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Traveling To Mexico Resort
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my husband and i have a 5 day all expenses paid trip to a beach resort in Puerta Vallarta at the end of this month. all food and alcohol are included. my husband marked that i was gluten intolerant but i'm wondering how that will work out. will they load our suite with gluten-free snacks? we have our choice of several restaurants at the resort. i can't imagine they keep track of my intolerance and i'll still have to request gluten-free food. what do i tell my servers when ordering? this will be the first time i've traveled since permanently going off gluten. i'm worried i won't have safe snacks and i'm thinking of packing some food just to be safe. can i travel to Mexico with packed food?

also, could you tell me a few fruity beach drinks that are safe or at least ones to avoid? obviously no beer or malt beverages. tequila would be safe and i have vodka i can test at home. i'm usually a wine drinker so i'm out of my comfort zone with liquor.

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sounds like fun! have a good time and try not to stress too much. My only helpful advice would be to get a load of Triumph Dining Cards in Spanish. That should help a bit. Adios!

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Hi,

I just got back from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on March 26, 2010 and I'm sorry to say I don't have good news. I stayed at a resort with an open bar and food provided. I did take my gluten free dining cards and drilled them every time I ate. When I left I had been gluten free for six months and finally I was starting to feel good again! I now feel like I did pre-six months and obviously had some gluten. I did goof and had a tropical drink without checking the ingredients (I thought it would be safe) - NEVER think it will be safe! As I think about it - they did have some spicy mexican food and told me it was gluten free. It could of had spices that came in bulk and perhaps that is how it happened. I won't know for sure. If I went again I would stay away from any sauces and spices (they don't completely understand even with the spanish dining card). They had a breakfast buffet with a tortilla casserole that could of been questionable - I should of just stuck to the eggs, fruit and my gluten free protein bars. For lunch I usually had the chips and guac. Dinners were buffet and again - I should of stayed away from anything with sauces and spices. It is so hard to travel and be gluten free but I think I could of made better choices and have learned a good lesson. Just because they tell you it is gluten free doesn't mean that they understand everything that contains gluten. We are going to Hawaii in July and I'm going to bring some gluten free food while not on the ship. On board ship, the chef should be aware of what contains gluten and what does not (I hope).

I wish you luck!

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thanks ElizLyn. i'm sorry you had such a bad experience. i think i'll be sticking to a very bland diet while there. plain meats and veggies. i really don't want to get sick. this is the first time my husband and i have taken a vacation alone in our 10 year relationship. i'm really looking forward to it.

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Mexico is not that bad if you are careful enough. I'm super-sensitive to rye and wheat and I'm surviving here since Christmas without trouble. (Few sips of beer are ok though, so I might not be a good detector for barley contamination.)

First of all - there's no labelling laws, so even when reading labels carefully, you are not as safe as you might need to be. The best choice is to stick to fresh food with single spices and avoid processed stuff and spice mixes. "better safe than sorry"

If you want to eat tortillas, ask if they have only corn tortillas there and if they are made of corn only, no wheat flour added. Even like that I got sick a few times. I usually don't eat any tostadas offered in restaurants because of possible cross-contamination - label reading is not enough. There's one brand - Sanissimo or something similar, that makes gluten-free nachos, tostadas and crackers. You can buy them in most stores and I never got glutened with them. (They're packed in recycled paper boxes, so it's easy to see them.)

I'm avoiding dairy when eating out. Big companies have incredible ability to screw up even the simplest stuff like butter or full fat milk. Just to give an example, here's ingredients list of one unsalted butter: Cream, reconstituated skimmed-milk, glycerol monoester, natural flavor, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, soy lecitin, natural flavor, salt, artificial flavor, bht. "Bonne Apetite!" (Safe choice: Alpura plain yoghurt, Lyncott cream, Sello Rojo fullfat milk, cream & cheeses from local farmers. Hard cheeses are usually safe and I never got sick from local milk candies either.)

I limit eating out to tacos and similar food stands (with no breaded food or flour tortillas) and seafood restaurants. I haven't got sick from eating out yet. Seafood coctails might not be safe as they can add spice mixes with gluten and tomato sauce usually thickened by modified starch, but the rest like ensaladas, ceviche are ok. I've eaten in "normal" restaurant only once - the chosen dish had flour in it but waiter said there's no problem in preparing it without flour and assured me again that my dish is flour-free when they brought the food. It was delicious and I didn't get sick so I guess he was telling me the truth.

Most bottled salsas contain modified starch and other unsafe ingredients, I usually avoid them all. Herdez salsas without conservants are safe (glass bottles). Valentina didn't make me sick either but I only ate it twice and rather small amount. Home-made salsas seem safe too.

I never got sick from eating fresh snacks from stands - green coconut and other fruits with chilli, corn with cheese (no cream) and chilli, dried shrimps... Even if the prepaid restaurant food turns out as too unsafe, there's enough safe and yummy food to enjoy. ;)

As for processed snacks&sweets - I haven't found any gluten-free chocolate except Lindt 70-85% cocoa and Kinder, not to mention cookies, so if you need non-spicy sweets, bring them with you. I eat some chilli coated fruit candies with no problems so far (read label carefully). Nestle and De La Rosa are very good in labelling - actually I haven't found anything made by Nestle that wouldn't have "may contain gluten" on it. :-) ConAgra, Sabritas and Unilever are also labelling their products well.

I hope at least some of the info will be helpfull to you. Enjoy the trip!

PS: Correction - there's one Nestle product I buy - probiotics drinks. :-)

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