For so many people with Celiac, that hardest thing to deal with is friends and family who "just don't get it". The folks who are supposed to be your support network can be the same ones who unintentionally throw up road blocks to healthy living.
"You can just pick off the croutons."
"It only has a little bit of flour to thicken it."
"You can cheat every once in a while."
"But Grandma made this cake for you. Do you want to hurt her feelings?"
"Well, it is just soy sauce!"
They mean well, really they do. It can be difficult to understand the effect of glutening on the body if you yourself don't have Celiac. So often it is associated with allergies, where there are short-term issues, but in the long run no damage is done. It can be easy to believe that, too. You see that hot, steaming slice of pizza. It tantalizes you with it's oozing cheese, sweet-savory sauce, and delicious toppings (of your choice.) Why not? Sure your gut will be painfully bloated for 24-48 hours. And no, there are no pills you can take. But it is worth it, right? WRONG!!! While the obvious effects are "short lived", the damage done to the small intestines can take 6 months to heal. That is six months of decreased nutrient absorption. We Celiacs have first hand experience with "brain fog", mood swings, and skin sensitivities. Really, not worth it.
Most friends and family are well meaning. They try so hard. They purchase foods labeled GF, get the GF shopping lists from local stores (Trader Joe's and Whole Foods), and look online for GF recipes. It is sweet and wonderful and loving. It almost makes you feel not so bad if they accidentally cross-contaminate your food. Hey! No one told them that their wood spoons could make you sick.
Then there are those people in your life who go above and beyond. At my parents house I have my own shelf in the pantry. Dad makes homemade salad dressing every time I come over. My best friend is getting married in a year and has already started asking the reception hall about making my food GF. She even has mentioned getting a super fancy GF cupcake from Swirlz so that I can have wedding cake. (Love ya, hon!) And then there is the friend who, whenever we go out to dinner, goes online to find a restaurant with a GF menu. Being able to choose from an entire menu of safe dishes is fantastic. (The ironic thing is that we have eaten out many times. When I choose the restaurants they have no GF menu. When he has chosen the restaurant they always do.)
What have the people in your life done to make living with Celiac a less challenging experience?