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What Should I Do About My Friend?

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I invited my friend over for dinner, she told me that she can't eat wheat, dairy or nightshades as she is intolerant to them all (she is also vegetarian). I'm gluten intolerant and my partner is vegetarian, so I'm used to cooking with those constraints and reading labels for ingredients. I spend a fair amount of time searching for recipes that fit her requirements, and searching the supermarket for things like gluten free, nightshade free vegie stock because my normal gluten free stock has capsicum and potato as ingredients.

The thing is that when she came over she tells me that she has been cheating on her diet everyday. She complained that it was really hard to do it properly because she like to eat out most days and no one caters to her diet. She said that she had been really good because she had been buying gluten-free vegan muffins, I asked her if she was sure there was no potato flour in the muffins and she had no idea. She that it doesn't matter if she has a little bit. She's no going to be strict with her diet because she has too many parties coming up and it is too hard to do.

I feel frustrated that she goes on and on about her food intolerances, and I put in care for her food so not to make her sick, but then she's not even following the diet any other time. I could never eat food if she bothered to cook for me because I know that she would not read the labels as a little bit of gluten won't hurt. I would love to be able to just go off my gluten free diet because it's inconvenient for parties, but I can't because I'll pay for it for a week afterwards.

I suggested that if she really thinks she's intolerant to these foods, she should try an elimination diet and keep a journal, but I doubt she will do that. My partner thinks I should just ignore her when she brings up the topic... I don't know...

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It is a terrible struggle internally to come to the realization that you have to follow food restrictions.

Having one is hard, but multiple is harder. No one goes from zero to ten...we all have a learning curve.

I think you are a wonderful friend for cooking carefully for her. She has to come to terms with her food intolerances and she shares them with you in part of that process.

She shares her struggle with you. That is what friends do. You share your struggle with us. That is what you need to do to be a good friend to her.

You should neither ignore her, nor abandon carefully preparing her food if she visits. But you have come to terms with this better than she has for herself. You should share your strength with her and be supportive of her while she tries to abandon and then follow the food restrictions she has. This is not easy for her. She WILL have to do it if she wants to be healthy.

But it isn't exactly like a drug addict or an alcoholic who ends up using you and making you miserable. I mean she isn't getting high or anything...just having a hard time coming to terms with not being able to eat what most people can.

So if you invite her for dinner again, have her help cook. Keep trying to talk to her and help her problem solve if you value her friendship. If it becomes too difficult or you feel used in some way then you can back off. But if you have other areas where she is a true friend to you, then try to understand that she isn't wanting to hurt herself really, she just doesn't have the kind of self-discipline that you do. And sad to say, she will pay for it in the end.

Stay strong and supportive if you can. And you can also say to her that she doesn't make sense when she tells you to cook carefully, but then she eats whatever she wants when she is out anyway. Good friends are a mirror for the other....we can show each other where we need to improve and where we are already doing realy good.

Hang in there. I do know it isn't easy. I have a son who has to come to terms with some of these things too. And some days it is a struggle for me to stay supportive too. But they will both get there with our help. Of course

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I know, it is infuriating. My sister was gluten free before I stopped eating gluten, and I threw a gluten free sit-down birthday luncheon for her, with a total of 14 guests (all her friends in my town - she lives elsewhere).. Bought an expensive gluten free birthday cake for that number, and told her that the rolls were for the gluten eaters - they were not gluten free. So during lunch she announces "I am going to be naughty and proceeds to scoff two bread rolls :huh::blink: I could've killed her. If it happened now, I think I would :ph34r: But she doesn't cheat any more (she of the more neuro than gastro symptoms) I think partially because she sees that I do not. :D

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Oh boy does this sound familiar!

My mom has to avoid wheat and nightshades for her arthritis. And then she has multiple food allergies. She'll order a waffle after announcing that she is avoiding eggs. I won't even mention the wheat in the waffle! I'll remind her that there are eggs in it. She will look surprised! And then try to tell me that it's a waffle. Not eggs!

I think part of the problem is that she hates to cook and for the most part hasn't done it in years. She does make a few things at home. But mostly the same things over and over again. So maybe she really doesn't know what is in a waffle.

I take these things seriously. And if I am eating out and unsure of what is in something or how it is made, I ask! I think most people would assume there is no wheat in French fries but we know better!

It finally got to the point with my mom where she got angry with my daughter and I constantly mentioning her diet. This after constantly witnessing her eating that which she isn't supposed to and then complaining about being sick and she didn't know why. Grrr... She told us to not mention her diet any more. So we don't.

But if I have to cook for her, I have to make sure that I don't use anything she shouldn't have.

In the case of your friend... If I were making a meal for her I would do something simple like beans and rice. Maybe a gluten free apple crisp for dessert, using coconut oil instead of butter or margarine. Or perhaps you could do an egg dish? I can't remember now if you all can do eggs. I can't.

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