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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    GLUTEN-FREE TRAVEL TIPS


    Destiny Stone

    This is the time of year when familiestake vacations and travel the world. Traveling can often be stressfuleven under normal circumstances; packing problems, flight delays,getting lost, are all possible when trying to get from point A topoint B. So imagine how stressful it can be for a celiac orgluten-sensitive person to get ready for a big trip, especially to alocation that doesn't cater to the gluten-free lifestyle.The following tips are geared towardhelping even the most sensitive celiac to have a fun filled andgluten-free vacation while minimizing the stress factor as much aspossible. This article covers the following: preparing for yourgluten-free travel adventure, gluten-free travel by plane,automobile, train or ship, gluten-free accommodations, gluten-freemeals and snacks, what to do if you accidentally ingest gluten.


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    Before beginning your vacation, thereare many important things you will want to consider, like method oftravel, your destination, and gluten-free options in the city ortown in which you will be staying. To help find gluten-freeaccommodations and eatery's in your location, perform a “Google”search for 'gluten-free restaurants and accommodations' in the areayou will be traveling to.

    Gluten-Free Transportation

    Traveling by car is the best way totravel, if you have a choice. That way you can stop at stores asneeded and load up on your gluten-free snacks. Trains are also good,because they allow and encourage you to bring your own food on the train. Planesand ships are where it starts to get a little trick, especially if you have a long trip ahead of you.

    Airlines are fairly easy to manage,because you can bring your own food aboard the flight. However,there is a limit to what and how much you are allowed to bringaboard, which can be a problem on a long flight. While many airlinesoffer vegetarian or Kosher options for those with special dietaryneeds, most airlines do not have gluten-free menu options for thoseof us with gluten-intolerance. However, Continental Airlinescurrently offers gluten-free food options. Although, if you areextremely sensitive to cross-contamination, it is still safer tobring your own food.

    However, if you are planning to travela cruise-line, most cruise-lines do not allow you to bring your ownfood aboard. So in this situation it is important to find acruise-line that will accommodate your special needs. RoyalCaribbean Cruise-lines, and Orbridge ships are two cruise-lines thatoffer gluten-free menu options, as well as catering to other dietaryneeds.

    Gluten-free accommodations

    Most motels or hotels offer acontinental breakfast and that's about it. Short of eating coffee andorange juice for breakfast,there usually isn't much in the way ofmeal options for a celiac. However, many small bed and breakfast'swill accommodate you special dietary needs if you talk to them andset it up in advanced, and some even offer gluten-free options. To find a gluten-free Inn, perform a “Google” search for'gluten-free accommodations' in the area you will be traveling to.

    Staying with family or friends can bestressful if they aren't sensitive to your dietary needs. It can alsobe difficult to explain to your friends and loved ones, what it meansfor you to be gluten-free, and who really wants to spend their entirevacation educating the everyone you meet on what it means to beceliac or gluten-sensitive? That could literally take the entirevacation. If cross-contamination is an issue for you and you areconcerned about eating in a gluten based house, the following linkwill help you determine what you need to be free from gluten whileyou are staying with others. It might be a good idea to print theinformation and share it with your host, maybe even emailing them alink with the information, prior to your visit.

    Gluten-Free Meals and Snacks

    Finger foods, gluten-freechips/crackers, veggie sticks, gluten-free sandwiches, these are allwonderful foods to keep with you on a trip. Bring as muchgluten-free, shelf-stable food with you as possible. Find out wherethe local farm market is, for fresh and local, organic produce andbuy fresh produce when you arrive at your location.

    Many people getting ready for a trip,will place an order online in advance and have it delivered to thelocation they will be visiting. The Gluten-Free Mall is veryaccommodating and can ship shelf stable food Nationally andInternationally and frozen goods can be shipped within theContinental US. Having a package of gluten-free food delivered toyour location, gives you one less thing to worry about. No extrapacking, or extra luggage, no worries about your food getting crushedor apprehended at customs or tossed out at an airport. It's assimple as placing an order online or by phone.

    The National Foundation for CeliacAwareness (NFCA) works very hard to train chefs and kitchen staff allacross the globe, on the dos and don't s of cooking gluten-free fortheir guests with extreme gluten sensitivities. Check out the listthey have compiled of of GREAT kitchens that have the stamp ofapproval from NFCA for a possible location near you.

    Unfortunately, not all restaurants havethe GREAT seal of approval from NFCA and the likelihood of one beingat your chosen destination is pretty slim, and finding a dedicated gluten-free restaurants are also rare depending on where you travel. That's why it is important to knowwhat to do when you go out to eat with a group of gluten-eaters.There is a great deal of information on this subject, but here aresome links to get you started.

    What to do if you Accidentally Ingest Gluten

    There are varying opinions of what thebest thing to do is when you accidentally ingest gluten, drink gingertea, take laxatives, hot water bottle on the abdomen; there really isno right answer, as everybody is different and has differentreactions to gluten. However, here are some tips that might help ifyou accidentally ingest gluten.

    The most important thing you can do for yourself is to have fun. Stress can affect how youdigest your food, and then it won't matter if you avoid gluten, you stillwon't feel good.

     

    Happy and safe travels everyone!


    Image Caption: Photo: CC/joisyshowaa
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    Guest Karen Brauer

    Posted

    I went on a Disney cruise in November, and they were extremely accommodating to my dietary needs. They will let you look at the dinner menu 24 hours in advance, order whatever you like from it, and they will adjust it to make it gluten-free, and it will be ready at the same time as the rest of your dining party's food. They are also very helpful if you call their customer service prior to your trip.

