To feel unwelcome because of this damn diet?

(57 Posts)
StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 08:54:06

Background: I started a diet to help control endometriosis about 3 months ago, it seems to be helping a lot (well, until this month anyway) but is quite restrictive. At the moment I am essentially on a gluten-free vegan diet, with reduced refined sugar. I tried relaxing it over the last month or so but the pain, discomfort and bloating returned with a vengeance so I am back to being strict with it and then will introduce things gradually again in another couple of months. It's getting to me a bit - I have some amazing recipes, but it does make things harder especially as I have been suffering with pain again recently.

Anyway, we are down at my in-laws at the moment, and when this all started MIL (with whom I generally get on well) was lovely and read up on it a lot (and because the "resident expert" - which is a whole other thread....).

This time, I brought some stuff - I am getting into the habit of doing that - but the first meals she made were ham and cheese sandwiches for late lunch, and a dinner of spag Bol with bread and a vienetta for pudding. So basically apart from the salad and a few grapes there was no part of them that I could eat. (My mother makes sure there's always a dish in the meal that I can have, and she gets these lovely gluten-free tarts for me).

I know I am feeling touchy about all this at the moment - I hate having to think about what I eat as I never have before, and I hate causing an issue over this, but AIBU to feel a bit put out that there has been no thought for me? I probably am, I know that, and I also know that I've been a bit obsessive over it (it did help that it was working up till this month....it's amazing what an incentive pain reduction can be!). I don't expect everyone else to be as focused on it as I am - I just can't help feeling a bit confused about it!

Please tell me to get a grip!

Nope, I'm with you. It's basic manners to provide appropriate food for any dietary requirements your guests have. I'd have thought it would have been easier to understand given that your reasoning for being vegan is based on your health!

Really rude, and dismissive of your health. Yanbu.

Greenandcabbagelooking Sun 26-May-13 09:01:19

In all honesty, I think with that level of restriction, you should think as if you won't be able to eat anything at MIL's, and bring all your own food.

I would find it very hard to cook for you, but would be happy to provide salad/rice etc to go with whatever "main" thing you bought.

PoppyWearer Sun 26-May-13 09:02:24

YANBU. I come from a family with quite complex food requirements and it's a bit of a pain to cater for everyone but I don't want anyone to be in discomfort/actual physical pain due to the food we serve, so we cater for all.

My DSis and her OH have a lot of special requirements between them and have got into the habit of taking basics with them wherever they stay, cereal, special bread, etc, so they know they always have something to eat if all else fails.

I hope you feel better soon, OP.

Gentleness Sun 26-May-13 09:03:11

She's been thoughtless at best which is actually more upsetting than it being deliberate. Is your own food enough for you to get by on today?

Bluebell99 Sun 26-May-13 09:05:52

I think you need to provide your own food. I don't think it's reasonable for everyone to have a vegan gluten free diet while you are staying. I used to be vegetarian and my mil wld go to alot of trouble, but it is alot to ask. I Think my own mum would just buy simething veggie from m and s. If she is going shopping for your stay ,you could suggest something she could buy?

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 09:05:54

Is gluten free comparable price wise?

I'm just going on the back of a dinner party conversation with a colleague, who doesn't mind catering for the one with coeliac BUT he is horrified at the difference in food pricing.

So if you are following a diet which is prohibitively more expensive than run of the mill staples, then YABabitU

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Sun 26-May-13 09:06:16

Yanbu. Fussy people are incredibly annoying. People with legitimate dietary requirements are not. I have a tolerance of about 3 foods per person that I will avoid due to their preference, after that I stop pandering. However I do have friends with ibs / allergies / religious beliefs and these are always considered and catered for without fail. Anything else is plain rude. If you feel able can you discuss menus beforehand and raise concerns? If not, get your dh to do it.

GenghisCanDoHisOwnWashing Sun 26-May-13 09:09:08

Tbh I would struggle to know what I could cook for you on that diet too. HOWEVER I would head to the 'free from' bit of the supermarket as a starting point and if I had no luck there I'd ring you and say, what can I cook for you? (At which point you would make some helpful suggestions - don't be that annoying person who says, oh don't worry about me, I can just pick, it's not helpful, give me specifics!!)

