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Melissa Courtney

New Diagnosis, Overwhelmed

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Hello,

I was diagnosed less than 2 days ago. I have some good info but I have some travels coming up and plans to have dinner at friends houses, and I can't even figure out what to eat for lunch! I need some info on internantional travel... I heard something about "resteraunt cards" that you can show to a chef and they even come in different languages. Any idea on where to get these? What about travel restrictions? Do I need a leeter from an MD to bring food on a plane/ through a security check/ into another country. I think I am starting to panic and I am just 2 days in. Please help.

Melissa

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Hello,

I was diagnosed less than 2 days ago. I have some good info but I have some travels coming up and plans to have dinner at friends houses, and I can't even figure out what to eat for lunch! I need some info on internantional travel... I heard something about "resteraunt cards" that you can show to a chef and they even come in different languages. Any idea on where to get these? What about travel restrictions? Do I need a leeter from an MD to bring food on a plane/ through a security check/ into another country. I think I am starting to panic and I am just 2 days in. Please help.

Melissa

Hi Melissa, welcome to the forum! Now take a real deep breath and exhale slowly :)

Now I can't help you with what you are or are not allowed on the planes. But if you are in Canada, you can get the restaruant cards through the Canadian Celiac Ass. They have a web site. Other sites have them that you can print off, I believe the Kinnikinnick web site has some. If you are in the U. S. they also have a National Celiac ass.

Many countries such as Great Britian, Finland, Sweden etc. are farther ahead than North America and have plenty of places to buy food and have gluten free menus in restaurants. Check out the International section of this forum.

I'm sure some of our world travelers will pop in and help you out more.

Hang in there, it does get better!


Shirley

[save the Earth, It's the only planet with chocolate and wine.

It isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...

It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Gluten free since 1989

West Kootenay.... British Columbia

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Hi Melissa, welcome to the forum! Now take a real deep breath and exhale slowly :)

Now I can't help you with what you are or are not allowed on the planes. But if you are in Canada, you can get the restaruant cards through the Canadian Celiac Ass. They have a web site. Other sites have them that you can print off, I believe the Kinnikinnick web site has some. If you are in the U. S. they also have a National Celiac ass.

Many countries such as Great Britian, Finland, Sweden etc. are farther ahead than North America and have plenty of places to buy food and have gluten free menus in restaurants. Check out the International section of this forum.

I'm sure some of our world travelers will pop in and help you out more.

Hang in there, it does get better!

Thanks. I am still having problems navigating this site. I appreciate your reply.

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Dear Melissa,

I would recommend you stay in a Homestead Inn suite or other place that has a kitchen where you can make your own meals. Then you will not have to worry about cross contamination. There is a wide variety of items in the regular supermarket, and at Wal-Mart (which is found all over the world now). I was surprised about all that you can eat. Here is a beginner's list I have created:

1. There are a number of things in the regular grocery that are safe. Some things are labeled already. Wal-Mart's Great Value brand has numerous things you can eat.

2. For the love of God use Coupons on items you are allowed to eat. People can get them and print them out online even. Call some of the local stores and ask if they accept online coupons.

3. Check the ads online and in the newspaper. You would be surprised how many people do not do this.

4. Some items like rice flour and rice noodles are safe to buy at the Chinese or oriental market. The merchants are more than happy to help you if you cannot read the label.

Now, here is my list of great things to get you started:

Condiments:

Smart Balance Margerine

Crisco Shortening

Crisco Oil

Pompeiian Olive Oil

Great Value soy sauce

Heinz Ketchup

Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce

Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce

Kraft French Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Kraft Thousand Island Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Pace Picante Sauce

Ortega Salsa

All Classico Red and White sauces

All Jif Peanut Butters including Smooth Sensations

Welch's Grape Jelly

Cool Whip

Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Miracle Whip

Daisy Sour Cream (fat-free, low-fat, regular)

Snack Foods:

Fritos

Tostitos

Lay's Original Potato Chips

Cool Ranch Doritos (Nacho cheese has gluten)

Act II Microwave Popcorn

Cheetos

3 Musketeers candy bars

Butterfinger candy bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Meat and Protein :

Eggs

Great Value Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Extra Lean ground beef

Carl Buddig lunchmeats all are safe

Johnsonville Original Bratwursts

Kraft Cheese Shredded or sliced (Kraft is a great company, they never hide gluten in their labels. If it does not say wheat, barley, oats or rye, then it is not in there!)