     

    Another suggestion I have is staying someplace with a mini-kitchen or at least a refrigerator and/or microwave in your room. You could still eat at a restaurant once in a while, but you would be assured access to safe food the rest of the time. Keep grab and go stuff in the fridge like fruit, cheese or cut veggies to take on day trips.

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    Guest Robert Carter

    Posted

    I just traveled transatlantic with Cunard on the QM2 and they were great. gluten-free items at the buffet, recipes available upon request, but in the Brittania dining room almost every item on the menu could be made gluten-free. In most restaurants you have to pick out the items that were known to be gluten-free, with Cunard you could choose almost any item and they would prepare it gluten-free. I could not recommend a better way to travel with no gluten-free worries.

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    Phyllis Morrow
    Celiac.com 04/29/2008 - We were unloading our rafting gear at Lee’s Ferry, about to plunge into a 19 day private (self-guided) trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Very hungry after a long travel day, people were happily handing around the pizzas that they had picked up en route. I was walking back towards the pick-up truck, looking forward to the gluten-free supper of stuffed grape leaves, rice and salad that I’d stashed on the front seat. My anxieties had been crowding around me all day long, shoving each other like a bunch of rowdy teenagers. I was nervous about big water, scorpions, rattlesnakes, rock scrambling, new traveling companions and, of course, food. To my dismay, the truck was gone, off on a distant errand in town. Suddenly, one, lone sniveling child of an emotion stepped out in front of the others. “You’re going to starve,” she whimpered. Turning my back so my fellow travelers couldn’t see my distress, I felt tears run down my face. Rationally, I knew that the pick-up would be back in a few hours. I knew, too, that the boxes and boxes of food that I had helped to select would arrive later that evening. But at that hungry moment, desolation and self-pity threatened to overwhelm me. 
    It can feel scary to venture away from the familiar settings in which you have a high degree of food control. But outdoor activities – and outdoor eating – are too much fun to pass up. With a positive attitude, smart planning, and a measure of trust, you can get out and enjoy camping, hiking, biking, boating and picnicking. That day on the banks of the Colorado, I gently prodded my hunger back into the crowd of emotions, scrounged around for some nuts, and, yes, survived until my dinner returned.  Over the next 220 miles of rocks and rapids, I turned my mind to other thrills and chills. And I had plenty to eat.
    While not always in such remote surroundings, I regularly enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities and have, over the years, developed some strategies for going gluten-free from the mountains to the sea. Here are some suggestions that will variously serve from the local state park to the Grand Canyon and the Alaskan backcountry.
    First, preparing and eating gluten-free foods outdoors comes with a particular set of challenges. Here are some things to consider.

