What do you do when your illness makes it impossible to eat your friends' food?

@Porcospino (31509)
Denmark
February 9, 2012 1:24pm CST
Today my husband talked to his doctor and his doctor told him that he has to avoid certain kinds of food like spicy food and sweet food, and there were other restrictions as well. When we eat at home there are no problems, we just eat the food that my husband can eat, but my husband is worried about other people's reactions. When we visit our friends he is afraid that he will hurt their feelings if he can't eat their food and he thinks that it will be too much work for them if they have to cook a special kind of food for him. I think that most people will understand his situation if he explains why he is unable to eat certain kinds of food, but he is a little worried about that. This is a question for those of you who are unable to eat certain kinds of food because of your illness. How do you handle the situation when you visit your friends or your relatives? Do you bring your own food? Do eat the food that you can eat without problems and leave the rest? Does your host cook a special dish for you?
1 person likes this
13 responses
• Philippines
12 Feb 12
Who says that your husband can't eat the food that your friend eat. Your husband can still eat those food but make sure that he is going to eat moderately. He can taste what he like likes but in moderation. When it comes to health your friends will understand the condition of your husband.
2 people like this
@saundyl (9785)
• Canada
13 Feb 12
I'm going to point out that in some cases what someone you're with eats affects you. For myself...If i have to be in close proximity to a person such as riding in a car with them...That person eating Shellfish and it being on their breath will cause me alot of breathing problems. Its even worse if said person is someone i kiss.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
16 Feb 12
Some days my husband tried to do that. He found it really hard to stick to the diet so he had a little bit of the food that he isn't allowed to eat. Immediately he felt bad, so in the future he is going to stick to the food that he is able to eat without problems. Of course it is often hard to stay away from the delicious food that he isn't able to eat, but if he eats it, he will have to pay the price afterwards, because he gets ill, so it is not really worth it.
@fannitia (2167)
• Bulgaria
10 Feb 12
Hi, Porcospino, I think that good friends can always understand such a problem. I also have food restrictions because I had serious problems with my gall bladder. I got rid of it but the restrictions remain. One of my bests friends likes to cook spicy foods but when I visit her it's easy to find a solution. Your husband should not worry about his friend's food. The problem is to stay in good health. I hope that the food restrictions will help him in the future. Have a nice weekend!
2 people like this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
14 Feb 12
My mother-in-law has problems with her gallbladder, so she also has to avoid certain kinds of food. If she doesn't follow the food restrictions she experiences severe pain. I am sorry to hear that your gallbladder has caused you problems as well. I think that our friends will understand my husband's situation if he explains it is to them. He is afraid of causing them problems or extra work, but don't think that they will see it that way. Maybe he just needs to get used to the situation, because it is still a new situation for him.
@cher913 (25831)
• Canada
9 Feb 12
when someone invites you for dinner, they should be kind enough to accept his food limitations. we have a friends who is a vegan and we love our meat, so we accomodate her. i know its not the same thing but i wouldnt be embarrased or anything about foods, after all, its your body and if you dont look out for yourself, who will?
2 people like this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
9 Feb 12
Among my relatives and friends there are people who can't eat the same food as the rest of us, because of diabetes or food allergies and when they visit us we choose a dish that we can all eat. Sometimes they also bring their own food. When we get a visitor who has special needs we try to find some food for them. I think most of our friends would be willing to do the same thing for my husband, but he is afraid that it would be too much work for our friends to cook a special dish for him or change the menu because of him.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (191412)
• Chile
10 Feb 12
There are friends and friends. Some of the people that we call friends are just acquaintances. But real friends will help us instead of being hurt. To those friends we can tell about the doctor´s visit and that said doctor gave a diet and food restrictions. Those friends wull ask you what you can eat before inviting you. I have friends with high blood pressure, with diabetes and vegetarian. I make special food for them when I invite them and I don´t mind. They did the same for me when I couldn´t eat a lot of things due to my chemo. When there are parties, you may ask if you can bring your own food so you don´t bother your friend.
