Monday Manners #5

I felt the need to write another post on manners. So . . . here goes.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but growing up I heard this from my mama and most other adults in my life about 5 billion times a week it seemed. Those weren’t all directed at me, mind you, but it was a great reminder throughout my childhood. It became engrained in my mind as much as John 3:16 or the Golden Rule, and though I may choose in my meanest, angriest moments to not follow this advice, the common principle behind it is applied to much of my interactions with others to this day. So, why this chat on the aforementioned statement in bold print? Well, I think it has a link to what I wanted to discuss today, and that is:

Differences aren’t license for ridicule.

I know, I know . . . there will ALWAYS be people who get their kicks from tearing others down. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that. But that’s not what I’m talking about. See, people in the Gluten Free Community (myself included) fight on a regular basis to have our intolerance/ allergies/ Celiac Disease recognized as a real problem. You see, most of us didn’t choose this life style. We HAVE to eat this way in order to avoid a plethora of unsavory symptoms, which luckily are mostly preventable simply by following a Gluten Free diet.

Therefore, when people mock us for eating a certain way so we don’t get sick . . . it’s quite offensive. You see, 1 out of every 133 people suffers from Celiac Disease and even more people have a Gluten Intolerance. Making light of their legitimate dietary restrictions is just not considerate.

That’s where the statement about not saying anything comes in. If you, or the company you work for believes that  cracking a joke about Gluten Free Living is the best way to boost laughter or page views, you may be right. But, you’ll ALWAYS catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so why tear people down to find your five minutes of fame? All I’m saying is that the next time you’re thinking about cracking on joke about Gluten Free living, or telling your coworker it’s a made up condition, think about this statement first:


Just because we eat differently doesn’t mean we’ve become immune to ridicule. Please just be considerate of the folks around you. It makes life a whole lot easier.

What are y’all’s thoughts on this topic? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below, but please be nice.

Have a Marvelous Monday, y’all!

Monday Manners #1

Okay, so I don’t know about y’all, but having a food intolerance/allergy as a teenager is HARD. Personally, I’ve found people are unsure as to whether you’re able to handle it on your own, or if they need to watch you like a hawk and keep you “out of trouble” like a first grader with a peanut allergy. I understand their desire is to be helpful. I really do. Yet, I’m perfectly capable of taking care of my intolerance and diet restrictions, but well-meaning people don’t always “get” that.

So, today I’m going to talk about exercising manners toward those within the Gluten Free community, as well as explain to others who aren’t familiar with the specifics how to “get” it. This will probably be a recurring series here on the blog, because I don’t want to bombard y’all with a ginormous never-ending post. So look out for more posts, and feel free to leave your ideas and opinions on Gluten Free Manners in the comments! 😉

Rule 1:
Do not tell people what they can and cannot eat. Although it may seem sweet and thoughtful to read the ingredients label for me and see if it has any wheat products, there is really not a good way to communicate your findings without making the person on the receiving end feel about five years old.  I’m sure your intentions were to be helpful, but normally teenagers with specific diet needs are used to reading labels on their own. and you forcefully stepping in with no prior experience to Gluten Free Living isn’t exactly the way to go about it.

So, in the future, maybe say “I think this may have wheat in it; would you like for me to check?”  Just don’t do it automatically, unless you’re with a child who can’t read labels or take care of their intolerance or allergy independently. Otherwise it can come across more harmful than helpful.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of this behavior and don’t know how to respond, here are a couple ideas:
“Thanks SO much for looking over that for me! It was really thoughtful of you, but I’ve been reading labels for quite awhile now and may find ingredients containing wheat that you may not notice. Do you mind if I take care of it myself from now on?”

Or, you could go with, “I’m so glad you thought of me, and my ______________ (fill in the blank with your allergy or intolerance) but I’d really prefer to handle it on my own since I am familiar with the different terminology and specific things to look for on labels. Thanks though!

Overall, there are tons of ways to handle situations like the one above. Pick the way that works best for you. The ideas above are simply suggestions. Remember, be kind and address their input respectfully and with a good attitude.

What are some ways you would handle the above situation? Don’t forget to let me know!!

Have a marvelous Monday y’all!  Also, check back for more Gluten Free Manners posts soon!