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Gluten Free Cruise
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Gluten Free Poll   25 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Cruise Line would you Prefer? (prices on page 2)

    • Celebrity
      16
    • Holland
      9
  2. 2. Which Logo do you like best? (URL on page 2)

    • Blue Lagoon
      6
    • Blue Yacht
      0
    • Brighter Days
      2
    • Sea Decor
      0
    • Wave Splash
      4
    • Celiac C's
      8
    • Airy Blue Splash
      0
    • Two Celiac C's and sun or moon
      3
    • Natural in Green
      1
    • Arch and Star like a ships bridge
      1

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60 posts in this topic

As I sat down for the past five days or so, trying to plan a cruise for my husband and I, I realized that in the “special diet” section only two ships show Gluten Free in the needs. When I called the others on the phone, several more also provided Gluten Free menu items. However, the planning phases of a nice cruise for 2007 (in the cruise industry not to early). Most of the ships have some really good chefs on staff and offer cooking classes on-board as one of the daily activities. Then it dawned on me.

We hold in our hands a way to:

#1 Get to know one another in real life

#2 Have a whole series of lectures from experts in the field of Celiac from diet, cooking, fitness and so much more if we can find interested parties.

#3 Take command of a whole ship, forcing those chefs to learn how to make us our cakes so we can eat them too. And then teach us their gourmet ways.

#4 Take a whole vacation without worrying about “Where the next gluten-free meal is going to come from”.

In addition to all the onboard activities there are many excursions in the ports, most of which I doubt have ever been forced to figure any snacks outside of fresh fruit for the one or two passengers they get for the port day-trips. If all or most of their days customers were gluten-free, they too would have to take into consideration our special diet needs, thus spreading the word about Celiac Disease” a little more.

After brain storming a bit, I got back on the phone with several of the nicer cruise lines and found out they do have group discounts, conference rooms and would have no problem with focus groups and their organization. For the “lectures” or focus groups, I thought that splitting things out into topics such as:

#1 Help, I’m tired and can’t get up

#2 Athletes with Celiac and how to cope

#3 Cooking the Celiac way (A title I have been toying with for my new cookbook)

#4 Coping with Celiac (for those that support us through our strange diet)

The possibilities are endless here. I priced out a 7-day vacation in Hawaii at a reasonable hotel with air fare and rental car (mid sized) and realized that it would be more expensive and didn’t have any activities or meals for our family of three included in the price. The ship includes everything except some of the shore excursions.

Most of the cruise lines offer the children clubs, where they break them down into smaller age groups, some cruise lines do this better.

The two cruise lines that have the most extensive gluten-free menus in place already are Holland and Princess, but after calling Celebrity, they also have a good gluten-free menu. My bet is that with a whole gluten free group, this menu would expand and grow. Thus, making cruises easier in the future for whichever cruise line we opt to take a “group cruise” on.

What do you guys think? If we were able to put together a Celiac Cruise and found some people willing to do a daily workshop like they do occasionally, would you be interested in it? When I called the cruise lines, they need to know the approximate anticipated size of the group prior to quoting out prices. My sister-in-law is a travel agent and has put together several group cruise packages kind of like this one, she said she would help me out if there are enough people interested to make it viable.

It would have to be in 2007 or 2008 depending upon the size of the group. But if done in 2007, from the planning aspect, time is short in getting it done. 2008 would be easiest from a planning stand point!

Anyhow, what I would like to know is who would be interested if we had one, what type of people would you like to see there for lectures (dietician is a given), what kind of focus groups and where would you like to set sail?

Price wise, Princess is the most reasonable, Celebrity offers the most for your money and Holland will pamper you like crazy (for a higher fee). I have more details if anyone wants to know them, but don’t know how much work I should continue doing on this idea if there is no interest.

A cruise would be nice, as it would open up people from the entire world and bring us all together in a gluten-free melting pot.

Deborah

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I think its a great idea! But it be 2008 before I could consider it.

