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Bubba's Mom

Buffet Line?

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I was officially diagnosed with Celiac Sprue on June 28th. I'm still learning what's ok to eat.

My husband's class reunion is in just over a week. There will be cocktails/hors deouvres, followed by a buffet style dinner. I'm terrified of eating anything with gluten. What do you more experienced people do in these situations?

My husband said maybe I should eat before I go? Sitting there all evening without eating or drinking anything while everyone around me is nibbling/sipping away sounds like torture!

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I'd bring my own food. I have a cool lunch kit that has room for all sorts of things. It is called a Goodbyn. I don't worry about looking different. It is just so much easier to know that your food is gluten-free. A buffet might contain foods that are gluten-free but they are most definatly contaminated. If someone uses the wrong spoon to dish out their food...

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I don't brave buffets. I would eat beforehand or bring your own food.

If your uncomfortable bringing your own food, "it is better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission." At least that is my approach when I bring food and I am worried about getting "in trouble".

I mean what can they do, throw you in a "time out". LOL.

Better to eat safely. :D

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Take your own food or eat before you go and keep a snack in your purse just in case. The buffet likely will be unsafe but there will probably be some safe drinks there that you can have. Get some punch or soda or a safe mixed cocktail and keep the glass in your hand the whole time while people are walking around with apps socializing. People are less likely to ask you if you are going to get something to eat if they see you with a drink in your hand. And if possible take a cute little clutch purse or something else to keep in the other hand. No one will even question why you aren't getting food. If there's dancing spend lots of time doing that also! Have fun!

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Thanks so much for the advice! I think I'll take something with me? It's kind of a shame hubby paid $35each and I can't eat a thing there..I don't want to take any chances on CC though!

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Walmart sells protein shots that are around 3 oz and have 26 grams of protein. I keep these around and find that they help regulate hunger a bit as well as giving me a great dose of protein. They contain whey, so if you can't do lactose, don't try them.

I've also found them for less at Academy Sports in case you have any close.

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I was told that right now the damage to my intestines is too much to digest milk products. I'm told once I heal some I should be able to have it though?

I haven't shopped at Walmart yet because they're across town and quite a drive. I've heard they label the gluten free things though, and I'm wanting to go and see what they have.

LOL..I love that.."it's better to ask for forgiveness, rather than permission!" :lol:

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I was told that right now the damage to my intestines is too much to digest milk products. I'm told once I heal some I should be able to have it though?

Hopefully that will be the case, yup! A few of us seem to never be able to fully tolerate dairy, but most people here do all right with it after a few months going gluten free.

Oh, if your doc didn't mention, it's a really good idea for anyone 1 degree separated from you, relation-wise, to get tested for celiac disease, too. (kids, siblings, parents). 1 in 22 from this group will also have celiac disease if a close relative does. My father had it, and we didn't test. 8 years later, when I was getting sick and came back positive for the disease, we tested, and my daughter and brother came back positive, even though my daughter had no traditional symptoms.

Going gluten free, we found out that my son had symptoms that disappeared on a gluten-free diet, too.

I was glad that we found out that we all had this, but there's also this odd comfort in the fact that we were all dealing with this new lifestyle at the same time. Makes for solidarity during holidays, LOL.

Good luck, and congratulations on finding out what's been affecting your health. Hope you feel wonderful after you've healed up! :-)

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I agree that steering clear of the buffet is a good idea, especially if it is self-serve.

There are plenty of gluten-free beverages you could have. Wine is gluten-free. Distilled spirits are generally accepted as gluten-free, but if you want to avoid grain alcohol, rum is never made from grain. Smirnoff vodka is made from corn, which is not a source of gluten. Obviously, beer is not an option. Pure fruit juices are okay. I am not aware of any soda in the US that is not gluten-free. All the sodas made by Coca-Cola and Pepsi are gluten-free.