    Control over food selection – from choosing the menus to purchasing food and beverages – can be especially problematic if your trip takes you far from the road and the grocery store. Unless you plan to trap rabbits and eat wild greens, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough gluten-free food for the duration. Keeping cooking surfaces, eating surfaces, and utensils free of gluten contamination takes care when you have little or no hot running water. Fellow travelers need to be educated about your needs. That’s important whether they are sharing cooking duty or just helping you keep some ravenous 12-year old from eating up all of the gluten-free cookies (that inexplicably look more delicious than the Oreos packed for the rest of the group). Depending on the type of trip, more general food restrictions, such as concerns about perishability or weight, may compound your gluten restriction by narrowing the choice of what you can bring. Packing gluten-free baked items (bread, crackers, cookies) takes special care because of their comparative fragility. The ability to access your gluten-free food items requires logistical packing decisions; you need to be able to find your dinner for day one on day one, not buried at the bottom of the supplies with items that nobody plans to excavate until day six. Accidents and moments of disappointment are bound to occur. Imagine the “oh no” second when someone bumps your elbow just as you are about to tuck into the one and only gluten-free bowl of chili. You watch your lunch cascade, as if in slow motion, into the dirt. At some point, you can expect someone to absent-mindedly put a gluten-contaminated knife in the jam. You can figure on a meal where you belatedly discover gluten on an ingredient label although the cook assured you that you could eat “everything” he prepared.
    Don’t be daunted. I’ll give some suggestions for dealing with all of these challenges. But let’s start with overall approaches to food planning:
    Using a separatist approach, you can plan your own menu and essentially eat apart from others. Depending on the duration and complexity of the planned trip, this can be a simple alternative that guarantees you full control over what you eat. For example, I just did a cross-country ski day trip with friends and we each packed our own sandwiches. I brought some gluten-free chocolate cake and a thermos of tea to share, and my friends shared their carrot sticks and nuts. Bingo, everyone was happy and felt sociable. Separatism is generally not a good approach on a multi-day trip, though, where people plan to cook together. For one thing, separate planning and preparation mean duplication of effort. Worse, you’ll be left out of the social interaction of cooking in camp and you may feel like a leper when everyone else sits down to some delicious meal and you are trying to make the best out of a reconstituted cup of gluten-free dried soup mix. A second option is to make the outing gluten-free for everyone. This works well if you have the time and the skills to take the lead in arranging food. If you have good taste and are a competent trip/food planner, nobody will be the wiser and, in fact, they’ll generally appreciate having you do the work. Since other people don’t think about gluten one way or the other, they certainly won’t care that they are using mustard or ketchup or soy sauce that happens to be gluten-free. They’ll be perfectly happy with meals based on rice, potatoes, corn tortillas, gluten-free pancake mix, brownies and other gluten-free foods. Tasty and filling meals make most people happy, and unless they are unreasonable (in which case you shouldn’t invite them along next time) they won’t get bent out of shape if they can’t have their favorite brand of sausage in the morning. Bread is the obvious exception, since few gluten-free breads meet the criterion of “I can’t tell the difference.” So have someone else bring the bread, if that’s an issue. A third, often very practical, option falls somewhere between these two extremes. In this case, you participate in the menu planning and make sure that as many staples and other items as possible are gluten-free (e.g., peanut butter, condiments, canned goods). Where planned meals call for some gluten-containing items, you provide gluten-free equivalents for yourself. You label each item visibly (e.g., a masking tape label with black permanent marker reading “Gluten-free Bagel for Susie”) and pack it so that it will be accessible for the appropriate meal. So you make sure that the spaghetti sauce purchased for the entire group is gluten-free but you include a package of gluten-free pasta for your own meal. You bring your own bread, cookies, cereal and crackers for all meals and snacks. You also participate in cooking so that you can avoid cross-contamination and, where necessary, set portions aside before gluten-containing ingredients are added. For example, if everyone else wants their fresh trout dredged in flour, you just reserve your portion, dredge it in cornmeal, and fry it in a separate pan. You also request to serve yourself first before others accidentally contaminate a dish.
    The Grand Canyon trip that I mentioned at the start was one of two that I have taken where I had to trust strangers to provision the group. Although we guided our own trip, we hired professional outfitters to supply the rafts and food. In that situation, I consulted extensively on the menu choices and requested that processed foods be kept at a minimum; instead I asked that they supply mostly basic ingredients (fruits, vegetables, eggs, butter, cheese). I also asked if items would be in their original packages so that I could check labels for gluten. I brought a variety of gluten-free starches to supplement and substitute for items on the planned menu. I picked up gluten-free snacks at a Trader Joe’s – more than I needed, in the end. The kids with us were thrilled when, after having consistently shooed them away from my goodies, I was able to generously share them towards the end of our time together.The second trip provisioned by strangers turned out to be an unexpectedly relaxed and gourmet experience for me. In this case, it was not possible for me to participate directly in the food planning. But I was touched and surprised by the kindness and care of my traveling companions. I found out that the two men who had volunteered to take food responsibility were doctors (as well as fine cooks). A phone conversation and e-mail exchange during the planning period reassured me that they understood about celiac disease. They went out of their way to make meals that were safe and delicious. There was another unexpected benefit to that trip. A physician’s assistant who was also with us contacted me a few weeks after we all returned home. She told me that having just traveled with me made her pick up on some likely symptoms in a young patient. A celiac diagnosis was confirmed, and she had called to ask for some advice on contacts and reliable sources of information, which she passed on to the patient.
    Implicitly, I’ve brought up the need to educate your fellow travelers here. In general, it’s a good idea both to describe your gluten-free needs in advance and to participate in cooking and clean-up during the trip. Unless and until you can trust that other cooks and food-handlers “get it,” you’ll want to be in or near the food action most of the time. There, you can demonstrate what’s required, take care of cooking portions separately when necessary and serve your own food. While maintaining a scrupulously uncontaminated washing environment is tough while camping, I strongly suggest that you at least reserve one cooking pot for water only. That pot will never get pasta residue or other gluten scraps stuck to the bottom and you will always have a source of clean hot water for cooking (i.e., for hot beverages or adding to instant foods) and washing up. The others may appreciate this rule, too, since it will prevent their morning hot chocolate from having oatmeal or bits of last night’s curried lentils floating in it!  If you are lucky enough to have a pre-educated friend along, or if your traveling companions are quick and considerate learners, at times you’ll be able to relax your vigilance. Whenever my husband is cooking or washing-up, for example, I can go help out with other chores – or sit down with a glass of wine and a book.
    Because your companions are likely to be gluten-oblivious, though, you can expect an occasional mishap. For those moments of disappointment, when your dinner has just been ruined or has driven off in the cab of the pick-up truck, you should keep an easy meal in reserve. Make it something that you like (how about that Annie’s gluten-free Mac and Cheese?) so that you don’t feel too deprived. Or set aside a favorite dessert so that if you have to make do with a minimal supper you can at least have a special sweet.
    Whether you are supplying your own food or relying primarily on others, a few tricks will help you keep your edibles edible.  There are things that I always carry with me: at least one thin, flexible plastic cutting board; one or two plastic containers; and a set of utensils. The light plastic cutting board allows you to create an instant clean surface for food preparation or consumption anywhere you go. In fact, I keep one or two in my suitcase for ordinary travel and they are also essential in my home kitchen.  If the mats you purchase are too large for convenience, cut them down to a size (6” x 8” or 8” x 11”) that fits easily into your backpack, bike pannier, or food box. They are so flat that they take up virtually no space and you’ll have solved the problem of gluten-y picnic tables (or airline trays or food court counters, for that matter). The mats are very easy to wash, rinse and dry and can be kept clean in a plastic bag for the next use; you might want to size yours to fit into a half-gallon Ziploc bag. Having your own set of utensils is useful for obvious reasons, but for camping and picnics a good pocketknife is essential. When someone else takes out his or her knife to cut food for everyone, volunteer yours for the purpose, since you can be sure it’s gluten-free. Plastic containers will help you keep your gluten-free baked goods intact, particularly if you try to pack them just tightly enough that the goods will not rattle around inside. I find a couple of sandwich-sized plastic containers very useful, as well as a few others of assorted sizes. Small containers that fit into a waist pack or day pack will protect your lunch much better than a plastic bag. Mark your containers “Gluten-free foods only” so that they do not become mixed up with containers for general food storage.
    There is one caution about keeping your foods separate that I can illustrate with a little story. On one overnight biking/camping trip, I forgot to remove my gluten-free snack bars from my bicycle pannier. When I saddled up the next morning, I discovered that small campground thieves (probably squirrels) had chewed right through the fabric to get at them. My bag was ruined, but at least we weren’t camping in bear country that night…a reminder that wild animals are just as happy to eat gluten-free as anything else.
    Camping foods usually need to be relatively compact even if you have the luxury of carrying a lot (in a car, RV, motorboat or raft). Weight is, of course, an additional issue if you are backpacking, bicycling, or kayaking. Depending on which activity you’re doing, you can pick and choose among some of these easy options:

