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Katrala

I Didn't Go To Book Club Today...

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I had a book club for work today. I'm a teacher and during the first month of the summer we (teachers) read 3 (related) young adult books and were supposed to meet today at a local Japanese place for lunch to discuss them.

I didn't go.

It's a great little Japanese restaurant. It's clean, nice, and very inexpensive for the quality and amount of food they serve. It opened shortly before my diagnosis and I ate their twice - absolutely loving it both times.

When I saw our book club was meeting there I got online and checked out their menu. As far as I could tell there was nothing I could eat and they didn't have any gluten-free options. So I called the restaurant and, sure enough, there is no guarantee of anything being gluten-free and they don't really cater to the gluten-free menu. All of the employees I spoke with there (today and in the past) are not native English speakers and I have had trouble having a conversation with a few of them in the past. Because of all of this, I felt like there was no way to go and order anything that I could be sure was safe (they told me their salads were pre-made and they could take off the croutons.)

I'm only 2 months into my diagnosis and the one time I've went out to eat where I knew I couldn't eat anything and brought some of my own (from home) food and just ordered a soda, I felt very awkward and like the staff didn't really want me there, even with a group. I do understand this on the part of the restaurant - why waste space with someone who is only buying a soda?

So, I didn't go to book club.

I was disappointed, since I did enjoy the books I read and would have loved to discuss them with my coworkers.

Has anyone else had this experience? Do you give up social events because they are being held at certain restaurants? Do you go and just not eat?

Personally, as a teacher, I dread work days now that are student-free because I know all the other teachers will want to go out to eat together (since the occasion doesn't present itself very often) and I will either be the awkward third wheel at the table or will stay at the school by myself and eat lunch.

I guess this post is part question and part just wanting to scream "this totally sucks" to people who get why it totally sucks sometimes.

=)

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Sigh...I can so relate. My sister can, too. She is a teacher and gluten intolerant. I believe she has celiac but that is a different story. I love book clubs!! Do you always go to a restaurant for your club? Is there a way you can have it later in the evening or something?

My husband and I have not attended a few social events (i.e. church potlucks) when I was recently diagnosed due to fear of CC, etc. We have also turned down an invitation to a wedding reception - that would be a tricky situation. But we did fly to Italy and Croatia in May but that is different. We were able to buy food to cook at our house in Croatia or eat out but at least we got to choose where to eat.

If there is a restaurant I do not trust I do not take the chance. I do not have gluten symptoms so I must be extra cautious because I have no idea whether I have been glutened or not. :huh:

It is difficult because food/eating is such a huge part of all cultures! I personally would have a difficult time going to a restaurant and simply not eating. I would not be tempted to have gluten BUT it would affect me mentally because I love food too darned much!! I likely would be thinking about that the entire time.

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Hi Teacher!

I can understand you not wanting to go and eat at a restaurant. Our minds are wired a bit strange. I have always been a social person even when getting sick over and over when I ate. It never stopped me. I still went out and ate socially and then dealt with bad gut issues. Now here it is a little less than one month since finding out the actual cause of my gut issues I stopped being social and feel depressed.

I guess in your case as well as any of us you should be your own food expert and understand what foods you can eat or not eat. Then armed with that knowledge just eat the right whole foods that are gluten-free. And bring your own bottle of gluten-free soy sauce with you. Notify the server you need to eat gluten-free and make sure your server verifies with the cook/preparer that the food served to you is gluten-free. When in doubt don't order it or don't eat it.

You have to fight off the mental part of this just as much as being your own food expert.

Best of luck to you!