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I went on Celebrity twice many years ago and we were so happy with everything. Our room and bathroom were great. And the food was top notch. I have no idea if it is the same now. I would love to do this, but would hope for 2008 and then maybe I would have the energy to fly to the cruise and really enjoy it. My husband says no more cruises, but I think I could get him talked into another one. It will be interesting to see how many say yes and how many really end up going. Good Luck as it is a great idea.

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Timber4est -

I recently attended a workshop given by Bob & Ruth's Dining and Travel Club. This husband and wife team travel to amazing places (including cruises) and all the food is gluten free. Here is their website for more ino - www.bobandruths.com or call (410)486-0292.

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Woot, I got an email from a company I contacted last week (it was lost in my spam folder) and they are willing to do a sponsor of a cruise of $10,000 towards our total price AND provide a special registered dietician from their company to give workshops on a cruise if we have one of at least 100 people. They also indicated that they would pay an additional $10,000 per every 100 people we are able to do confirm book on a cruise.

This is a company that provides special dietary needs for many types of patients and they look at is as an "advertising expense" which they can write off, that is good news, I wonder how many of the companies that provide services us Celiacs use that are willing to do this. It would certainly decrease the overall costs of the cruise for sure!

Deborah

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I'd be interested. 2008 would be better for me as well. I have never done a poll, but maybe you should do a poll on this site. How awesome that a company would sponser something like this!!?? If one would do it, I am sure more would too! Thanks for checking into it!!

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Timber4est -

I recently attended a workshop given by Bob & Ruth's Dining and Travel Club. This husband and wife team travel to amazing places (including cruises) and all the food is gluten free. Here is their website for more ino - www.bobandruths.com or call (410)486-0292.

Hi

Glad you knew who these people were becasue i was going to mention to Deborah too.

She might have info on how to go about it. Deborah, your sister-in-law being a travel agent is a great help.

I'd sure been interested and 2008 is ok for me. have to save up the $$$

Judy

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A poll, I haven't done that on this site either, but I would need to know three very important things for polls.

1. What region? In other words, where the cruise goes. (My thinking is Eastern Caribbean and 7-11 nights in length)

2. Length of cruise (4 day, 7 day 10-11 day)

3. Time of year.

In examining the choices a late fall/winter cruise seems to be the most economical. Many may not want to do that as there are many holidays in November/December/January, yet these months offer the most bang for the buck (in other words a lower cost). Plus, would make a nice “gift” as the knowledge and understanding would give a new lease on life to some (like me who is kinda in the dumps with this disease). What an amazing gift, the gift of “new lease on life” for 2009!

My husband has done the packages for the last three winter Olympics so we have all the ins for some really nice kits for sponsors to put their logos/samples/literature into. Some of the kits we have done in the past-included things such as:

-Luggage bag/tote bag

-Embroidered shirts (polo/long sleeve/t-shirt)

-Hats

-Toiletries

-Pens

-Note pads with nice jackets (this might be good for some insurance companies if we could get them or financial planning companies).

-Water bottles or bottles of water from companies willing to donate the actual water bottles (Coca-cola bottles Dasani, that might be a way to get them into a sponsorship)

-Vitamin packs

-Photography vests

- logo’d socks

Prices for these kits would vary due to several things like the total number of people going on the cruise and how many sponsors donate 50/50 (meaning partial money and partial product).