    Trail mix: It’s a snap to make your own with gluten-free dried fruits, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, and/or gluten-free cereal. Just use care in your selections. For example, while whole dates are usually gluten-free, chopped dates are often dusted in barley flour so that they will not stick together. Snack bars/energy bars: Take some of your favorites (check the nutrition/health food section of your grocery store as there are an increasing number of possibilities out there) or, if you are so inclined, you can even make your own granola bars based on gluten-free granola, such as Bakery on Main or Trader Joe’s brands, or by using gluten-free rolled oats. Boil-in-bag foods and pre-cooked foods: If weight is not an issue, these are convenient and non-perishable. Heat up a pan of water, slip in the pouch, cut it open and eat: if you are worried about keeping pans clean, this completely solves any cross-contamination problem. Tasty Bite makes a variety of gluten-free Indian and Thai foods packaged in “smart pouches.”  They are commonly available in regular grocery stores. To save packing room, toss out the boxes at home and bring only the pouches, but be sure to label them with a permanent marker if the pouches do not have the contents printed on them, since they will all look alike. Pre-cooked polenta rolls are similarly convenient. Instant cereal: For gluten-loving campers, instant oatmeal in individual serving packs is a standard breakfast item. I don’t know of anyone marketing gluten-free oats this way, but an equivalent for gluten-free campers is quinoa instant hot cereal, similarly packaged (Altiplano Gold makes several flavors that can be ordered on-line). You can also pre-measure quick-cooking cereal, such as rice cereal, in Ziploc bags with a little salt and flavorings (cinnamon, sugar, etc.) of your choice. Pre-measure in the drinking cup that you plan to bring camping with you. Then you can use the same cup to measure water proportionately. I use the same method for measuring and packing other dried foods such as rice, quinoa, or polenta, often including herbs and spices: mark the contents, amount of water needed, and cooking time on the plastic bag. Cured or dried meats: Freybe makes salami-type sausages that are compact and keep well. Shelton makes gluten-free turkey jerky. Though quite expensive, it is very lightweight. S’mores: A facsimile of everybody’s camping favorite is easy to make. Marshmallows are typically gluten-free (find a brand that is labeled as such), as are plain Hershey’s chocolate bars. Substituting gluten-free cookies for graham crackers makes gluten-free s’mores even more decadent than the originals. Dried foods:  A variety of dried foods, such as bean flakes, potato flakes, and vegetables are available in gluten-free versions and make packing light and camp cooking quick. As always, you need to read labels. Rice (including brown rice) that has been partially pre-cooked and dried does not take long to prepare. If you are using a small camp stove, quick-cooking items save on fuel weight, too. Dutch oven baked goods: If your trip is such that you can carry an aluminum (lighter than cast iron) Dutch oven and some charcoal, you can turn out cornbread, brownies, and cakes that will make you the hit of the crowd. Bring your favorite gluten-free mixes, or mix up your own dry ingredients from your favorite recipes. Don’t forget to bring the necessary wet ingredients, too, of course. Search for Dutch oven camping recipes on-line to learn the basic technique. It’s not hard.
    Okay, now you have no excuses not to get out there. Have a great gluten-free summer and remember that getting active and outdoors is as important as eating well.

    Daniel Moran
    Celiac.com 05/14/2008 - Staying at a Hotel or Bed and Breakfast with Breakfast Included
    With your trip you will have to stay at a hotel or resort. I am going to discuss my thoughts on how to eat and stay safe. I will be talking about breakfast because some hotels and B&B’s offer free breakfasts. Lunch and dinner are different subjects that need to be discussed in great length.
    It is very important for you to keep the Gluten Monster away during your trip.  If you are in a hurry just grab some fruit, clean it, and leave.  If you want to stay, you have to monitor how the wait staff warms the food up.  In the past I have asked to see the ingredients from various boxes so don’t be afraid to ask to see packages.  You are looking for a variety of things. After I find out if I can eat the food I again observe the staff and how they handle the food I will be eating.