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ugh. i just told my friend i would cover for her as hostess for this sunday evening's church potluck. i haven't been to *one* since i have been diagnosed - i'm sure they're all going to make my favorites. sigh..... there's this pineapple/cheese/RITZ CRACKER thing one of the ladies makes and i always make sure to save room on my plate for it......... this is going to be Suck City, USA.....

yesterday, the kids wanted to take the hub out to famous dave's for father's day and he wouldn't go because there wasn't anything they could guarantee was gluten free. they said they'd "try their best" so he wouldn't go. the rest of the family (including him) ordered 'to go' and my sweetie smoked me a salmon. i still felt like i kicked a puppy, though :( they wanted to do something special for him. that is the sucky part that nobody thinks of. if we eat out (few and faaarrrr between) he orders off of the gluten-free menu so i can taste his meal (one of our 'things') sometimes i feel like he would enjoy himself ALOT more if it wasn't for me :(

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Notme!: You should feel so blessed to have someone who cares so much about your happiness that he tries so hard to do little things to make you happy. He is doing these things because he loves you and it is his job to support you in any way he can. His doing little things for you like ordering off of the gluten-free menu, so he can share with you does make him happy. Because it makes him happy to make you happy.

He has many chances to eat all the gluten he wants when he is out without you and probably enjoys the gluten things even more with the knowledge that he (unlike us) can eat gluten things whenever he wants.

I will say that although I haven't been to a potluck yet. It will suck.

And I am going to a wedding this weekend and bringing my own food. Not so much fun.

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I have been in a similar situation only worse. My group meets at Panera Bread once a month. I have found I am so sensitive to the flour in the air that I get sick from even walking into a Panera. I tried just going and getting an iced tea. I was glutened. BAD. Then I tried going with my own drink in a insulated mug. I was still glutened. Both times I was careful not to touch my face and I wiped down the table and chair I sat in. It didn't matter. I can't go and fellowship with the ladies and I'm sad about it but there's really no solution. They have been meeting there for years--long before I came around. I'm not going to ask them to change their meeting location because of me.

Now if it were at a place that I knew would not make me sick just being in the restaurant but I also can't safely order anything I do take my own food. If the staff says anything I just tell them I have multiple severe food alelrgies (I do) and cannot eat anything safely there. I also take my own little picnic lunch whenever there is a pot luck as well as brigning a gluten-free item to share (I just take out my portion before putting it out on the table or before I leave home). My friends asked a lot of questions at first but they have gotten used to me just bringing my own meals and snacks for everything. One time I met a bunch of ladies to go shopping and they were having donuts for breakfast. I brought my own gluten-free Dairy Free Soy Free chocolate covered donut from Kininkkinink and I had some juice.

Yes it does feel weird at first but once you get in the mindset that the purpose of the gathering is not the food but the relationships/people it becomes a little easier. I have heard horror stories here of people's friends and loved ones being rude about them not being able to eat out but I have never encountered that myself. I guess I have been really fortunate, but I think it's also easier that I have chosen to take responsibility for bringing my own food and never asked my friends to accomodate me. I do choose not to go some places and there are some places (like Panera) that I CAN NOT go. It's sad but it's not the end of the world. It just makes me enjoy the things I CAN go to more. And it also pushes me to try to be the planner for more events so I can schedule them at places I can eat. :P

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We stopped going out to eat as much, too. But don't miss your book club if you like going! Just eat before you go to the restaurant, and have a beverage while you're there. If the restaurant can't/won't cater to people who have to be gluten free, that is their loss. Many restaurants cater to vegetarians. Vegetarians get to make a choice about their diet. Celiacs have no choice; it is a medical necessity.

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Also a teacher. I totally get how much it sucks. I have a meeting all this week. They're providing breakfast and lunch, which I normally would have loved, mostly because of not having to pack a lunch. Not so much anymore. They used to get some gluten-free stuff because there were two other gluten-free people on staff, but they left at the end of this year. Doubt they'll order special stuff if it's just for me, and they don't know about my diagnosis yet anyway. And even if they did order something different for me, I might not be able to eat it, since I'm becoming annoyingly sensitive to CC. It's easier to deal with since it's not actually going to a restaurant, but I still get it. Food is such a treat for teachers, whether it's something tasty that someone left in the teacher's lounge or a trip to a restaurant just because there's time for once. And then the gifts from kids...