I’m just brainstorming here and will speak in detail tomorrow with the guy over one of the cruise lines about what they would allow in the form of corporate advertising from sponsors, but some of the ideas I have thought about are:

- Banners displayed in conference room during lecture/seminars

- Sponsors name mentioned at least once during each lecture/seminar

- Dinner table sponsor (could include pens/trinkets/business cards/ literature

- Sponsor an after-hours party

- Podium banner at lecture/seminars

- Ad in cruise magazine (would require coordination and allowance from cruise line)

- Sponsor logo on website with a link to their website

- Sponsor logo on above mentioned kit/t-shirt

- Category exclusivity

- Allow them a table and representative at an event/lecture/seminar that has to do with their products/services

- Sponsor an activity in port. For example a snorkel/diving company to sponsor a like activity at one of the ports

- Logo on PowerPoint presentations during lecture/seminars (the conference rooms have the equipment to do this)

I have hundreds of ideas, but I guess I really need to wait to put together my ideas till after I have had the chance to speak with the cruise lines. Also from you guys. Would you be okay with a November/December/January sailing if it were not over Thanksgiving/Christmas or New Year holidays? Or would you be okay if we could get the cruise package discounted enough to take the whole family through the form of corporate sponsorships?

I know, my mind is teaming here with the endless possibilities, but really an event like this, even if in the end of 2008 will require much planning so this isn’t too early to ask the questions and brainstorm with you guys.

Deborah

Feel free to email me at Deborah@deborahharr.com with questions/suggestions/ideas because if we are going to do this, it can’t be a one-woman show and will require assistance.

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I think it is a great idea. It would of course be a different price for us Canadians. We don't want to be visiting the Caribbean after the end of April because it is hurricane season until the beginning of October. So, I think April is a fine time to go. I am up for 2008 I don't care if it is Eastern or Western Caribbean, I would love to go to the Galapagos Islands but that is South America and very pricey. 7 or 11 days, don't care which. Seven days is probably better for most.

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I think it is a great idea. It would of course be a different price for us Canadians. We don't want to be visiting the Caribbean after the end of April because it is hurricane season until the beginning of October. So, I think April is a fine time to go. I am up for 2008 I don't care if it is Eastern or Western Caribbean, I would love to go to the Galapagos Islands but that is South America and very pricey. 7 or 11 days, don't care which. Seven days is probably better for most.

My birthday is APril 10th, so thats the week I suggest! :D

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I think it is a great idea. It would of course be a different price for us Canadians. We don't want to be visiting the Caribbean after the end of April because it is hurricane season until the beginning of October. So, I think April is a fine time to go. I am up for 2008 I don't care if it is Eastern or Western Caribbean, I would love to go to the Galapagos Islands but that is South America and very pricey. 7 or 11 days, don't care which. Seven days is probably better for most.

Galapagos Islands I've always wanted to go there but people who've been there tell me it's so hard to get around..for me anyway...

judy

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LOL on April, my husbands birthday is the 12th and mine the 25th --he said April as well. But April is more expensive (guess is this is the best for everyone --we would need more corporate sponsorship).

Hehehe

On that note, I contacted my sister-in-law, as a travel agent, she gets to go on so many cruises all the time. She stated that Celebrity is by far the most bang for your buck and the better way to go. Princess she said you would be able to do it for less, but you should also expect less than you would be afforded on Celebrity for not that much more money. Holland she said would be best suited for that romantic/total pampered get away and plan on paying a minimum of 25-45% more over the same cruise on Princess or Celebrity.

Thus, if any of you care to "dream" or see what is available on Celebrity (if no one minds that I concentrate and focus on getting as much information as possible from them). You may visit their website at:

http://www.celebrity.com

So please, dream away and give your input as to what you would like to do, I will be busy trying to work out some "logo" ideas, but what would you like as the "3 word theme"?

"The Freedom of Celiac?" (ho hum-just a sample) as this would be an instructional/pleasure cruise? What are your ideas?

For those of you having mentioned the Galapogas Islands, you need to understand the cruises around the Galapogas Islands are very, VERY, very expensive in comparison. First you have to fly to South America, and the ships that do these cruises are very small, most around 400 passengers due to environmental impacts. Keeping that in mind, it would be an idea for future reference. I did check and from my airport to the port of sail, I would be into the trip from my home an additional $2,300 per person, economy class for airfare alone.

