Do you risk it when you're not sure it's gluten free?

Over the holidays we went out to Toronto to meet our new nephew and smother him with love and kisses, and of course to see the rest of our extended family. During our visit, as always, we went to see one of Abisaac's best friends (Esmail) and his family, as well as Esmail's new niece. And as always Esmail's mom wanted to feed us. While I love Esmail's entire family and they are like Abisaac's second family, I knew in advance of arriving that they're always trying to feed me. Even during my pre-celiac days when I was only concerned about the carbohydrate intake (aka my type 1 diabetes) and insulin requirements this was a challenging situation for me. Now, I am also taking into consideration the whole gluten free dietary restrictions. Talk about stressful!

This time when we went to Esmail's parents/sisters house I was certain that food would be involved, but uncertain how I was going to manage it. In the past I could easily and politely say no thank you and Esmail would remind his mother that I have diabetes and this would apease her or be understandable. Now, the addition of a gluten intolerance...eek!

I do not want to offend anyone by not eating in their home. I know and understand the cultural connotations around food and the desire to feed everyone who comes into the house. I understand, but I simply cannot participate. I am quite capable of saying no, but I am also sensitive to the notion that I have inadvertently offended or upset someone.

Abisaac & I had discussed the possibility of me not being able to eat dinner at Esmail's house. We had even used the words "Do I/you risk it?", meaning do I take the chance that something might not be gluten free and I will potentially get sick? As someone who is generally not willing to risk anything related to my health, I was mentally preparing myself to be politely skipping dinner and eating something on the go later on in the evening. Or I was going to eat only fruit for dinner and maybe ask for some juice if my blood sugars were not co-operating.

To my pleasure and surprise, Esmail had mentioned in advance to his mother that "Amanda can't eat flour" and therefore she had prepared dinner for us that was (to the best of my knowledge) gluten free friendly and forsure diabetes managable, not to mention amazingly tasty and truly satisfying. Esmail's mother had prepared salt & pepper chicken wings (crispy from frying pan oil), salad filled with vegetables and olives (my favorite) and pita & hummus, which I could easily avoid eating. All in all it was really a flavorful and enjoyable meal for me. Not to mention, since I did not eat the pita bread, I only required a very small amount of insulin to cover off the ice cream that we ate after dinner. And yes of course I was sure to check the ingredients to ensure it was gluten free.

I could not have asked for a better experience at their home. It was a great evening filled with good food, great friends & family and who can forget about the precious newborn (aka center of attention)!

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta


  1. Has anyone tried the Gluten testing kits? I saw them at Ed's and in the Celiac Circular I received today (through a combination of postal errors - Go Canada Post)


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