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
10 Feb 12
I do the same thing when I get a visitor with diabetes or food allergy. I grew up in family where my father has diabetes, so I am used to a situation where you have to make to certain changes in the menu because of food restrictions and I don't think that it is a big problem when my friends have different needs than the rest of the guests. I think that my husband is a little embarrassed that he has to ask our friends to make some changes in the menu because he doesn't want to bother them, but it is not his fault that he can't eat everything and like you say our real friends will understand his situation.
@marguicha (191412)
• Chile
10 Feb 12
Tell him there´s no need to be embarrased. If I invite a friend who cannot eat spices, I would be stupid if I prepared a curry for the occation when there are so many dishes that are wonderful and have NO spices at all. If the problem is salt, I can make casseroles with apples and veggies and no salt. I place the salt on the table if anyone wishes to use it. And so with other food. There are lots of foods that you can make in two pots: one small one for the friend with special needs and another for the others. Actually I feel happy doing that
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@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
14 Feb 12
I think that it is a true that you can cook a dish for a person with special needs without a lot of extra work. The thing that you mentioned about about apples and vegetables without salt is a good example of that. I hope that my husband will become less embarrassed about his special needs when he gets used to the situation, right now it is still a new situation for him.
@thesids (22193)
• Bhubaneswar, India
10 Feb 12
Hi Porcospino I have Ulcerative Colitis - intestinal ailment. Now, I am barred to eat many many dishes and the ones that I have to opt for are the medically prescribed ones. With this, I cannot afford to have a feast at my friends place. So I avoid and tell them the fact. Many arent aware and so make a mockery of it all... never mind, I know it is difficult to make people understand. So what I do is tell them - I will join in but dont have any food for me. On days when I feel better and can have it, I do have the food but in smaller quantities. And then, there are some situations when I cannot say no, and in such cases, I share the dishes from my wife's platter and tell the friend that it is all I can have.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
12 Feb 12
Thank you for sharing your experience. I remember that you told me about your ulcerative colitis in another discussion. My husband has a different illness, but think that both of you have the things about food restrictions in common. At home those restrictions are not a problem, we cook our own food so we can just choose something that my husband is able to eat, but we go to parties our friends serve food that my husband is unable to eat. If he doesn't follow the diet he will be will get ill later on, so he has to avoid the food that he can't eat. Right now his biggest problem is the fact that he misses the food that he can't eat and he is very tempted to eat it, but knows that it will cause problems for him if he eats the food that the doctor has asked him to avoid.
@thesids (22193)
• Bhubaneswar, India
12 Feb 12
I understand this better dear, I have been on medicinal diets since 2005 and my taste buds just keep aching for a feast even after so many years I do give them their due (under strict guidance of course) once in two months and that day, I dont care about the diet or my health.
1 person likes this
@asdomencil (4265)
• Philippines
10 Feb 12
I think there is no problem when you refrain from eating foods at your friends house. Just tell them that you are not alowed to eat those foods because of your health condition. Bringing own food? I think this will make an offense to your host. They might think something when you do this. Just tell them that the food are nice and looks delicious but you are very sorry if you can't eat those because of your health conditions. Be true to yourself and your friends. They will respect your situation.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
10 Feb 12
I think it is true that some people can get offended if you bring your own food, and the host might think that you don't find their food is good enough. If you bring your food I think it is important to explain to your host that you didn't mean to criticize their food and only brought your own food because of health reasons. Someone from my family does that when she visits us, I have never been offended, she doesn't do it because she doesn't like our food, she is just unable to eat it because of her food allergy.
• Philippines
11 Feb 12
You can always make an excuse because of health reason. I know they will understand you especially if it is your first time to visit their house. Perhaps, the next time you visited or they invite you, they will prepare food just for you...
