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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

How To Decline Food?
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34 posts in this topic

So... being new to this and all.. I have a lot of awkward explanations happening. I don't want to tell every Tom, Dick and Harry about my Celiacs diagnosis and symptoms. How do you politely decline food or a social invite when you normally would have said yes pre-diagnosis?

 

I had an acquantaince at work tell me to grab a  croissant because we had an early morning meeting and I had to say sorry I have a food allergy. Then she continues to ask me more about it and what she could get next time and I say no pastries - just fruit!

 

I think I handled that one pretty good but how do you all handle this social aspect of Celiacs?

 

thanks!

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If I really don't want to go into anything, I just say "no thank you" and that is all. You don't have to explain, and if pressed, I would say "no thank you", followed by "really, I would not like any." I expect adults to respect another person's choices, whether they understand or not. Heck, I expect my three year old to do this.

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If I really don't want to go into anything, I just say "no thank you" and that is all. You don't have to explain, and if pressed, I would say "no thank you", followed by "really, I would not like any." I expect adults to respect another person's choices, whether they understand or not. Heck, I expect my three year old to do this.

 

 

I normally say "no thank you".

 

 

They beat me to it!  most people don't need to know more than that.  You were on a very strict low calorie diet before Celiac - what did you say then? 

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I told them I am training and eating for a fitness competition. I could say the same thing now as that hasn't changed but I thought I'd see how others have been handling it. Because I had treat days or high carb days in my regimine where I would and could indulge in more calories.

 

I have been accused by family and friends of having body dysmorphia or being anorexic too because of my lifestyle choice and that is hurtful. I know it is only going to get worse as I won't be able to socially eat at family gatherings when CC is happening everywhere.

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I told them I am training and eating for a fitness competition. I could say the same thing now as that hasn't changed but I thought I'd see how others have been handling it. Because I had treat days or high carb days in my regimine where I would and could indulge in more calories.

 

I have been accused by family and friends of having body dysmorphia or being anorexic too because of my lifestyle choice and that is hurtful. I know it is only going to get worse as I won't be able to socially eat at family gatherings when CC is happening everywhere.

 

 

For casual people the "no thank you" "I already ate" "I'm in training"  should work.  Your closer friends and family you will need to explain a bit more.

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For close friends and family who know you've been diagnosed with celiac, you can tell them it's too easy to be CC'ed and you had to promise yourself you wouldn't eat anything you didn't prepare yourself. When they get that hurt look, just say,"It's not that I don't trust YOU to cook for me, but a couple of people with good intentions CC'ed me before, so now I have just made that my general rule."

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For close friends and family who know you've been diagnosed with celiac, you can tell them it's too easy to be CC'ed and you had to promise yourself you wouldn't eat anything you didn't prepare yourself. When they get that hurt look, just say,"It's not that I don't trust YOU to cook for me, but a couple of people with good intentions CC'ed me before, so now I have just made that my general rule."

Thank you Bartful, that is very helpful and what I'll do. :)

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I have never had "No thank you" lead to anything or bring more questions. Share with who you want, no thank you the rest. 

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You handled it well.  Go online and check out the "go picnic" pre packaged gluten free meals.  They are about 400 calories give or take and are perfect in a pinch.  I was out motorcycling yesterday and took one with me to munch on for lunch.  They are really tasty and usually contain some type of gluten-free chip/cracker and spread, a mixed nut/dried fruit pack, a dessert bite, and its pretty tasty.  I take them if we are having a work function in a restaurant that I don't trust.

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I just replied to a different thread but somehow it entered itself on this one. Sorry. Carry on...

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i say "aaahhhhh!" and back away in horror ;)  because it's fun!

