Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Coworkers are Awesome

A recent post on another blog pointed out some examples of anti-gluten free sentiment with which celiacs are presented. Some people think our gluten free diets aren't serious. It's really frustrating for those of us who know we'll get sick if we have even the tiniest bit of gluten. When I first had to go gluten free, I was a little shy about it; I didn't tell many people and would just avoid eating in social situations. But then I decided to raise money for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness in connection with my Ironman Florida race, so I kind of had to start talking about having celiac disease and eating gluten free. My coworkers have been insanely supportive, a lot of them made donations to the NFCA and helped me with my Ironman training by switching days on call. Here are just a few more examples of why I am so thankful to work with these amazing people.

Every month at work, we have a gathering to celebrate birthdays with food. One or two people sign up to bring treats for the month. Every single month this year, the person in charge has brought a gluten free option and I'm the only one out of about 20 people who has to eat gluten free! I generally try to sign up for my own birthday month so that I will have something to eat, but both last year and this year I wasn't able to choose March. Last March my floor supervisor made a very yummy (mostly) flourless chocolate tart (I gave him a few tablespoons of Bob's Red Mill's gluten free flour mix to use). This January my new floor supervisor made a delicious gluten-free dessert bread (I can't remember the flavor now but it was very yummy! and she gave me the leftover gf flour mix, although I still haven't ventured into baking). In February, I brought a gluten free chocolate cake that I bought at Gluten Free Specialty. My coworkers brought my favorite cinnamon rolls for my birthday in March. Today for birthdays there was a Trader Joe's flourless chocolate cake, and the guy in charge of birthdays even popped his head into my office to say "Just so you know, I remembered to cut the gluten free cake first!" (Visit this link for another GF blogger's review of the TJ's cake with pictures.)

Another reason my coworkers rock is that there are really only three restaurants nearby where I can eat, yet people are still willing to go out to eat with me sometimes! One of the restaurants is a brewery and I can only order one item off the menu (a salad, without a lot of the toppings) so that gets kind of old. The other two are a yummy sushi place and PF Changs - both have gluten free menus. A few of us went out today to celebrate the impending arrival of a coworker's baby. Since she's pregnant, the sushi place was not an option. PF Changs it was! It is a bit bizarre having someone else's lunch event planned around where I can eat. It doesn't seem fair to them and I feel incredibly high maintenance, but they are always willing to accommodate me and my gluten free diet! Plus they are always willing to tell me how cute Sierra is. (Don't worry, I don't actually let her drink my wine.)