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Vacation
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I am new to the gluten free life and my family is driving to Florida in a few weeks. I am a little concerned about having to stop and eat. I am going to pack some safe snacks, but worried about the restaurants along the way. Does anyone know any good,safe places to stop to eat in the states? Thanks.

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You can pack more than just snack, for just in case there isn't somewhere safe to eat. I guess I have it easy on the west coast out here because I have In N Out. If you have a large cooler, you can bring things like fried chicken, fruit salads, and veggies. Probably enough to last two days at least before it gets funky. (Not sure how long you'll be driving.) You can also always pick up things like chips and fruit (overpriced but safe) at convenient stores along the way.

As for safe fast food, I highly recommend Wendy's as long as you stop during non-peak times and the workers speak fluent English. It is very important that whoever is preparing your food be able to understand very well exactly what you are talking about. Wendy's generally has dedicated fryers for french fries, but never order them without asking first. Frostys are gluten free. You can look up on their website what is and isn't safe. If you order a baked potato, tell them not to cut it open, who knows where that knife has been and it has gotten others in the past. If you order a bunless burger, it is important to stress to them how serious your medical problem is and that they change their gloves before touching your burger and that they not use any condiments such as ketchup or mustard or allow the burger to touch any other surfaces. Some will call that paranoia, I call it avoiding explosive D on a road trip. (I've watched them dip a knife into the mustard and slather it on a bun. No thanks putting that on my burger.)

Maybe someone more familiar with the Florida area will have more local suggestions for you.

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I make the trip to Florida every year too. There are mostly fast food and buffet type restaurants on the interstates. Stay away from paces that have buffets, they are never a good idea. Careful at fast food places. I always pack a cooler for me. If you have something you want heated, use a microwave at a gas stop. They all have them now. If you do go in a restaurant with your family, bring something in with you. It's not worth getting glutened, especially on a long car ride.

Good luck

Colleen

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If you have a smartphone, download the free app "Gluten Free Registry" - it will pinpoint your location and give you all the places nearby that have gluten free menus or items. They will also provide you will reviews of other people's experiences with those establishments. It's been a lifesaver for me!! Enjoy your vacation!!!

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    • Hello, I see you posted this a long while ago, and perhaps--I hope-- it's no longer a matter of concern, but I thought I'd mention that shortly before I was diagnosed for celiac's, I had distinct yellow blotches on the corners of my eyelids toward my nose. Some months after I had stopped eating gluten, the yellow gradually went away, and--as it just reappeared now several years later, I googled the issue again.  I am only speculating here, but I do believe it is related to liver problems, which, in turn, are related to celiac's. I don't think liver function tests cover all aspects of liver health. I say this because when I was pregnant I developed a temporary liver condition called interhepatic colestasis of pregnancy (ICP), but my liver function tests had been fine. (The condition is diagnosed based on bile levels in the blood, not on liver function). I discovered upon some research that (of course!) ICP  can be associated with celiac's disease.  My hunch is this-- that celiac's presents two problems to the liver: 1) the malabsorption of nutrients--esp. Vit. K2-- that are vital liver health; 2) since gluten registers as a toxin to the immune system (I think?), perhaps the liver gets overloaded processing so much toxic material. Or perhaps there's some other reason. At any rate, poor liver health and celiac's do seem to be linked, according to a few articles I've found. Anyway, hope your problems are resolved now.  
    • my daughter did stool test from enterolab but this gluten sensitive blood test is from http://requestatest.com/tests/search    
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