself in an unfriendly and not very understanding office full of coworkers.

I am damn near starving here and no one gives a poop. I cooked fish today in the microwave and one would think I dumped nuclear waste in the office by the way folks reacted. I am battling hard to try and gain my health back and it would be nice if others could be a little more understanding and patient of my plight. I feel like crying right now!

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I'm so sorry that you are going through this! It is so hard to be limited in foods to that extent and then have to watch others at work eating all the good stuff.

With all due respect, I have to be honest and say I would have freaked out if somebody did that where I worked. The smell of fish is so nauseating to me, I probably would have had to throw up.

As hard as it is for you right now, you also have a responsibility to think of other people's feelings in the workplace. If you can eat pork and chicken, then you need to bring that to work or eat fish cold. People are sensitive to smells and the smell of fish takes a long time to go away.

I don't want to upset you more, because I know you are in a fragile state right now, but I do have to be honest with you. I think people will be more supportive if you don't stink up their kitchen. :lol:;)

You are only a couple of months into the diet, so healing might take time. I am one month in and still having much healing to do. Come here for support and see all the people who were sick like you and got better over the course of months. HUGS

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Our office kitchen is the same. There's a sort of "microwave etiquette" in which 2 of the biggest offenders are fish and popcorn-no matter what each individual diet is. There are a few of us who are gluten-free, 2 of us are vegan, etc... I totally understand your frustration on your limitations, but maybe save the fish for home ;)

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It appears as though I'm going to be the lone dissenting vote here. I do not agree at all that you should have to refrain from heating up a platter of fish at the office. I am not at all fond of the smell of coffee, but if I want to eat in our break room I've got to deal with it since a pot of coffee brews there 24 hours a day - literally.

I also find the pungent odors...and some of the sights...of Indian cuisine and some Filipino foods to be unsettling to my stomach, but I have absolutely no right to tell my Hindu and Filipino co-workers that they can't bring their traditional foods to work. Nor, do they have the right to limit what I can bring in on what is already a very limited diet.

I say, screw the insensitive people and keep bringing your fish. You are doing what is best for your health, physically AND mentally, and health trumps odors any day. That said, I would be certain to try to bring in fishes that are mild and don't have a lot of "fishy" smell. Also, I'd be sure to pre-cook the fish at home to limit the amount of heating time and, hopefully, the lingering odors. Also, you could give a show of trying to accommodate by purchasing and bringing in a can or two of air sprays/deodorizers in pleasant scents that your co-workers could spritz as needed to help mask any objectionable odors.

Don't let them get you down! I ran into a similar insensitivity at work, as well. Eventually my co-workers started asking me all about the diet restrictions and they soon realized how difficult it can be...and became much more sensitive, understanding and supportive in the process.

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I have to ditto everything sandsurfgirl said. You are still in an angry state and watching and smelling their donuts and such is not pleasant. I get that. But that's not their fault. They shouldn't need ti change their ways unless it presented a health hazard for you. And office kitchen etiquette is still office kitchen etiquette. Fish is a no no unless you can eat it cold. I'm sorry.

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Communal areas get rules that work for most people, but not everyone. But it's kinda how shared things go.

While I find the smell of microwaved fish fairly revolting, other people find it worse than I do, and so every place I've worked has an unwritten "no fish in the microwave" rule.

Doesn't mean I don't eat fish at work - cold in a pasta salad or other items works just fine. :)

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Also, like gluten, fish IS a major allergen :( I'm not allergic but I would be hesitant to cook any of the major allergens in a common area having been there myself.

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This makes me think of the time years ago that I was asked to work on my day off. I was going to a potluck right after work, so fixed a casserole in a crockpot in the morning to take to work so I could stir it a few times. Apparently the smell bothered others. I think it just possibly made them hungry!!! Anyway, my supervisor said I could never do that again. That's what I get for giving up my day off!

When we had potlucks at work, there were the same smells and no one complained. That's because they got to eat it!

I say take care of your health and eat what you can. Only if you find out that the smell of fish is making someone sick, don't make it at work. A know a woman who is so severely allergic to fish that her husband has to make it in their detached garage.

