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To add to Joanniebug with waitstaff, I tell them up front "I'm sorry but I have to be a little difficult". I think a lot of them take it as a challenge at that point to make sure I don't get sick as I explain why I have to be difficult.
Most waiters are happy to help, and for the inconvenience they're tipped well and we go back to them again!! I was a waitress for many years and as long as a customer was respectful, I had no problem trying to help them in any way I could -- it's part of the job.
We ALL get overwhelmed sometimes, but you're feeling great and that's a good thing. when in doubt and if you really don't want to inconvenience, you can always get broiled fish or chicken (plain) along with veggies and baked potatoes.
This is tough for you, I know. It's a nuisance, but people are getting more and more educated.
HANG IN THERE -- YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! And enjoy the meal.
Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire."
-Arnold H. Glasow
Peaches, good post. I also tip for them for taking care of me. I do not expect anyone to do things for me per say.
It was my hubby's idea to fix his own lunch. He felt it was safer in that way I do not get any crumbs on my food as he always cleans up after himself, and again, this was his choice.
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
So no you don't get to be spontaneous any more - accept it and move on.
Now that we are passed that ... there are more and more restaurants that accommodate gluten free requests ... Triumph Dining has a book of restaurants across the US that can either accommodate GF or actually have GF menus - they update it annually. I also use their GF cards when I'm in a restaurant where I have to educate the kitchen staff.
When I go to Ted's Montana Grill I always tell them that my burger has to be cooked on a clean part of the grill and I confirm that the fries are cooked in a dedicated fryer - they go directly on the plate, not staged in the bowls which can result in cross-contamination - and it is the same restaurant, not a different location. The more effort you put into it the more the education spreads and the better it is for all of us.
Now I will say that when my food allergies are accommodated by both the wait-staff and the kitchen I tip generously ... it is more effort to wait on us, but if you make it worth their while you are helping all of us.
Oh, and I have taken my GF bread with me to Carrabba's before and asked for an extra plate of the herbs and olive oil. It didn't phase them a bit.
As for baking ... try using Xanthan Gum with your GF flours. It adds elasticity and gives baked goods a more similar texture to the gluten-filled foods. If you are sensitive to corn or soy beans avoid xanthan gum - it can be derived from corn, soy bean or dairy. Alternatively, you can use Namaste Flour - it contains xanathan gum and it is not made from corn, soy or dairy.
I made GF Spritz Cookies at Christmas using King Arther GF flour and a teaspoon of xanthan gum. They came out as good as regular Spritz cookies.
Be proud of yourself for finding the root cause of your health problems and go forward boldly eating healthy and educating others.
Edited by: PEACHESII at: 1/22/2012 (15:30)
Thank you all so much for your support, advice and personal experiences. My husband and I went to the dinner last night a little early before the group showed up, so I could go over the menu with the waiter. The staff was very helpful and it wasn’t as stressful as I made it out to be in my head. My co-workers were very supportive as well.
I have been VERY committed to my gluten free diet since I was diagnosed. I have maybe slipped up a handful of time in the past year and a half and I ALWAYS regret it. I do not want to give up on being 100% GF, this is a complete lifestyle change that I am committed to. Yesterday, I just felt trapped, frustrated and overall sad in my restrictions.
I am so glad I can come here, express those feelings and have people that completely empathize with me. Again, thank you all so much. I am feeling much better today.
Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right.
- Henry Ford
to the group,
You've already gotten a lot of great info already so don't have much to add. Which is that what you're going through is normal, I've seen many people start hitting a wall of sorts around the 1 1/2 to 2 year mark. Keep doing what you've been doing and take some of the advice given and before you know it you'll be on the other side of this hill.
I think everyone goes through this at some point. Being strictly gluten-free is a dramatic change in lifestyle, particularly in the USA where we've become a culture of fast food and processed food, meals in minutes. It's natural to be angry, feel grief, experience resentment, and want everything to go back to 'normal'. The fact that the so called 'normal food' is killing us doesn't change the fact that we don't like having to eat differently from everyone else.
I've been GFCF for about a year. It's a pain, a hassle, but the fundamental fact is that our processed food supply is so degraded, so cross contaminated that to be healthy or raise a healthy family we have to return to cooking from scratch and working from whole foods. It's the only way to control what in our meals - not just GFCF but also free of chemical contaminants, food additives that aren't actually foods, synthetics passed off as 'food', colorings that shouldn't be there, and who knows what.
Being health isn't convenient. Not convenient at all. It's time consuming to be healthy. It's restrictive to eat healthy foods and avoid processed dead food. But those people who aren't paying attention to what they eat, those so called' normal people' who don't eat GF are not healthy.
Your friends and co-workers are paying the price for all the convenience of 'eating anything and everything' with other forms of ill health. You just aren't seeing it. You aren't seeing which friends are taking prescriptions for pre-diabetes, the ones who are taking insulin, dealing with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, budding heart disease, struggling with weight gain or loss, and other silent diseases. It would be nice to just take a prescription and forget about food. But Celiacs is one of the few diseases where the damage can actually be reversed through diet.
