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Monday, October 21, 2013

Staying Gluten Free at Work

Keeping your home gluten free can be a challenge.  However, once you have that done you should be good to go right?  Nope, being gluten free at work can also be a challenge.  There are many pitfalls which are easy to fall into.  Such as the Potluck, the lunch for breakfast, the work late, and the fast food gambit.  The issue with being gluten free at work is that it can be hard to stay on track.  Your co-worker brings in these cookies that everyone is raving over.  The truth is that you can’t eat them.  Here are a few suggestions to help you stay gluten free.

1      Bring your own lunch.  I often will bring my own lunch AND some napkins so that I have a clean eating space.  This way it doesn’t matter who ate in that spot before me.  I have a little safe area.  Of course I mostly eat at my desk if I need to and I know that I keep that clean.

2      Have a backup plan.  You bring your lunch to work every day and good for you.  Not only are you saving money, you are keeping yourself safer.  However, it is 9:30 am and you are starving.  You figure you will only have a bite or two to get you through until lunch by 9:37 you now have nothing to eat when lunch come.  Or even worse, you put your lunch in the fridge with your name on it and now it is gone.   Always make sure that you have something to carry you through should you need it.  I personally keep Boost, gluten free candy, and a few snacks in my desk.  That way I am not tempted to eat my lunch early and I can make sure that I have something to tide me over throughout the day.  It is also great when I brought my lunch, but now I am working late and I have nothing for dinner.

3      Learn to say no thank you and mean it.  There is a party going on at the office and someone has turned it into a potluck.  It is ok to calmly tell them about your issue and opt out.  That doesn’t mean you have to opt out of the party.  It just means that you bring your own food.  You don’t share and you don’t partake of anyone else’s food.  Even if the food is gluten free.  The kitchen it was make in probably isn’t.

4      Keep a stash of sweets or treats in your area.  There is a reason for this.  So many times I have come into work and people have baked cookies, brownies, a cake, or cobbler.  And they want everyone to have some.  While this is great on their part and I like it that they are so thoughtful of everyone else.  Simply I can’t eat the items.  It is ok to say no thank you but then you (well me) will start to feel a little sorry for yourself. I find that If I keep a Gluten free treat at my desk that I can have something as well and then I don’t feel as left out.

5      You have to dine out.  There is a meeting at a restaurant and you are required to attend.  Make sure that you call the establishment first and let them know about your issue.  They may be able to do something for you.  If they cannot, they may allow you to bring in your own food so that you an eat with your co-workers.  Know what is available on the menu and remember you may have to go out, but you don’t have to eat. I normally will get a drink and enjoy the conversation.

6  You forgot your lunch.  There are gluten free restaurants around you.  Depending on your lunch time allotted you may have to call ahead of time and order then pick it up.  However, that is always an alternative.  Find the gluten free restaurants and use them if you need to.  However, just running out for fast food is probably not the best option.

How do you stay gluten free at work?

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