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I think it is a wonderful idea. :) I definitely would be interested. Right now I am so afraid to go anywhere, that this would be a great experience. I look forward to meeting the people who have helped get me through this. 2007 or 2008 would be o.k. It gives me something to look forward to. :P

My aunt just returned from a Princess cruise to Hawaii. She is a seasoned cruise taker, but she was very dissapointed with this one. :huh: She said that she wouldn't do Princess again.

A couple of suggestions for on-board ideas might be:

1.) Gluten Free vendor demonstrations

2.) How to survive not eating at home - How to explain your needs and effects of cross contamination

Questions to ask might be:

1.) Will provided toiletries be gluten free?

2.) Will towels and bedding be washed in gluten free detergent?

There sure is a lot to think about. I appreciate your looking into this. :):) Maybe as things firm up, we can all pitch in and help with some of the work.

Cindy

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Wow, this sounds like so much fun!! I've taken several cruises in the past but haven't travled much since I was diagnosed. I really miss traveling....... :(

I would LOVE to go!!! :D

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Actually in most cases April is cheaper. I am going to Jamaica the beginning of March. It would have been $500 cheaper to go in April but I am flying.

I checked on the Galapapgos last year and it is about $5000. from Canada. Which makes me sad but some day I will go.

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Still working out some logo ideas, but wondered, how does sound?

Celiac Freedom Cruise 2008

All logo graphics and of course the text is easily changed, but just trying to brain storm here :-)

Sounds like most would prefer April? Most economical from what I can find is the Caribbean. Eastern hits St. Thomas, and places like that. Western hits mostly mexico (usually cheaper, but not always the best places stopped at, some of them only hit the Florida Keys).

The Caribbean also seems to mostly leave from Florida which is easily flown into from International and U.S. Locations so that might be a plus.

Deborah

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Rusla,

Where in Jamacia are you going? I traveled there a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time!!

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Runaway Beach and then spend a day in Montego Bay. I love the Caribbean. We could all be the Celiac Pirates of The Caribbean.

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Both of our cruises were on Celebrity and we went to the Eastern Carribean on one and to the Western on the other. I thought that the Eastern was the best for off shore excusions. I got some great photo shots on that cruise. The Western we hit the Mexican sea ports and we did a tour of the Talum ruins and also did Key West. It was nice, but I think there was more intesting scenery on the Eastern one. But someone else might feel differently. Also St. Thomas is fantastic for shopping. I really don't care which one everyone chooses as it would just be fun to meet everyone. Some excusions require lunch away from the ship and it would not hurt to look into a packed gluten-free lunch for those side trips. I don't mind going over Nov. Dec. or Jan. or even April = AS LONG AS IT IS NOT IN HURRICANE SEASON LOL. I Get sea sick, but take a OYC something that worked just great. I needed to take in while we stood on the ship in port :blink: . Just the small rolling at dock and I was ready to toss up my cookies, but that daily pill really worked without side affects and it had better be gluten-free.

My birthday is April 7th - another Aries. :lol:

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Woot, in looking over the Celebrity website, for groups of 100 or more they take care of everything, including gluten-free requests to all the off shore events with meals.

Here is what you get with 100 or more people (I will call tomorrow and find out the exact details like the deposit to reserve the ship, how many people and what cruises they would offer in April 2008 for us.)

what's included?

Unlike land-based incentives, cruises are virtually all-inclusive. The budget is fixed, with few out-of-pocket extras. One price includes meals, entertainment, lodging, airfare, health and fitness club, meeting rooms and standard audiovisual equipment. Celebrity Cruises takes care of everything, which means you don't need to juggle different vendors to make your program a success. Program participants will enjoy Celebrity's luxury; you'll enjoy pure planning convenience.

