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Boyfriend's Sister Is A Pastry Chef - Misinformed About Celiac?
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(I was not sure where else to post this topic, I apologize if it's out of place!)

 

So, my boyfriend is completely supportive of my celiac disease...he tries my gluten free food, and makes sure he brushes my teeth before he kisses me, etc etc. His sister went to school to be a chef, and she worked in a pastry kitchen. She learned about celiac disease and, apparently - wrote a paper on it. She thinks he is being extremely overprotective (which he is in, a way, but for good reason)

 

One of the more recent times I was at his house, we were looking up gluten free restaurants in the area to try. His sister encouraged me to try a wheat wrap and said I should be fine. She said something about how it's not the actual wheat that makes us sick, but how it reacts with other proteins or something like that. Of course, I didn't take her advice. I was just...kind of speechless, really. Now he's telling me that she's telling him that people with celiac disease can't get "that sick". 

 

I'm really confused. If she went to school for this, and wrote a paper on it - why is she so dangerously misinformed? This is really scary. I already told my boyfriend I don't feel safe eating anything she makes for me *though she hasn't tried or offered as of yet*

 

What is going on here, what are the chefs that prepare gluten free food really being told? Has anyone dealt with anything similar?

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Yikes! :huh:  If you can gently educate her about celiac disease, I am sure hundreds of future customers will be grateful!

 

Seriously though, I would try to correct her.... gently.  Good luck!

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Oh my goodness!!!!!! That's terrible!!! 

 

I hope your boyfriend isn't listening to her. If he starts to, ask him to read a few things on this board. He is wonderful for being protective and brushing his teeth. It's exactly what he should be doing for someone he cares about. 

 

When did she graduate? And where? I wonder if you could ask to read her paper if she still has it...I'm so curious.

 

My sister is a pastry chef. Her favorite class was where they learned about dietary restrictions, but she knows a lot more about gluten free cooking than most people because I got diagnosed. I'll ask her this weekend what her teachers said about it.

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nvsmom - I want to, but it's a touchy subject. I don't know her that well, I rarely see her - but my boyfriend has been arguing with her about it. She brushes it off and tells him that he's being overprotective, and he gets annoyed and tells her she doesn't understand (which, clearly she doesn't) She's someone that's hard to get along with, that always has to be right. I don't know if she's ever actually cooked for someone with celiac disease before, I imagine she hasn't. I'll have to ask him about that. I'm just...so confused. Most of the gluten-free places i've gone to have some kind of knowledge...like putting the pizza on aluminum foil/its own little plate before putting it in the oven. SOMETHING that indicates that they're aware of the dangers of cross contamination, you know? She was arguing with him about that, too. 

 

WinterSong - He isn't listening to her at all, he's trying to tell her she's wrong and he's getting increasingly annoyed by her. I have sent him a few forum threads from here, and he reads up on it on his own as well. He even downloaded a gluten-free app on HIS phone and he's constantly finding me new markets/restaurants to try. He even surprised me by driving me to a gluten free/organic place near his job. :) He's been great, really. He's very annoyed by her. I don't know where she went to school, actually. Hmm. I'm wondering if she's mixing up a gluten intolerance with celiac disease...but I don't know much about gluten intolerance...so it's hard to say. 

 

Thank you! I'm just...well, I'm very new to the gluten free diet (and celiac in general) and my boyfriend has been a huge help, so I'm not concerned with him listening to her or anything like that...I AM concerned with this causing strife with her trying to cook for me and me...being afraid to eat it, lol. I don't want to offend her, but...what is going on here? 

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Even with a gluten intolerance you can't eat a wheat wrap. I have no idea what she's talking about  :blink:  People who are gluten intolerant can get VERY sick. They just won't have the same internal damage as Celiacs. 

 

My best advice - stay away from her cooking, obviously. Since you said she's the type of person who always has to be right, she'll most likely be hard to convince otherwise. But I would still try to have a talk with her about it when the time feels right. Maybe the next time she offers you something that clearly contains gluten? But casual, and like nvsmom said - gently. 

 

As for your boyfriend - marry him, lol  :D

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Yeah, I definitely am going to steer away from her cooking. The thing is, so far, she seems to like me (or at least not dislike me) and I don't want to stir up anything. This is a pretty new relationship (I literally had only been with him for about 10 days when I got diagnosed. Yeah!) I wouldn't be rude about it, I'm not like that anyway - but it's one of those things. I read other forums talking about it...where you have those friends/family members that try to be helpful but they have no idea what they're doing, so they end up doing things that could make you sick, even though they mean well. I was just curious if anyone had heard of this type of thing happening or going around. If she really did take a class and learn about celiac disease, why is she being taught misleading information? Who else is being taught this information? 