Cereals:

Cocoa Pebbles

Fruity Pebbles

Dora The Explorer Cinnamon Stars

Seasonings:

Durkee Cinnamon-ground

Durkee Ginger-ground

Durkee Chili powder

Durkee Vanilla Extract (in fact, all of their liquid flavorings, food colorings, and extracts are g.f.)

Emeril's Essence - Asian, Italian

Ortega Taco Seasoning (In fact, since they are under a very strict labeling policy, all of their products are gluten free at this time)

Miscellaneous:

Ortega Taco Shells

Starkist or Great Value Tuna

Butter Buds

Great Value Soy Milk

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Apples

Pears

Carrots

(Fresh Produce in general)

Great Value Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Del Monte Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Ore Ida Tater Tots

Ore Ida French Fries

Hormel Chili

Hormel Spam

Hormel Turkey Spam (Oven Roasted or Smoked)

Hormel Vienna Sausages

Hormel Beef Au Jus Entrees

Hormel Pork Au Jus Entrees

Libby Vienna Sausages

I hope this helps a bit!

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl


Jin

Strawberry Allergy, mold allergy, dustmites allergy, ragweed allergy, dust allergy, food dye allergy - 1985

Asthma - 1994

Ovarian Cyst - May 1999

Anemia - 2000

4 More Ovarian Cysts - March 2000

Bloodwork for Celiac - November 2000 negative

Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Intercolisis, Gastric Emptying Study - May and June 2001 negative biopsy

Fibromyalgia - June 2001

IBS - June 2001

Gallbladder Removal - July 28, 2003 after doctor said the tests showed nothing, so it was not gallbladder disease. It was very inflamed and irritated and nearly ruptured the surgeon told me at my 10 day post-op check-up.

Thyroid Disease - August 2004

Celiac Disease - March 2007 Current Dr. refers to me as Celiac, as she says blood tests are often inaccurate.

Official Purple Glittery Bat Keeper, District Attorney, and Chinese Restaurant Owner of The Silver Dragon of Rachelville

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Here are some free restaurant cards in different languages:

http://www.celiactravel.com/restaurant-cards.html

You can buy Triumph dining cards (google) that even have information as to particular concern in given cuisines, like the spice hing in Indian food.

Before you travel, check current security information. There is no ban on food per se, but -- at least the last time I traveled -- you couldn't bring drinks through security or anything that was like a gel. As far as other countries are concerned, check in travel books or the web what you can and cannot bring into a country. I think the rules are different for different countries. The biggest problem I would think would be anything that could have parasites, like fresh produce.

Many airlines do offer a gluten-free meal, assuming you are flying far enough to be fed. You have to let them know in advance.

When I travel later this year, I plan on taking quite a few fruit/seed/nut bars for times when the pickings are slim. Naturally, I have reservations on the airline that does not seem to have a gluten-free meal. But then I'm also intolerant to milk, egg, soy, & yeast and don't eat meat -- I don't think they will have a meal like that.

I haven't found any restaurant cards in other languages that cover multiple intolerances, so I don't know that I can use cards like the above. They always say "I can eat" this and that, and I can't :o My understanding is that Europe & Australia/New Zealand are much easier to eat gluten-free. You can always look for the celiac organization for any place you are visiting and see what resources they have.

Check out the travel forum here. People discuss particular countries, what food they like to bring, etc.


McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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Dear Melissa,

I would recommend you stay in a Homestead Inn suite or other place that has a kitchen where you can make your own meals. Then you will not have to worry about cross contamination. There is a wide variety of items in the regular supermarket, and at Wal-Mart (which is found all over the world now). I was surprised about all that you can eat. Here is a beginner's list I have created:

1. There are a number of things in the regular grocery that are safe. Some things are labeled already. Wal-Mart's Great Value brand has numerous things you can eat.

2. For the love of God use Coupons on items you are allowed to eat. People can get them and print them out online even. Call some of the local stores and ask if they accept online coupons.

3. Check the ads online and in the newspaper. You would be surprised how many people do not do this.

4. Some items like rice flour and rice noodles are safe to buy at the Chinese or oriental market. The merchants are more than happy to help you if you cannot read the label.

