Sunday, December 11, 2011

Too Timid to say "No?" / Dinner at my place

In my last blog post, I stated that I am never going back to wheat. This statement still rings true, and I am convicted to living a gluten/wheat-free, low carb/grain, and low sugar life. I want to eat as paleo as possible and keep my body healthy, and work on becoming more fit and getting down to my goal weight.

All of these things in my immediate life are controlled. I know what to do when I'm at home, and I know what to do when I'm eating out. All of this is no problem... until I step into somebody else's home.

Do you ever feel too timid to insist your own personal eating habits on someone?

Today I was talking to my dad about my day yesterday, and I realized something. I am a film student, and this weekend is full of production finals. Yesterday I helped out two different classmates on two different sets. On the first set, my classmate could only afford to feed us Mcdonald's. I didn't want to be rude and make a fuss, so that is what I ate. On the second set, there was an even larger group of people, and pizza was the go-to food (quick, simple, affordable). On this set however, my classmate was aware of my eating restrictions and offered to buy alternative food. I felt like I was being a burden and told him that it would be "okay." He insisted, asking me if I was sure. I gave him the go-ahead, and trivialized my own health problems in order to make the situation easier and more comfortable... for him, for the rest of the group, and to push uncomfortable attention off of me.

I recounted this to my dad, and I realized something... what if I had an eating restriction with IMMEDIATE negative repercussions? What if I was deathly allergic to peanuts or shellfish? Would I be too timid to say "no" in that situation? Absolutely not. So why was I tripping over my own feet in regards to wheat?

As someone who suffers from gluten-intolerance, I cannot let guilt get in the way of my insisting alternative food accommodations. The negative health impact that gluten has for some people might not be as obviously apparent or immediately detrimental as someone with a peanut or shellfish allergy, but it is still there. It is still damaging.

I realized that, although my convictions are strong in my home and when I eat out... they aren't so developed for when I eat at someone's house. However, just like I learned how to control my eating environment at home, and my environment in restaurants and in drive-thrus... I also have to learn (and practice, practice, practice) how to control my eating environment in somebody else's home.

For anybody reading this that suffers from gluten-intolerance or celiac disease, please remember this when you are eating at a person's house:

- You are NOT a burden on your host
- You CAN insist on eating something different
- Your eating restrictions are JUST as important as someone with a peanut allergy
- Don't be shy for choosing your health, and please DO speak up.

And if your host asks if you are sure and insists... by all means take their offer for face value!


So that was yesterday. Today, however, I am filming my cinematography final at my house and therefore will be in control of the food. Yay. :)

For dinner there will be barbecue chicken drumsticks, salad, and quinoa cornbread. I'll also be having some "normal snacks" like potato chips, corn cheese curls, and soda to offer to my cast and crew, but still keep it gluten-friendly at least.

Can't wait for tonight... I will be attempting to aesthetically recreate the "Tears in Rain" scene from Blade Runner... hope it ends up looking great!

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