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My husband is Filipino and he NEVER takes Filipino food to work if I cook it. He is not going to be THAT guy who smelled up the kitchen at work.

You can say "screw the insensitive people" and keep bringing fish, but all you will do is alienate yourself from them and people will not like you. Office politics get nasty over stuff like this and it's just not worth it. If you want them to be sensitive to you then you have to abide by the Golden Rule and be sensitive to them and not gross them out with your food. You can cry "Foul and NOT fair!" but in the end you will be stinky food girl and it will cause you problems. Sorry but that's just the way it is.

Fish smell lingers and it's tough to get out. If you microwave fish and then something after it, the other food will smell and taste like it. I want to hurl just thinking about it. BLECH.

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I wanted to add that celiac disease is only diagnosed in 1 in 5000 people in the U.S. A doctor friend of mine has only ever had ONE celaic patient in her practice. My mother in law has been an allergist 30 years and only has seen a couple of celiac patients ever. My doctor only has ME as a celiac patient and the nurse there has been nursing 30+ years and I'm her only celiac.

We are rare (even if in reality there are probably millions of undiagnosed only we know that.) The world is not going to revolve around us. They have no idea what celiac is, and most of us didn't know until we were diagnosed either. We have to revolve around them and I think it's better to accept that and be grateful when we are accomodated than get angry because you will be angry ALL the time.

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My husband is Filipino and he NEVER takes Filipino food to work if I cook it. He is not going to be THAT guy who smelled up the kitchen at work.

You can say "screw the insensitive people" and keep bringing fish, but all you will do is alienate yourself from them and people will not like you. Office politics get nasty over stuff like this and it's just not worth it. If you want them to be sensitive to you then you have to abide by the Golden Rule and be sensitive to them and not gross them out with your food. You can cry "Foul and NOT fair!" but in the end you will be stinky food girl and it will cause you problems. Sorry but that's just the way it is.

Fish smell lingers and it's tough to get out. If you microwave fish and then something after it, the other food will smell and taste like it. I want to hurl just thinking about it. BLECH.

I guess, then, that I'm glad I work where I work because people ignore what somebody else is eating...we're just glad when we can get away long enough to get the 25 minutes we're allotted for lunch so that we can eat something. In fact, foods that are routinely microwaved in our break room include fish, shrimp, popcorn, eggs & bacon, scrapple, venison, Greek, Pakistani, Egyptian, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Filipino & Pennsylvania Dutch foods. The only "trouble" I've had there since going gluten-free was that one particular person just couldn't believe that eating gluten could actually do me harm and tried to insist that I was just being a picky eater. That tune changed when I had a bad reaction at a work function and they've not had anything negative to say since.

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I guess, then, that I'm glad I work where I work because people ignore what somebody else is eating...we're just glad when we can get away long enough to get the 25 minutes we're allotted for lunch so that we can eat something. In fact, foods that are routinely microwaved in our break room include fish, shrimp, popcorn, eggs & bacon, scrapple, venison, Greek, Pakistani, Egyptian, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Filipino & Pennsylvania Dutch foods. The only "trouble" I've had there since going gluten-free was that one particular person just couldn't believe that eating gluten could actually do me harm and tried to insist that I was just being a picky eater. That tune changed when I had a bad reaction at a work function and they've not had anything negative to say since.

I would have a hard time there then!!! Yikes! :lol: I would be "Oversensitive to Smells Girl."

I can't believe someone would tell you that you were being a picky eater. What a jerk. Nobody has ever said that to me, but if they did they would get a dissertation on what it means to have an autoimmune disorder and all the danger of eating a "little bit of poison" or a "little bit of glass." They would wish they had never ever said that to me. But I'm bratty that way. ;):P

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I worked at one manufacturing company where the majority were Chinese, and they always heated their lunch in the common microwave. The non-Chinese employees always rather loudly and rudely complained about the smell. Until one day I said "have you ever considered that the smell of your vomit van chili may be just as offensive to them, and their fish is to you?"