So essentially YANBU about your MIL's behaviour but offering a little help for those who don't know how to cook food that suits the diet would be helpful as presumably it's taken you a while to adjust to it too.
I'm really glad it's helping with the endometriosis, my friend had the same condition and it was miserable.

attilascupcakes Sun 26-May-13 09:11:14

Its so tricky. I feel for you, but it must be a pain in the arse for the people cooking for you.

LokiTheCynicalCat Sun 26-May-13 09:13:27

I think YAB a bit U. Your diet is pretty restrictive and cuts out a lot of the components of "normal" meals, that most people have in their cupboards. It is a lot to ask someone to research, shop for and create a meal for guests that caters to one specific but very restricted diet. If it were just vegetarian it would be easy, or just gluten-free, but there are a lot of elements that are just basic foodstuffs for many people.

I'm really glad it is working so well for you, and definitely a strong incentive to keep going! However, it's a sad fact but pain that nobody else can see doesn't help them to understand that you can't really make do, or give it a break, just this once. You MIL probably doesn't realise the extent that a slip up would cost you. And no one else will, either, unless they live with you and see the pain it gives you later or the next day.

I'm afraid it is really up to you to look out for your own health and wellbeing. Bring your own food wherever you go for as long as you need to, and anything you are served that falls within your bounds is a bonus.

DoctorRobert Sun 26-May-13 09:14:31

I think YABU, sorry.

A gluten-free vegan diet, with reduced refined sugar - I wouldn't know where to start! It's not like just being vegetarian or having a nut allergy and expecting a host to accomodate.

I would take my own food on such a restrictive diet.

DontmindifIdo Sun 26-May-13 09:19:38

take your own food.

FarBetterNow Sun 26-May-13 09:20:14

OP: Can you eat baked potatoes?

They are always a quick an easy alternative that don't require any time to prepare.
Maybe you need your DH's assistance when at your MILs.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 26-May-13 09:22:15

I wonder if the level of restriction hasn't really sunk in for your MIL? I have a friend who decided to become vegetarian and, when asked what she was going to have for lunch, she said 'scotch eggs' (the normal kind).

I don't know what your diet entails. As I was reading your posts I was running through recipes in my head, wondering if they'd be alright for you. Could you perhaps give your MIL some receipes that she could make for you? Also, tell her what snacks you eat - especially ready to eat ones, so that she can get some of those in for you?

I'm sure she wants to be hospitable, you say she's lovely - help her with this and actually, not just your MIL, the rest of your DH's family too.

Mimishimi Sun 26-May-13 09:25:36

My husband is on an SCD (Specific Carboydrate Diet) diet due to colitis. We've found it's the one thing that makes all hs symptoms virtually disappear. We take food for him to others places though, we don't expect them to cut out nearly all carbohydrates from their meals.

MidniteScribbler Sun 26-May-13 09:25:46

Gosh that is pretty restrictive. I'd like to think I would give it a go, but I'd be stressing the whole time about making sure there was no cross-contamination or that I missed something. I'm sure it's the fact that she hasn't even tried that has upset you. If she tried, but made a mistake I'm sure you wouldn't feel so upset.

I have friends with some pretty restrictive requirements and they all make sure they take along something that they can definitely eat to contribute to the meal. That way they know they at least have something.

StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 09:33:37

Thanks all - I thought I was probably being unreasonable, and have given myself a bit of a talking to....

I certainly don't expect everyone to follow my diet, at all - my family certainy don't! I end up cooking something vegetarian but with meat to add to dh's, for example. I suppose I'd thought that she might do something like my mother does, such as a side dish that I can eat (she makes a lovely ratatouille!) or just the same as everyone else without the meat. She's fairly careful about things like dairy anyway, for her own health, and her sister is gluten free. I did/do bring stuff, and yes, it tends to be a little more expensive so I really don't expect a full meal provided separately by her each and every time. I suppose I was a bit sad that there was nothing at all....but I am probably hormonal and certainly tired, so will deal with it!

Thank you for your replies.

StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 09:34:49

I am lucky in that it is more a trigger for symptoms rather than an allergy, so cross-contamination is not really a worry. It's just larger amounts of something that sparks it all (need to find what that is so I can relax a bit!).

ppeatfruit Sun 26-May-13 09:37:12

I am on a specific weird diet I'm a demi vegan who doesn't eat wheat or deadly nightshade vegetables (well most people think it's weird but it's because I want to AVOID bad health; there is a lot cancer and bad hearts in my family) so when staying with people I will take food like rice pasta and dips that i've made with cannellini or aduki , beans also my own soya or rice milk.

It's probably the best way to go (i haunt the Health Food shops grin) they're doing nicer and nicer GF stuff now!

ppeatfruit Sun 26-May-13 09:39:22

So many people don't give a shit about their diets and their health congratulations for not just giving up and living at the doctors. grin

SanityClause Sun 26-May-13 09:48:49

Two of my DC have to follow a similar diet, although they are allowed meat, the other should avoid eggs, pork, coconut and soy. DH should avoid yeast, dairy, eggs, cashews, chili, black currant and barley.

So, when we do to PIL's, we take alternatives. I make a suitable pudding to take, and we take biscuits, gluten free bread, breakfast cereal, rice and soy milk, etc.

Perhaps if you start to take some bits along, she will get the idea, and start making sure she has something suitable for you? (Although, not if she's like MIL, who has struggled with digestive problems all her life, but thinks they can all be sorted by drinking a small glass of whisky with warm water and sugar before you go to bed confused . She does try, though. When she had cooked sausages for breakfast, and DD2 couldn't have them, she suggested bacon, before her face fell, when she realised that was pork, as well.........)

Llanbobl Sun 26-May-13 09:52:31

ppeatfruit sums up perfectly why people hmm at those on restricted diets.
It's nightshade vegetables. Deadly nightshade is an indelible and poisonous weed - it is part of the solanacea family like tomatoes, peppers, aubergines etc but it is very different.

Hope the OP isn't going too hungry

thefuturesnotourstosee Sun 26-May-13 10:11:38

OP other than rice and potato I'm not sure I'd know where start. This would be my meal plan but I doubt it would be very good

Night one soya cheese, baked potatoes, baked beans
night 2 chickpea and tomato curry rice salad
night 3 quorn fillets chips and peas (wuld need to check quorn is vegan)
night 4 gluten free pasta, tomato based sauce, soya cheese, salad
night 5 mixed bean soup

aftet that I'd be very stuck!

Flobbadobs Sun 26-May-13 10:19:14

I would be stuck catering for such a restrictive diet but if you were staying with me I would be asking for a list of things you can eat!
I know your MIL has been doing some reading but it sounds like she doesn't quite get the diet aspect, maybe a bit of a moan about how restrictive your diet is at the moment and how you genuinely can't eat certain things without a big flair up may get the point across?

specialsubject Sun 26-May-13 10:19:46

I've no tolerance for those who are dieting to lose weight, as it doesn't work - if you are at my house just eat less, I serve a good balance of food anyway.

your position is different and I would be happy to help. As your menu is very restricted, if you were my guest I would like you to warn me beforehand, give me some meal ideas and bring your own ingredients. Then I could help you.

Nanny0gg Sun 26-May-13 10:22:40

I think YABU, sorry. A gluten-free vegan diet, with reduced refined sugar - I wouldn't know where to start! It's not like just being vegetarian or having a nut allergy and expecting a host to accommodate. I would take my own food on such a restrictive diet.

But it's her MiL, therefore family, not a random dinner party. I wouldn't know where to start either, so I'd ask.
And then I'd provide.

OP - YANBU.

StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 10:54:08

Thanks to all - you are being very sympathetic! I did bring a bag of stuff - I usually do to places (this is our second visit here), so I'm not going hungry. In fact I think my breakfast of chocolate mousse (made with avocado, cocoa powder and maple syrup) was nicer than their eggs and toast.... grin.

ppeatfruit Sun 26-May-13 10:58:50

It's interesting about pork sanity On the blood type that I follow it says that it's one of the few meats that shouldn't be eaten by ANYONE!! It gives dh terrible gouty pains; when he doesn't eat it ('cos even he's noticed it!!) he's miles better grin

jacks365 Sun 26-May-13 11:00:51

Almost sounds like she's going out of her way to make things you can't eat. Do you think secretly she could think you're making a fuss about nothing? I frequently have to cope with both vegetarian and gluten free and just simplify by making something like chickpea curry or a mixed bean chilli. It works out cheaper than buying meat.

StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 11:04:46

Yy to cheaper than meat! And falafel or bean burgers are delicious. As is baked sweet potato with full fat coconut milk instead of butter.....mmmm!

I'd probably be stuck with the gluten free, be do alright on vegan foods. Jacket potatoes, oven chips, curry and rice and I'd probably get some gf/vegan chocolate/treats in as well.... Going out of their way to provide stuff you can't eat is mean!

mrsjay Sun 26-May-13 11:06:24

tbh nobody would really know what a gluten free vegan diet was well not 'normal cooks' I do think you should have taken some food to give your MIL pointers to go on, I hope you are managing to find something to eat

mrsjay Sun 26-May-13 11:07:20

and you should really have gone into the kitchen to see what you can have imo

infamouspoo Sun 26-May-13 11:07:41

yanbu. I would certainly make an effort. You can eat rice? I have coeliacs but dont bother with all that 'free from' yuck as it upsets my tummy too and is overpriced. I just eat rice and veggies and fish (potatoes make me ill for some bastard reason too)
I'm lucky in that I never eat out or stay places but do have friends over. One friend has a list of intolerances as long as a thesaurus and while I might have a small panic I make the bloody effort because she is a friend. I think your MIL secretly doesnt believe you or is being aPITA. Can you either not visit or send her a list of recipes and take your own food? There's lots of ideas that avoid that over priced free from stuff.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sun 26-May-13 11:12:08

So she read up about it all then ignored it/didn't make you aware she couldn't provide you anything, why?

MidniteScribbler Sun 26-May-13 11:21:17

Is there something your MIL cooks that you can eat? "I love your <whatever> can you make it for dinner?" ego stroking can go a long way.

flipchart Sun 26-May-13 11:21:45

I havethoughtabouthow I would feel and deal with it and to be honest I would be taking my main bit ofthemeal and having the saladandstuffthat MIL makes. At least that way you are getting something you know you like and can eat.

My dietary restrictions is that I'm a veggie and after 17 years all I get to eat from my mum is a bland cheese sandwich or chips and a quorn burger and then she tells all her friends how ungrateful I am and she can't be doing with these faddy diets!

StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 11:22:29

I don't know! It was lovely of her to make the effort to learn about it, though.

Mrsjay I did bring stuff, and I do make stuff. I just wondered if I was BU feeling a bit miffed that no concessions were made at all - quite the opposite. It seems that I may be a bit, so fair enough.

StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 11:23:31

Scribbler - yes, her ratatouille is lovely!

stopgap Sun 26-May-13 11:45:53

Slightly off topic, but have you tried Paleo for the endo? It's less restrictive than the diet you are currently trying, and it has helped enormously with my irregular, painful periods, plus a thyroid condition.

(Apologies, of course, if you are vegan for ethical reasons, in addition to helping alleviate endo symptoms.)

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 26-May-13 12:06:04

Might you be a coeliac you should get tested. What is it about the vegan ism that is likely to be beneficial could you be allergic to dairy. I think you need to consider bringing your own food that diet is very restrictive and difficult to cater for so you need to get used to the idea that you will have to plan ahead to some degree.

PurpleRayne Sun 26-May-13 13:03:01

You need to take your own food. As somebody who has had a similar dietary restriction for ten years, I never expect to be provided with suitable food, and always have some with me. But, when somebody has made a genuine effort, shown thoughtfulness about including me, then I am really appreciative and make that known.

How did your MiL react to her obvious lack of edible provision for you?

foreverondiet Sun 26-May-13 15:04:03

She was unreasonable as could have made a salad and boiled some rice - but with a very restrictive diet might be easier to bring your own food. If she didn't know what to cook she could have asked for guidance.

StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 15:57:30

Stopgap - I am not vegan for any reason other than red meat and dairy inflaming endo, white meat and eggs containing hormones that endo feeds off (unless it's organic, which is prohibitively expensive) etc. I have a friend who swears by paleo, but it's not for me - I get very light-headed without carbs, and don't think red meat is particularly good for me in high quantities. Nice idea though, I did consider it.