I'm sorry it ruined your book club. I hope there's a way to make it work in the future.

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Food is such a treat for teachers, whether it's something tasty that someone left in the teacher's lounge or a trip to a restaurant just because there's time for once. And then the gifts from kids...

It's crazy how important food seems to be in schools. Most of the "treats" for teachers are food-related and I hate not being able to eat something that a student brings me.

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It's crazy how important food seems to be in schools. Most of the "treats" for teachers are food-related and I hate not being able to eat something that a student brings me.

This is a teachable-moment for your kids. Start early in the year and plan events around things besides food. I don't know how old your students are, but if they learn from you that not everyone can eat all foods, it's a fantastic way for them to be introduced into the real world. They'll learn right away that they can't give Ms. Katrala food as gifts. You talk about how you like homemade cards or things like that, and then post those around the classroom so the kids can see how much you like those things. They take pride in their own gifts. Food is easy to give, help them think of other things to share with you and each other that isn't edible. Encourage your students to share things about themselves that make it hard for them to partake in events - food or otherwise. You'll produce kids who are sensitive to the needs of others. Maybe everyone can come up with something about themselves, wouldn't that be great!

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I had a book club for work today. I'm a teacher and during the first month of the summer we (teachers) read 3 (related) young adult books and were supposed to meet today at a local Japanese place for lunch to discuss them.

I didn't go.

It's a great little Japanese restaurant. It's clean, nice, and very inexpensive for the quality and amount of food they serve. It opened shortly before my diagnosis and I ate their twice - absolutely loving it both times.

When I saw our book club was meeting there I got online and checked out their menu. As far as I could tell there was nothing I could eat and they didn't have any gluten-free options. So I called the restaurant and, sure enough, there is no guarantee of anything being gluten-free and they don't really cater to the gluten-free menu. All of the employees I spoke with there (today and in the past) are not native English speakers and I have had trouble having a conversation with a few of them in the past. Because of all of this, I felt like there was no way to go and order anything that I could be sure was safe (they told me their salads were pre-made and they could take off the croutons.)

I'm only 2 months into my diagnosis and the one time I've went out to eat where I knew I couldn't eat anything and brought some of my own (from home) food and just ordered a soda, I felt very awkward and like the staff didn't really want me there, even with a group. I do understand this on the part of the restaurant - why waste space with someone who is only buying a soda?

So, I didn't go to book club.

I was disappointed, since I did enjoy the books I read and would have loved to discuss them with my coworkers.

Has anyone else had this experience? Do you give up social events because they are being held at certain restaurants? Do you go and just not eat?

Personally, as a teacher, I dread work days now that are student-free because I know all the other teachers will want to go out to eat together (since the occasion doesn't present itself very often) and I will either be the awkward third wheel at the table or will stay at the school by myself and eat lunch.

I guess this post is part question and part just wanting to scream "this totally sucks" to people who get why it totally sucks sometimes.

=)

I've been doing this for a few years now... in the beginning I was a lot like you... but this is what I've learned to do in this exact situation. Usually there's something on the menu that I can eat. Either sticky rice or a plain house salad or both. I order a bare minimum house salad and rice. This is true for any questionable restaurant - bare minimum house salad with vinegar. Even if it's not on the menu, the staff will whip up a salad. Also, it's safe to order grilled fish with salt and pepper only. Restaurants will often marinade chicken and beef so you don't know what's in them. But fish is usually plain until you order it. Order it with salt and pepper only on a clean grill. Plain house salad with vinegar, sticky rice, fish with salt and pepper. That will get you through. Steamed veggies with nothing on them are usually available, too. Stick with "plain" or "salt and pepper" or "vinegar".

Alternatively, but sad, is to eat before you go. It gets easier with time to do this, but it's always nice to eat with the group.

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