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9785)
• Canada
13 Feb 12
With myself I know i cant have shellfish and I'm also lactose intolerant...theres other allergies but they are minor and can be eaten regardless. With the shellfish i make sure to remind friends and family that if they have a dip or have cooked it in the house to let me know so i can either choose not to come or make sure i have medicaiton with me. Everyone is very good about it as they dont want to kill me. My cousin is allergic to nuts. None of us have a problem if he asks what is in something or i ask...to be cautions. I've had a cousin bring a shrimp ring to a potluck this christmas and he brought it in and my grandma hussled him right back out the door and said if saundy wasnt here you could bring it in but put it in your car and you can come back.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
16 Feb 12
In your situation it is really important to let your friends know about your problems with shellfish. They could harm you, not on purpose, but because they forget about it, so it is definately a good idea to remind them about it before you come for a visit. My cousin is allergic to nut, too and there are several things that she can't eat. She always asks if there are nuts in the food before she eats it. We don't put nuts in the food if we know that she is coming, but the food that we have bought in a shop is sometimes a problem. If we aren't sure if there are nuts in the food, she doesn't eat it, because she doesn't want to take any chances.
• Philippines
10 Feb 12
i can relate to your husband. Recently just visited my gastritis doctor, he gave me list of food what to avoid and what to eat. Well some of my friends do understand and they are the one also tells me "you can't eat that or this" funny to think but they really do. I am really happy to know i hav friend who understand my situations. but if ever there is some occasions as that i will not deprive myself but to eat a little but not much. Just to show some respect of the host. Actually i am a little worried this coming Feb 14 coz i have some wedding to attend and i dont know what food they are going to serve and they have no idea what had just happen to me but definitely i will just eat little and maybe if i still have time i will tell them my situatios coz i can not eat spicyfood, oily foods and fatty foods.
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@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
14 Feb 12
I hope that you will have a nice time at the wedding and find a way to manage the food situation. If it is possible I think that it would be a good idea to tell the hosts about your situation and explain which things you can't eat. My husband and I are going to do that before we go to a party, because the food food that people serve at parties is often the kind of food that my husband can't eat. We will not stop going to parties of course, we will just have to find a way to manage the situation with the food restrictions.
@bjc66bjc (6730)
• United States
10 Feb 12
Hi Porcospino, I can not imagine that any one who is friends with you enough to invite you to dinner would not understand that you are on a special diet....But its totally up to you to make them aware of it... I think it would hurt someones feeling more if they invite you to dinner and you end up bringing your own food...thats not right,,,lol,,, I am sure they would prepare something that you would be able to eat, after all they are inviting you eat... Just let them know prior to a dinner invite, just in general converastion..I hope you talk to your friends other than when they invite you to dinner..I am sure you do.....lol
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
12 Feb 12
Yes, I also think it would be best to explain the situation to our friends so that they know what kind of things that my husband can't eat before they invite us for dinner. We have some friends from Asia who often cook spicy food for us, but I think that they would understand my husband's situation if we explain what the doctor told him and which restrictions he has to follow.
@myfb2009 (8296)
• Malaysia
10 Feb 12
Hi Porco, i think it is not a problem to let your friends or relatives know that you are ill and have to restrict in your food intake. I remembered once that i had to let others consumed my favorite food when i attend a party organized by my friend. At first, my friend don't really understand why i should restrict my food intake. Only after seen me keep coughing a lot after consuming some spicy food, then she herself asked me not to eat spicy food. I am happy to have such an understanding friend around. So, i only eat the food that don't cause my coughing. Hope your husband won't have any problem after eating when he visits his friends or relatives home. Hope your husband will be well soon.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
10 Feb 12
It is good to hear that your friend understands your situation and that she understands why you have to stay away from the spicy food. We have some friends who usually cook spicy food for us when we visit them so we are going to have to talk to them about my husband's situation, because he is not able to eat their spicy food anymore. I think that they will understand his situation when he explains why is unable to eat those things.
@TrvlArrngr (4050)
• United States
9 Feb 12
YOu can solve this by offering to make the main dish to bring with you. Even if the side dishes are spicy, he can push them around on his plate so it looks like he ate some.
