One of the most empowering things about having celiac disease, at least in my opinion, is that our health is largely under our own control. By following a gluten-free diet and learning what foods help us feel our best, we can not only live with celiac disease, but thrive! However, sometimes we need to rely on accommodations from other people to stay healthy with celiac disease. And sometimes these requests can sound a little strange at first.
That’s why I’m talking about 17 “weird” requests that actually help people with celiac disease stay healthy! If you don’t have celiac disease but know someone who does, I hope this helps you understand the “why” behind some of their more unusual requests. If you do have celiac disease, I hope this lets you know you should not feel embarrassed or scared of asking for accommodations that make living with celiac disease a lot easier.
So whether you have celiac disease and want to stop feeling self-conscious about accommodations or are a celiac’s loved one and want to better understand what it takes to live with celiac disease, keep reading to discover 17 “weird” requests that help people thrive with celiac disease.
1. Let me have the top shelf of the fridge.
In order to make sure no crumbs will ever fall on my food, I always request the top shelf of the fridge when I’m sharing an apartment with people. Maybe this isn’t necessary since all of my food is always in containers anyway, but it makes me feel safer when sharing a fridge with people who eat gluten. And none of my roommates have ever minded when I call dibs on the top level!
2. Don’t judge me if I’d rather bring my own food to social events or restaurants, even if they have “gluten-free” options.
One of the hardest things about living with celiac disease is that many gluten-free options offered today are not actually gluten-free. So if we bring our own food to events or restaurants that supposedly have gluten free options, know we’re not trying to be difficult or picky. We’re just doing what we need to in order to be safe.
3. Avoid putting paper towels or plates you’ve already used back with the fresh/clean ones.
I’m all about reducing waste and reusing paper plates or towels when possible. However, if you’ve recently eaten some wheat-filled crackers on those plates or napkins, please keep them away from the clean versions! Otherwise, it can turn into a crumb-filled, crummy situation.
4. Please don’t rush me while I’m grocery shopping.
Even though I was diagnosed with celiac disease over five years ago, grocery shopping can still be a challenge. Why? Instead of being able to grab whatever looks tasty, we need to read the labels and sometimes look up products on our phones. If you see me staring at my phone in a grocery aisle, know it’s not because I’m a “stereotypical millennial” addicted to technology. I’m just trying to make sure some new brand of granola bars won’t hurt me!
5. Don’t eat my food without asking.
Have you ever spent the whole day drooling over the leftovers you know are waiting for you in your fridge at home… only to find out someone ate them all while you were at work? Now imagine that was the only “safe” food you had prepped ahead of time for the day… and you spent a ton more money on those special ingredients. A pretty cruddy situation, right?
That’s how it feels when someone eats the gluten-free snacks in our pantry or the “special” food we splurged on buying the day before without asking. It’s awesome that gluten-free food has improved so much, people who don’t have to eat gluten-free still want to enjoy it! But please check with us before you dive into our gluten-free goodies.
6. Brush your teeth before kissing me if you’ve recently eaten gluten.
Being glutened by a kiss is a controversial topic in the gluten free community. However, I personally have felt pretty crummy after kissing someone who recently ate gluten, so this is a common request I make with significant others. On the plus side, my boyfriends always joke that their dental hygiene skyrockets while dating me!
7. If you want to offer me some gluten-free food, leave it in the original packaging.
I’m always so grateful when friends or family bring gluten-free food to socials or other events to let me feel included. However, if you do want to spread some gluten-free love, keep the food in its packaging. Not only will this prevent cross-contamination, but it will let us read the labels and make sure it’s truly celiac safe and doesn’t have any other ingredients that bother our system.
8. If I get “glutened,” let me get some extra rest and forgive me when my brain’s too foggy to understand what you’re saying.
Everyone with celiac disease has different symptoms when they’re glutened, but I think we all need and appreciate some extra TLC when it happens.
One thought on “17 Unusual Requests That Help Those of Us With Celiac Disease”
Nice to meet you. I am gluten-free cook and I also share tips on this topic. Very good information.