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{"id":710909984815,"title":"Tips For the Traveling Celiac","handle":"tips-for-the-traveling-celiac-1","description":"\u003ch1\u003eBy Vivian Mintz King-Bonino\u003c\/h1\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTravel can be equally exhilarating and stress-inducing. And when it comes to traveling as a celiac, that goes twofold! The question of “will I find food that I like?” suddenly becomes “will I find food that I can safely eat?” For many of us, it’s a daunting process -especially when you add on foreign languages and traveling companions that don’t share your allergy. Despite the difficulties, I’m a strong believer that travel is for everybody and that with the right preparation even the most sensitive celiac CAN get out there and explore! Not sure where to start? Here are my top tips for Celiac travel:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eResearch\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen it comes to life, I’m a Type A\/B combo. When it comes to researching restaurants before a trip, I’m a Type A Tornado: spreadsheets, links, hours of availability - you name it, I’m noting it down. Doing this can save you a LOT of grief once your vacation starts. Few things are worse than dinnertime rolling around and having a group of friends turning hangry on you because you forgot to do your homework of scouting out a safe place to eat! Additionally, some foods we may take for granted as “safe” aren’t necessarily that way in other countries, so it’s a good idea to read up in advance. Resources for this include:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003eSearch Blogs, Apps \u0026amp; Websites\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe “Find Me GlutenFree” \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/itunes.apple.com\/app\/apple-store\/id431006818?mt=8\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eApp\u003c\/a\u003e and website.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eYelp (search Gluten-free in both English and the native language to be sure you find all relevant reviews) App and website.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eFourSquare \u003cspan style=\"display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #000000; cursor: text; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 22.5px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;\"\u003e (search Gluten-free in both English and the native language to be \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #000000; cursor: text; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 22.5px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;\"\u003esure you find all relevant reviews) \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/foursquare.com\/download\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eApp\u003c\/a\u003e and \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/foursquare.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003ewebsite\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eCeliac Travel – the \u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.celiactravel.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eCeliac Travel website\u003c\/a\u003e has a generous collection of pre-\u003cbr\u003emade travel cards explaining Celiac Disease in a variety of languages.\u003cbr\u003ePrint them out and bring with you – don’t forget to donate!\u003cbr\u003e(http:\/\/www.celiactravel.com\/cards\/)\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.aoecs.org\/?q=international-coeliac-organisations\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eInternational \u003c\/a\u003eand \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/nationalceliac.org\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eNational Celiac Associations\u003c\/a\u003e - many countries have these, and they are GREAT ways to find approved restaurants and stores.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eLabeling Laws –Some areas (such as the \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/glutenfreepassport.com\/pages\/europe\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eEuropean Union labeling laws\u003c\/a\u003e), require that all packaged items list allergens in bold print and instruct manufacturers to state if any trace amounts of allergens are possible. Doing a quick search for labeling laws where you’ll be going to, can help you avoid confusion later on.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePractice\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cbr\u003eMost Americans have heard the old joke “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “-Practice, practice practice.” Well, when traveling as a Celiac, the same rule applies. Before jumping into a two-week, cross-Atlantic adventure to a foreign country, for example, start small. Go on a weekend getaway (or even to a new town a few minutes away), before your big trip and use it as an opportunity to get comfortable with the process of eating out in new places and explaining your allergy to the wait staff. Even if where you dine has nothing to do with the location you want to go, the simple act of going to new places (extra points if you bring new faces with you), will help you build confidence and get used to the rhythm of explaining first, eating second.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePrepare\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eEven if it looks like there are a plethora of places to go, rarely do the ideas and plans we have in our heads happen, especially when we’re on a new adventure! Buying pre-packaged, single serving foods that you can bring along is one of the best ways to stay safe when you travel. It’ll also help you to stay in the moment (read panic-free!), when places you’d counted on, turn out to be closed or you end up on the beach instead of in town for lunch. A few of my dependable food choices are power\/protein bars, nut\/seed mixes, tuna cans, cracker packets, dried fruit packets, single servings of nut butter and granola bars. It can also be handy to pack a set of reusable and disposable utensils, and a Swiss army knife (in your checked bag, of course!), to use on fruit and cans once you arrive.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePick Your Travel Companions Wisely\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI’ll never forget being on a group trip to Morocco. I was with fifty of my partner’s MBA peers, and every time we sat down to eat a meal, whether I was eating something I had packed or ordered from a local menu, the topic would inevitably be my Celiac situation. And since the table companions kept rotating, I ended up spending four days explaining how sick I could get. Instead of enjoying myself, I eventually did eventually get sick on that trip! Goes to show: pick your companions wisely. Small groups tend to be more understanding which helps make venturing out for Celiac meals, go more smoothly.