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sandsurfgirl

Sticky Social Situation

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I'm in MOPS, a group for moms of young kids, at my church. We meet twice a month and each table takes turns bringing food for brunch.

My table offered to make gluten free when we bring food next time and I said thanks, but don't worry about it. We weren't due to bring food for another month so I figured I would deal with it when the time gets closer. I have soy intolerance BAD, dairy intolerance although I've been able to add a bit in here and there, and I think I'm intolerant of tapioca, so most likely their gluten free stuff they buy will have that in it as well. I figured when the time got close I could explain a bit more about how complicated it will be for them to cook for me and let them off the hook tactfully.

Well there was a schedule mixup and my table leader emailed us and said we have to bring food this Wednesday and don't forget we're doing gluten free for Heather! Then the girls were so sweet, they're emailing "I got a gluten free brownie mix." "I got some gluten free cinnamon raisin bread!"

I emailed them some guidelines about hidden gluten, but honestly I am SCARED to eat their food. Not only CC risk, but also my other intolerances.

I CANNOT insult these girls by telling them "Sorry you were so nice to go out and specially buy gluten free food but I can't eat it."

I am so stressed about this. I'm thinking of doing that thing the 9 year olds do when they push stuff around their plates and pretend to eat it. I have this image in my mind of my coat pockets stuffed with gluten free brownies I spit out. :lol: Ack!!!!

I didn't know they were going to run out and buy stuff right away before I could explain. Anybody have any good ideas???

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My table offered to make gluten free when we bring food next time and I said thanks, but don't worry about it

You have already told them not to worry about it. End of problem. It's so nice they are buying you all this gluten free items.But they do not fully understand this issue.

You can be sick that day and not go. Or you can stand up for yourself, thank them from the bottom of your heart and just not eat anything except what you bring. And bring something so good no one will notice you aren't eating anything else.

Your health is too important to try eating something that will make you sick. 50 years from now you need to be healthy for your grand-kids. 50 years from now the people in your group will be gone out of your life or will be your best friends who understand why you do not eat their food.

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dang

How bad are your reactions to other things? Mine aren't so bad that I wouldn't be tempted to have a tiny bit of things and just deal with the consequences. If that's not the case for you...

Gushing, loving, thankful beyond measure.....Ask them to bring the mixes they used so you can make a game of going through the ingredients "just to give them the full flavor of your life". You might find a few things you're willing to eat, and maybe you can distract them enough not to notice you aren't eating their food. Ask their opinion of the taste (in detail - "can you taste the soy? Do you think X is different from regular?") again to distract them....

Woke up with stomach flu, afraid to eat anything and how terrible after all the effort they went to...

the truth....

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dang

How bad are your reactions to other things? Mine aren't so bad that I wouldn't be tempted to have a tiny bit of things and just deal with the consequences. If that's not the case for you...

Gushing, loving, thankful beyond measure.....Ask them to bring the mixes they used so you can make a game of going through the ingredients "just to give them the full flavor of your life". You might find a few things you're willing to eat, and maybe you can distract them enough not to notice you aren't eating their food. Ask their opinion of the taste (in detail - "can you taste the soy? Do you think X is different from regular?") again to distract them....

Woke up with stomach flu, afraid to eat anything and how terrible after all the effort they went to...

the truth....

I love the game idea! :lol::lol: The soy reaction is BAD as I learned yesterday when I challenged soy. I had some soymilk when I first went glute free and had such bad stomache pains like a knife in my gut I couldn't sleep. I thought I had gotten glutened.

Well yesterday I had soy again for the first time in 2 months. It was gluten free waffles with soy flour in them. I'm still in pain today although not like a knife as yesterday. My sinuses are really bugging me today too. I had chronic sinus infections for years, and I thought it was gluten. Now today I'm wondering if it's because I was putting soymilk in my coffee and tea everyday to avoid dairy.

The last time I had tapioca my lips got tingly and my nose swelled shut inside which scares me because it could be an allergic reaction and I don't need to find out about anaphylaxis while I'm there with the ladies. I don't want to challenge tapioca for a long time and when I do it will be with my husband standing there with the benadryl, epipen and phone. I might even ask the allergist to test me for it and do a challenge in the office. I thought it was xanthan gum but I challenged it and I'm fine. I eat it now no problem so tapioca is the next possible culprit. I make my breads with potato and corn starch.

Ugh. I am sad to miss out on eating a good brunch, but it's not worth it. I just can't eat their gluten free breads and stuff at this point.

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How about mention that your tummy hasn't been feeling 100% lately (somewhat true, right?) so you're being mindful of what you're eating. Express alot enthusiasm for their thoughtfulness, consideration, & efforts and take home some of their goodies to enjoy later since your tummy is sensitive at the moment. What happens to those goodies later...whatever...but at least you shown your appreciation for their efforts and taken some home with you for later...