Unless it it becomes an actual "rule" in the workplace that you cannot cook certain foods in the microwave, then eat whatever you want. As long as you clean up after yourself if it explodes, really what's the problem? I'm sure someone else has burned popcorn on more than one occasion, which also stinks for days and days!

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Perhaps the answer is to not have a microwave in the lunch room at all. No zapper, no stink. :ph34r::blink:

JK!

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Just a thot. If the air circulation is so low that a smell lingers for many hours that is probably not a healthy environment to be in.

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So while everyone is enjoying their donuts and other gluten/carb filled treats, I am stuck with an extremely limited diet of basically fresh chicken, limited fish, pork, and only some kinds of fruits and vegetables. I am inolerant and allergic to most everything else. I found all this out a couple of months ago after years and years of being very sick. It has been a huge strain on my psyche as I try to negotiate eating a healthy way for myself in an unfriendly and not very understanding office full of coworkers.

I am damn near starving here and no one gives a poop. I cooked fish today in the microwave and one would think I dumped nuclear waste in the office by the way folks reacted. I am battling hard to try and gain my health back and it would be nice if others could be a little more understanding and patient of my plight. I feel like crying right now!

wht do you mean by limited fish? is it an allergy for you or should we all avoid some types of fish????

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I'm not a fan of the smell of fish, either, but I haven't complained about coworkers heating it up. That said, coworkers heating up fish do prop the outside door open while doing so, and that helps the smell not linger. Can you do the same? (Or open a window?)

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I personally see it as just a basic issue of respect for others. I am sure they are not complaining just to make your life miserable, they are complaining because they find it offensive. I agree with the "eat cold fish at work" school, or save it for home; there are plenty of things you can find to take to work that will not be offensive. If you show them respect they will likely respect your differences too, like when it comes to selecting a group restaurant to eat at. :)

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My husband is Filipino and he NEVER takes Filipino food to work if I cook it. He is not going to be THAT guy who smelled up the kitchen at work.

You can say "screw the insensitive people" and keep bringing fish, but all you will do is alienate yourself from them and people will not like you. Office politics get nasty over stuff like this and it's just not worth it. If you want them to be sensitive to you then you have to abide by the Golden Rule and be sensitive to them and not gross them out with your food. You can cry "Foul and NOT fair!" but in the end you will be stinky food girl and it will cause you problems. Sorry but that's just the way it is.

Fish smell lingers and it's tough to get out. If y

You microwave fish and then something after it, the other food will smell and taste like it. I want to hurl just thinking about it. BLECH.

yeah I abhor the smell of fish :ph34r: And I completely agree that if you cook something in the microwave after it, it has a linger fishy taste! God I hate seafood.

So because I'm biased, I'd say don't microwave it at work!! Because it really is a strong and offensive smell. But I do feel sympathetic in that it sounds you have more than one intolerance and are very limited in the food you can eat. But you said you can eat chicken, right? Maybe save the fish for home and bring chicken instead.

Again, take my response with a grain of salt because I AM biased on this because I HATE seafood, and the smell is very strong.

I think there've only been 2 times in 2 years that someone has microwaved fish in my work suite. Everyone was annoyed when they did, and the entire suite smelled, more than it even does with spicy food. The only worse time was when someone burned popcorn...now THAT was bad. The microwave is still brown from burnt-ness and the food all had a burnt taste after a while. I personally prefer the burnt-smoky suite to the fish suite, but overall that was worse for everyone because it lingered a long time and you could feel the burnt-ness in your lungs and eyes lol.

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Normally I wouldn't have made the fish, but it was one of those weeks where I had very little time to plan meals and actually pre-cook. Not to mention I have had chicken almost every day for the last two months. I had run to the grocery store on my way to work to pick up some food I could eat through the day and I couldn't face eating chicken another day. Tilapia which is a very mild fish is one of the few kinds of fish I can eat and I need the nutrition.