 

like eers says, i bring my own stuff - so i say, nah, thanx, i brought my own :)  

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 I dunno, maybe I'm weird or something, but I don't hesitate to tell anyone why I can't eat their food.  I'll say, "No thanks, unfortunately that type of food will make me sick."  Of course it leads into other questions, but I'm not embarrassed or ashamed (I'm not suggesting that the OP or any of us are) and frankly I take every opportunity to educate someone on Celiac.  If my two minute conversation could potentially help someone recognize their own symptoms (or the symptoms of a loved one) and get them help, then its all worth it for me.  This is a very misunderstood disease and diet and I feel satisfied when I can correct information.  Its all about confidence.  If you explain Celiac with confidence, my experience has been that people listen better and accept what you're saying - the conversation also doesn't turn into a pity session or "oh my god I feel so bad for you."  Yes I have Celiac, no, I cannot eat your food, and we can move on with the conversation....it also prevents the same food offerings at future events with these people.

 

All that being said, I'm not suggesting that everyone should go out with their "I'm a Celiac" t-shirt on and start preaching on street corners.  It's all about your comfort level and if you even feel like explaining it that day (there are some days where I'm either tired or annoyed and I just decline food without saying anything else).  I just wanted to share because I've never had a negative reaction for sharing why I couldn't eat someone's food - in fact it only led to more understanding on their part.    

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I would just say that I was on a special diet from my Dr.  People will ask for further information and then if you tell them more, they'll look away or roll their eyes and it will become clear that they really don't want to know any more.  If they ask for more, tell them that it's complicated and you'll provide your own food.

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We really overthink this issue a lot. I could care less what others eat and I am sure they feel the same about what I eat.

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I think it's great to get everyones perspective on this. I must be around a lot of nosey people because once one person at work found out I had celiac's it spread through our clinic and I've had everyone ask me about it. I know it's out of concern but I just get tired of explaining it. And I have a very well meaning friend at the neighboring department that suggested I try the vegan food commons at the university we work at. I'm not vegan, thanks. I'm pretty certain that is a CC nightmare waiting to happen. I declined but man - talk about not understanding. I want to educate but I feel like I need to pass out fliers because I'll lose my voice or my patience. 

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For close friends and family who know you've been diagnosed with celiac, you can tell them it's too easy to be CC'ed and you had to promise yourself you wouldn't eat anything you didn't prepare yourself. When they get that hurt look, just say,"It's not that I don't trust YOU to cook for me, but a couple of people with good intentions CC'ed me before, so now I have just made that my general rule."

I couldn't agree with this more.  I made the Big mistake in the beginning of letting a couple of friends carefully cook for me and it just didn't work out.  The more I learned and the more knowledgeable i became the more I realized the margin for their error and then had to do a lot of back peddling to get out of letting them cook.  Far better to take the stand of No one cooks for you except you (or an established, well trained eatery) right from the start.

As for work, well, word got out at my job too (I'm retired but went back sort of part time) and if people ask me questions I answer.  Some really want to understand as maybe they have issues too and other are just nosey but sooner or later that dies down.  If you are cool and casual then they react the same.

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I think it's great to get everyones perspective on this. I must be around a lot of nosey people because once one person at work found out I had celiac's it spread through our clinic and I've had everyone ask me about it. I know it's out of concern but I just get tired of explaining it. And I have a very well meaning friend at the neighboring department that suggested I try the vegan food commons at the university we work at. I'm not vegan, thanks. I'm pretty certain that is a CC nightmare waiting to happen. I declined but man - talk about not understanding. I want to educate but I feel like I need to pass out fliers because I'll lose my voice or my patience.

I'm not vegan either, but some of those vegan eateries are really good about gluten-free and cc. There might be something you like there to eat once in a while. It's nice to be able to not have to bring your own food all the time.

You mention you work in a clinic and the people don't seem to know about Celiac? Maybe this is a good chance to educate them. Even if its a foot doctor, you never know when it may be relevant ( actually odd toenails could be a sign).

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I'm not vegan either, but some of those vegan eateries are really good about gluten-free and cc. There might be something you like there to eat once in a while. It's nice to be able to not have to bring your own food all the time.

