10 Communication Strategies to Decline Gluten Free Food

Sharing food

Having to turn down well-intentioned family member’s gluten free food or interrogate family members or friends on the ingredients used to make a gluten free dish, is by far, the most dreaded conversation a celiac will encounter.  Am I right?  I know this topic tops the list for me, hands down, for sure.

It’s awful when friends or family have put in so much time and effort and then you find out that you need to tell them that, unfortunately, you cannot eat it.  You know you need to decline the food item for your health, but coming up with the right communication can be very difficult.

Here are 10 communication strategies you can use to politely decline risky, gluten free food.

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18 Gluten Free Camping Essentials

 

Roasting veggies over campfire

 

Camping season is upon us!  Make it a delicious, safe, and fun event by having some these staple essential items that make will make gluten free camping a roaring success!

I’ve highlighted both food and equipment items to cover all of the basis.

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30 Ways To Make Your Celiac Friend Feel “Normal”

Coffee and celiac

Has your friend just been diagnosed with celiac disease?  A diagnosis of celiac can be overwhelming at first and can make so many food related activities off limits or require a lot of pre planning, making the experience more stressful than enjoyable.

Often times, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity will deny food related invitations due to the fact that they “don’t even want to deal with it.”

Food related events outside of the home, especially at the onset of diagnosis, can be anxiety provoking.  In fact, did you know, that a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety is commonly associated with celiac disease?

Not only is the individual still learning what gluten free entails, they now have to think about navigating this diet with someone else preparing the food, which is next to impossible.  And, let alone, stressful!

Think about it like comparing celiac (a condition that medically requires a gluten free diet) to a peanut allergy.  Would you want a friend to cook for you who has a mediocre knowledge on managing a peanut allergy (potentially risking anaphylaxis)? Likely not.  Same answer for gluten free.

Our friends may have the best intentions to make a meal gluten free, but unless they have been thoroughly educated on cross contamination and reading labels, it is very unlikely that they will be able to prepare a safe meal for a celiac (read – please do not attempt!).

Eating out in a restaurant is another hurdle that a celiac has to climb.  Imagine going from ordering whatever you want, whenever you want to having to basically interrogate the server on safe kitchen practices for allergens and asking for ingredient lists on food items.  Sound overwhelming?  It is.  And, it is even more so for someone who is newly diagnosed because they still need to learn to identify risky foods in restaurants and learn the correct questions to ask to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

There are even individuals who have years of a celiac diagnosis on their belt and still experience a mountain of stress when considering food invitations outside of the home.  Because we all have to eat three meals a day, food and, more importantly, safe gluten free food is always on the mind of celiacs, 24/7, 365 days out of the year.  It can be exhausting.

So, sometimes, it’s nice to forget about it.  And the activities below take food out of the equation so your celiac friend can forget about their diagnosis, if only for a few hours.

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May is Celiac Awareness Month: Calling all Servers, Chefs and Bakers

picnic table

May is celiac awareness month. And, I want to reach out to the food service industry in hopes to help celiacs increase their confidence when eating out. I want celiacs (myself included) to enjoy eating out again, not fear it and not avoid it.

Celiacs love food.  We love eating out.  But, much of the time, we are secluded from the joyful experience of sharing food with others or designated to eating salad time and time again.  Look, I love my vegetables.  I am a dietitian, of course!  But, there comes a limit to my salad intake.

The problem seems to stem from the lack of knowledge of celiac disease including how to prepare food safely for a celiac.   It also comes from the assumption that celiac = a meal free from gluten ingredients. Which, of course, it is. But, that’s only half the story.

Just as important of a meal free from gluten ingredients, is a meal prepared in a manner that reduces the risk of cross contamination as much as possible.  Celiacs know that, but more often than not, the food service industry doesn’t seem to recognize or care about the importance of this.

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Unlocking the Potential of Dried Plums!

Fiber and the gluten free diet

March is nutrition month and the theme this year is unlocking the potential of food.  Food has the power to heal, prevent, fuel, discover and bring us together.

When you think of foods that fit into this years nutrition theme, we can definitely turn to dried plums to discover their amazing health benefits.  Dried plums may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think about unlocking the potential of food, but they should definitely be on your radar.

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