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eTrust Your Gut\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen it comes to eating the unknown (at unknown, non-researched locations), trust your gut. Ironic, but true. If a delicious looking dish or the scent wafling across the room when you first enter a restaurant tempts you, make sure the wait staff and or chef, guarantee your dish selection is 100% gluten-free! In many cultures, it’s considered normal to “strongly reassure” a customer that “everything will be fine,” but nobody knows your body better than you do. If you aren’t getting the answers you’re looking for, weigh the risk. A few “red flags” that I watch out for are:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Yes we can do gluten free - just don’t eat the bread” (Same goes for “just don’t eat the pasta.”)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“We have a tiny sized kitchen.” (Meaning there is an increased risk for cross-contamination during preparation)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Can you eat flour?” → while this can sometimes be indicative of a language barrier, it can also be a sign that both kitchen and wait staff haven’t been trained adequately on Celiac Disease or other food allergies.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMaintaining a flexible mindset and reasonable expectations (not to mention a little creativity!) is critical. See a grill that doesn’t look strictly safe? Talk to the kitchen about using aluminum foil. In a rush and not sure where the day will take you? Hard-boiled eggs and fruit that has a peel (bananas are particularly handy!) can be a lifesaver. It’s not the most glamorous, but with some creativity and a sense of adventure, Celiac travel IS doable!\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003eVivian Mintz King-Bonino is a writer, personal trainer and Celiac adventurer currently based in Amsterdam. She loves all things gluten-free and can usually be found in the gym or the nearest taqueria. Check out her \u003ca href=\"http:\/\/rebelheartwellness.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003ewebsite\u003c\/a\u003e and \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/rebelheartwellness\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eInstagram \u003c\/a\u003efor more gluten-free insights and information.\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/Vivian_large.jpg?v=1525399729\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","published_at":"2018-05-03T00:17:37-07:00","created_at":"2018-05-03T00:18:54-07:00","vendor":"Glutenfreeglobalicious Magazine","type":"GF Travel Foodies","tags":["Gluten-free","Gluten-free Budapest","Gluten-free Europe","Gluten-free Food","Gluten-free Foodies","Gluten-free Guides","Gluten-free Hungary","Gluten-free Travel","Gluten-free Travel Guides","Gluten-free Travel Tips","GlutenfreeGlobalicious Magazine"],"price":0,"price_min":0,"price_max":0,"available":true,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":7870153359407,"title":"Default Title","option1":"Default Title","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":true,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"Tips For the Traveling Celiac","public_title":null,"options":["Default Title"],"price":0,"weight":0,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_management":null,"barcode":""}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/products\/Vivian.jpg?v=1525713366"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/products\/Vivian.jpg?v=1525713366","options":["Title"],"content":"\u003ch1\u003eBy Vivian Mintz King-Bonino\u003c\/h1\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTravel can be equally exhilarating and stress-inducing. And when it comes to traveling as a celiac, that goes twofold! The question of “will I find food that I like?” suddenly becomes “will I find food that I can safely eat?” For many of us, it’s a daunting process -especially when you add on foreign languages and traveling companions that don’t share your allergy. Despite the difficulties, I’m a strong believer that travel is for everybody and that with the right preparation even the most sensitive celiac CAN get out there and explore! Not sure where to start? Here are my top tips for Celiac travel:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eResearch\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen it comes to life, I’m a Type A\/B combo. When it comes to researching restaurants before a trip, I’m a Type A Tornado: spreadsheets, links, hours of availability - you name it, I’m noting it down. Doing this can save you a LOT of grief once your vacation starts. Few things are worse than dinnertime rolling around and having a group of friends turning hangry on you because you forgot to do your homework of scouting out a safe place to eat! Additionally, some foods we may take for granted as “safe” aren’t necessarily that way in other countries, so it’s a good idea to read up in advance. Resources for this include:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003eSearch Blogs, Apps \u0026amp; Websites\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe “Find Me GlutenFree” \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/itunes.apple.com\/app\/apple-store\/id431006818?mt=8\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eApp\u003c\/a\u003e and website.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eYelp (search Gluten-free in both English and the native language to be sure you find all relevant reviews) App and website.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eFourSquare \u003cspan style=\"display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #000000; cursor: text; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 22.5px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;\"\u003e (search Gluten-free in both English and the native language to be \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #000000; cursor: text; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 22.5px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;\"\u003esure you find all relevant reviews) \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/foursquare.com\/download\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eApp\u003c\/a\u003e and \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/foursquare.