So, go ahead, have a good cry. We will all cry with you because we've all gone through this same process of grief and anger over our situations. Then mop your face, grit your teeth and do what you have to do. You've made great progress, and a healthy life is ahead of you. I know your spouse is really proud of all you have accomplished. Your cooking efforts may also save his life.
You are doing a good job under difficult circumstances. Well done!
As one military wife to another you should not worry about what others think you need to worry about how that gluten will make you feel if you eat it. So what if you have to order gf that is part of life and if you had allergies to peanuts would you fee the same? No because it will kill you well guess what so will the gluten but slowly because it is killing your intestines slowly but surely so order gluten free and just don't worry about what others think.
I have never expected anyone to go out of their way to accommodate my diet. If I am going out to a restaurant I will go online and check out the menu, if it is not online I would call the restaurant and ask if they have any gf items.
I do not expect my husband to eat my gf diet, I believe that it is healthier for him to eat a high fiber diet rich in grains. I also do not expect him to fix his own meals. I do not waste time on feeling sorry for myself. I love licorice and my Mother bought me some for Xmas, I looked at the ingredients and the third item was wheat. I thanked my very much and when she left I gave it to my husband. I am constantly on a search for gf foods to buy and gf items that I can bake. There are many, many really great desserts out there for gf diets. I simply take the hand that I was dealt and make the best of it, I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me I am not selfish enough to expect everyone to conform to my diet. This is my motto, this is what works for me.
You know, I go through this too. Even though I am not quite on the same bandwagon with gluten yet (I'm getting allergy tested this coming Friday), I have been sugar-free for nearly a year after joining a Spark Blog team for this last March. At first, I felt liberated. It's like you get energized from the idea of figuring something out...all the recipes, the food discussions, the new and exciting ways to get around your substance. Then, somewhere in there, the novelty wore off and I started feeling caged. For me, sugar is the devil, and I'm not able to eat it in moderation without it leading to problems. It was especially difficult for me around Halloween, which is my favorite holiday for sampling crazy-cute sweets and for baking. This time, I sat there while everyone ate these adorable oreo-cookie spiders and double-fudge monster cakes and I could almost feel the tractor beam waves pulling me in. It felt truly painful to feel excluded from sampling these. I felt left out, and weird, and suddenly less cool for being one of "those" people who always had to do something eccentric with their diet while everyone else is feasting.
Fortunately, Halloween only lasted 4 hours, and life returned to normal again the next day. I was glad to not have gone over the edge. I was grateful to not have to be picking myself up after horrible headaches or have terrible cravings or fatigue. It was just another day. Thankgiving and Christmas had their moments, but overall were easier. Thank goodness.
The whole point is that, whethor sugar, or gluten, or lactose, or whatever you know it is that makes you truly ill when you eat it...we don't get holiday passes for it. We don't even get day passes or weekend getaways from it. It is up to us each and every day to decide if we want to choose to feel crappy or balanced based on taking that first bite. Your feelings around it sucking, while correct and appropriate, are just feelings and will pass. Let them. You are healthier and more even-keeled for it.
P.S. when I start feeling myself slipping, I read a book about breaking sugar addiction. You could do the same for gluten, just to refresh and reinspire. I also am diligent about blogging through those tough spots. Good support is vital for lifestyle changes like this that we hope to carry on indefinitely.
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing something, but in doing it"
I can totally understand where you are coming from. I always felt like all the attention was on me,. but when you get sick enough times you will say "hey this is my life" I did not like getting sick as I cannot eat a small amount of gluten as I get extremely sick and it lasts for the entire day or evening and I even feel lousy for the next few days. It used to take me about an hour before I got sick; now it is anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. T
I live in a small town. I belong to a Women's Club and I met the chef and discussed what I can and cannot eat. We have our luncheon once a month so in the beginning of the year, I meet with the chef and give him the yearly menu of what I can have. I have not gotten sick once at this restaurant for the past two and half years (that is how long I have been gluten free). At the end of the year, I give him a nice thank you card and a gift thanking him for all that he has done for me.
If you frequent a certain restaurant(s), get to know the chef and let him know that you are gluten free. The chef that I have for our Women's lunch told me that he has learned so much about the gf and has helped him in fixing my meals or anyone else that is gf.
I am very fortunate as my hubby is very supportive. I would say 99% of my kitchen is gf. He has his bread and cereal. When it is time to fix lunch, he fixes his own and wipes off the counter to make sure there are no crumbs for me to get sick on.
I am glad that you found us. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I felt like this most when I was newly diagnosed. After a while I got to accept it and remember how sick I was before. I still have foods I won't let DH bring in the house because it is too painful for me! I usually bring my own food most places for gatherings and at restaurants either stick to basics as suggested or pick somewhere with a GF menu. The blessing in all this is that we are pretty much forced to eat healthier, there is not as much GF junk out there, and you can't just grab pizza or fried chicken at Walmart because it smells good!
For meals on the go, it CAN be done. It just requires you take some time and plan ahead. I don't advocate fast food in any way, but Wendy's has a lot and most publish gluten info online.
Hang in there!