Now, here is my list of great things to get you started:

Condiments:

Smart Balance Margerine

Crisco Shortening

Crisco Oil

Pompeiian Olive Oil

Great Value soy sauce

Heinz Ketchup

Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce

Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce

Kraft French Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Kraft Thousand Island Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Pace Picante Sauce

Ortega Salsa

All Classico Red and White sauces

All Jif Peanut Butters including Smooth Sensations

Welch's Grape Jelly

Cool Whip

Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Miracle Whip

Daisy Sour Cream (fat-free, low-fat, regular)

Snack Foods:

Fritos

Tostitos

Lay's Original Potato Chips

Cool Ranch Doritos (Nacho cheese has gluten)

Act II Microwave Popcorn

Cheetos

3 Musketeers candy bars

Butterfinger candy bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Meat and Protein :

Eggs

Great Value Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Extra Lean ground beef

Carl Buddig lunchmeats all are safe

Johnsonville Original Bratwursts

Kraft Cheese Shredded or sliced (Kraft is a great company, they never hide gluten in their labels. If it does not say wheat, barley, oats or rye, then it is not in there!)

Cereals:

Cocoa Pebbles

Fruity Pebbles

Dora The Explorer Cinnamon Stars

Seasonings:

Durkee Cinnamon-ground

Durkee Ginger-ground

Durkee Chili powder

Durkee Vanilla Extract (in fact, all of their liquid flavorings, food colorings, and extracts are g.f.)

Emeril's Essence - Asian, Italian

Ortega Taco Seasoning (In fact, since they are under a very strict labeling policy, all of their products are gluten free at this time)

Miscellaneous:

Ortega Taco Shells

Starkist or Great Value Tuna

Butter Buds

Great Value Soy Milk

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Apples

Pears

Carrots

(Fresh Produce in general)

Great Value Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Del Monte Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Ore Ida Tater Tots

Ore Ida French Fries

Hormel Chili

Hormel Spam

Hormel Turkey Spam (Oven Roasted or Smoked)

Hormel Vienna Sausages

Hormel Beef Au Jus Entrees

Hormel Pork Au Jus Entrees

Libby Vienna Sausages

I hope this helps a bit!

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

You're a life saver!!! Thank you so much. I am actually going to try shopping today. This is a huge help. I know anything "malted" is restricted, does that include "maltodextrin"?

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Here are some free restaurant cards in different languages:

http://www.celiactravel.com/restaurant-cards.html

You can buy Triumph dining cards (google) that even have information as to particular concern in given cuisines, like the spice hing in Indian food.

Before you travel, check current security information. There is no ban on food per se, but -- at least the last time I traveled -- you couldn't bring drinks through security or anything that was like a gel. As far as other countries are concerned, check in travel books or the web what you can and cannot bring into a country. I think the rules are different for different countries. The biggest problem I would think would be anything that could have parasites, like fresh produce.

Many airlines do offer a gluten-free meal, assuming you are flying far enough to be fed. You have to let them know in advance.

When I travel later this year, I plan on taking quite a few fruit/seed/nut bars for times when the pickings are slim. Naturally, I have reservations on the airline that does not seem to have a gluten-free meal. But then I'm also intolerant to milk, egg, soy, & yeast and don't eat meat -- I don't think they will have a meal like that.

I haven't found any restaurant cards in other languages that cover multiple intolerances, so I don't know that I can use cards like the above. They always say "I can eat" this and that, and I can't :o My understanding is that Europe & Australia/New Zealand are much easier to eat gluten-free. You can always look for the celiac organization for any place you are visiting and see what resources they have.

Check out the travel forum here. People discuss particular countries, what food they like to bring, etc.

THANK YOU!

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Hi melissa, 'maltodextrin' is safe in the US. However, anything witht the word 'malt' in front of it or just the word 'dextrin' is not. I have no idea why, but there you go. On the home page of this website if you scroll down, there is a link to safe and unsafe food ingredients. I would print out the 'unsafe' and bring it shopping.


If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

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Condiments:

Smart Balance Margerine

Crisco Shortening

Crisco Oil

Pompeiian Olive Oil

Great Value soy sauce

Heinz Ketchup

Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce

(snip)

Not all brand name products listed are gluten free in other countries. For example, Lea & Perrins worchestershire sauce is not safe in Canada or Europe...only the version made and sold in the U.S. is gluten free...the version sold in Canada is from the U.K. Definitely something to be aware of when travelling abroad.

Michelle

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Not all brand name products listed are gluten free in other countries. For example, Lea & Perrins worchestershire sauce is not safe in Canada or Europe...only the version made and sold in the U.S. is gluten free...the version sold in Canada is from the U.K. Definitely something to be aware of when travelling abroad.

Michelle

Dear Michelle,

You are right. The only ones that are safe are made in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., maltodextrin can be something other than corn. I know in Canada, that it contains wheat a lot of the time. Reading labels is always your best bet.