Needless to say I won't be cooking fish at work anymore but it doesn't help the fact that I am struggling with this whole thing and eating the way I am supposed to be eating is KILLING my pocketbook. I am a single mom of a 7 year old with zero outside support(no family here and the ex is always unavailable due to his job). Finding the time it takes to prepare the right kinds of foods in a variety of ways is almost impossible for me. I'm doing well to hold down my full time job and make sure my kid does his homework every day. I get very little time to just simply relax. Of course I don't expect anyone to really understand this part of it because you are not in my shoes, but for me this is all a huge deal.

Even my friends are clueless about my diet. I tried to explain as much as I could about my allergies, intolerances, and how I must not have ANY gluten what so ever. I tried to educated them on how important it is that I read ingredients and understand what is gluten and what isn't in the ingredients list. They just all shake their heads and make comments like "I am so glad I don't have to pay attention to ingredient lists".

Actually one of my friends who seems to understand asked if my son and I would like to come to her house for dinner so I could have a break. She asked me what I can have. I told her chicken and vegetables other than corn, and spinach. I said my chicken would have to be made without marinades etc...because of the hidden gluten in most condiments. She said no problem.

When I got there, the chicken had marinade all over it and the side dishes were corn and black beans. My heart sunk. She was proud of herself because she thought she was making something healthy for me to eat and I didn't say a word because I knew she was trying and meant well...like so many others she still didn't get it. I ate it anyway knowing that I would pay later and I am paying alright. I have joint pain and stiffness and am very stopped up in my sinuses. I am nauseated and feel weak and tired as well.

And yes I'm angry...I don't know how not to be angry at this point. My whole world revolved around food and still does! I can't get away from it. I have been starving for years but I am terribly overweight. For just as many years I have tried every diet and way of eating known to mankind to try and get my health turned around only to end up with more weight, more hunger, and more frustration. I could just scream. I am still forced to think about food more than the average person has to and am emotionally exhausted and frustrated.

I don't just have the gluten issue either. I have many food allergies to deal with. So truly my choices are very limited. I'm allergic to beef, most seafood, pork, eggs, spinach, and soy to name just a few. I have a big fat dairy intolerance too. So getting a good balance of nutrition is proving to be as difficult as ever. But no one in my circle of friends or my coworkers can truly know how awful and limiting this really is. They can all eat whatever they want and can't wrap their brains around how harmful normal every day food can be to some people. They will never care enough to truly educate themselves on what is safe for me because they don't truly believe what is happening to me is real. They see how overweight I am and think I'm being ridiculous when I say I'm starving.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I know I have rambled and ranted...I am losing it I think.

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Oh and I was wrong about the pork...I am not supposed to eat it either. I went back to the list of foods that I am supposed to avoid and also learned I am not supposed to eat avacado! I love avacado and have been eating it since I found out about my allergies and intolerances...doh!

Well needless to say I am still trying to figure this all out. I have learned from this experience that I am going to have to keep that list with me at all times until I have it fully memorized. It is such a loooooooong list. All I want is to be healthy for once in my life.

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Oh and for the person who asked me what I meant about limited fish...

I have only a slight allergy to white fish. I probably shouldn't eat it at all, but because it is only a slight allergy to it I have allowed myself to eat Tilapia on rare occasions. I am desperate to break up the monotony of having chicken every day. But fish like salmon, tuna, and shellfish, are big no no's according to the clinician and as much as I love that stuff I am too afraid to eat it now.

This is all made worse by the fact that I am constantly around food I can't eat. Coworkers bring tons of yummy stuff to the office for everyone to share and I am ALWAYS left out. Even when the employees are rewarded by food being brought in for lunch, I can't eat any of it and miss out on what is supposed to be a big reward for working so hard. I don't get a reward and that stings.

I can't even enjoy most foods you celiacs can have because of the allergies and intolerances I have, so I may not even be in the right kind of support group here...

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Oh and I was wrong about the pork...I am not supposed to eat it either. I went back to the list of foods that I am supposed to avoid and also learned I am not supposed to eat avacado! I love avacado and have been eating it since I found out about my allergies and intolerances...doh!

Well needless to say I am still trying to figure this all out. I have learned from this experience that I am going to have to keep that list with me at all times until I have it fully memorized. It is such a loooooooong list. All I want is to be healthy for once in my life.