    Are they careful or sloppy? Do they use the same plate in a manner that might cause cross contamination? Once I decide that I can eat the breakfast I wait until they bring fresh food out and I take food from the fresh plate. I do ask for clean plate if they use the same plate for everything. If the staff does use the same plate I ask if they can use a different or fresh plate for me.  I also sometimes give them my plate and ask them nicely if they could put some of the cooked product on my plate before they do anything else with it.
    Always explain your diet the best you can and let the staff know that you have a special diet and that they have to be very careful with your food.  Tell them you get very sick and you must be extra careful.  If the staff doesn’t speak English well you can try using a gluten-free restaurant card in the language they speak, or just keep it short and try to explain in the easiest possible way.In the hotels where they warm up sausage, eggs and pancakes I have found that I was able to eat the breakfast sausage and the eggs.  These products came to the hotel already cooked and frozen so all the staff had to do was put them into the microwave and heat them up. I just asked to look at the boxes that the food came in so that I could read their ingredients. As mentioned, I always wait for a fresh batch of food to come out, and I even go as far as to use a clean fork to serve the food out of the pan or plate before it is dumped into the chafing dish. 
    I would have already explained to the wait staff in detail of my special diet needs so they will already know that I take my health very seriously. By taking the food out of the pan I hopefully take care of the accidental cross contamination from other patrons.  If you take the food out of the pan as it sits there for all to use you are taking the chance that somebody has spilled a crumb into the pan.  Be kind to the wait staff and they will help you.
    For the other products served at the hotel like fruit be sure to wash it to make sure it is clean.  If they are using bulk cereal it is probably not a cereal that you can eat so stay away unless you read the ingredients on the box or are certain that it is gluten-free.  Remember that bulk cereals might have different ingredients than the versions that you are used to—or it could be another brand or another type. Hard boiled eggs are sometimes available—just be sure to ask for them right out of the pot or wash them very well.  Some of the eggs have vinegar in the buckets to preserve them so be careful to read it thoroughly and also ask the staff if they have poured the end of a bucket into the bucket you are looking at.
    In small kitchens like these you will find that the staff will often pour the remaining food back into the container if it can be reused. You have to determine if this is happening. Notice if the containers are very full or empty—will the staff let you open a fresh bucket or box if you ask?  If it is early they won’t have much trouble doing that for you because they are going to use it anyway, but if it is at the end of breakfast they might not want to open a new container. 
    Remember to always have a plan B and to be nice. If necessary have your Chef Daniel's restaurant paper that can be used to explain your illness.  Sometimes it is easier for people to read celiac disease so they can understand.  I always grab a piece of fruit for later in case I have trouble finding lunch and it is a good snack to have.  Once you have your breakfast it is out to lunch.
    Gluten-Free at Buffet Breakfasts
    If you are at a hotel that offers a buffet breakfast for free it is the same procedure as above.  Always try to get a fresh pan as it comes out to eliminate cross contamination from other customers.  Try to talk with someone in charge like the manager who could help you if they are not busy. Be nice and explain your illness and how sick your will get.  Don’t be afraid to ask for the ingredients.  Ask for them to cut or tear the ingredients out of the box for you if possible.  Sometimes they have written them down for me and brought it out to our table.  Make sure you ask whether they using fresh eggs or “egg products.”  Also ask if they are putting something in the eggs to keep them from turning green.  If they are using real eggs they have to keep them from turning green.  Real eggs turn green from the heat and the chefs sometimes put lemon juice or vinegar in the eggs while they cook them.
    Always ask—no matter how silly you think it is—whether they add anything to the food. Seasoning salt sometimes has wheat in it, so ask if they use something besides just salt
    and pepper. Remind them how sick you will get if you eat a little piece of gluten and never be ashamed to ask.  Always ask for your food to be unseasoned—that also eliminates the risk here.
    Whatever you want make sure that you try to get the freshest that they have and also use a clean fork to retrieve your food. Most of the tongs or spoons are going to be used from one container to the next.
    If the staff can help you they will, so ask and be patient don’t expect to be out fast.  If you are expecting to be fast then you probably will be sick.  In some cases you can ask for some fresh products from the back.  Find the person who has been helping you and if the food you want is taking a long time to empty or just isn’t getting refilled on the buffet line.  Ask if someone can go to the back and get you some food.  Hand them your clean fork and ask them nicely if they can use this to get the food on your plate.  As long as you are nice they will help you. Always try to ask someone who seems to care about the establishment where you are eating—you will know them.
     Don’t forget to ask how they cooked your food.  Just because the sausages are gluten-free doesn’t mean they cooked them that way.  They could cook them on the same grill that they cooked the pancakes on and you will have bread on your sausage!  Most places cook sausage and bacon in the oven but you need to ask how they cook everything.  Are the scrambled eggs cooked on the grill—if so can they cook you a small batch on the side?  Keep that in mind with all of the food you are going to eat.  Don’t forget to be careful and remember about cross contamination  
    A Sit-down Gluten-Free Breakfast
    For your sit down breakfast you want to make sure they cook your entire meal ala cart.

    Cook your eggs in a fresh pan. Use olive oil or real butter to cook them not the spray can of oil. Have your Chef Daniel's restaurant paper or gluten-free restaurant card that tells the cooks about you and your illness and let them know how to cook your food. Tell them in great detail how to prepare your food, Ask them to use a fresh fork to grab items if need to be.. Not to use garnish or spice on your food. Don’t be afraid to ask for a clipping of the ingredients from the box if you want to check to see if you can have the sausage or ham. Tell them about the cross contamination from cutting boards, knives, tongs and the table they work on.
    I can’t emphasize this enough—you have to judge for yourself how busy the place is.  This is the most important thing you have to remember.  As humans under stress do stupid things and the cook could fall under that.  Just think of how you would do if you were working there.  Would you, for example, have enough time to get part of a box that you threw away two hours ago when you started breakfast?  The type of restaurant matters to.  Is this a Motel or is it a very successful chain that pays well and has good benefits.  This usually means the staff is very good.These tips can help you but you do have to make sure that you inform the staff, waitress, manager and hopefully the person who is cooking your meal.  It doesn’t do any good if you tell one person and they forget because they got busy.  That is why I always try to tell the manager when I enter.  In your Chef Daniel's restaurant paper make sure you give them exactly how to cook your meal.  Don’t assume they will do it because you told them you get very sick.  As a chef myself, if I read something and it told me to use olive oil and not salad oil—I would do as it said.  If it said use oil I would grab the closest product or even margarine.  Even when busy if you read something it should stay in your head.  When you’re busy and someone tells you that table #22 has celiac and needs gluten-free food…well it could get lost if I am busy listening to 20 different orders, so bring a form or gluten-free restaurant card that they can read.