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@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
10 Feb 12
That is true, that way he will be sure that he gets a dish that he is able to eat. During the few days I am going to see if I can find some recipes online that he can eat without problems. I think that there are plenty of options despite the restrictions, so I can probably find some inspiration online.
• United States
9 Feb 12
If they are truly friends, they will understand your husband's dietary restrictions. Honestly, they don't sound that difficult to handle as a hostess or host. No spicy foods? Just don't make the nine-alarm chili when your husband comes over. Need to go easy on the sweets? Serve a fruit salad instead of the double layer fudge cake. Even if the main dish is something that is a bit too much for your husband, side dishes are usually a safe bet. Plus, unless your host(ess) is really anti-gift, you can always bring something like a veggie tray or fruit platter that everyone can enjoy. Those two things go with just about any menu (so there's no conflict), and everyone can enjoy them. I wouldn't recommend bringing his own personal food unless his dietary restrictions are (or become) really that restrictive. If, for instance, he had severe food allergies, bringing his own carefully prepared food would likely be necessary, since many people's kitchens simply aren't set up to handle that kind of restriction unless someone in that particular household has the same issue. I've spent years as a vegetarian/semi-vegetarian (which I am depends on where I'm at in my life). I've managed to traverse even the more hostile food landscapes. I eat the way I do out of concern for my health (I saw what a bad diet did to my father's health). Your husband needs to not worry so much about it. Friends will understand. Relatives will deal (or, if you have a really great family, they will work hard to make sure that the diet is appropriate for everyone present--including your husband).
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
10 Feb 12
I think that it is true that our friends will understand the situation. Some of our friends from Asia choose very spicy dishes when they cook dinner for us, but I think that they would also understand it if he tells them why he can't eat those things. Bringing a veggie tray or a fruit platter sounds like a great idea, that would be something that can everyone can eat.
• Italy
9 Feb 12
Hi there, I'm in your same situation! I cannot eat any sort of cereal and any sort of sweetener. It's really a mess when people offer you food because it's usually sweets, chocolates or candy. Explaining that one cannot eat something and why doesn't always work. People don't necessarily understand your problem, or don't understand how big it is...as a reaction many people tell me that there's not much sugar in what they are offering me! Well, it does not matter how much, I cannot have it anyways, but then it becomes uncomfortable to explain, it's like you are in the wrong. Instead it's them that shouldn't be arguing when you said no to something! I try to tell people that I cannot eat this and that but I try to limit explanations. I cannot eat this because doctor said so. Period. Relatives will ask if I really won't have any...and the answer is no, doctor said so. Nosy relatives can go on and say they believe your doctor is wrong, but at the same time you can cut them off rather quickly. It's YOU who should be offended if you say you cannot have something and they keep offering you. It's a clear sign they don't care, so they should better be a little flexible. Bringing your own food is an option but if people like the company they can accomodate some special requests. Like...I cannot have any sort of cereal, then my host is kind (and smart) enough to cook a meat dish. That will feed everyone, nobody will see that one of us cannot eat something. It just takes a little flexibility from the host. Well, it's due I guess, if they want to see me... You said your husband cannot have spicy and sweet, do your hosts need at all costs to cook spicy and sweet? I mean there are billions of recipes at the world, cannot they just cook something else for everyone? Nobody will notice... And if your hosts are not flexible to change a recipe for your HEALTH (or your husbands of course) then I don't think they deserve your company.
@Porcospino (31509)
• Denmark
9 Feb 12
You have some very good points. I also think that the best solution would be a dish that everyone including my husband can eat. That is what we do when we get a visitor who has special needs because of diabetes or another illness, and I think that our friends would be willing to do the same thing for my husband. My husband doesn't like the idea of telling the host about his diet, because he is a very modest person who doesn't like to ask others to do something for him. But it is not his fault that he isn't able to eat every kind of food and I don't think he is asking too much if he tells our friends that there are some kinds of food that he can't eat.