Sunday, December 2, 2012

Can you just eat around it?

How many times have you heard, "Can you just around it?"  As if I could eat the pie fillings, but just leave the crust.  If only it was that easy!

This is a tough time of year, and after almost 4 years of being gluten-free, there will still be times every now and then, it can get frustrating.  I mean, I am pretty cool with the fact that when I go to someone's house, a holiday craft show, or an open house, it is pretty likely that I won't be able to eat anything.  I will make sure I eat something before I go, and If there is wine, I am fine.  I may even have a piece of cheese, if it is on a plate on its own and not next to bread and crackers.  Of course, I always try and bring something, so at least I know I can have one one thing.

Sometimes I feel like I am a broken record when people ask why I can't just eat around the offending gluten, or give me a look like I am being overly paranoid.  Sometimes, I just want to not have to explain myself.  Yes, it is difficult, yes, there is not much available in these situations, and yes, it can suck.  But, it is just food, and I will eat when I get home.  Sometimes I worry it bothers other people more than it bothers me.

And then the worst part, is when people will say casually something is gluten-free, yet, but I don't feel like asking a hundred of questions about asking to see the label, or how it was cooked, and honestly, I don't wish to spend the next several hours being sick, so please don't be offended if I just choose not to try it.

I know people have the best intentions, especially my great group of friends.  And I really do miss the days I could be like everyone else, and just eat what I see, no questions asked.  But now that I know what the outcome is when I do get sick, I won't risk it.  No matter what it is.

I have been to a couple of parties lately that were as usual full of lovely gluten. I don't expect to eat anything, so I am really not bothered or upset.  Then a friend will tell me they made something that is gluten-free, and it is next to all the lovely gluten-filled treats.  I am so appreciative, but it fills me with such anxiety, I just don't feel comfortable to eat it.

I do appreciate when people go out of their way to provide something that is gluten-free, but if I feel the slightest bit uncomfortable, I won't eat it, and then I feel awful about possibly offending them.  But frankly, I will say no, before I risk getting sick.

So, while I feel more comfortable in social situations, because I am used to the fact that I can't eat all those lovely goodies, I wish people were more comfortable about me not being able to eat.

How do you handle social situations during the holidays?


  1. This sounds just like me. It will be 3 years in February since I was diagnosed with celiac, and I still struggle with social gatherings. I often eat before I go anywhere,usually bring something with me, and then only graze a little at gatherings. The vegetable platter is my usual go-to because I know it is the most likely thing to be safe from contamination. I used to get frustrated when I couldn't eat places, but now I am often stressing over people going out of their way to accomodate my dietary restrictions. While it is appreciated, I don't like everyone making a fuss over me and worrying about if I have enough food to eat.

  2. What a great post for this time of year! I agree that it's annoying when others are so concerned that I eat at such events. Most of the time, I eat only what I take unless I am 100% certain someone has made something truly gluten free AND that their dish is not contaminated due to where it is on the table or buffet. When people who I don't know push me and won't let it go, I will actually say something like "thanks, but I'll have to pass as I really don't free like throwing up in two hours". I find this usually shuts most people up on the! It seems to me like people that are overly concerned about what I'm eating - or more likely what I'm not eating - might have their own foods issues they've yet to deal with ;)

  3. Well stated...I must say that I do get tired of having to "educate" people, but after several years now and after feeling fairly good for the first time in MANY years, I count it an exercise of helping people to understand that just because they think it is gluten free, it may not be...mainly because there are SO many other factors we have to consider before taking that bite. Fortunately for me, I have GREAT friends who have taken the time to ask me about handling, spices, cross contamination, etc. When I go out with them, they ask more questions of the host or waiter than I do...they have allowed me to be still while they fight the battle of educating people on my behalf...well, after crying about the fact that I am TIRED of having to explain...several of them have taken it on on my behalf :). Find you a good friend who really cares. Another thing I do is call before to ask about gluten free options. Like you, I travel with my snacks in tow. Better safe than sorry. Thanks again for such a wonderful musing...I do feel you girl! BeaJae.

  4. Seriously..socializing is the hardest part of being gluten free! I love that people make the effort to make me something special..but I can never bring myself to actually eat it. I can;t trust that people are 100% sure what celiac/gluten free means, or how serious it is. I always volunteer to bring at least one side dish to any party I go to, so I don't have to look completely silly sipping my drink while everyone else eats. :)