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Hola From Mexico


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Mexican Trailrunner

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:08 AM

Hi Folks,

I'm a new, self-diagnosed, and currently being worked up by MD for celiac disease reader.

First of all, thank you SOOOO much for this website and for all you generous people sharing your experiences and vast amounts of knowledge. I was sent the site by friends and the first few days I couldn't read it without crying and shutting down the computer. But, I'm over that now, feeling better, and can finally write without sobbing. :)

I'm a retired paramedic with also 22 years in the food biz, and I live ecstatically happy in Mexico.

However, finding gluten-free foods here is probably more difficult than if I was back in CA with Whole Foods a mile away. Good news is, Mexican Food is mostly fresh, natural, and corn based. That's a good thing. Tho there are many tortillarias that cut their masa (corn meal) with flour as it's cheaper and I have to do some investigation to see who does and who doesn't.

The other issue is reading labels. Finding those hidden gluten devils in Spanish on food labels is quite the challenge.

One thing I want to share with you all is my new doc (one with a clue) had me go to the local clinic for an IV full of vitamins and nutrients following my initial work up. Wow, what a difference. I slogged in feeling drained and really crumby and left with a skip in my step. When I was a medic we called these IVs banana bags and most drunks or other 'failure to thrive' patients got one, so I was aware of them and asked the doc if it would help. Boy did it! And they last for about a month and a half.

So, once again, good to meet you all and THANK YOU to the gentleman who started this site and THANK YOU to all of you for sharing your stories.

I have one question tho. . .the jury seems to be out for Best Foods Mayo and as I contemplate tossing my jar and making my own I want to ask if anyone has a definitive answer for this. I've read pro and con. I'm worried about the vinegar and 'milk protein traces'. But here's the catch, the product is made in Mexico.

Anyone else in MX?

Saludos,
Marilyn
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#2 Takala

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:50 AM

Hi,

Don't know about the Mexican version, but the Best Foods Mayonnaise up here in the States is safe. Noticed that they even started labeling it 'gluten free' in the tiny print, maybe after they noticed a lot of us were eating it and putting it on the "seems safe" lists.

It does have soy oil here, so you may also be having a cross reaction as some are also sensitive to soy, at least in the beginning stages. I've looked at olive oil mayonnaises, but they are cut with food starch, and I won't go near generic starches even if labeled as supposedly safe, because I react to them randomly.

Frustrating about the wheat contaminated tortillas, but maybe you could help educate the Mexican public about celiac and gluten free in general, as a large percentage of some of the indigenous population carries the genes and they may wonder why they're always getting indigestion now from something as basic as tortillas.... corn tortillas really should not have wheat in them, period. I see the same thing here with the specialty tortillas.
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#3 Mexican Trailrunner

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:04 PM

Thanks, Takala, for the info.

Guess I'll just try the mayo, a little at first, and see what happens. Everything I read says it's ok. They must make it the same here in Mexico as they do in the states. If not, it would taste different and that wouldn't be good for their product line.
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#4 Skylark

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:38 PM

They put flour in corn tortillas? I'm awfully glad to know this. I'm going to Rosarito next month for a long weekend and I would have assumed corn tortillas were safe.
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#5 Mexican Trailrunner

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 06:21 AM

Yes, Skylark, some do. My doc says to ask if the tortillas are made with 'maseca' (mah sec' ah) which is 100% corn masa.

I've found at least 2 tortillarias in my village that do and buy only from them. BTW, Maseca tortillas taste much better too!

Another challenge is to ask restaurants which tortillaria they get their tortillas from before you eat there as many restaurants don't make their own. A way around that is to buy tortillas from a safe tortillaria and take them with you to the restaurant and ask them to make your food with these tortillas. What a PIA this disease is, huh?

Watch out for enchilada sauce, breaded (empanizado) fish and chicken, and other obvious celiac disease devils, but with all the good fresh and natural foods here in Mexico there is really a lot to eat. Probably best to get meats and fish grilled because when they saute they use a 'buttery' oil and who knows whats in that.

Have great fun in Rosarita and let us know how it goes traveling in MX with celiac disease. I'm very interested in your experiences.
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#6 Skylark

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 08:27 AM

Thanks so much for the translation and tips. I'm going down to a resort for a friends wedding so most of my meals will be there. I will take your advice and bring a bag of Mission tortillas to be sure they're safe, as the tortillas will likely not be made at the restaurant. Yeah, it's a total PIA, but totally worth it to shed a lifetime of health problems! I'll let everyone know how it goes.
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#7 Skylark

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:37 PM

It went really well down in Mexico. I was at a resort where the staff spoke reasonable English, but asking about harina de trigo in foods was much better. The wedding coordinator was able to verify that the corn tortillas they were using had only corn and no flour. I had some wonderful paella, black bean soup, cevice, chile verde, guacamole, and of course margaritas are gluten-free. ;) They made huevos rancheros with corn tortillas for breakfast. This place washes all the vegetables carefully in filtered water because they are trying to attract American business, so I was able to eat things like fresh fruit and pico de gallo too.
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