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Melstar23

Manager Bringing Gluten Free Cake

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Yesterday my manager brought cake in to work. She told me "this is gluten free so you have to eat it". She has never discussed my gluten intolerance with me, but other people at work have told her. A couple of time people have brought gluten free snacks to work before, and when I have had them there have been times that I have got sick afterwards because of CC or people not reading the labels properly. I didn't trust that this cake would be safe, so I thanked her for the thought, but I avoided taking some. All day she kept insisting that I eat the cake, so when I went on my break, I took I slice so she could see, but I put it in the bin when noone was around. Later in the day, she told me that she saved more of the cake in fridge so that I can eat it tomorrow.

It really stresses me out, I don't want to be rude or ungrateful, but I don't want to get sick again if I can help it. Food days are common at work, but I just want to be left out. My manager is new, so I don't know her very well, but she has a very arrogant know-it-all attitude, so I'm worried about saying "I don't want to eat that cake".

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That's tough. Could you say "hey that was good, did you make it" if she did you could say "do you remember how it was made? what flour did you use etc... and find out a little more.

If she says something you know you cant have you could say oh dear that was good but I actually cant eat this if it has _______ in it.

Just a thought, you really hate to hurt someones feelings especially when they went out of the way for you, which is very supportive but you also don't want to be sick from cc either.

I know it is cc you are worried about but you need to start a conversation and discuss it with her and hopefully bring up the subject of cc and how it affects you.

good luck

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Or say you're on a diet with your mom/sister/dad/husband. No sugar... all whole foods... concerned about diabetes in the family...

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I would say: " Thank you so much for your effort, but I'm very new to this diet and know that I get very, very ill when I eat something that contains the slightest bit of gluten. My level of sensitivity is really too much to impose on my friends who choose to cook for me. Thanks you for your kindness, and I'm certain that the others will enjoys it " :)

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Personally, I would have been very happy to know my manager was thinking of me and actually brought in something gluten free!! Do you know how many times I get to hear how someone brought in donuts or pastries that I can't touch? I would have asked her if she bought it at a bakery, or if she made it, if it was from a gluten-free mix...or what kind of flour she used. I'm sure she would have been ok with you asking more details. don't be too worried...just ask questions first!

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I would have said one of the following:

a. Oh, thank you so much for thinking of me but I am trying to lose weight/borderline diabetic/hypoglycemic/also allergic to milk, soy, etc (whichever one is true or possibly believable for you, LOL all of these are true for me :lol: )

b. Thank you for makign the effort, but I have gotten sick far too many times from gluten-free foods and I prefer not to eat food made by others. I am very, very sensitive ot even a tiny amount and I would rather not eat that cake. But thank you agian for being so nice.(be sure that you are putitng the emphasis on your own preferences/past history and not on the part about others makign mistakes when attempting to cook gluten-free).

c. Oh, thank you! I'm trying not to eat sweets during the day/I'm stuffed from lunch/I just had a snack but I will take some home. Take home and give to your husband/family/throw away. This last one is tricky though because she will probably ask how it was and/or continue to bring in "gluten-free" baked goods for you.

Answer b is probably the best one-- if you want her to not bring things for you in the future you need to let her know somehow. Just be sure to do it gently and away from earshot of your other coworkers so that it is not like you are rejecting her in front of others. As a new manager she may just be trying to build morale/build trust/be approachable, BUT it sounds like her attitude is the opposite of that. I had a manager like that one time. Everything "nice" she did seemed like "fake" kindness because she did it with such an attitude of superiority, it seemed more like she was showing off than tryign to help you out. Anyway, no way I would trust that "gluten-free" cake. :ph34r: Just be honest and thank her before and after you give her the bad news. Sort of like the method you are supposed ot use when giving constructive criticism--good points first, things that need to change in the middle and close by repeating the good points. Thank her, give your reason why you don't want to eat it and thank her again for being thoughtful.

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Hi,

You got some great answers. I just wanted to suggest that if food sharing is a major thing at work, you can still participate. Everyone loves dessert. That could be your contribution. I can highly recommend Pamela's chocolate cake mix & chocolate frosting mix. Together they are divine and I haven't heard one peep of complaint from the gluten friends I have when I serve it. They ooh and aah. Pamela's Vanilla Cake Mix makes a wonderful pineapple upside down cake. Cheesecake is gluten free if you make the crust with gluten free oats or gluten-free Flour. I made the Banana Cake recipe from Jules' Gluten Free and oh my - it had a ton of bananas in it and it was delicious. I take it upon myself in potluck situations to always bring something that I can eat that everyone else will like. If it's not dessert, I'll bring a gluten-free lasagna (Tinykada's noodles are great) or something along that line. No one can tell the difference. Another great option is gluten-free pizza, made into squares and topped like a Papa Murphy's Chicken Garlic. I'm allergic to soy so I love making things I know are gluten-free and soy free.

I know social situations can be difficult and sometimes it's difficult to keep having the same questioning conversations over and over. I'm putting my vote in with those who said to engage the person who is trying to be nice in conversation. Saying things like: I'm just getting into making gluten-free desserts, how did you do this cake?...and educating people while you discuss in a friendly way goes a long way. It's not just about us. In the next few years more and more people are going to find out they or someone they know is Celiac or Gluten Intolerant. Every little bit of education people get will make their life or someones life they know -- easier.

