Sick again.

Blah.  This is my life right now.

That's why no blogging.  No weekly menu.  Easter wore me out and I felt really bad the first of last week.  Then I thought I felt better.  Then it came back on me.  Like a ton of bricks.  We went to a wedding on Saturday night and I came home feeling horrible. 

I have to share about this wedding.  This is something we all will run across when it comes to living gluten free.  Dinner served at a wedding.  It's funny that I didn't even think about it at first.  The wedding was Saturday.  On Tuesday before the wedding, it finally dawned on me that I had better figure out how I would eat! 

Wednesday morning I called the hotel where the reception would be held.  A very nice food management lady named Heather, told me there would be no problem making a gluten free meal.  They had done it many times.  She was going to talk to the chef and call me back with a choice of what to eat.
Friday came and I had not heard from her.  So, I decided to call her back.  I did not want to sit through the whole wedding wondering how dinner was going to work out and I didn't really want to pack food to bring with me.  

When I got a hold of her, she told me all was good, they were having a buffet and there should be plenty of choices for me on the buffet.  Being a bit leery of  being able to tell what would be okay to eat on a buffet, I ask her if the servers there would be able to tell me what was safe and what was not.  She assured me they would. 

Saturday came and I did pack along an Ensure chocolate drink and had a Lara bar in my purse.  Just in case.  The wedding was lovely.  We drove to the reception and upon arriving they had a buffet of cheese, fruit and crackers.  And the crackers were at the end of the buffet, far from the cheese and fruit.  That made me feel good.  I got some cheese and fruit.  Had a glass of wine.  

Then came time for dinner.  I saw Heather, the lady I had talked to on the phone.  I went over and introduced myself to her.  She was very friendly.  She told me when they called our table to talk to the man in the blue shirt.  He would know what I could eat on the buffet. 

Finally, it was our tables turn and the little man in the blue shirt told us to go up and get some food.  I walked over to him and told him I needed to know what food was gluten free.  He was a little Indian man.  So you must imagine him talking to me with an Indian accent.  He said, "Oh no! No. That food gluten.  I get you food!"  Okay, so at that point I might have been just a tad bit stressed.  But I had had lots of cheese, fruit and a glass of wine so I just smiled.  

First I was told the chef would give me a choice, then I was told there would be food on the buffet, then I was told that food had gluten.  Now this guy was going to bring me something.  Just keep smiling.
So as our whole table and then the tables around ours went to get into the line for the buffet, I am sitting totally alone at this large round table.   Nothing like sticking out.  Everyone gets their food.  The entire room is eating and I'm still sitting there.  

Finally, I see Heather.  I go tell her I don't have food.  She said she would get right on it.In a couple minutes, here comes my guy in the blue shirt.  He's carrying and extra large… well….let me back up a bit.  The room was very fancy.  White table clothes, white dinner plates, crystal, silver, red roses in the middle of the table, chairs covered with white cloth and big bows….you get the picture.  White and formal.  Okay, so back to my man with the blue shirt and he's carrying this big old round orange plate.  Yes, orange.  It's heaped with at least a half a head of both broccoli and cauliflower, asparagus and baby carrots.  Topped off with some grilled chicken.   There was enough vegetables to share with the entire table.  And, they were plain.  Totally plain.  Chicken, plain.  Totally plain.
I very graciously thanked him.  After he left, I had to start laughing.  We were at the table with a bunch of people we know and they started laughing because here I am with this big orange plate full of plain veggies and chicken.  Could I stand out any more?  It was pretty funny. 

I am not complaining, so please don't think this post is a complaint.  It was really humorous being there.  The hotel really did get me a safe meal.  I really appreciate that even if it was really plain.  I always find it so weird though that most chefs think in order for food to be gluten free it has to be plain.  I have even had some chefs at restaurants ask me if potatoes are okay to eat.  I wonder where they went to school that they don't there's no gluten in potatoes. 

With summer coming, I'm sure some of you will be asked to a wedding.  If you are new to this, try not to stress to much.  Call ahead.  Keep calling if you don't get the answer you need.  Always be polite and not pushy.  When you get to the event, if you got the name of who you talked to on the phone, see if you can meet them in person.  I did this with Heather when I saw she wasn't busy. I didn't want to be a pest, but wanted to make contact with her.  And as it was, there would have been a lot of last minute confusion and stress for me had I not introduced myself to her earlier.  Always keep your sense of humor.  And most importantly, keep snacks in your purse just in case.  A meal replacement drink is a good emergency item as well!