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I would contact the folks in your group that are bringing food. Thank them for wanting to bring in gluten free food for you and tell them if they have already gotten some stuff to please go ahead and bring the items that were premade in their packages. Explain that it turns out you also have other allergies and that is the reason you need to see the ingredients. I would also tell them that as nice as this is that you feel they should for the most part bring 'regular' food and that you will bring something to pass and perhaps sample the premade, packaged goodies after you have read the ingredients. Explain that as much as you appretiate the effort that you don't expect all to consume gluten free. Then do go to the event, eat what is safe for you to eat and enjoy the event.

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How about mention that your tummy hasn't been feeling 100% lately (somewhat true, right?) so you're being mindful of what you're eating. Express alot enthusiasm for their thoughtfulness, consideration, & efforts and take home some of their goodies to enjoy later since your tummy is sensitive at the moment. What happens to those goodies later...whatever...but at least you shown your appreciation for their efforts and taken some home with you for later...

That's a good idea. It starts at 9 a.m., and yes my stomache is a bit funny in the mornings so it wouldn't be a lie.

I'm feeling a sinus infection or cold coming on, so maybe I will end up being too sick to go. :(

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If it's the truth to say "I REALLY appreciate the effort, but I just don't feel comfortable taking the risk", SAY THAT. I've had to say that to a long time friend who made a dinner specifically friendly for me, but I had forgotten to ask about wooden spoons! I make sure to explain that it's about whether or not *I* am willing to take a particular risk, and I don't really care if they understand what kind of risk it is, just that I see it as one, and one that I'm not willing to take. Nothing snarky at all, and definite gushing and sharing of appreciation. I have, once, when someone pushed and pushed on the issue and I really wasn't comfortable with it just said "I appreciate the effort you're making, but I am not willing to take a risk. I will bring my own food, thanks." (using a VERY END-OF-STORY tone).

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Thanks so much for all your replies. After thinking about it tonight I decided not to go tomorrow. We are assigned to a table group for the semester and we all sit around a circular table and eat together and have discussion after the speaker. It's an intimate setting and people don't mingle really. I was realizing there is no way I can avoid eating their foods. They will be asking me if I like them and it will be a point of curiosity to try the gluten free things they've never tried. They will all be staring at me and my plate and it will be obvious what I eat and don't eat.

I emailed my table and told them that we're coming down with something. Not entirely a lie since I'm still sick from my soy challenge. :( My sinuses are killing me and my tummy still hurts a bit.

I HATE effing HATE this infernal disease!!!!!!! It's too dang complicated.

After getting sick from the soy challenge I just cannot risk getting glutened, especially with Easter coming. I want to enjoy it this year. Last year I was very sick, wasn't diagnosed yet and it was really awful.

I feel at peace with this decision but I'm so ANGRY that I had to make it. That this disease is such a pain, and CC is like a thief lurking around the corner waiting to take our health away. I'm so mad that I have to go through mental gymnastics about how to handle a freaking potluck brunch! And my kids and I will miss out on fun, because the kids go to class and play too.

Next time it's our turn to bring food I am going to have to tell them please don't, and maybe say I found out I have new allergies (you know how allergies makes sense to people) or something like that.

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Why does everything have to revolve around food!! People act like they will starve if there isn't food involved in every situation. Sheesh! Whenever I go to outings, church, school, birthday parties etc. I usually eat before so I don't feel the urge to eat when I am there. I usually knock them out with an awesome gluten-free recipe, but don't tell them that it is, and they always ask me if I am still doing that gluten free thing. Ugh!

When I am somewhere with food and I am not eating I just say I have severe food allergies and I can't be sure what's in it. That usually shuts them up.

In your situation, I would have brought something for yourself that everyone could eat, they can also pig out on the glutenous food and feel crappy for the rest of the day!

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I won't turn down a social situation merely because of food either. People know I'm celiac & sensitive, 'nough said. I bring my own food and eat that - nice people bring me good coffee. :P

There is no way I would eat something someone else made for me - so not worth it, I tried that several times. They'll cook even a gluten free mix in a gluteny pan, using a possibly gluteny spatula - meaning well but still "getting" me. I just got back from a 2 week vacay with relatives (DH's) and I bought and made my own food. You know - except for 2 very minor restaurant mishaps (salads with no dressings but still some reaction) I wasn't sick all holiday ! I "got sick" of gluten free packaged food but I wasn't miserable and ill. That's worth a lot to me !!!!!!! On my last holiday I was quite sick - emptied my digestive tract completely a lot and was miserable...trying to modify and eat like everyone else. Eww..

Anyway, where I work there is a lot of food - at meetings, at staff events, etc. I just don't eat it and no one expects me to. When someone suggests making me something, I decline & say I'm find & that I've been ill from well meaning folk - that gluten free is hard to do if you're not set up for it. If someone says they feel bad for me (oh, you can't eat this...) I tell them that I've been sick enough to know it just ain't worth it and it doesn't bug me anymore (well, rarely!).