     
    Gluten-Free Travel Hints:
    You should always try to getthe manager to help you.  In any restaurant they have the most time tohelp you and they will help you because they typically care more thanthe regular workers (today’s restaurants have employees that come inone day and are gone the next.help.  It is sad but that is the way itis so at least try to get the manager. Don’t be ashamed to askfor anything. If you want a hot dog or the chips they put on the sideof the plate ask for a bag with the product inside.  Take out your safeand forbidden lists if needed and look at them to see if you can eat aproduct. 
    Always have your Chef Daniel's restaurant paper with you in your walletor purse.
    Always have a copy of your safe and forbidden lists with youin case you need it to read ingredients. Always have a gluten-free restaurant card in the language you need.
    Crosscontamination is the greatest risk for a celiac when traveling.  Crosscontamination can happen and you would never know it, such as when thechef uses a knife to cut a piece of bread, and then they use the sameknife on your vegetables, or when the chef uses a pair of tongs to flipa breaded chicken and then uses them to flip your sauté chicken.Thereare too many other ways to mention, but the main thing is that glutencould be on the tool before it is used on your meal, and it doesn’tmatter how safe the chef thought he was because you got one crumb andyou are sick for days and that ruins your vacation.

    Keep the comments coming and together we will get rid of the Gluten Monster!

    Chef Daniel P

    Jennifer Arrington

    Celiac.com 06/07/2010 - Traveling with celiac disease/gluten intolerance is a challenge and I suspect many of us would rather stay home than risk getting sick in a foreign country.  Well, our family had been planning and having to put off a trip to visit friends in the beautiful Abacos, Bahamas for three whole years.  And…finally the trip was only a week away when the fear of getting sick from other people’s food began to rob me of my excitement.
    We all know that food intolerances present multiple obstacles when it comes to travel.  The problem is that over the years my list of food intolerances has grown to embarrassing proportions.  Besides gluten intolerance/celiac disease, I can’t have dairy, sugar, honey, caffeine and many, many additives.  In addition, I have to be cautious with citrus, nuts, raisins, and bananas.  Consequently, sometimes when I go places I feel I have only two choices:  starve or get sick. And, I was scared to death with the trip finally imminent, that I would inadvertently eat something wrong and spend our long-awaited five-day vacation in bed.  However, as I thought about the trip, I realized my two biggest obstacles were somewhat psychological: 
    1.       Fear.  We know what it’s like to get sick; we know how long the recovery can be, so fear can keep us bound.  When I’m fearful, I pray.  God wants us to have an “abundant life”, and avoiding new experiences due to fear of inadvertently eating something that makes me sick squelches a full life.
    2.       Embarrassment.  I tell my husband that if people really knew all that foods I have to avoid, they might think me delusional.  But, when I add that they can’t dip their bread knife in my jar of mayo, their thoughts are confirmed.  Ten years ago if I had gone to someone’s house who had Sharpie- labeled jars with “Jennifer-only”, I would have thought they were insane.  Thankfully, I am learning that staying healthy is way more important than a little embarrassment and now I just tell people how it is.  If they draw incorrect conclusions, so be it.  My goal is to stay healthy and live life with energy!
    So, this trip, I decided that fear and embarrassment would be replaced with "proactivity." 
    1.        My husband emailed our friends the foods I could eat (if you focus on what you CAN eat it doesn’t sound as bad as listing the endless foods you can’t eat) and even explained the “double-dipping” rule.  Bless him!
    2.       I packed all my hard-to-find staples that travel easily.  These include:  Fearn Brown Rice Baking Mix, Quinua noodles, Silk Soy Milk (the non-refrigerated type), Mary’s Gone Crackers, a small jar of Hellman’s mayo and Polaner All Fruit Jam.
    3.       We rented a place with a kitchen.  For me, this is a must.  Once we arrived, our friends took us straight to a grocery store so I could purchase the perishable foods we’d need, and then we were set to cook at our vacation spot. 
    What a wonderful five days!  We snorkeled reefs and a blue hole, we swam to a deserted beach, we climbed a lighthouse and hiked over rocks surrounded by incredible views.  We saw endangered parrots, we ate fresh-caught fish, and best of all, I never got sick!  Fear wanted to keep me home, but prayer, preparation, a supportive husband, and understanding friends allowed for the most glorious five-day trip I can remember!  And, this too-many-foods-to-list-intolerant lady is already planning her next trip…without fear!

    Melissa Reed
    Celiac.com 07/24/2014 - People that have celiac disease know one of the main concerns is avoiding gluten when they have meals. Their second biggest concern is the possible co-mingling of ingredients that can contaminate otherwise gluten-free food! So how do you eat at restaurants when you have celiac and still have peace of mind?
    Here is how:
    Before you are to go out to a restaurant call ahead and ask for the manager, find out if they do offer gluten-free meals that are carefully prepared for people with food allergy (If you are unable to call ahead go online and look the restaurant up to see if they offer a gluten-free menu or gluten-free meal selections, if need be email them). Also ask if the restaurant prepares gluten-free meals in a separate area, and if the restaurant uses different cooking utensils for gluten-free meal preparation. When you arrive at the restaurant that you have confirmed has gluten-free meals, let your server know you have a "Gluten Allergy" (ok, you can use different terms, and this isn't correct, but it conveys necessity instead of trend) and must eat gluten-free. Ask for a gluten-free menu, if they did not offer one to you. If you feel comfortable ask to speak with the manager or chef at your table, so they know that you have a medical need for a gluten-free diet. Let your favorite restaurants know that you want gluten-free meal selections and a gluten-free menu if they do not offer that yet. Do not be afraid to ask! Also, online there are cards you can print out and take to restaurants that you can give to server, manager or chefs to let them know that you are in need of a gluten-free diet. Some restaurants are now getting trained for gluten-free food preparation through National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and Great Kitchens, so that all the staff is fully prepared and educated on how to handle safe preparation of meals for celiac and gluten intolerant individuals.
    Talk about peace of mind; if a restaurant has had the gluten-free food training, know you are safe to eat gluten-free meals there!