You mention you work in a clinic and the people don't seem to know about Celiac? Maybe this is a good chance to educate them. Even if its a foot doctor, you never know when it may be relevant ( actually odd toenails could be a sign).

 

I do not trust the student's that run the food line. I just don't know if I would risk it. 

 

I work at a veterinary clinic - still a good option for education, always. But that is why they are not as aware of what it is. I think one veterinarian knew what I was talking about immediately since she has a friend with 2 kids that are Celiac. But yeah - many people are woefully uninformed.

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I do not trust the student's that run the food line. I just don't know if I would risk it.

I work at a veterinary clinic - still a good option for education, always. But that is why they are not as aware of what it is. I think one veterinarian knew what I was talking about immediately since she has a friend with 2 kids that are Celiac. But yeah - many people are woefully uninformed.

There are many dogs and some cats that have a gluten problem. My Lab does much better gluten-free and grain free. I have heard many Lab owners have found this out.

I was hoping the vegan place was an actual cafe. We have a couple here that do a good job with gluten-free. It's not the same as a steak place....but it's fun once in a while.

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That's another thing you need to watch out for if you feed any of the animals in the clinic. Most pet foods have gluten. Don't breathe in the dust when you're pouring out the dried food. I'm sure you wash your hands anyway after touching the animals or the food, but don't forget to. Cat's especially, because they clean themselves with their gluteny tongues, can be a source of CC.

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That's another thing you need to watch out for if you feed any of the animals in the clinic. Most pet foods have gluten. Don't breathe in the dust when you're pouring out the dried food. I'm sure you wash your hands anyway after touching the animals or the food, but don't forget to. Cat's especially, because they clean themselves with their gluteny tongues, can be a source of CC.

The second ingredient in my cats food is wheat gluten! I am being super careful with them now and I wash my hands obsessively. I will be switching them once it's almost gone.

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Try this out...  I was at a work lunch with a coworker, my manager, and our regional director.  My manager, who is aware of my dietary needs, picks a venue where I cannot eat. (Whatever, I brought my own) When everyone orders, I told the waitress that I would not be eating.  When everyones food comes out, I bust out a Gluten Free GoPicnic.  Essentially a gluten-free lunchable, if you will...  Then, out of nowhere, my manager blurts out, "He has a bunch of GI problems and can't eat normal food."

 

I don't care for this man anyhow and have prepared the following statement for the next time this happens...  He can't stuff himself with enough dessert and is always trying to lose weight...  Here it is...  Me being a shmuck to return the favor...

 

"Yeah, I don't know if he mentioned this but he has a bunch of weight issues, so he can't eat desserts."

 

Okay, I'm not really going to say that.  We all have struggles and I'm not trying to make light of someone else having them but in the context of what happened, it really ran right through me at that moment.  What a shmo...

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For casual people the "no thank you" "I already ate" "I'm in training"  should work.  Your closer friends and family you will need to explain a bit more.

 

I agree with Karen.

 

then again, I have no problem telling people I have Celiac. 

 

what can I say? I take any opportunity to educate the masses.  :lol:

 

I may even get a "I'm celiac and I'm proud!" tee shirt...or tattoo.....

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Another thought...

Your friends can successfully prepare meals for you if they take the time to learn about CC and you help in the kitchen.

It's fun. My friends did a good job. I brought them a flexible cutting board (that they use exclusively for me)

and I brought wine and dessert. I make a killer flourless chocolate cake with ganache that 2 chef friends deemed the best they ever had.... who needs wheat flour? 

 

It worked out just fine. Now I have 3 houses I can dine in safely (besides my G F pals homes, that is) LOL

 

Mostly, I do the cooking and they come here. That's fine with me! 

 

And yes, my kitty is grain free. She has a lovely coat and is healthy as can be.

 

If I could stand all that salmon, I'd eat it every day..and probably have a luxurious head of hair too.

:)  

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