Avoiding Certain Places Because Of Gluten Intolerance in Coping with Celiac Disease Posted July 1, 2012 · Report to Admin I think being afraid to 'stand out' or 'be different' makes it harder. However, you do need to take care of yourself but not become a hermit in the process; which is easier said than done. A few years ago I went to a Women's retreat over a long weekend, and tried avoiding wheat (though I wasn't gluten-free, I was avoiding wheat...) and that was tough, but not impossible. I wasn't concerned about CC either, I just avoided the obviously wheat-filled items such as bread, pasta, etc. Since everything was served 'family style', avoiding CC would have been close to impossible, even if it came out of the kitchen gluten-free. For something like that, even if you bring your own food, you'd have to be explaining to your table-mates why you're not sharing the food they're eating. And meal time is a big part of the social time, at least at the retreats I attended. So basically my advise would be that you'd need to get more comfortable with being different, and speaking up for yourself, asking questions, etc. That's easier if you're with people who already know you and are familiar with your 'issues'. But, you can do it! Stretch your comfort zone a bit, and it gets easier (though I'm still working on that myself). It's possible that the retreat location has the ability to safely feed you, also. It wouldn't hurt (in future) to contact them and/or do a web search to find out if they can accommodate you, or their policy on bringing your own food, if they have a microwave you could use, etc. And, you can start a thread or do a search on here about what to look out for, what to ask, etc. when the need arises in the future.