And when you book a Celebrity cruise for your meeting or incentive program, your participants will experience the ultimate reward. A cruise is many destinations in one, visiting several ports or cities without the hassle of packing and unpacking. All of the following and more can be included in the cruise price:

* Air transportation and round-trip transfers

* Accommodations

* Five-star cuisine created by Master Chef Michel Roux

* Sophisticated dining in elegant, two- and three-story restaurants

* Special afternoon teas and nighttime "Gourmet Bites"

* 24-hour room service

* Fantastic entertainment ranging from variety acts to Broadway-style productions

* New destinations and scenery every day

* Health and fitness facilities, including classes

* Meeting facilities with standard AV equipment

* Services of our onboard convention services coordinator

* Largest team of incentive travel specialists in the industry

Any program can be customized to meet the unique needs of your event with arrangements such as:

* Private group shore excursions (we can request gluten free snacks, perhaps have sponsors help cover the costs for these)

* Special golf packages

* Pre-booked AquaSpaSM by Elemis packages

* Awards ceremonies and cocktail parties (we could get sponsors to cover these)

* Pre-paid bar packages and casino chip packages (again we could get sponsors to cover these)

* Aerial fly-over with corporate banner (dunno we need this)

* Corporate logos carved on ice sculptures (don't know we need this, but a sponsor might like it)

* Coffee breaks and food service

Anyhow, their website indicates that the average cost of a group function like this of 200 people ends up costing around $300 per day per person for everything. Events such as ours gets better cabin service and more benefits even in the smallest cabins so that is another plus. Either way, you get so many benefits for $300 per day and if we can get enough corporate sponsors, this would help bring the costs down or pay for the shore excursions which can get spendy.

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Has anyone here travelled with Celebrity?

I know someone who just came back from a cruise on the Holland line and they said they were treated like royalty.

Once we get price and everything worked up I can talk to the association here about putting it in the newsletter and on the website. Plus there are a lot of free papers that I could send something into about i

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Yes, Holland is known to pamper and when comparing star ratings, Celebrity ranks in at 4.5-5 stars while Holland ranks in at 6-7 star.

I would be more than happy to get "average" quotes on both Celebrity and Holland. That way we can keep budgets in mind for the "average" person interested in the cruise. I am currently doing my homework on Holland as I type :-) I like to know the basics so I can have a better phone conversation.

Deborah

If you would like to have a look at the Holland website, please visit:

http://www.hollandamerica.com/

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Look theres no way I will rember this thread, so some one needs collect names of us brian dead members and send out reminders when it gets clsoe ot time to get tickets! LOL

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Runaway Beach and then spend a day in Montego Bay. I love the Caribbean. We could all be the Celiac Pirates of The Caribbean.

I hope you have a wonderful time. We went to Ciboney in Ocho Rios. I would love to go back in a few years....gotta save up!!

I've cruised Norwegian, Royal Carib. & Costa but I wasn't gluten-free. My parents frequent Holland America and they love it. I have heard good things about Celebrity as well.

I'm really getting excited....already! :lol:

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Cruises of the Eastern Caribbean (quotes for 2 & 3 Passengers per room) Obtained quotes for April 2007 as no quotes for April 2008 available. Both quotes are for the least expensive cabin available. My thinking is that we might get the prices reduced for “group savings”.

As you can see, the price drops dramatically for the 3rd person in the room, 4th person in the room pays the same as 3rd person. Not all rooms accommodate a 3rd or 4th person, some suites accommodate up to 6 or 8 people. Some people could “buddy up” in rooms if they wanted to save, but they would be cramped for space. You get one extra night at sea with Celebrity, but would receive higher star service from Holland.

Airfare was quoted from my town, which is known to be the most expensive in the United States to fly into or out of and is included in the quotes below.