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/25/2018 - A team of Yale University researchers discovered that bacteria in the small intestine can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response. In this case, they looked at Enterococcus gallinarum, which can travel beyond the gut to the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver. The research could be helpful for treating type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease.
    In autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. Autoimmune disease affects nearly 24 million people in the United States. 
    In their study, a team of Yale University researchers discovered that bacteria in the small intestine can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response. In this case, they looked at Enterococcus gallinarum, which can travel beyond the gut to the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver. They found that E. gallinarum triggered an autoimmune response in the mice when it traveled beyond the gut.
    They also found that the response can be countered by using antibiotics or vaccines to suppress the autoimmune reaction and prevent the bacterium from growing. The researchers were able to duplicate this mechanism using cultured human liver cells, and they also found the bacteria E. gallinarum in the livers of people with autoimmune disease.
    The team found that administering an antibiotic or vaccine to target E. gallinarum suppressed the autoimmune reaction in the mice and prevented the bacterium from growing. "When we blocked the pathway leading to inflammation," says senior study author Martin Kriegel, "we could reverse the effect of this bug on autoimmunity."
    Team research team plans to further investigate the biological mechanisms that are associated with E. gallinarum, along with the potential implications for systemic lupus and autoimmune liver disease.
    This study indicates that gut bacteria may be the key to treating chronic autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus and autoimmune liver disease. Numerous autoimmune conditions have been linked to gut bacteria.
    Read the full study in Science.

    Tammy Rhodes
    Celiac.com 04/24/2018 - Did you know in 2017 alone, the United States had OVER TENS OF THOUSANDS of people evacuate their homes due to natural disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis? Most evacuation sites are not equipped to feed your family the safe gluten free foods that are required to stay healthy.  Are you prepared in case of an emergency? Do you have your Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag ready to grab and go?  
    I have already lived through two natural disasters. Neither of which I ever want to experience again, but they taught me a very valuable lesson, which is why I created a Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag (see link below). Here’s my story. If you’ve ever lived in or visited the Los Angeles area, you’re probably familiar with the Santa Ana winds and how bitter sweet they are. Sweet for cleaning the air and leaving the skies a brilliant crystal blue, and bitter for the power outages and potential brush fires that might ensue.  It was one of those bitter nights where the Santa Ana winds were howling, and we had subsequently lost our power. We had to drive over an hour just to find a restaurant so we could eat dinner. I remember vividly seeing the glow of a brush fire on the upper hillside of the San Gabriel Mountains, a good distance from our neighborhood. I really didn’t think much of it, given that it seemed so far from where we lived, and I was hungry! After we ate, we headed back home to a very dark house and called it a night. 
    That’s where the story takes a dangerous turn….about 3:15am. I awoke to the TV blaring loudly, along with the lights shining brightly. Our power was back on! I proceeded to walk throughout the house turning everything off at exactly the same time our neighbor, who was told to evacuate our street, saw me through our window, assuming I knew that our hillside was ablaze with flames. Flames that were shooting 50 feet into the air. I went back to bed and fell fast asleep. The fire department was assured we had left because our house was dark and quiet again. Two hours had passed.  I suddenly awoke to screams coming from a family member yelling, “fire, fire, fire”! Flames were shooting straight up into the sky, just blocks from our house. We lived on a private drive with only one way in and one way out.  The entrance to our street was full of smoke and the fire fighters were doing their best to save our neighbors homes. We literally had enough time to grab our dogs, pile into the car, and speed to safety. As we were coming down our street, fire trucks passed us with sirens blaring, and I wondered if I would ever see my house and our possessions ever again. Where do we go? Who do we turn to? Are shelters a safe option? 
    When our daughter was almost three years old, we left the West Coast and relocated to Northern Illinois. A place where severe weather is a common occurrence. Since the age of two, I noticed that my daughter appeared gaunt, had an incredibly distended belly, along with gas, stomach pain, low weight, slow growth, unusual looking stool, and a dislike for pizza, hotdog buns, crackers, Toast, etc. The phone call from our doctor overwhelmed me.  She was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I broke down into tears sobbing. What am I going to feed my child? Gluten is everywhere.
    After being scoped at Children's Hospital of Chicago, and my daughters Celiac Disease officially confirmed, I worried about her getting all the nutrients her under nourished body so desperately needed. I already knew she had a peanut allergy from blood tests, but just assumed she would be safe with other nuts. I was so horribly wrong. After feeding her a small bite of a pistachio, which she immediately spit out, nuts would become her enemy. Her anaphylactic reaction came within minutes of taking a bite of that pistachio. She was complaining of horrible stomach cramps when the vomiting set in. She then went limp and starting welting. We called 911.
    Now we never leave home without our Epipens and our gluten free food supplies. We analyze every food label. We are hyper vigilant about cross contamination. We are constantly looking for welts and praying for no stomach pain. We are always prepared and on guard. It's just what we do now. Anything to protect our child, our love...like so many other parents out there have to do every moment of ever day!  
    Then, my second brush with a natural disaster happened, without any notice, leaving us once again scrambling to find a safe place to shelter. It was a warm and muggy summer morning, and my husband was away on a business trip leaving my young daughter and me to enjoy our summer day. Our Severe Weather Alert Radio was going off, again, as I continued getting our daughter ready for gymnastics.  Having gotten used to the (what seemed to be daily) “Severe Thunderstorm warning,” I didn’t pay much attention to it. I continued downstairs with my daughter and our dog, when I caught a glimpse out the window of an incredibly black looking cloud. By the time I got downstairs, I saw the cover to our grill literally shoot straight up into the air. Because we didn’t have a fenced in yard, I quickly ran outside and chased the cover, when subsequently, I saw my neighbor’s lawn furniture blow pass me. I quickly realized I made a big mistake going outside. As I ran back inside, I heard debris hitting the front of our home.  Our dog was the first one to the basement door! As we sat huddled in the dark corner of our basement, I was once again thinking where are we going to go if our house is destroyed. I was not prepared, and I should have been. I should have learned my lesson the first time. Once the storm passed, we quickly realized we were without power and most of our trees were destroyed. We were lucky that our house had minimal damage, but that wasn’t true for most of the area surrounding us.  We were without power for five days. We lost most of our food - our gluten free food.
    That is when I knew we had to be prepared. No more winging it. We couldn’t take a chance like that ever again. We were “lucky” one too many times. We were very fortunate that we did not lose our home to the Los Angeles wildfire, and only had minimal damage from the severe storm which hit our home in Illinois.
      
