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being gluten free

Each week we will be sharing a topic in the Gluten-Free Living section of our site. It is our hope that by suggesting a topic to discuss, as a gluten-free community, we can share our thoughts and feelings about being gluten free.

To kick off our new initiative, we are starting with the following question:

What is Most Challenging About Being Gluten Free?

Here’s my response:

Eating at the homes of friends–especially if they don’t know I am gluten-free.

The biggest challenge about being gluten free for me is not wanting to add stress to the person hosting us for dinner. If they don’t know I am gluten-free, I like to keep it that way, thinking there is always something I can eat, even if my choices are limited. There’s enough stress people feel when hosting others for dinner, I simply don’t want to add to it by giving them a list of foods I can’t eat. And, with gluten hidden in so many ingredients, even if they try, it could result in making a dish with gluten. I have seen the crestfallen faces of people excited they made gluten-free, only to realize one ingredient they used made it a gluten dish.

If I am bringing a dish, I of course make something gluten-free, which ensures there’s at least one dish I can eat. I often make it a side like quinoa or something else that could work as an entree for me.

Once arriving at the dinner or party, I don’t want to make hosts feel bad by asking what is gluten-free (especially if they don’t know!). I handle inquiring about dishes I am unsure of by saying, “That looks delicious. What’s in it?” I then get a rundown of ingredients and the cooking process from the person who created the dish.

And, of course, I always pack crackers.

~Kelly

What is your greatest challenge with being gluten free?

Share below!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth A Mayer October 6, 2014 at 7:15 am

My greatest challenge in being GF is that it is not my ONLY food allergy. I also cannot have nightshades which includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and goji berries. Trying to eat out is near impossible with these restrictions other than a good salad (leave out the tomato and croutons please) or an unseasoned steak with limited sides. I feel as though my entire life is now dedicated to getting my nutritional needs met by carefully perusing recipes, shopping for ingredients and preparing my own meals only to start working on the next day’s menus. It requires careful planning to leave home even for a few hours, and I worry what life will be like as it gets more and more difficult to afford specialty foods and fresh produce.
I can at least eat eggs and dairy which is not so for many who must avoid gluten .

Reply

Gluten-Free Foodies January 21, 2015 at 12:06 am

Ruth,

I am so sorry to hear of your many food restrictions. I know how difficult eating out can be, AND the issue with having to prepare so much to go out or travel. I envy you being able to eat dairy though! 🙂

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