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003ewebsite\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eCeliac Travel – the \u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.celiactravel.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eCeliac Travel website\u003c\/a\u003e has a generous collection of pre-\u003cbr\u003emade travel cards explaining Celiac Disease in a variety of languages.\u003cbr\u003ePrint them out and bring with you – don’t forget to donate!\u003cbr\u003e(http:\/\/www.celiactravel.com\/cards\/)\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.aoecs.org\/?q=international-coeliac-organisations\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eInternational \u003c\/a\u003eand \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/nationalceliac.org\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eNational Celiac Associations\u003c\/a\u003e - many countries have these, and they are GREAT ways to find approved restaurants and stores.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eLabeling Laws –Some areas (such as the \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/glutenfreepassport.com\/pages\/europe\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eEuropean Union labeling laws\u003c\/a\u003e), require that all packaged items list allergens in bold print and instruct manufacturers to state if any trace amounts of allergens are possible. Doing a quick search for labeling laws where you’ll be going to, can help you avoid confusion later on.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePractice\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cbr\u003eMost Americans have heard the old joke “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “-Practice, practice practice.” Well, when traveling as a Celiac, the same rule applies. Before jumping into a two-week, cross-Atlantic adventure to a foreign country, for example, start small. Go on a weekend getaway (or even to a new town a few minutes away), before your big trip and use it as an opportunity to get comfortable with the process of eating out in new places and explaining your allergy to the wait staff. Even if where you dine has nothing to do with the location you want to go, the simple act of going to new places (extra points if you bring new faces with you), will help you build confidence and get used to the rhythm of explaining first, eating second.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePrepare\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eEven if it looks like there are a plethora of places to go, rarely do the ideas and plans we have in our heads happen, especially when we’re on a new adventure! Buying pre-packaged, single serving foods that you can bring along is one of the best ways to stay safe when you travel. It’ll also help you to stay in the moment (read panic-free!), when places you’d counted on, turn out to be closed or you end up on the beach instead of in town for lunch. A few of my dependable food choices are power\/protein bars, nut\/seed mixes, tuna cans, cracker packets, dried fruit packets, single servings of nut butter and granola bars. It can also be handy to pack a set of reusable and disposable utensils, and a Swiss army knife (in your checked bag, of course!), to use on fruit and cans once you arrive.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePick Your Travel Companions Wisely\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI’ll never forget being on a group trip to Morocco. I was with fifty of my partner’s MBA peers, and every time we sat down to eat a meal, whether I was eating something I had packed or ordered from a local menu, the topic would inevitably be my Celiac situation. And since the table companions kept rotating, I ended up spending four days explaining how sick I could get. Instead of enjoying myself, I eventually did eventually get sick on that trip! Goes to show: pick your companions wisely. Small groups tend to be more understanding which helps make venturing out for Celiac meals, go more smoothly.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eTrust Your Gut\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen it comes to eating the unknown (at unknown, non-researched locations), trust your gut. Ironic, but true. If a delicious looking dish or the scent wafling across the room when you first enter a restaurant tempts you, make sure the wait staff and or chef, guarantee your dish selection is 100% gluten-free! In many cultures, it’s considered normal to “strongly reassure” a customer that “everything will be fine,” but nobody knows your body better than you do. If you aren’t getting the answers you’re looking for, weigh the risk. A few “red flags” that I watch out for are:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Yes we can do gluten free - just don’t eat the bread” (Same goes for “just don’t eat the pasta.”)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“We have a tiny sized kitchen.” (Meaning there is an increased risk for cross-contamination during preparation)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Can you eat flour?” → while this can sometimes be indicative of a language barrier, it can also be a sign that both kitchen and wait staff haven’t been trained adequately on Celiac Disease or other food allergies.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMaintaining a flexible mindset and reasonable expectations (not to mention a little creativity!) is critical. See a grill that doesn’t look strictly safe? Talk to the kitchen about using aluminum foil. In a rush and not sure where the day will take you? Hard-boiled eggs and fruit that has a peel (bananas are particularly handy!) can be a lifesaver. It’s not the most glamorous, but with some creativity and a sense of adventure, Celiac travel IS doable!\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003eVivian Mintz King-Bonino is a writer, personal trainer and Celiac adventurer currently based in Amsterdam. She loves all things gluten-free and can usually be found in the gym or the nearest taqueria. Check out her \u003ca href=\"http:\/\/rebelheartwellness.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003ewebsite\u003c\/a\u003e and \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/rebelheartwellness\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eInstagram \u003c\/a\u003efor more gluten-free insights and information.\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/Vivian_large.jpg?v=1525399729\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e"}

