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Newly Diagnosed


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#1 McLa1

 
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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:53 PM

Hi,

I was diagnosed with Celiac's 4 months ago. I eat out a lot so I don't think I have been completely gluten-free yet as I still get horrible stomachaches. On any given day they range in pain on a scale of 1-10 from a 3 to an 8 depending on what I've eaten. I've been living off of Annie's gluten-free pasta and Glutino frozen pizza when I'm home.

My husband and I are traveling for six weeks this summer on a previously scheduled European vacation. I'm very nervous about it, as I don't know what I can eat. We are traveling to:

-Barcelona
-Cadaques, Spain
-Azores
-Lisbon
-London
-Paris
-Rothenburg, Germany
-Amsterdam

Does anyone have specific suggestions for any of these places? Any guidance or pointing me in the right direction would be extremely helpful. I don't know how I'm going to get through this trip without trying (at least once) pizza or pasta or gelato.

I also have a question about oatmeal. I used to eat the Quaker Instant Apple/Cinnamon kind every day, especially when traveling, but I have found that some people say Celiac's can have oatmeal, and some people say they can't. Does anyone have experience with this?

I'm still getting used to all of this.
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#2 kmcmahon

 
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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:32 PM

Many Celiacs are not bothered by Oatmeal itself, however, almost all oatmeal is produced in a plant that contains wheat. Therefore, the oatmeal is often cross contaminated. I was told by my doctor not to try oatmeal until your small intestines are given time to heal. Than reintroduce it back into your diet. BUT make sure you buy oatmeal that states it is made in a gluten-free facility. Try Bob's Red Mill.

As for traveling in Europe gluten-free you can still have a great time. I spent the winter studying abroad in Austria and will be going back to Europe in the fall to live for 7 months. So I have been thoroughly reasearching for gluten-free areas. For the plane travel many airlines offer a gluten free menu option, but just be sure to make sure they understand what gluten free means. Also take along snacks in case, such as rice cakes, gluten-free snack bars, etc. Be careful with taking fruits and veggies as sometimes they won't allow that through customs.

Google the celiac support groups in those countries. Also almsot every country has a celiac website that has a wide array of information. I have not been to Spain since being diagnosed, but have heard it is very celiac friendly. Just take restaurant cards that explain your condition in the local language. Also all countries should have fresh markets nearby and when in doubt order something simple like grilled meat and veggies, just make sure to tell them to use washed pans and not to cross contaminate. Just remember Europe is farther ahead than us in being aware of Celiac disease! Germany will aslo be very celiac friendly and some restaurants will have gluten free menus. Just ask for them, as this country is knowedgable. Amsterdam may not be as celiac friendly, but you can find places that do make gluten-free pancakes! Just ask at your hotel and if they are unsure, find out who you can ask to point you in the right direction. Hope this helps a bit and hang in there! You will enjoy your time in Europe even though your food may be slightly limited. And remember you can always buy gluten free food in the grocery store EVERYWHERE there as a last resort.
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#3 CarolAnne

 
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Posted 10 June 2008 - 06:13 PM

I've traveled to Ireland & Scotland...and researched another trip to Italy & Greece. It's absolutely amazing how knowledgable they are about Celiac Disease. I found they understood "Celiac Diet" much more than "Gluten-Free". In restaurants I just told them I was on a Celiac Diet and for the most part the waitstaff was just great. You still have to watch out for yourself though. I found a cracker sitting at the bottom of my appitizer and was told "well it's just a water cracker". :P The chef's are much more knowledgable...they even came out to talk to me at one or two places.

As for shopping for your own food...I just loved it!! Nearly 75% of everything is very clearly marked "Celiac Safe"...even in the Petrol Stations. Chips, cookies, crackers, candy and nearly every food in the grocery. I would feel very confident about traveling in Europe again.

As for my plane...the one here in the States didn't have a clue when I asked for Gluten-Free...any plane we took in Europe was fully stocked with Celiac Safe food. Funny thing is...we traveled Delta both ways, round trip. I ate my own food going over...they fed me well coming home...go figure!! Just remember do not try to pack any jams, jellys, or liquids in your carryon lunch. :rolleyes:
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#4 McLa1

 
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Posted 10 June 2008 - 08:19 PM

Oh my gosh, thank you. I hadn't even thought about the airplane food situation. So many new things I'm learning about and have to remember! Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. We are traveling on several different airlines, so I guess I will call them all now and request gluten-free meals.