Overview

10 day Eastern Caribbean on Holland with airfare (least expensive room)

2 people per room $6,474.82 (total for both) per person fee of $3,237.41

3 people per room $8,633.23 (total for 3 in same room) per person fee of $ 2,877.74

10 day Eastern Caribbean on Celebrity with airfare (least expensive room

2 people per room $ 6,838.14 (for both) per person fee of $ 3,419.07

3 people per room $ 8,097.21 (for all 3) per person fee of $ 2,699.07

Holland America 10 day (9 night) Eastern Caribbean Itinerary

Day 0 New York, New York Depart 4:45 pm

Day 1 At Sea

Day 2 At Sea

Day 3 Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Arrive 7:00 am Depart 2:00 pm

Day 4 Tortola, B.V.I. Arrive Noon Depart Midnight

Day 5 St. Maarten Arrive 8:00 am Depart 6:00 pm

Day 6 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Arrive 7:00 am Depart 6:00 pm

Day 7 San Juan, Puerto Rico Arrive 7:00 am Depart 1:00 pm

Day 8 At Sea

Day 9 At Sea

Day 10 New York, New York Arrive 8:00 am

Celebrity 11 day (10 night ) Eastern Caribbean Itinerary

Day 1 Fri, Apr 13 Fort Lauderdale, Florida Departure Depart 4:30 PM

Day 2 Sat, Apr 14 At Sea

Day 3 Sun, Apr 15 At Sea

Day 4 Mon, Apr 16 Philipsburg, St. Maarten Docked Arrive 7:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM

Day 5 Tue, Apr 17 Castries, St. Lucia Docked Arrive 9:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM

Day 6 Wed, Apr 18 Bridgetown, Barbados Docked Arrive 7:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM

Day 7 Thu, Apr 19 Basseterre, St. Kitts Tendered Arrive 10:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM

Day 8 Fri, Apr 20 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Docked Arrive 7:00 AM Depart 5:30 PM

Day 9 Sat, Apr 21 At Sea

Day 10 Sun, Apr 22 At Sea

Day 11 Mon, Apr 23 Fort Lauderdale, Florida Arrival Arrive 7:00 AM

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      In light of the studies that found some probiotics that are labeled gluten-free yet tested over 20ppm I wouldn't touch them. Now those would be the powder or pill forms. Yogurt is not affected by that. Since you don't have a problem with dairy then I would say eat some yogurt every day. I like Chobani Greek because it has more kinds of cultures. Remember now that powder or pill forms of probiotics do not come under the gluten-free labeling law. The same for OTC & prescription meds. You need to check every single one of those. There are a few online sites where you can check things like that or ask here but as far as prescription meds -- call the manufacturer EVERY TIME. I also wanted to tell you in case you didn't already know that since celiac is genetic and can present at ANY age then all your first degree relatives need to be tested every 2 years in the absence of symptoms and immediately if symptoms present between the 2 year periods. As far as the digestive enzymes go, I tried Digest Gold for a short time & it really didn't seem to do anything for me however I will say I had a lot of issues going on at the time so I might not know if they helped or not. I decided to quit them in order to take that out of the equation so I could try to pin down what was causing me distress. The fewer things in the mix you know. I have heard people report the same as your consultant said. Some say they helped & some say they didn't. Remember Jammy, you're just in the beginning stages. I KNOW you want to heal & heal FAST. Been there, done that! It's like this: you didn't get sick overnight & you're not going to heal overnight. Patience is the watchword here. It's hard I know! You just want to get on with your life. We can all relate.  Again, I'm going to say to eat foods easy on your gut. WELL cooked foods. No raw carrots, coconut, nuts & stuff like that. Easier on your gut would be nut butters.... peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter etc.... It's sort of like being a baby ---  soft, easy to digest foods. Bone broth is a great healer for you gut & extremely nutritious as well as being easy on the digestion. Here's just one recipe: http://wellnessmama.com/5888/how-to-make-bone-broth/
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      Hello cycling lady, have you noticed my picture is showing up as you?  Have no idea why but it's rather disconcerting to see my picture and your words 😉  Do you know how to fix it?  You seem to have far more experience with this board than I do
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      Hi There, I don't know if there is a place for videos in the forum. I just watched "The Truth About Gluten" I think it is a good video. I would like to share it somewhere but don't know where it should go. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
      Here is the link if you have never watched it.
      https://youtu.be/IU6jVEwpjnE Thank You,
      Larry
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