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I stick to the simple and plain foods at a buffet and have not had a problem in my limited experience. At a thanksgiving dinner buffet that meant raw veggies and fruit for appetizers, plain turkey, potatoes, asparagus, no gravy ... I had to give up my normal vegetarian diet but it was a filling meal. The tough part is looking at all the deserts I couldn't eat. My sensitivity is at about the crouton level so I don't have to worry about trace gluten at these types of infrequent functions. My criteria for food I eat daily is more strict.

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I tried buffets twice but never again unless the whole buffet is gluten free. The exceptions are grapes and occasionally something like shrimp cocktail. I even worry about cut fruit because it could have CC. Once, the buffet was a Mexican Taco bar and the whole line was gluten-free except for the wheat tortillas which were at the end of the line. I went through really early and didn't get sick. So there are some exceptions.

To the OP, it is illegal in some places (like in Washington State) to bring food to a restaurant. So you might want to check the laws in your area. I eat ahead of time or afterwards. The advice to have a drink is a good one. I do that a lot.

So, have fun. One thing I've learned over the past four years is that food doesn't have to be the focus of the event. I still have trouble, though, watching others eat my favorites.

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You can call the venue ahead and make arrangements. I was able to take a big lunchbox into a stadium for a day-long concert... where food and drinks were hugely expensive. We talked to the manager of the stadium and were instructed to enter in a specific entrance where my cooler was absolutely allowed.

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I got myself an insulated bag..(stylish for the dressy occasion ;) )and will take a few things with me. If I don't see a raw veggie tray or similar, I'll just eat what I've brought.

When my oldest son was a few months old he had several food sensitivities. He seemed to outgrow them all and eats anything he wants. He gets SADs every Winter real bad. I'm wondering if gluten could be an issue for him? In the winter months he craves carbs more, which is usually in the form of wheat products. He's 34, I don't know what his health coverage is? My blood tests came back normal, my endoscope showed flattened villi with a couple of ulcers too. What test should I recommend to him?

I just hope he doesn't get mad that I suggest he get tested. My hubby has a lot of symptoms and he got real angry when I suggested he should be tested.

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The only time I've eaten off a buffet so far is first thing in the morning when I was at a retreat. I was the first person to get to the buffet that day and I got some fresh fruit before anyone else had the chance to drag their plates across it.

My biggest fear with buffets is CC - people with bread and such on their plates passing over all the food. Especially with kids and such, it isn't a far stretch to believe crumbs get everywhere.

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I travel a lot for work and have been lucky enough to have a few holidays since I was dx 15 months ago. Buffets are tricky but if I cannot ask for a gluten-free meal in advance (I did this on a posh dinner cruise and had a beautiful meal - the chef served me personally and he seemed really pleased tohave had the opportunity to be creative) always ask the head waiter for advice - they usually send someone out from the kitchen. They seem to be mostly pleased to be able to tell me what is safe and what is not. I then use my own judgement and choose the safest meals - ie roast beef and veggies. Easy.

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I tried buffets twice but never again unless the whole buffet is gluten free. The exceptions are grapes and occasionally something like shrimp cocktail. I even worry about cut fruit because it could have CC. Once, the buffet was a Mexican Taco bar and the whole line was gluten-free except for the wheat tortillas which were at the end of the line. I went through really early and didn't get sick. So there are some exceptions.

To the OP, it is illegal in some places (like in Washington State) to bring food to a restaurant. So you might want to check the laws in your area. I eat ahead of time or afterwards. The advice to have a drink is a good one. I do that a lot.

So, have fun. One thing I've learned over the past four years is that food doesn't have to be the focus of the event. I still have trouble, though, watching others eat my favorites.

I didn't realize that a state would have a law like that! wow We rv and travel through Washington state a lot as my daughter lives there. Guess I have been lucky as I take my own food along. I usually just ask for an extra plate & then say something like "I would love to order some of your food items but have just too many food allergies (easier to explain than celiac) so have to bring my own". Haven't had a problem but as I said, maybe I've just been lucky. I also carry a letter from my doctor stating that I have celiac & must provide my own food etc but haven't had to use it .... yet!

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