Thanks for the tip, and please keep them coming. :)
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#5 bbgems

 
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Posted 24 June 2008 - 03:44 PM

Hi,

I was diagnosed with Celiac's 4 months ago. I eat out a lot so I don't think I have been completely gluten-free yet as I still get horrible stomachaches. On any given day they range in pain on a scale of 1-10 from a 3 to an 8 depending on what I've eaten. I've been living off of Annie's gluten-free pasta and Glutino frozen pizza when I'm home.

My husband and I are traveling for six weeks this summer on a previously scheduled European vacation. I'm very nervous about it, as I don't know what I can eat. We are traveling to:

-Barcelona
-Cadaques, Spain
-Azores
-Lisbon
-London
-Paris
-Rothenburg, Germany
-Amsterdam

Does anyone have specific suggestions for any of these places? Any guidance or pointing me in the right direction would be extremely helpful. I don't know how I'm going to get through this trip without trying (at least once) pizza or pasta or gelato.

I also have a question about oatmeal. I used to eat the Quaker Instant Apple/Cinnamon kind every day, especially when traveling, but I have found that some people say Celiac's can have oatmeal, and some people say they can't. Does anyone have experience with this?

I'm still getting used to all of this.



Hi

Hope that you have a good time and I hope that this reply is in time.

You will find in Europe that there are many sufferers and Coeliac (English spelling) is widely known. I have been to Spain many times and they do understand in the more 'touristy' places but, the more rural you go the harder it is. There are some web sites that are offering free translation cards for eating out you can google them. I also think according to your list, you be fine in these countries.

As for London there are many many places to go to eat. The UK Coeliac Society can be found at www.coeliac.org.uk and you can search for restaurants on there. Also, it must be stated on ALL food in supermarkets whether it is suitable for coeliacs or containing wheat or gluten and even go as far as if there is even a trace or chance of cross contamination in processing. There are a massive chain of cheaply priced pubs/restaurants in UK called JD Weatherspoons, they have their own website, you will be able to find one in every street near enough. They, with many other restaurants, label their food with a picture of wheat, sometimes in a circle, with a line through it. This is the sign for wheat free or suitable for coeliacs. Many places also just use the phrase 'gluten-free'.

Please be aware though that if you are sensitive or intolerant to other things as I am, eg. maltodextrin, fructose-glucose syrup, codex wheat starch, etc., many products that are labelled gluten free or suitable for coeliacs will still upset you. Therefore, I do suggest as you are newly diagnosed that you still read the ingredients fully.

If you cannot find free translations I have one in Spanish and one in Greek which I am happy to share and email to anyone who needs it.

Hope this helps.

Brenda
Very sensitive Coeliac. Diagnosed almost 2 years.
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#6 bbgems

 
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Posted 24 June 2008 - 03:55 PM

Oh my gosh, thank you. I hadn't even thought about the airplane food situation. So many new things I'm learning about and have to remember! Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. We are traveling on several different airlines, so I guess I will call them all now and request gluten-free meals.

Thanks for the tip, and please keep them coming. :)


Hi

Sorry I forgot to mention about the airlines. I have flown on several and on booking have requested the gluten free meal when available. If you come across an airline that cannot cater for you asap email the airline customer service directly and mark urgent. Ask them for a letter of permission stating that as you have a recognised medical condition please could you take your own food on the plane and through customs. Print this letter off for when you travel through. As a last resort you can usually find at least, a jacket potato and get it wrapped to go at the airports. The strict allowances of what you can carry through in Europe have been eased greatly and you can take quite a bit through now. Also, a small tip, if your flight price includes a meal but they cannot cater for you, ask nicely and you will get a voucher for the equivalent price to spend on the plane. This comes in handy for duty frees!!!

Brenda
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#7 happycook

 
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Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:36 AM

Virgin Airlines has gluten free as a menu option on their planes. I think in some ways, Europe is better equipped than we are for adjusting the special diets. When I travelled in Spain, I carried a card with my diet restrictions (I don't speak Spanish). In the UK, where I have family, I go to the major supermarkets, and pick up supplies in the aisle labelled "Free From" (as in free from wheat, barley, etc.).

Italy, according to a family member there, tests its kindergarten age children for celiac, the same way we require dental check-ups for children in our school system. So they are aware.

I would also recommend googling "coeliac" support groups and -friendly restaurants. My last trip I found coeliac friendly dining all over Cornwall (UK). I especially liked a tea-shop with wonderful wonderful cakes and sweets I could eat.

All in all, you could eat better there than you do here.
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