Oh honey, big HUGS for you!!! I wanted to cry reading your post. We are all in that desperate state at one point or other. I'm sort of there right now. To be a single mom on top of it is a lot to handle.

I too have the weight gain no matter what I do. I was always thin until I got hypothyroidism and after having 2 kids it doesn't matter what I do, what diet or extreme workouts I try, the weight doesn't come off. I'm hoping that celiac was the problem. At this point since I'm healing I can't deal with calorie restriction so I'm just trying to maintain.

It WILL get better. Lots of people on here had a billion food intolerances and as their gut healed they were able to add more foods. Pretty much everything I eat is irritating my system right now and it's frustrating. I'm starving all the time, but I can only eat tiny meals so I have to eat all day long.

Come here and rant anytime. This is the place where everybody understands.

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Thank you Sandsurf girl and everyone else too. I am sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks now. I know I am not the only one who is suffering and I normally don't feel so sorry for myself. I am also very concerned about my little boy on top of everything else. He too is suffering from terrible sinus problems, asthma, chest congestion, and constipation and various digestive issues.

I haven't had him tested yet but am almost positive he is suffering from the gluten intolerance too. I have changed his diet at home cutting out dairy, soy, peanut butter, and wheat. I am desperate to get him eating healthier too but haven't been able to stop him from eating things at school he shouldn't and his dad doesn't take any of this seriously.

My son is underweight and has dark circles under his eyes. I know he is starving also and it breaks my heart. Trying to get his dad to understand what all I know now is damn near impossible. His dad even told me that if I was having trouble being the managing conservator that he could take on that role. Well that is horrifying to me because my ex doesn't believe these food intolerances can exist. He thinks it is all a bunch of alternative medical crap that isn't based in science. He refuses to educate himself on it all simply because I brought it up. As far as he is concerned anything that comes out of my mouth is wrong and doesn't deserve respect.

I need to get my son in to see a good doctor who will go a little more above and beyond. Past experience has taught me that doctors don't really get it either. The only reason I found out about all my issues was because after years of being fed up with medical doctors not finding what was wrong with me, I went to an alternative practitioner who took a bunch of blood and had it sent to a lab for testing. I never got this far with a medical doctor. Come to find out it cost three thousand dollars and my insurance wouldn't cover any of it. This is a whole new topic I know!

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Thank you Sandsurf girl and everyone else too. I am sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks now. I know I am not the only one who is suffering and I normally don't feel so sorry for myself. I am also very concerned about my little boy on top of everything else. He too is suffering from terrible sinus problems, asthma, chest congestion, and constipation and various digestive issues.

I haven't had him tested yet but am almost positive he is suffering from the gluten intolerance too. I have changed his diet at home cutting out dairy, soy, peanut butter, and wheat. I am desperate to get him eating healthier too but haven't been able to stop him from eating things at school he shouldn't and his dad doesn't take any of this seriously.

My son is underweight and has dark circles under his eyes. I know he is starving also and it breaks my heart. Trying to get his dad to understand what all I know now is damn near impossible. His dad even told me that if I was having trouble being the managing conservator that he could take on that role. Well that is horrifying to me because my ex doesn't believe these food intolerances can exist. He thinks it is all a bunch of alternative medical crap that isn't based in science. He refuses to educate himself on it all simply because I brought it up. As far as he is concerned anything that comes out of my mouth is wrong and doesn't deserve respect.

I need to get my son in to see a good doctor who will go a little more above and beyond. Past experience has taught me that doctors don't really get it either. The only reason I found out about all my issues was because after years of being fed up with medical doctors not finding what was wrong with me, I went to an alternative practitioner who took a bunch of blood and had it sent to a lab for testing. I never got this far with a medical doctor. Come to find out it cost three thousand dollars and my insurance wouldn't cover any of it. This is a whole new topic I know!

Hey, I know this is unrelated to your other problems, but if you want, post a list of your 'no's', and I'll go over and try to come up with recipes and variations, and stuff for the crockpot that will save you time. I really do think that you'll be able to get some foods back once your system has healed. Don't worry, we'll walk you through it!

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