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22 responses to “Sick again.

  1. Cassandra

    Emergency food is good, lol. Maybe you need some of those Kari-Out gf soy sauce packets, or a bottle of Mrs. Dash in your purse. 🙂

  2. Get better soon Mel!! I had to giggle when I read this post! We went to a wedding in December and I never even thought about the food until after we got there, and I had nothing with me! Thankfully it was chicken and rice, and as far as I can tell it was gluten free, I didn’t have any reactions… but it was just incredibly funny to me that I didn’t even think about it until we got there!! I hate standing out sometimes.

  3. ~M

    This is a question for everyone:
    I was wondering which of the following you do/recommend/have had better results with?
    – telling the host/hostess that you need a gf plate beforehand (either directly/phone or on the RSVP card)
    – calling the hotel catering people directly
    For my wedding this fall, I contacted the wedding party and asked them for replies (I knew we had quite a few allergies). And I noted vegetarians, too. I expected for other people to contact me beforehand or by the RSVP card. Personally, it would never have occurred to me that someone would directly contact the caterers.
    Take care and have fun at these events!

  4. Glutigirl

    Carrie, It’s nice to hear someone else forgets too! Sometimes friends will ask us to go out or something and I get all excited thinking about going out and then I get the reality of….wait a minute…. what am I going to eat.
    I also dream I am eating food with gluten because I forget and in the middle of it remember I can’t eat it. Crazy.

  5. gaile

    oh, I didn’t even know ensure was gluten free! As for weddings and the like I’ve had good results so far (knock on wood) with contacting the caterers, and often just giving them suggestions of how they could prepare something similar to whatever meal they are making for everyone else, but how to make it safe for me. (i.e. no soy sauce or sauce with flour, but butter and herbs are great, etc) I cook a LOT, so that helps me have ideas for them. They seem to appreciate that. Obviously I don’t do this if they seem to know what I mean by ‘gluten free’ already. but it does keep me from having to eat too plain.

  6. It’s so stressful I know going to catered functions, or parties in general. I think you handled it perfectly! Remember, we need to take charge of our food and our bodies, and make sure it’s safe for us and never just assume. I had dinner at a friend’s a few month’s back who “supposedly” had a lot of food issues herself (I think she just has issues in general). As I was eating a VERY yummy pork chop, I asked what the marinade was. “Oh, it’s Soy Vey Sauce” she replied. At that point, I had two bites left so I figured why not just finish it as it WAS good. But it taught me to never just trust anyone that isn’t gf themselves.
    Feel better!

  7. Steve, You’re right, it is stressful. And it’s even more so going to someone else’s home. You almost have to go over every ingredient with them! Did you get sick after eating the pork chop?

  8. Pat

    I hope you’re well on the road to recovery by now, I’ve missed you!
    If there is one thing a gluti-free person must know – it’s be prepared…just like the scouts!
    I made GF Pop Tarts for my grandson last week, they didn’t turn out to bad, but I made them way to big! A little tweaking and I think they might be OK, at least its one more thing he’s able to grab out of the freezer and have for breakfast. It’s so good to have options.
    Stay well!

  9. Thanks Pat, I’ve missed everyone too! I’ve not even felt like reading other blogs, so I am way behind with what’s going on with everyone.
    I have to know about these pop tarts!

  10. Kristina

    Hi Melanie, sorry to hear you’ve been sick! I hope you’re feeling better now. I thought you had good advice about dealing with the GF diet at weddings. I read something about a pill they’re testing that sounded similar to the pill lactose-intolerant people take to make their bodies able to handle lactose. It was something about blocking gluten- I can’t remember, as I am SO totally not science-oriented. It wouldn’t replace the diet, but wouldn’t it just make life easier when we eat out?
    My fiancee and I are getting married this summer and all the food will be GF, so at least I won’t have to worry about getting sick at my own wedding! 🙂

  11. glutenfreesoxfan

    I hope you are feeling better!
    I haven’t been to any weddings yet while gf, but a couple of conferences and other catered functions. I’ve generally just called the place hosting and asked who I needed to talk to. Usually I get a fairly bland meal, but it hasn’t always been too bad – at least it’s been safe. Plain chicken and veggies do seem to be their standby. 🙂 Once there, I seek out one of the waitstaff and introduce myself and make sure I talk to the right person again to go over things.
    Of course, I’m stressing right now because I have a big interview on Monday and they are taking me out to lunch. I did ask where, and I have already checked the place out, including calling, so I should be okay.

