Why don’t people listen?

Now, I’m not bothered by people bringing in gluten filled desserts to share with co-workers. To be honest it gives me a medical excuse to say no to food that I really shouldn’t be eating anyway.

But I’m really, really fed up with having to repeat myself. \Every other day I have a conversation similar to the following:

  • Co-worker who has been told I’m a celiac at least a handful of times: “Shauna, why don’t you try a cookie/cake/samosa?”

  • Me: “Thank-you but I can’t. They do look delicious”

  • Co-worker: “Sure you can, they don’t have that many calories!”

  • Me: “I have celiac disease. I cannot eat anything containing gluten.”

  • Somebody else in the lunchroom “Do samosas/cakes/cookies contain gluten? Are you sure? I thought it was only bread and pasta that contained gluten”

  • Me: “I’m pretty sure your cake/cookie/samosa was made with wheat flour. All wheat flours contain gluten”

    Co-worker who brought homemade goodies “But I used white flour, not whole wheat!”

  • Me: “Actually, on a volume to volume basis, white flour has more gluten than whole wheat because the bran in whole wheat takes up room that would otherwise be taken up by the endosperm. But that really doesn’t matter as I really can’t eat even a milligram of wheat flour. Thank-you for offering me your baked goods”

At this point I try to sneak away to avoid more insanity.

I’m a biologist. I work with biologists. They must understand basic immunology and protein biochemistry. Why do I have to explain myself? WHY!

Its even worse if I bring in a sandwich on GF bread. I inevitably get somebody saying “AH HA! I caught you! You said you couldn’t eat bread and you are clearly eating a sandwich” which brings up the whole “No, I said I couldn’t eat gluten, which is in wheat, rye, spelt and barley. This bread is made out of (insert gluten-free flours of your choice here)”


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5 Responses

  1. wow, you work with idiots

  2. GF Steve and I talk about this a lot. Both of us find that, after they do that, they offer us the leftover fruit…

    LOVE you blog. I was in Steve’s event, too, and I’m glad I found you. I have added you to my blog – hope it’s OK.
    Ginger of GF in Georgia

  3. Don’t you just want to go over to them and in their face just stick your middle finger up?! Oh that would feel so good. As I was heating my lunch today (leftover gluten free skillet pizza – see my blog!) a coworker said “That looks yummy – where did you get the crust.” So I explained the whole gf thing and I made the crust and that I have to maintain a gf diet. She said, “That’s a bummer.” And for once, I spoke back. I said, “Actually, it’s not. It means I am eating healthier and living better and in control of what I eat.” That pretty much shut her up on the spot.

  4. Hi Shauna, I just found your blog and have to say, I love the name! Does anyone else find that people assume they’re vegetarian all the time? “No, you can have that, it doesn’t have any meat in it!” Okay- I can’t eat WHEAT…not MEAT…

    I just read your summary of the latest CD research and am wondering what your thoughts are on this- my fiance and I lived in Nicaragua for two years. I drank water from the tap, from wells, whatever, no intestinal parasites, no giardia, no nothing for the entire time- whereas he (a non-celiac) was sick all the time (and he was careful about boiling his water). Our theory is that being a celiac, I have some sort of protection against amoebas and what not. What do you think?

  5. It kind of reminds me of when I was eating all vegetarian and made a yuck-face at a co-worker who brought a sandwich made out of Italian horsemeat salami. (I honestly couldn’t help it, I’d never heard of voluntarily eating horsemeat before.) He, equally tired of having to defend his equine lunch to squeamish non-Italians, snapped back, “well, what’s the difference between my lunch and that tuna salad you’re eating?”

    “It’s tofu,” I told him. Point made. (But I didn’t harass him or anybody else after that, as long as they didn’t bug me.)

    (I love that wheat-not-meat comment.)

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