Like most people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, I'm very, VERY careful about what I eat. Consequently, it's extremely rare for me to sample anyone else's cooking, even if they assure me that it's absolutely gluten-free.
Although this is standard operating procedure for me, I often get looks and comments from people that indicate I'm being too careful, or worse, just this side of nuts. It comes up more frequently at holiday time than at any other time, most likely because the holidays involve so much socializing ... and so much food-related socializing.
There's no question that the holidays can be rough for us -- everywhere, there's tons of food we can't eat, plus there's plenty of pressure from friends and relatives to "just try a little" (and obvious annoyance when you won't). It's tough to keep your emotional equilibrium when people are getting annoyed at you simply for doing what you need to do to protect your own health.
I don't claim to have all the answers (I wish I did!). But I've outlined a few thoughts in this article, Coping with Your Emotions Over the Holidays, and some ideas to try in Coping with the Gluten-Free Diet Over the Holidays. I'd also love to learn some of your own coping strategies -- if you have any tried-and-true methods, please share them in the comments section below.
Photo © Getty Images/Ariel Skelley