 

'Daw. Yeah, he's a good catch, definitely. I'm lucky...I've seen some of the posts on here about people not supporting their loved ones with celiac. My dad doesn't get it or seem to care to understand it, and my mom means well but she's a bit like his sister. "Of course ____ is gluten free, why wouldn't it be?" She doesn't get why I have to read every label and look up brands and products. i can't just blindly assume something is gluten free because it seems like it should, or would be. 

 

My mom worked with a woman who has a husband with celiac disease. She, for whatever reason - refused to cook gluten free food for him. My mom said he ended up in the hospital multiple times. I don't understand people like that. I can see how/why dating with celiac disease would be difficult, so I was very wary about telling my new boyfriend that everything had changed. He's really taken it in stride, though. :) 

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I will add this:  the longer you don't confront her about her misinformation, the more upset she is going to get, because she thinks you are okay with it at the moment.  You'll have to bite the bullet and talk with her sooner than later, or the worst case scenario is you marry this nice guy and have to deal with her trying to poison you for the rest of your life.  Bring her something from the University of Chicago celiac disease research center to back yourself up.  Maybe you can also get her some info from a fellow chef, she may be receptive to that.

 

When she wrote her paper she probably just read stuff off an internet search that were not legitimate sources.  

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I see your point - but the problem is she mainly argues this with my boyfriend when I'm not around. Only one time she told me that she didn't think wheat wraps would bother me, but she did say "I mean if it's going to make you sick, don't eat it..." and I just kind of held my tongue and nodded. I told her I'm not going to risk it, and she didn't really seem put off. She doesn't really bring it up when I'm around. I don't even know how they get on the topic of it, really. So far she hasn't offered to cook for me, which is good...but if it does come up again I'm going to have to try to be more aggressive about it. Right now my boyfriend is really fighting with her on it, but again - I'm not there to hear what exactly she is saying. 

 

I mean...most sites about celiac disease do not say wheat is okay, or that you don't get 'that sick' from cross contamination. i really am curious where she got her information, but again - these are discussions she is having with him when i'm not around. 

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Here's another opinion for you.

 

I would let the whole issue drop.  You don't have to eat anything she makes so that's a non-issue.  It's never good to create drama where none is needed.  I applaud your boy friend for sticking up for you but maybe he needs to let it go to.  IMO, the only way she will come around is if she takes it upon herself to get educated on celiac disease.  I have a brother who thinks he is an expert in everything and still an idiot.  I would hate for this issue to cause friction between your boy friend and his sister when it can be avoided.  In time, she may do some investigating herself and come around.  This "paper" she wrote is probably pretty generic.  I met a nurse once who said she did a paper on Addison's Disease so she "knew all about it".  She actually didn't know the ins and outs of the disease, basically just the definition.

 

Colleen

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There hasn't been any drama between me and her, because i do just try to let it go. Like you said, as long as I'm not eating her food and getting sick it's not a big deal. My main concern is what they're teaching chefs at these schools. Was it just her school, just her class? Why is she so misinformed about it when she's going to be making food for other people? That's what my main problem was...I never have to eat anything she cooks (and I don't want to, lol) as for my boyfriend...well, they're siblings and they'd bicker anyway. :P I think it really bothers him, the celiac disease really scares him. I don't know who starts the issue, I do know his mom tries to help and offers to pick up gluten free food and asks him what I can eat, so the sister might get involved from there, who knows. I was just wondering if anyone knew why this kind of information would be TAUGHT to people who prepare food for others. It's scary.

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Hahahaha, and at least she is making wheaty pastries for people and not trying to cook her version of gluten free.

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Well, she could be making wheat pastries and telling people they are gluten-free which is the scary part.

I spoke with my sister. She studied pastry art at Johnson and Wales. They were taught about cooking for people with different food intolerances, not just gluten. She learned which flours have wheat in it and basic CC. They would wash everything really well and keep gluten-free prep separate from wheat prep. She compared it to keeping raw meat away from raw vegetables. They seemed to teach her well. She didn't know the details of how strongly being glutened can effect someone nor the complications of celiac - even so, she took food intolerances very seriously. She learned a few more CC things from me, like how scratched plastic can retain gluten, especially when heated.

I told her about this post and she was quite upset.

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(. His sister encouraged me to try a wheat wrap and said I should be fine. She said something about how it's not the actual wheat that makes us sick, but how it reacts with other proteins or something like that. Of course, I didn't take her advice. I was just...kind of speechless, really. Now he's telling me that she's telling him that people with celiac disease can't get "that sick". 

 

 

 

What is going on here, what are the chefs that prepare gluten free food really being told? Has anyone dealt with anything similar?

 

 

This doesn't sound like something they teach in cooking schools.  This food combining theory is something quacks use to sell weight loss books.  I bet she just got it somewhere like that.  Who knows what she wrote a paper on?  I imagine the quality of writing in a cooking school is lower than in ,say a college writing class.  Maybe they had to research a food trend or something.

