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I saw another post sort of related to this, but my questions is a little more specific.  I am newly diagnosed.  I have a full time job, and travel quite a bit for my work.  I spend a lot of time in airports, hotels, on the road, in a car, and on a plane.  I attend business meetings, business lunches, and dinner meetings.  How do people handle the diet restrictions with work?  I attended an all day meetings today and they had catered lunch that consisted of salad (with croutons), sandwhiches, pasta salad, and cookies.  I ended up eating the salad, without really knowing whether the dressing was gluten free, (and of course face the issue of picking out the croutons which obviously is also an issue).  That was the extent of my food all day.

I do usually have a Kind bar on me just in case, but that doesn't really help deal with the larger issue of the meals, etc.  



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Traveling is an issue.  For car trips, I recommend an electric cooler.  We bought one that runs both off he car battery and can plug in when you take it inside a hotel or home.  I take safe food with me.  You can take some food (e.g. gluten-free crackers and snacks) on plane trips as well.  Download the gluten free around me app to find safe restaurants on the road.  I find that most every place has a Mexican restaurant, and you can usually find something there to eat.  Good luck.

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Hi Donna,

I was just diagnosed a month ago and was very shocked.  Never even considered that diagnosis before. I'm not happy about making this transformation but I promised myself not to be negative and to focus on how I will be reversing the damaged already done to my stomach lining.

Although I'm not very experienced living with this disorder, I can give you some tips.

First and Foremost: Do advanced planning for everything.  Without it, you will not be able to stay 100% gluten-free. So, even in your home you should have a good selection of products so that you don't succumb to temptation when other family members are snacking on treats such ice cream and cake. Go to the various gluten-free websites for links to gluten-free food products and stock up on both basics and snacks.

Since you travel frequently,  you will have to be a bit more resourceful. (Picking croutons out of a salad does not ensure that you're not eating gluten. The crumbs are in the salad. Also, unless the dressing was pure olive oil and vinegar, there's a good chance that it contained gluten.

Some meeting venues will allow you to order foods that are gluten free (e.g., ordering a salad with no dressing or croutons); other meetings you may not have a choice.  In my own office, I can let the admin asst know that I need a gluten-free meal and will let her know exactly what to order. You can do the same thing if you are going to another company for a meeting. 

I find that I'm usually stuck with a salad because it's the closest to a safe meal that I can find when attending meetings.  So, I always have a small container of salad dressing that I make at home.  I carry it in my purse or tote in a ziplock. I usually have the small packets of mustard and mayo (if the mayo is gluten-free) in my tote. I also have a baggy with gluten-free crackers that I can eat plain or crumble up into a salad. When I dine out in a restaurant, I always ask if they have a gluten free menu - it's surprising how many do. In some restaurants they will prepare a gluten-free dish for you based on your requirements. (Never order french fries as they are usually fried in the same oil that is used for wheat battered foods such as fried chicken or fried fish). If you are dining in a Chinese restaurant, all bets are off because of the cross contamination issues with soy and wheat noodles (even the rice noodles, in most cases, are made with part wheat and part rice flour). When I'm uncertain about the ability of a restaurant to prepare a gluten-free dish, I simply order a piece of broiled fish or chicken  and a steamed veggie such as green beans, and a salad.  Of course, the wine is gluten-free (a small consolation prize for having to deprive myself of the bread that's usually served).

When I travel by car, I have a few pieces of fruit, crackers, and peanut butter along for the ride. It's a lot easier if you can throw all that into a tote for driving (as opposed to having to include it in your carryon when flying.)

Good luck.  This is not a nice world that we've become part of but we have to do what we can to make it work for us.

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Colts is spot on.  One other tip.  I find the better the restaurant. i.e., the higher end it is, the better prepared they are to address gluten-free issues.  Most chain restaurants (with a few exceptions, like Schlotzsky's and Jason's Deli) have virtually no safe food.  And you will indeed be surprised how many restaurants offer gluten-free menus.  But much of the time, you have to ask.  Good luck.

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