Thursday, July 24, 2014

Self advocating

I had a dream last night that reminded me that last week when we went to Moe's, the salad I had was at risk for cross contamination. You see, the person who puts the lettuce in the bowl is also the person handling the tortillas and salad shells, and they grab a handful of lettuce to make a bed for the rest of the salad. Last Thursday was my first day of eating gluten free and I thought I was being so careful by reading the menu online and knowing not to get the chips because of other things cooked in the same oil.

So when we decided to go back today, I knew I would need to say something to have the person change their gloves before handling my lettuce. I rehearsed a few different ways to say it.

"I need to eat gluten free. Could you please use new gloves for my salad?"

"I can't have gluten, so can you please change your gloves?"

I don't want to be the educator, and I don't want to hold up the line, but I do want to advocate for myself and not unnecessarily expose myself to gluten. After all, I am trying to get my insides healed and working properly. I mentioned to my lunch companions that I needed to address this, so please bear with me.

"Welcome to Moe's!"

There was only one person ahead of us in line and no one immediately behind us. Relieved that I would have a little time, I placed my order for the Close Talker, no shell, and then said, "I have Celiac's." Before I could even speak another word, the wonderful young man said, "ah! Let me change my gloves!" I was thrilled that he knew exactly how to handle, literally, my order. He took my order all the way down the line since he had the clean gloves on, and he mentioned to me that while the chips don't have gluten in them themselves, they are cooked in the same oil that other things are. I appreciated his knowledge of the limitations of Celiac's and his accommodation of my needs.

I only wish more places were as informed, but I know there are many initiatives that are educating food services on how to keep their customers who suddenly find themselves with a need to adjust their diet so drastically.

Breakfast: Chex corn cereal with blueberries and milk. OJ.

Lunch: salad at Moe's and gf tortilla chips brought from home.

Snacks: granola, cherries, almonds

Dinner: to be decided

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