Hang in there,

FooGirlsMom

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And if she did make it herself with a gluten-free mix, did she bake it in a glutened pan, did she greese and dust the pan with wheat flour without thinking? Even though it is wonderful that she thought of you....I would ask questions as honetly as possible. It's your health.

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I thank people for being so considerate. Then I tell them that I am so sensitive, and I get so sick, that I only eat food which I prepare myself.

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When people (in laws) try to cook for my son, I tell them thanks for the effort, but the DOCTOR insists that he only eat food I prepare or pre-packaged gluten-free food. If they continue to insist (which they do) I just say he gets his blood checked regularly and if there are any reactions, I need to be able to trace it to the exact food and I can only do that if it is made at home.

I have to confess, before learning about this, I was the mom who tried to bake things for ALL the kids in the class and I thought my efforts would be sufficient. I always wondered why the allergy kids still couldn't eat it. Know I know.

Cara

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I have been in your shoes ! No one brings me gluten-free stuff anymore - I made it clear that that pans can be contaminated, etc. Someone made cupcakes one day - in their usual pans of course. I had to explain that at home I have all my own stuff (baking pans, etc.) because I hate getting sick. Would you eat something, no matter how good it was, knowing it might give you the "flu" ?

At work food seems to be brought in regularly - pizza, whatever. I just eat my own stuff - if I know it's coming I will make my own pizza, or something similar to what is being ordered. Yeah, it sucks but getting sick sucks worse !

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I'm with the whole foods answer. :) That is what I recently used, and thankfully, my friend knew how to make things for me, so I had a good result. But if you answer that way, and then back it up with actually doing that, not only will you have a solid excuse/reason, you will have an amazing body to go with it! They'll all be jealous. ;)

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Wow, I just wrote two huge blog posts on this very topic last week! I hate that some people are so wrapped up in their own idea of what they need to do to be gracious (ie feed you) that they forget to actually pay attention to what would make you feel comfortable, or listen when you articulate it.

I can't link to them, but I'll paste in the *long* rant I'm 2/3rds of the way through with. Suffice to say, you have the right to say "No, thank you" and have that be respected. If your boss can't respect it, respect it yourself.

**************************

Crazy Diet People, Part One

Posted on April 6, 2011 by Joy

Way back when, I had a vegan husband. He wasn

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I inadvertantly solved this problem when I went completely grain-free. (Additionally it has helped my health and issues enormously). But, no one tries to make me anything at work anymore! I think people are stunned or confused or overwhelmed by the idea of eating without any grains. Also, most people seem to know someone who is following a paleo diet/lifestyle. So, there has been a very useful intersection of disbelief and understanding - in addition to huge health gains for myself! If you don't want to eliminate all grains, perhaps you could adopt that restriction for your work life. I guarantee no one will try to make you a grain free cake (though it's not that hard!)

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Maybe it's me, but I would really wonder if that cake was gluten free. If your boss meant well, great. But I have ran into way too many people that think it's all in your head, so they try to feed you gluten, just to see if you really do get sick from it. Almost like suddenly if we eat gluten we turn into the one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater...while they are shouting..."they do exist, they do exist!" :P

I would probably handle it a bit differently. I would have asked what was put into it, how it was made. While commenting on how yummie it looked and how good it smelled. With much thanking and inquiring on it. Maybe even asking for the recipe before, in a nice way saying something like, "I really appreciate the effort; I just am crazy paranoid, because if there is one inkling of gluten I will be out sick for days."

:D

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Almost like suddenly if we eat gluten we turn into the one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater...while they are shouting..."they do exist, they do exist!" :P

BWAHAHAHA! This made me laugh out loud :-)

And it's hard because you might not want to confess to being glutened if you can hide it because frankly, I don't want to tell my coworkers or friends that I was stuck in the bathroom with D. I'm sure most people think gluten makes me throw up because I use the euphemism "I thought I was going to be sick" for those times when you don't think you can get more than a few metres away from the toilet...

It's really hard when people try and be helpful. Especially a manager. I think you did the best you could. I tried to preempt behaviour like that (people making stuff) by telling a lot of horror stories about well-meaning friends making things and trying to force them on people who were gluten free and how awful it is to tell someone you can't eat their food. I'm hoping the sensitive friends realise what I'm saying (they do so far).

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I am at the point where I figure that it is me that will spend hours in the bathroom not them. I just say that I can't eat processed foods and that the more I heal the more senstive I become so I have to make it easy on everyone and only eat my food. It is sort of like walking on broken glass but you have to do what is right for you.

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I personally think it is a VERY DIFFICULT thing about being Gluten Free! I panic everytime someone offers to make me food, and I usually don't have the guts to tell them ALL OF THE REASONS why I don't want to eat it. I feel your pain.

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I'm wary about foods my friends have made, and I trust them to actually take care! People from work I wouldn't trust, neither do I even trust home-bakery. They just aren't careul enough to keep out cc. I would make it clear to your manager, that if there's any amount of gluten in there (trace amounts from pots/pans/flour in the air etc), then you're going to be off sick from work for a few days :P

But on the other hand, you don't want to insult her. I find people tend to think it's "easy" doing gluten-free baking, and then forget about the small stuff like using marg/butter as grease that's been used as the family's bread-spreading spread of choice.

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