Tips For the Traveling Celiac

By Vivian Mintz King-Bonino

Travel can be equally exhilarating and stress-inducing. And when it comes to traveling as a celiac, that goes twofold! The question of “will I find food that I like?” suddenly becomes “will I find food that I can safely eat?” For many of us, it’s a daunting process -especially when you add on foreign languages and traveling companions that don’t share your allergy. Despite the difficulties, I’m a strong believer that travel is for everybody and that with the right preparation even the most sensitive celiac CAN get out there and explore! Not sure where to start? Here are my top tips for Celiac travel:

Research

When it comes to life, I’m a Type A/B combo. When it comes to researching restaurants before a trip, I’m a Type A Tornado: spreadsheets, links, hours of availability - you name it, I’m noting it down. Doing this can save you a LOT of grief once your vacation starts. Few things are worse than dinnertime rolling around and having a group of friends turning hangry on you because you forgot to do your homework of scouting out a safe place to eat! Additionally, some foods we may take for granted as “safe” aren’t necessarily that way in other countries, so it’s a good idea to read up in advance. Resources for this include:

Search Blogs, Apps & Websites

  • The “Find Me GlutenFree” App and website.
  • Yelp (search Gluten-free in both English and the native language to be sure you find all relevant reviews) App and website.
  • FourSquare  (search Gluten-free in both English and the native language to be sure you find all relevant reviews) App and website.
  • Celiac Travel – the Celiac Travel website has a generous collection of pre-
    made travel cards explaining Celiac Disease in a variety of languages.
    Print them out and bring with you – don’t forget to donate!
    (http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/)
  • Labeling Laws –Some areas (such as the European Union labeling laws), require that all packaged items list allergens in bold print and instruct manufacturers to state if any trace amounts of allergens are possible. Doing a quick search for labeling laws where you’ll be going to, can help you avoid confusion later on.
Practice


Most Americans have heard the old joke “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “-Practice, practice practice.” Well, when traveling as a Celiac, the same rule applies. Before jumping into a two-week, cross-Atlantic adventure to a foreign country, for example, start small. Go on a weekend getaway (or even to a new town a few minutes away), before your big trip and use it as an opportunity to get comfortable with the process of eating out in new places and explaining your allergy to the wait staff. Even if where you dine has nothing to do with the location you want to go, the simple act of going to new places (extra points if you bring new faces with you), will help you build confidence and get used to the rhythm of explaining first, eating second.

Prepare

Even if it looks like there are a plethora of places to go, rarely do the ideas and plans we have in our heads happen, especially when we’re on a new adventure! Buying pre-packaged, single serving foods that you can bring along is one of the best ways to stay safe when you travel. It’ll also help you to stay in the moment (read panic-free!), when places you’d counted on, turn out to be closed or you end up on the beach instead of in town for lunch. A few of my dependable food choices are power/protein bars, nut/seed mixes, tuna cans, cracker packets, dried fruit packets, single servings of nut butter and granola bars. It can also be handy to pack a set of reusable and disposable utensils, and a Swiss army knife (in your checked bag, of course!), to use on fruit and cans once you arrive.

Pick Your Travel Companions Wisely

I’ll never forget being on a group trip to Morocco. I was with fifty of my partner’s MBA peers, and every time we sat down to eat a meal, whether I was eating something I had packed or ordered from a local menu, the topic would inevitably be my Celiac situation. And since the table companions kept rotating, I ended up spending four days explaining how sick I could get. Instead of enjoying myself, I eventually did eventually get sick on that trip! Goes to show: pick your companions wisely. Small groups tend to be more understanding which helps make venturing out for Celiac meals, go more smoothly.

Trust Your Gut

When it comes to eating the unknown (at unknown, non-researched locations), trust your gut. Ironic, but true. If a delicious looking dish or the scent wafling across the room when you first enter a restaurant tempts you, make sure the wait staff and or chef, guarantee your dish selection is 100% gluten-free! In many cultures, it’s considered normal to “strongly reassure” a customer that “everything will be fine,” but nobody knows your body better than you do. If you aren’t getting the answers you’re looking for, weigh the risk. A few “red flags” that I watch out for are:

“Yes we can do gluten free - just don’t eat the bread” (Same goes for “just don’t eat the pasta.”)

“We have a tiny sized kitchen.” (Meaning there is an increased risk for cross-contamination during preparation)

“Can you eat flour?” → while this can sometimes be indicative of a language barrier, it can also be a sign that both kitchen and wait staff haven’t been trained adequately on Celiac Disease or other food allergies.

Maintaining a flexible mindset and reasonable expectations (not to mention a little creativity!) is critical. See a grill that doesn’t look strictly safe? Talk to the kitchen about using aluminum foil. In a rush and not sure where the day will take you? Hard-boiled eggs and fruit that has a peel (bananas are particularly handy!) can be a lifesaver. It’s not the most glamorous, but with some creativity and a sense of adventure, Celiac travel IS doable!

Vivian Mintz King-Bonino is a writer, personal trainer and Celiac adventurer currently based in Amsterdam. She loves all things gluten-free and can usually be found in the gym or the nearest taqueria. Check out her website and Instagram for more gluten-free insights and information.

 

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