Gone All Day: The Celiac's Need to Plan

Dude Note: To honor Celiac Awareness Month and to help raise awareness of our disease, I will be attempting 31 blog posts in 31 days. My goal is simple: to make most of them not suck. If you’ve got ideas for a good post or if you’d like to guest blog, by all means, contact me. Your input is more than welcome. And if you know anybody with celiac disease, give them some extra lovin’ this month. They deserve it.

I am fortunate enough to be invited to a good friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah today. Mazel tov Melissa (I so can’t pull off Jewish talk).

It’s an all day affair type thing, with the service in the am and the reception immediately afterwards. I’ll be leaving the Dude ranch about 9am and won’t return until about eight hours later.

Now for most people going to this type of affair, they need to plan for the basics:

What will I wear?

Who will let the dogs out while I’m gone?

How do I not make a fool of myself on the dance floor?

But celiacs have a whole other level of planning going on:

What the hell will I eat?

Our gracious host offered to have the kitchen try to prepare something for me, which I am so appreciative of, but Mrs. Dude rightly declined on my behalf.

The host has enough going on without worrying about me.

And the fact is I probably wouldn’t eat what they made me anyway. Mass produced food presents waaaayy too many risks.

So I need to bring my own food.

Normally, not a huge deal, as we would just make something and bring our own cooler.

But Mrs. Dude and I had one of those crazy weeks that was just insanely busy and we didn’t have time to prepare anything.

So last minute, I went to our local health food store and picked up the items you see in the above picture.

I know…I know. Not the healthiest of choices and certainly not a “meal” to be found, but it’s all I could do. We simply ran out of time.

Celiac disease has a lot of “pain in the ass” moments. But something like this ranks way up there.

Most non-celiacs probably think our disease is no biggy…we just need to not eat gluten. Difficult, but doable.

But there is this whole other side to celiac that people don’t see.

The “outsider” aspect to our disease.

The stress about what to eat when we’re not at home.

The watching everyone else eat without a care in the world.

The “I don’t feel like asking the waitress a thousand questions, so I’ll watch you eat” moments.

The constant fear of getting sick.

It never leaves us. Ever.

And I try to play if off cool because I HATE other people feeling bad for me.

But sometimes…


DUDE UPDATE: Stop the presses! Mrs. Dude got up extra early this morning (after the I wrote the above) and made me lunch to bring with me. It’s pictured in all its glory below. Pasta, tilapia, shrimp, bacon and veggies. You rock Mrs. Dude!

gluten free meal

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20 thoughts on “Gone All Day: The Celiac's Need to Plan”

  1. I feel your pain. On our agenda today (for my GF seven-year-old twins): two birthday parties and two separate baseball practices, each event overlapping with the next, leaving no time to stop home. I’m on meal/snack prep duty as I write this. Is it wrong that I’m secretly wishing for rain?
    Have a wonderful time today!

  2. Im currently on a short trip/vacation out to the desert…and my diet for the past few days has been Honey Nut Chex, beef jerky, and almonds…with a couple pieces of fruit added for good measure. The food of champions!…er…Celiacs!

    That pasta salad sort of meal your wife made looks amazing! I hope you enjoyed it.

  3. I share your pain. I’m getting my daughter ready for a birthday party sleepover at a friends after much coaxing to get her to agree to go. Gluten free & dairy free pizza prepared and ready to cook at the host’s house. Gluten free (egg free, sugar free, dairy free) birthday cake replica and gluten free (egg free, sugar free, dairy free) pancakes ready to be assembled and cooked by the host mother in the morning. An entire cooler of food and treats on top of the gift, clothing, sleeping bag etc. Good thing I have a minivan to transport it all!

  4. Women do think about feeding and happiness of their spouse most of the time. Men need a little prodding. Not to put down my husband who cooks every other night. Just saying, you are a lucky dude (flowers?)

    Back to the feeling of isolation at a party, I am attending a formal lunch at the Ford Mansion with a group and will be eating out of my purse. When I asked if I could bring my own food they got so panicked that they refuse to give me a place setting since they want no responsibility at all. I thought of bringing my own linen napkin and china with a bud vase. Silly thought isn’t it?

  5. I have a business trip in 3 weeks time and I’m already obsessively planning what food I’ll need to bring with. And its only 1 night away from home!

  6. Ok … Even though the pasta was a bit tough … She definitely does Rock… In the good way.

    Mine cooks but there are a few nights recently when I have gotten home a bit late and I didn’t have a gfree dinner ready for me. I told him in the past … Go take them out for pizza if I work late. Well, the night he got frozen pizza and I walked in seeing it, realizing I myself had nothing to eat…. I lost it a bit.

    I was not a happy camper and yet he had done nothing wrong. Moments like those truly suck in the life of celiac/gluten intolerant.

  7. Nice post!

    What the hell will I eat? is definitely a phrase you will hear me using. We must always be prepared but sometimes things come up and we are left eating plain rice or gluten free bars, such is the life of an on-the-go celiac 🙂

  8. I love this post. It really is so nice, isn’t it, to have a significant other who understands and looks out for you in moments like this. My husband is always there to say “don’t do it” when hunger clouds my mind. That was very nice of Mrs. Dude to do this for you. Knowing that you aren’t alone is great but knowing you have someone to support you 100% is better. 🙂

  9. dear Dude,
    thanks a lot for that blog and giving me a chance to write,
    how more difficult it is for me dealing also with Diabetes Type 2. Finding gf-whole foods even in the health food store in Germany is very difficult for me. My question is: is it also difficult in the USA or other Countries for People with CD combined with Diabetes?
    I am trying very hard to stay away of diabetic medication, still am able to manage thru gf-whole foods + exercise, but only possible eating at home… so there is not much life quality left for me…

    greetings from good old Germany

  10. I agree that this is the most difficult part. I’m also allergic to tree nuts so most of the quick & healthy “go to” snacks aren’t an option for me. Very frustrating.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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