Whether it's having to defend your diet or answer some pretty personal questions, being gluten free can lead to some awkward moments. Here are some of the awkward moments I've found myself in my years as a celiac. I'm sure you can relate!
Sometimes when you're in a social situation and someone finds out you are on a gluten free diet they decide it's 20 questions time. "So what do you eat?", "How do you live!?", "Can you eat this?, how about this?", "Why are you gluten free?" and many more. It can also be a group of people all asking questions at once and it can feel totally overwhelming. When I'm in this situation the best thing to do if someone is asking one to many questions is to subtly change the subject. People love talking about themselves so usually asking a question about them is an easy detour. More often then not people are just curious so it's best not to take offense, that being said sometimes if feels as though all of a sudden you've been labelled the "gluten free person".
The Insensitive Comments
"Isn't gluten free just a diet?", "I heard gluten sensitivity isn't real?", "I'm trying to lose weight to". There doesn't seem to be a gluten free diet etiquette so it seems as though any question or comment is allowed for someone on a gluten free diet. I like to explain the facts and if they don't get it move on. In the past I'd get defensive and was determined to convince everyone of the seriousness of my condition but now I try not to let it bother me.
"What happens to you when you eat gluten?" awkward silence... You really want to know?
I usually get this question while everyone is eating making it the least appropriate time to bring up the long list of graphic things that happens when I eat gluten. I'm sure almost anyone on a gluten free diet has gotten this question at least once. I tend to skip the details for their sake and just say it's like getting the flu.
The Well Meaning Offers
When you're offered something by a well meaning friend or family member it's almost a guarantee that you can't eat it. Usually they will try and reassure you that it's gluten free and they may have made it especially for you. It can feel uncomfortable turning down food especially when the person offering is particularly persistent. It's important not to give into the peer pressure and assure them that it was so kind of them to offer but you'll get very sick if you eat it.
The Watching Everyone Else Eat
There are those times when you are out at a restaurant or someones house for dinner and you either ate before or didn't bring anything with you and you have to watch everyone eat. Maybe this one is just me but I find it weirdly uncomfortable. This is tends to be linked to the interrogation I mentioned above. People notice you aren't eating and then come the questions.
Eating Out Antics
Eating out on a gluten free diet may seem easy now that almost every menu has gluten free options, but unfortunately many of these meals are cross contaminated. Trying to explain the seriousness of your diet to the waiter or kitchen staff can make for some pretty awkward moments if they aren't getting it. I say better safe then sorry, if they don't seem to be getting it, it's best to avoid the sickness the follows. (This is why you always bring snacks!)
What awkward moments have you had because of your gluten free diet?