I love a fresh start and January is a great time to make resolutions. This year I have decided that I am going to be more social and get myself out there. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and then having a baby, my social life died.
My brain says, “Go out, be social!”, but then I fight myself because going out is so stressful. Even just going to friends houses can be torture. If you have Celiac Disease or any kind of food allergy, I’m sure you can relate.Celiac Disease does not mean your social life is over. It just means you need to rethink it!Click To Tweet
Eating anywhere other than my house requires a multitude of questions. I’m either that person at a restaurant asking a million questions and getting the stares (plus it doesn’t help that “gluten free” is associated with fad diets) or I’m asking my friends 101 questions about every ingredient they are serving or I have to have people over to my house (which wouldn’t be a big deal, except I live in a small apartment.) None of these options are fun, but here is the deal:
When you have a Celiac Disease or food allergies, you are always going to be that person.
It’s all about how you look at things. Change your frame of mind from timid to advocate.
5 Tips for a Gluten Free Social Life
First of all, when it comes to my health, I get to be that person. It is literally a matter of life and death. I cannot have any gluten. Period. If I want to have a social life, I have to suck it up and ask questions. Here are few things that I am doing to help boost my social life this year, that I think will help you too!
Come up with a list of local restaurants that have at least one safe option. Even if it is a salad, it’s about hanging out with friends, not the food. As long as I remember that, I’m good.
Have a few easy recipes that use naturally gluten free ingredients ready to go when a friend asks us over and wants to know what to cook. Make sure they understand the importance of cross-contamination.
If you don’t trust others ability to avoid cross contamination, suggest to do appetizers instead of dinner and bring something you know is safe.
Educate others. People are more understanding than you think. You can’t get upset at them for something they don’t know.
Find a tribe. Be purposeful in seeking out a few people who understand the world of Celiac and food allergies. Find a local support group where you can exchange tips and knowledge.
Tips from the Community
One of the best parts of having Celiac Disease is the friendships I’ve made. There is such an amazing food allergy community. A few of us have gotten together to share with you how we are dealing with allergies in the new year! Be sure to visit and read them all!
“Sometimes food allergy related stress builds up and the best response is to pamper yourself! Allow me to be your allergy mom BFF and tell you why you should pamper yourself” read more here Sharon Wong Nut Free Wok
“When you are managing a serious medical condition, this could be the most important thing to do. I share the one tip I wished someone had shared with me when I first became a food allergy mom” read more here Gina Mennett Lee, Food Allergy Consultant and Educator
Allergies, What Do You Say?
“Food allergy support; this is a vast, never-ending place where people from all over the world meet. This is a family that you never knew existed and that you didn’t think would ever be a part of your life.” read more here Tracy Bush Nutrimom- Food Allergy Liason AllergyPhoods
“Remember that everything is going to be okay, really. I know, food allergies are tough, super hard. You wonder how you’re going to get through it. But you will and so will your child.” Read more here Allergy Superheroes