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International Travel - What Am I Going To Eat?

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I travel internationally for work and have a trip coming up in January to Brazil.  My first trip since being diagnosed and I am a little nervous. 

 

My first concern is the food on the airplane.  Of course the airline will be notified on the need for a gluten free meal and mustard free (I also have a severe allergy to mustard), however how much can I trust the food and cross contamination?  Has anyone else here eaten the food on an international flight?  If so, what did you have to do in order to notify or prepare ahead of time.  I think it goes without saying that I will bring some food with me, but protein bars and nuts only go so far when we are talking about 17 - 18 hours of travel.  I need some real food, preferrably hot.   

 

I am less concerned about the food once I am in Brazil.  I am thinking eating in resturants there will be no more challenging than eating in restuarants in the US.  Brazil is very meat based and known for their meats - so that will be gluten free :)

 

Thanks for any advice you have!

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We travel internationally regularly and I have eaten many gluten-free meals on flights. Only one has been tasty and palatable thus far. But so far I have not been glutened. As the food is so gross, I bring along lots of snacks. We experience frequent delays and airports are very tricky so again, snacks come in handy. About a year ago, flying from Canada to Italy, I was told they had forgotten my meals athough I confirmed it with them twice, well in advance, and again the day before. Thank goodness I had food along but it was very annoying.

Like you, I can deal with eating at the destination easier than in airports and on flights.

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Thanks for the reply love2travel (like the name BTW).  I hear you about the tasty and palatable part.  I wasn't so naive to think that I would get a tasty and palatable meal, just hopefully a meal and better still no gluten or mustard :) LOL

 

So...ideas for snacks?  Send them my way.  Stuff that is filling and could sub for a meal. 

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Thanks! I like the name too. :-)

Snacks: pepperoni sticks ( may contain mustard - not sure) - yes, it is meat, but mention it is for medical reasons if questioned.

- little tins of flavoured (or plain) tuna

- buns

- Skittles candy (my favourite)

- nuts and dried fruits

- Caramilk bars

- homemade potato or sweet potato chips

- a spork

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I usually don't even bother touching food on airplanes, though I did have pretty decent meals on British Airways to/from England last year. Even so, always always take enough food to feed you on the flight. Lots of snacks, something that qualifies as a meal that will keep for a few hours, etc... Just make sure it will go through security, and you can also check your country of destination's policy on importing food (some allow fresh veg, some don't. Some allow prepared food for personal use, but some don't allow meat, etc). I like to take some salad, rice balls, guacamole and chips, etc. Things you can eat with your fingers, or ask for utencils on the flight. I took homemade salsa on a flight to chicago and the seal on the container, er, didn't quite survive takeoff, so if you've got anything liquidy, make sure to a: show it to the security people so they know its food, and b: wrap it up good so it doesn't explode on takeoff/landing.

 

Anyway, good luck! Check out the Travel forum for advice on gluten-free in Brazil. Ooh exciting!

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hey! I just spent the last five months living abroad/traveling.. and it's actually WAY easier outside of the country! the food standards of the US are absolutely horrible, and you'll find that most other countries aren't going to put bulls$#& processed ingredients in their food. most of the time, a food isn't going to have any trace of gluten in it unless it's something you'd expect to find wheat in (I always double checked anyways, just to make sure). i actually felt the best I have since being diagnosed when I was abroad! 

 

besides that, I think a lot of other countries are way more aware of food intolerances than we are. (where I went anyways, nz/australia) pretty much everywhere I went had gluten-free options and it kinda sucked coming back to the us.

 

maybe it won't be the same way in brazil, but I would guess that they too are going to have much "cleaner" food than we do.

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I've eaten gluten free food on several airlines without any major problems, but I think it really depends on which airline you're using.  A few times I've been served meals where certain portions were labeled gluten free, but other, pre-packaged items such as crackers that were clearly NOT gluten free were included (I'm looking at you, United Airlines!).  I always bring extra food anyway, in case of delays, cancellations, mistakes with the meal, etc.  I don't mind eating most things cold - I bring stuff like tacos, sandwiches, sliced sausages, fruit,  raw vegetables, nuts - but if you want hot food, you could get a good thermos and fill it with a meal that isn't too liquidy and it should be find at security.  I've found that my stuff often gets flagged for an additional search because food items are hard to identify for the screeners, but I've never had anything confiscated once they see what it is.

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 I also love to travel and have found that I have two options, for instance I am going to Honduras for a wedding and I sent a copy of a Gluten Free meal card ( available in the book Gluten Free Hassle Free by Marlisa Brown) in the book there are many different cards in many different languages, which are handy because they explain it is a medically restricted diet and that if they cannot provide food per the instructions to let me know. This was helpful as I sent it to the wedding coordinator in the hotel where we are staying and she got back to me with options, its easier when it is in a language I can communicate in but normally they will just say yes or no, and I make copies so that they can take it to the kitchen too. On trips where I wasn't sure anything would be available for me ( Australia was actually the easiest) I pack some of my own food ( bars and such ) and then just eat a lot of fruits and veggies while I am away. I did one time ship food to myself ( which seems ridiculous but made me feel better ) as some countries customs inspections ask if you are bringing in food and then they can take it away from you - this is where the meal cards also come in handy as sometimes they will let you by, but they do have the right to take it away. 

 

 I hope this helps, and remember- traveling can still be fun for us !!

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