I'm so sorry you are struggling... and I really hope you were able to make good choices tonight and not feel awkward doing so. You have made such amazing progress in your lifestyle and it would be such a shame for you to quit now.
Last year I went several months very successfully gluten-free. Felt GREAT. My favorite restaurants prepared things for me and got to know me well - they even took pride in making sure I was taken care of. It was great. That feeling hit me, too, though... I really resented not getting to enjoy the things I loved. I have always been a huge baker - and Christmas really hurt. I hated not being able to bake those beautiful cookies and cakes and pastries that I love to make... SO I DID. I baked to my heart's content... and got sick as a dog in the process.
It does suck that we have to live a life of restricted diet - but it is restricted in that one area so we don't have to restrict ourselves in the IMPORTANT parts of life. Really, the restriction means freedom - from symptoms, lethargy, and pain.
You can do this. Take a deep breath and regain control of yourself. Focus on what you must do and live the healthy life you deserve! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! :-)
I beat my body and make it my slave, so that when I have preached to others I myself will not be disqualified.
-1 Corinthians 9:27
The pain that happens if I slip and eat gluten helps me forget about the inconvenience about asking for gf food. If in doubt, I don't eat out. Your health is most important. I have to avoid peanuts, corn and dairy also. Once at a chinese restaurant I ordered a dish that had almonds but when it arrived they sure looked like peanuts to me. They kept insisting that they were almonds but I wouldn't eat it. I said I would pay for it but they took it back and brought me a different meal. Your health is worth inconvenience.
Most restaurants have the option for a steak, potato, and side of vegetables. Sometimes when I don't feel like chatting with waiters, that's what I order.
I kind of feel like I had to own and accept my food issues, and finally I realized that me not getting sick is way more important than anyone else's inconvenience or worrying about what people think. I pretty much talk about being gluten-free all the time now, so all my friends and coworkers know, and it's not strange for me to ask questions or have different food. Even my students end up knowing because I talk about it in class (of course, I teach college Biology, so it comes up)
No day but today ...
-Jonathan Larson - Rent
"You have to laught at yourself, because you'd cry your eyes out if you didn't"
Emily Saliers - Indigo Girls
Co-Leader of Project Mayhem
Co-Leader of Living Healthy with Insulin Resistance/Low GI Diet
Your reactions are normal and we have all gone through them. It's really important to have the support of your husband. Forget about inconveniencing people. This is youir health! Would youi expect a diabetic to eat a high glycemic meal because it is inconveniencing people?
Call the restaurant again and ask to speak to the manager or the chef. Waiting to speak to a waiter is too late, especially for a group. Eat before you go so you are not so hungry. Have a bag of crackers (watch the salt and calories - some are better than others) to eat with a gf appetizer or whatever.
I always have a snack of some sort with me. It only takes a few minutes to make carrot sticks, celery sticks with a wedge of Laughing cow Cheese. Less time than going into a small store but if you do need to, there are cheese sticks & pepperoni sticks. There are many gf bars. Watch for sales and buy in bulk. Review your overall intake for a day. I aim for less than 1800 calories a day to maintain or 1500 to lose.
Check out our sticky topics. There are lots of suggestions there. Good luck!
Been to Tombouctou and back! Truely! (Timbuktu in English) photos and more Travel Adventures at www.flickr.com/photos/cdnnomad/sets
Recognizing Celiac Disease www.recognizingceliacdisease.
10 Tests that could save your life www.50plus.com/health/10-tests-that-
Dr. Alejandro Junger - 'Healing the gut' (from Dr. Oz) www.doctoroz.com/videos/3-day-jumpst
I'm overwhelmed. I have been gluten free for a year and a half and I feel like I have finally reached my breaking point.
Some backstory: I got diagnosed summer 2010 after my husband left for a year long deployment (he's in the Army), which I think was a blessing in disguise. I was able to discover and learn how to be gluten free without the pressure of having to create a "real" meal that would satisfy him. Becoming gluten free was a somewhat easy transition for me...I lost over 20 lbs, was feeling energized, healthy and overall good.
Then my husband returned from deployment in June 2011. By the time he came home I had quite a large list of meals to make and was able to know how to substitute gluten-filled foods with gf versions. Things were going great and he was surprised at how great gf foods could be.
Now: I have gained 20lbs and I'm stressed about being gluten free. I feel so restricted even though I've made almost everything imaginable gluten free. I'm mad that being gluten free isn't more convenient. I'm a full-time student, I work part-time and I'm constantly on the go...being gluten free isn't really compatible with that lifestyle. The holidays and going to parties and group gatherings have really tested my dedication to being gf.
I have a work party tonight at a restaurant and I'm beyond stressed about going. I have called the restaurant and they do have gf items and they said to ask the waiter. I don't like to inconvenience people, I don't like the pressure of having to ask the waiter and order in front of everyone (I don't know why I'm being like this), and I don't like having to prepare before I go out somewhere. I don't know why all these things are affecting me now.
This post is part vent and part cry for help lol. I don't know what to do about how I feel. Any advice would be appreciated.
Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right.
- Henry Ford