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It's a shame... and really kind... that people went out and bought gluten free stuff w/o talking to you first... cause who, but another celiac, will really understand what issues are going on beyond the gluten free issue? I tell people that if I don't make it... I can't eat it. I absolutely appreciate their efforts and compassion... but ask them PLEASE not to go out of their way for me... cause if I don't make it... I can't eat it... period.

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It's a shame... and really kind... that people went out and bought gluten free stuff w/o talking to you first... cause who, but another celiac, will really understand what issues are going on beyond the gluten free issue? I tell people that if I don't make it... I can't eat it. I absolutely appreciate their efforts and compassion... but ask them PLEASE not to go out of their way for me... cause if I don't make it... I can't eat it... period.

It is hard to explain and it's embarrassing to explain. We rotate tables bringing food and the next time it comes up for our table I'm going to have to be honest with them and tell them not to bring it. It's hard enough for me to figure out if something is safe, besides my other intolerances.

I know what some of you are saying about stuff revolving around food. But this particular group meets twice a month and having brunch together is a huge part of it. It's an international organization and all chapters do it as a brunch as far as I know.

If it had been a mingling type situation, where I could pretend to eat the food I would have gone. But at this thing, you get your food and head to your table to chat with them in an intimate setting. Then there is a speaker and discussion questions, so you are sitting around a big round table with 8 other women talking the whole time. Since they were so proud of bringing gluten free foods I know they would have wanted to know how I liked everything.

I saw an article about peanut sniffing dogs for severly peanut allergic people. I wonder if dogs could sniff gluten or maybe it doesn't have enough scent? I doubt they would do it for us anyways because it's not immediately life threatening, but I can dream.

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I do believe my last dog could sniff out gluten. :D

She was on a gluten free diet too. A guest had come over with a loaf of bread tucked into her bag to take her medication with. The dog and cat teamed up and ate that whole loaf of bread of her bread (their food dishes were full). I was so embarrassed. :ph34r:

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I'm sorry you felt you had to not go, but in the same situation I probably would have gotten so nervous about it I would have honestly felt ill. My family knows a lot about Celiac (nearly every household has at least one person with it), so I trust their foods; some of my close friends are equally knowledgeable. Beyond that, though, I just eat my own food. I haven't yet had a group I not trust go out of their way to make me something. It'd be a lot of pressure. :(

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I was diagnosed in May, and have been trying ever since to get people to NOT bring me food. In addition to gluten, I don't do dairy, and I also have had a bad week from challenging soy. My body let me know in no uncertain terms that soy = bad. I'm taking the day off of work tomorrow to deal with everything and hopefully get my body back on track.

I've had quite a time trying to get people to be okay with me eating beforehand. Some of my closest friends are finally starting to get it, but not without much explanation and great effort on my part. Sometimes I get really frustrated, and wonder why people don't trust me to take care of my own body and what I need. Some people view "Please, please don't try to cook or bake for me" as a CHALLENGE. I don't get it, but whatever. I just give it to my husband. :)

I just have to hold my ground and deal with the emotional exhaustion that comes with it.

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You have very well trained animals!!!

A team of bandits! :rolleyes: Honestly they have me trained. :D

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Sandsurf - I understand. Its frustrating because I was the one who brought food & goodies that everyone wanted the recipes. I'll have to make different stuff now. I do worry that even if I bring the stuff, "glutinous fingers will poison it" (my 14 year old says that when he wants to use his fingers). Its frustrating because all family gatherings will have to be at my house so I can be sure its OK. Hub, one SIL & I are talking about having completely gluten-free menus for Holidays at out house. Went on vacations skiing, had to ski with a little backpack with food. Bought my own pot, fry pan, spatula, cutting board, grater, colander with me for the condo. Wonder what the people who xray the bags think?

Trying to keep a sense of humor. Most people I have talked to have been sympathetic & asked good questions.

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Bought my own pot, fry pan, spatula, cutting board, grater, colander with me for the condo. Wonder what the people who xray the bags think?

They think you are one heck of a great chef!

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:o Oh no! Church potlucks! Dang, I'd forgotten those! Well, this is just great. I guess instead of bringing 2 different dishes, I'll bring 3 so I can have a meal.(at my church they usually say if your last name begins A-whatever, bring a main dish and dessert. The rest of the alphabet, bring a salad and dessert. Our skinny pastor loves his dessert!) Sandsurfgirl, I feel for you! I don't blame you for being upset....I probably would have been in your situation, too. Your post has given me much to think about. I guess I need to start preparing myself for the types of situations like the one you found yourself in.

Things that make you go, "Hmmmmm......."

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