    In 2017 alone, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) had 137 natural disasters declared within the United States. According to FEMA, around 50% of the United States population isn’t prepared for a natural disaster. These disasters can happen anywhere, anytime and some without notice. It’s hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent of a gluten free family member. Now, add a natural disaster on top of that. Are you prepared?
    You can find my Gluten Free Emergency Food Bags and other useful products at www.allergynavigator.com.  

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/23/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to learn whether celiac disease patients commonly suffer cognitive impairment at the time they are diagnosed, and to compare their cognitive performance with non-celiac subjects with similar chronic symptoms and to a group of healthy control subjects.
    The research team included G Longarini, P Richly, MP Temprano, AF Costa, H Vázquez, ML Moreno, S Niveloni, P López, E Smecuol, R Mazure, A González, E Mauriño, and JC Bai. They are variously associated with the Small Bowel Section, Department of Medicine, Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo Gastroenterology Hospital; Neurocience Cognitive and Traslational Institute (INECO), Favaloro Fundation, CONICET, Buenos Aires; the Brain Health Center (CESAL), Quilmes, Argentina; the Research Council, MSAL, CABA; and with the Research Institute, School of Medicine, Universidad del Salvador.
    The team enrolled fifty adults with symptoms and indications of celiac disease in a prospective cohort without regard to the final diagnosis.  At baseline, all individuals underwent cognitive functional and psychological evaluation. The team then compared celiac disease patients with subjects without celiac disease, and with healthy controls matched by sex, age, and education.
    Celiac disease patients had similar cognitive performance and anxiety, but no significant differences in depression scores compared with disease controls.
    A total of thirty-three subjects were diagnosed with celiac disease. Compared with the 26 healthy control subjects, the 17 celiac disease subjects, and the 17 disease control subjects, who mostly had irritable bowel syndrome, showed impaired cognitive performance (P=0.02 and P=0.04, respectively), functional impairment (P<0.01), and higher depression (P<0.01). 
    From their data, the team noted that any abnormal cognitive functions they saw in adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease did not seem not to be a result of the disease itself. 
    Their results indicate that cognitive dysfunction in celiac patients could be related to long-term symptoms from chronic disease, in general.
    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar 1. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001018.

    Connie Sarros
    Celiac.com 04/21/2018 - Dear Friends and Readers,
    I have been writing articles for Scott Adams since the 2002 Summer Issue of the Scott-Free Press. The Scott-Free Press evolved into the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. I felt honored when Scott asked me ten years ago to contribute to his quarterly journal and it's been a privilege to write articles for his publication ever since.
    Due to personal health reasons and restrictions, I find that I need to retire. My husband and I can no longer travel the country speaking at conferences and to support groups (which we dearly loved to do) nor can I commit to writing more books, articles, or menus. Consequently, I will no longer be contributing articles to the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. 
    My following books will still be available at Amazon.com:
    Gluten-free Cooking for Dummies Student's Vegetarian Cookbook for Dummies Wheat-free Gluten-free Dessert Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Reduced Calorie Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults (revised version) My first book was published in 1996. My journey since then has been incredible. I have met so many in the celiac community and I feel blessed to be able to call you friends. Many of you have told me that I helped to change your life – let me assure you that your kind words, your phone calls, your thoughtful notes, and your feedback throughout the years have had a vital impact on my life, too. Thank you for all of your support through these years.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/20/2018 - A digital media company and a label data company are teaming up to help major manufacturers target, reach and convert their desired shoppers based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free diet. The deal could bring synergy in emerging markets such as the gluten-free and allergen-free markets, which represent major growth sectors in the global food industry. 
    Under the deal, personalized digital media company Catalina will be joining forces with Label Insight. Catalina uses consumer purchases data to target shoppers on a personal base, while Label Insight works with major companies like Kellogg, Betty Crocker, and Pepsi to provide insight on food label data to government, retailers, manufacturers and app developers.
    "Brands with very specific product benefits, gluten-free for example, require precise targeting to efficiently reach and convert their desired shoppers,” says Todd Morris, President of Catalina's Go-to-Market organization, adding that “Catalina offers the only purchase-based targeting solution with this capability.” 
    Label Insight’s clients include food and beverage giants such as Unilever, Ben & Jerry's, Lipton and Hellman’s. Label Insight technology has helped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) build the sector’s very first scientifically accurate database of food ingredients, health attributes and claims.
    Morris says the joint partnership will allow Catalina to “enhance our dataset and further increase our ability to target shoppers who are currently buying - or have shown intent to buy - in these emerging categories,” including gluten-free, allergen-free, and other free-from foods.
    The deal will likely make for easier, more precise targeting of goods to consumers, and thus provide benefits for manufacturers and retailers looking to better serve their retail food customers, especially in specialty areas like gluten-free and allergen-free foods.
    Source:
    fdfworld.com