Balloons - interesting thought, I might look into asking about allergy testing. Thank you.

Purplerayne - you are right, I think I need to switch my thinking to assume no provision, and be pleased when there is instead of hoping for something. It's all very new to me and I'm struggling a bit to come to grips with it at the moment, this felt like a bit of a kick in the teeth, perhaps... She didn't really react, just said something along the lines of "we're having this for supper, what are you going to eat?" (Might not have been as stark as that, but as I said, I'm feeling a bit over sensisitive about it....).

MistyB Sun 26-May-13 16:13:21

Chocolate moose sounds fab - can you share the recipe???

SuburbanRhonda Sun 26-May-13 16:40:17

thefuture, Quorn products contain egg white, sadly.

But we prefer soya products anyway; soya mince makes a fab bolognese or chilli.

I would go for something Japanese or Korean - rice noodles, miso, stir fried veg, lemon grass and so on. DD makes this sort of food all the time as she is trying to go dairy-free at the moment.

MistyB Sun 26-May-13 17:07:18

And I think you should talk to her about it. She might be expecting you to prepare your own food as you have brought some but doesn't know how to say it? Ask her what us for the next meal and say, 'Could I make X to go with it for me?' Help her prepare the meal while you talk about your meal too.

FWIW I have recently changed the diet of my whole family and I find it completely emotionally draining, I feel really angry for having to control my diet and then seeing instant and painful reactions if I make a mistake and I feel really angry if people don't appreciate the importance of the diet or pass judgements or make assumptions about my reasons for following it. I am feeling less angry about it as time goes by!!! I know it is my issue, not other people's!!

RabbitFromAHat Sun 26-May-13 17:13:09

I am so dreading this, I'm having to start a GF life soon, once my coeliac biopsy confirms what my blood tests are already 9% certain of.

It's going to be awful, and I am so depressed about it. I have already started avoiding going to other people's houses or to restaurants for fear of the reactions I'm going to get. And I have been a massive foodie all my life. sad

RabbitFromAHat Sun 26-May-13 17:14:07

That should say 99% certain, obviously. Not 9%. Bloody hell, I wish. grin

MistyB Sun 26-May-13 17:47:38

Gywneth Paltrow's new book, it's all good, is great for really nice gluten free dairy free food and does have some vegi options.

infamouspoo Sun 26-May-13 18:05:16

you get used to it quickly rabbit, especially when you feel better. I still have a sad over nice bread though.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 26-May-13 18:07:41

YANBU ANY host should ensure that all guests are catered for. Once that meant I had to cater for a Muslim, a vegan and a child with an egg allergy...was a nightmare but we managed and I wouldn't dream of not having suitable food on offer!

formicadinosaur Sun 26-May-13 19:36:59

Ring you MIL and ask her what she plans to cook? Explain that you need to work out what to bring with you so that you can eat as recommended. I wouldn't be stuck catering for you, but it would just take a little thought.

formicadinosaur Sun 26-May-13 19:38:43

Bring a stash of sweet potatoes you can shove in the oven, some homemade soup or stew.

StupidDiet Sun 26-May-13 20:22:46

Some lovely ideas here, I'll definitely try the Japanese meals.

MistyB, the mousse is easy (sounds weird but tastes great) - whizz up a ripe avocado with about a tbsp of cocoa powder (I usually use cacao, the raw unprocessed version found in health stores), maple syrup, date syrup or other sweetener to taste and sometimes some vanilla, maybe coconut oil (to set it harder) or tinned coconut milk. I serve topped with berries, nots, seeds, cacao nibs - whatever I have, really. It's very open to experimentation, and you can use a mix of avocado and banana to sweeten it too.

Better this evening, was a lovely meal - I could eat everything except sausages, which I substituted for quinoa. I'm really trying not to be so touchy or take it personally.... Thank you for all replies.

Greenandcabbagelooking Sun 26-May-13 21:53:31

Ooh, that mousse does sound nice. I'm vegetarian, and so many mousses have gelatine in them. Must try that.

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