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Wintersong - She has made pastries for people/cakes for weddings, but as far as I know she has never made anything for someone with celiac disease. That IS a scary thought. The weirdest thing is that my boyfriend's birthday was before I was diagnosed (literally - the day before) and she made his cake, so I tried a small piece. Hers was the last normal cake I'll ever eat! I can imagine why she'd be upset. I am just flat out confused, but I am glad I know that she's not really capable of cooking a gluten free meal..now I know not to eat anything she prepares for me until she does thorough research on the subject. The worst part is that they usually argue about it when I'm not even at their house, and he ends up telling me about it - so I don't know exactly what was said or how it started. I'm seeing him today so I want to dig deeper and ask him more about it. The only thing they really argued about with me there was that I should be able to tolerate the wheat wraps. I was really too confused to say anything at first, but I did tell her that it would make me sick and she just let it go.

 

kareng - I've never seen this paper she keeps telling my boyfriend about, so maybe you're right - maybe she found a site with misguided information on it and used it for all of her research. I actually DID find a site that preached something similar, let me see if I can find the link...they were also very rude to anyone who commented on the article to question them and their theories. 

 

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/148-curing-celiac-disease-using-holistic-naturopathic-techniques.html

 

^There it is. This is one of the articles I found after first being diagnosed and all it did was confuse the heck out of me. Maybe she found sources that said the same thing. I can't believe how rude they are to people who try to question them. What do you guys think of this article? I was so new to the disease when I read it that it really just confused me...now I'm getting more aggravated.

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Wintersong - She has made pastries for people/cakes for weddings, but as far as I know she has never made anything for someone with celiac disease. That IS a scary thought. The weirdest thing is that my boyfriend's birthday was before I was diagnosed (literally - the day before) and she made his cake, so I tried a small piece. Hers was the last normal cake I'll ever eat! I can imagine why she'd be upset. I am just flat out confused, but I am glad I know that she's not really capable of cooking a gluten free meal..now I know not to eat anything she prepares for me until she does thorough research on the subject. The worst part is that they usually argue about it when I'm not even at their house, and he ends up telling me about it - so I don't know exactly what was said or how it started. I'm seeing him today so I want to dig deeper and ask him more about it. The only thing they really argued about with me there was that I should be able to tolerate the wheat wraps. I was really too confused to say anything at first, but I did tell her that it would make me sick and she just let it go.

 

kareng - I've never seen this paper she keeps telling my boyfriend about, so maybe you're right - maybe she found a site with misguided information on it and used it for all of her research. I actually DID find a site that preached something similar, let me see if I can find the link...they were also very rude to anyone who commented on the article to question them and their theories. 

 

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/148-curing-celiac-disease-using-holistic-naturopathic-techniques.html

 

^There it is. This is one of the articles I found after first being diagnosed and all it did was confuse the heck out of me. Maybe she found sources that said the same thing. I can't believe how rude they are to people who try to question them. What do you guys think of this article? I was so new to the disease when I read it that it really just confused me...now I'm getting more aggravated.

 

 

They are making a lot of money off their odd cures and conspiracy theories.  I feel bad for people who can't see that those aren't "real" doctors or researchers.

 

Tell her you will follow the advice of the Celiac Center doctors and researchers and would be happy to refer her to some reputable websites about the disease and info for chefs who would like to cook for Celiacs.  For example - http://www.gluten.net/Programs/industry-programs/gluten-free-certification-organization

 

http://www.gluten.net/Programs/industry-programs/gluten-free-certification-organization

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Thank you for the link! Any resources are helpful. I keep trying to get my mom to come on this site too. She's trying to help, but she simply doesn't get it either. She thinks I'm being over dramatic because I need to read all labels/research brands before I just buy and eat their products. -_-

 

For example, she doesn't get why I can't eat the turkey for thanksgiving if she stuffs it. She thinks i can just eat around it. Lol. I'm sure you've all been through it too, it's quite fun...

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Waaahhhh! Yeah, I wouldn't go near her cooking. Of course, that doesn't mean there needs to be a bunch of drama about it, but your man is a champ for standing up for you. Friends and family are always going to have a hard time getting their head around just how careful we have to be (I was talking about this to a friend of mine the other day, whose a bit worried I'll turn into a crazy old hypochondriac. I told her "hey, I thought it was crazy too until I realised that I really DO have to take all these precautions. It sucks but that's how it is") Anyway, as long as you know not to go near anything that might have wheat or be ccd, then you'll be fine. She'll just have to get over it if offended. However, she needs to be properly informed so she doesn't make someone sick.

 

Maybe a better route is to say, "oh, you've done research on Celiac, you might find this interesting" and give her a few legit articles, or point her to the Chicago Celiac centre or something. Maybe she's the kind of person who believes whatever info comes up first, rather than searching for reliable sources.

 

Good luck! (and this guys is definitely a keeper)

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