  12. Glutigirl

    Kristina, It would be great to have a pill to take wouldn’t it!
    Karen, Thanks for the well wishes. Hope your lunch goes okay!

  13. Sorry you have not been feeling well. That nasty cold stuff just seems to linger with everyone this year. My niece is getting married in June and I have also been worried about the food. At this point I just do not trust anyone and refuse to eat out. I think I will just carry a banana in my purse!

  14. Glutigirl

    Aww Sondra, I totally understand that feeling! I have heard of others bring whole meals with them to weddings. But a snack and an Ensure drink works pretty well too!

  15. I have to go to banquets for work conferences often and this always happens to me. A large plate of steamed veggies, not a bit of seasoning in site and a plain chicken breast or piece of fish, unseasoned. Yum yum. I have started asking for baked potatoes as at least those have some flavor and the toppings have some protein. I really don’t know what chefs are thinking, except they are terrified they will kill someone if they put anything seasoning like on a dish. I am not a chef, but certainly want anything that anyone eats at my house, regardless of allergies and intolerances to have flavor and lots of it! Hope you feel fab and spring like soon!

  16. I hope you feel better soon. I know what you mean when you talk to people about gluten free. My husband always ends up pulling the allergy card. He says gluten makes their (restaurant staff) eyes glaze, but allergies make their eyes light up…allergies they understand. Anyway, I’m delighted you did get a safe meal…even if you got to stand out from the crowd a bit.
    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  17. Everyone has said what I was thnking, except, I hope you’re feeling a lot better by now. I had that crud and was sick for three weeks. XOXO

  18. Pat

    I sure hope your feeling better by now, I miss your updates! I know it’s been a difficult season in our house – but we’re trying to take it a day at a time. I just wanted to let you know I posted the GF pop tart recipe on my blog today. My grandson likes them, and it’s yet one more food option for him.
    Get well soon!!!

  19. Pat, Thanks! I am stilling fighting this! Still coughing after two weeks and my husband has had it too. You know, any time I’ve gotten sick in the spring it’s always worse. I sure hope to be back to normal next week.

  20. Hi Melanie. Just discovered your blog through Carrie’s blog. I’ve been GF for nearly two years now. I’ve been to four weddings and have been treated so well! The first of the four I accosted someone from the catering staff just after I arrived. I received a nice dinner, minus only the sauce that accompanied the beef. The second wedding I was able to inform the groom’s mother that I had a special dietary need. They also treated me quite well…although the told me I would get the regular dinner but “no starch”! I explained that I was GF not low carb and managed to get a baked potato out of them. The third wedding was one where no one attending even knew about my restrictions and I didn’t know the bride’s family (the hosts) at all! However, after finding the dining room captain and explaining my situation, I was treated unbelievably well! The last wedding I attended was my niece’s on New Year’s Eve. All of the food was amazing and I really didn’t suffer a bit. One of the appetizers that were passed around were little grilled lamb chops, that unfortunately were breaded first. My husband had met the catering manager earlier in the day and spoken to him about the shole GF thing. When he found out that I loooooove lamb chops he brought out an entire plate of eight chops grilled just for me! I took a picture of the platter and then one of just the bones. They were so yummy and it’s so nice to be treated with extra special attention. I’ve been meaning to do a post on my blog about just this subject and now I’m prompted again to do so.
    I like your blog very much!

  21. Glutigirl

    Suzanne, I love lamb chops too! Can you believe I only tried them for the first time last year. They are just so darn easy to cook too!

  22. How timely. Thanks for sending me the link. I’ve eaten at the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner is being held and had good luck with broiled fish and steamed veggies. I am, however, planning on calling the restaurant directly ahead of time to make sure I’ll have a good dinner option (especially since this dinner will come at the end of a 10-hr road trip). The wedding I’m a little skeptical about–the whole buffet thing always makes me nervous–and am leaning towards just packing a dinner bento (classier than packing my tubberware 🙂 ?).

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