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eborzecki

First Christmas As A Celiac

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This will be my first Christmas as a Celiac and I am still learning, although my sister has Celiac she is the kind of a Celiac that cheats on her diet so my whole family thinks that its okey to cheat sometimes :(

I am suppose to bring cake and I am hoping that you guys can give me some suggestions of cakes I can find that are gluten free that everyone can enjoy.

My mom said she will make some gluten free stuff for me and my sister but I insisted that I will bring my own, she isn't to happy about it but she will not let me make enough for everyone because she has to have the ones that contain gluten. Makes me said but oh well I will still make enough and I will be curious to see if people can tell the difference.

We are also going to my husbands family and not all of them know I have Celiac, I am from Poland and we have the tradition of breaking first communion wafers (in larger size) with each other and wishing each other well. How do I deal with this, as I can't eat it obviously? I don't want to look like an idiot or someone who doesn't appreciate the wish but I also don't want to step in the door and tell them I have Celiac I can't eat anything you made unless you tell me exactly whats in there. My in laws know but not all of the extended family.

Any tips on how to decline things and not hurt others feelings, how to deal with Christmas in general, and any good store bought cakes like from Whole foods or trader joes?

Thank you

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There are multiple threads around here right now about dealing with food at parties....the Martha Stewart one, the I was glutened at a Christmas Party one...

As far as premade cakes While Foods carries a WHEAT FREE cake but they don't say it's gluten-free. TJ's carries one that is "no gluten ingredients".

You could make on easily using a mix - King Arthur has a chocolate cake mix that is unbelievable. You'd never know its gluten-free. Frost with your favorite icing ;most are gluten-free).

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This is also my first Christmas as a diagnosed Celiac. Thanksgiving was somewhat of a nightmare for me, so I understand. I have learned that you should never feel pressured to eat something just to avoid explaining. It's not worth it. Take care of yourself first, and have a good trip!

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I don't think you can decline something like a Christmas communion wafer without explaining the situation. It might be easiest to show up with some gluten-free wafers to break with people. Recipes are here. http://www.enabling.org/ia/celiac/communion.html#recipe You'll need to talk to your mother and father-in-law and explain that you need a little support in the situation.

The Betty Crocker cake mixes are easy and good enough for gluten-eaters.

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I just celebrated my daughter's 2nd birthday with the gluten-free Betty Crocker mix. My whole extended family ate it and no one knew it was gluten-free and all said how yummy it was.

I am finding it is easiest to a)when possible eat ahead of time, b)bring a dish to pass that I know I can eat that will also be filling, c)when necessary explain that I have a food "allergy" since that's easier for people to understand.

I had Thanksgiving at SILs and while I told her ahead of time (as host), I did not tell anyone else and no one noticed what was/wasn't on my plate at dinner. I've also attended a cocktail party with friends and a formal dinner at my boss' house this past weekend. Again, no one noticed or asked.

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Pammala's white cake mix has a recipe on the side for making it into a spice cake or carrot cake. Add some cream cheese frosting (Betty Crocker is gluten-free) and you've got a cake that EVERYBODY I know has loved. Delicious.

IMO, you're better off letting people know ahead of time about the gluten problem. But you know the family and I don't.

richard

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This will be my first holiday season since my diagnosis (I was just diagnosed last week.) Thankfully I will be spending Christmas with my in-laws who have no experience with food allergies, etc. and are taking it very seriously. My grandmother in law called my husband today to go over some menu substitutions and see if they were okay.

This is also my first Christmas as a newlywed. yay! :-)

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I don't think you can decline something like a Christmas communion wafer without explaining the situation. It might be easiest to show up with some gluten-free wafers to break with people. Recipes are here. http://www.enabling.org/ia/celiac/communion.html#recipe You'll need to talk to your mother and father-in-law and explain that you need a little support in the situation.

The Betty Crocker cake mixes are easy and good enough for gluten-eaters.

I agree, you should explain to your family. We had a Polish exchange student and we shared the same communion with our friends. It's a lovely tradition. :)

And bring Pamela's Chocolate cake (two mixes make an impressive cake) and everyone will love it, and won't even know it's gluten free.

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One of my weaknesses is cake, and this will be my first year being strictly gluten-free. I'd previously avoided wheat, but 'cheated' sometimes when it came to cake. So I offered to bring the cake this year, and I'm usually not one to use a mix. However I've had enough with baking experiments for the moment; so I got a Betty Crocker yellow cake I'll be making, and I'm going to give it a chocolate frosting. Thankfully I don't have to put any writing on it. I anticipate it will be yummy. :)

I didn't see any King Arthur mixes at the store I went to, but that option sounds yummy too!

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I'm not much of a baker and never really liked cake but I'm sure others have you covered there.

A gluten free bakery in my town won the food network's cupcake wars! My mom had all gluten-free cakes at her wedding because they happened to be her favorite cakes, and she is a gluten-a-holic. So I know it can be done!

As for coping with the holidays themselves, I've got a blog post called "The Holidays" on the blog linked from my profile about all the different ways we handle holiday gatherings.

We always bring our own food. The only food we eat that others provide is whole fruit that can be washed or peeled.

I'm not sure what to do about the wafer as I'm not Catholic - if your religion requires wheat in a wafer that's a problem. But it sounds like this may be the kind of tradition where bringing a large gluten-free wafer (can you make or buy one and have it blessed by a local priest?) might work. I'd be a little worried about eating even the gluten-free one after others had been handling it, though. If you provided it you might be able to be very careful about keeping it under wraps until it's time to break it, then only taking the part that you and only you have touched.

If gluten-free is not doable, maybe you can break it but not eat it, and then wash up carefully?

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I had my first gluten-free Thanksgiving this year and I also was concerned about it, because I was staying with family, (rather than just attending one dinner). Therefore we were sharing every meal together, and sharing food and cooking is a big deal in my family. I know it's complicated and worrisome. I'm happy to say it went really well!

The important thing is to plan ahead, and stay positive:

**I told myself before I went, "I'm in charge of my own body. I don't have to eat anything I don't want to eat!"

**I brought LOTS of my own food, more than I thought I would need, so I could prepare my own food whenever needed. I included all of my favorites so I would know I'd have food to be excited about. That helped me to be a good mood!

**I called ahead and asked what were some of the meals they were planning, so I could bring my own foods to match theirs. I think it's a really good idea for you to bring your own communion wafers.

**When my mother reached her "breaking point" and started to get irritable and asked, "Aren't you being a little too strict with your diet?", as all family members will at some point!, I just stayed positive and calm and politely said, "I know it's hard to understand, but this is just the way I have eat now", and I offered to take over and cook the meal for us so I could be more helpful. Just be assertive and stand up for yourself, but be nice!

**I brought Bob's Red Mill mixes and some recipes that we could cook together, since my family likes to cook together and that's a big tradition for us at the holidays.

**In the end my mother got through that "irritable" stage and everything went really well, we were sharing the gluten free foods and she said they were tasty! (The Udi's chocolate muffins helped a lot! :) ) Just give your family time to get used to it and don't expect everything to go completely smoothly right at first.

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I hosted Christmas at my house so I made sure that everything I made was gluten free. I even made a delish dessert from crumbled chex cereal and peaches. Everyone loved it! I guess learning how to cook for all that time finally paid off!

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