Dear Melissa,

You are very welcome! As the others said, reading labels is essential no matter what. Maltodextrin is not safe in many foreign countries. That is difficult for people like us. However, most items imported from the U.S. ought to be safe. When in doubt, call the company. Your employer may be able to help you get this information ahead of time. I know in Italy, there are more gluten free biscottis and the like available than in most others.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl


Jin

Strawberry Allergy, mold allergy, dustmites allergy, ragweed allergy, dust allergy, food dye allergy - 1985

Asthma - 1994

Ovarian Cyst - May 1999

Anemia - 2000

4 More Ovarian Cysts - March 2000

Bloodwork for Celiac - November 2000 negative

Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Intercolisis, Gastric Emptying Study - May and June 2001 negative biopsy

Fibromyalgia - June 2001

IBS - June 2001

Gallbladder Removal - July 28, 2003 after doctor said the tests showed nothing, so it was not gallbladder disease. It was very inflamed and irritated and nearly ruptured the surgeon told me at my 10 day post-op check-up.

Thyroid Disease - August 2004

Celiac Disease - March 2007 Current Dr. refers to me as Celiac, as she says blood tests are often inaccurate.

Official Purple Glittery Bat Keeper, District Attorney, and Chinese Restaurant Owner of The Silver Dragon of Rachelville

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Hello,

I was diagnosed less than 2 days ago. I have some good info but I have some travels coming up and plans to have dinner at friends houses, and I can't even figure out what to eat for lunch! I need some info on internantional travel... I heard something about "resteraunt cards" that you can show to a chef and they even come in different languages. Any idea on where to get these? What about travel restrictions? Do I need a leeter from an MD to bring food on a plane/ through a security check/ into another country. I think I am starting to panic and I am just 2 days in. Please help.

Melissa

I'm in Canada, and I travel to the US for business a couple times a year. (no language issues to deal with ;) , but customs and airlines, anyways)

I believe the main food items you can't take between US and Canada are fresh produce, dairy, and meat. I travel with pre-packaged dried fruit and nut bars, "Enjoy Foods" snack bars, and rice crackers in my carry-on, and I haven't had any trouble. There is usually fresh fruit, juice and water in the airport kiosks, so you just have to make a safe choice.

I try to book a hotel room with a fridge and microwave. If I can't get a fridge, I stop a Wal-Green's and get a small styrofoam cooler, and a bag of ice (you can NEVER get enough ice out of the ice machine at the hotel). My first stop after I arrive is either a "natural foods store" or a supermarket chain that has a natural foods section. I use the internet and find a promising store near my hotel, and print some maps and driving directions, so I know where I'm going in a new city.

My staples usually are: a loaf of gluten-free bread (yes, the commercial ones aren't always the greatest, but it's better than being hungry), a small jar of jam, a small package of cheese, a package of gluten-free sandwich meat, a few pieces of fresh fruit, a prepack salad, some yogurt, milk, and juice. If the hotel serves complimentary breakfast - I take some butter packets from the buffet (don't use their toaster). If I shop somewhere like "Wild Oats" that has a hot/cold deli, I might get a chicken breast and some salad as well. They often have prepacked mustard, etc at the deli, and they don't mind if you take a few packets (even if you didn't buy a sandwich :P ).

This way, I know I have safe food choices. If my travel companions want to go to a restaurant where I don't feel I have safe choices, I make a sandwich at the hotel before we go, and then I don't order at the restaurant.

It takes a little planning and effort, but I can't be sick while I'm on a work trip. So far, this strategy has worked fine.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Debbie


Gluten free since July 97

corn free since Jan 98

Never diagnosed by a Doctor

Symptoms cleared on gluten-free diet

Mom and one sister are also gluten-free

One sister with type I diabetes (diagnosed at age 10)

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Does anyone have any personal experience traveling gluten-free in Europe or anywhere else? Would you care to share your experience?

I was diagnosed with Celiac a couple of months ago and I've had such a tough time going out to eat that I figured I'd never really travel again. I know I'll visit family and friends but not travel as a tourist where I'd have to eat at a restaurant all the time.

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Dear Michelle,

You are right. The only ones that are safe are made in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., maltodextrin can be something other than corn. I know in Canada, that it contains wheat a lot of the time. Reading labels is always your best bet.

Actually, according to the Canadian Celiac Association, maltodextrin does not contain wheat and thus is safe to consume here as well. There are many ingredients that are the same throughout North America.

It really comes down to reading ingredients lists to ensure that a product does not contain gluten. One simply cannot assume that the exact same ingredients are used in a product that is sold in Canada vs. sold in the U.S. The difference in Lea & Perrins worchestershire sauce is that, in the U.K., the product is considered "suitable for a celiac diet" because it's gluten content follows the Codex Alimentarius guidelines...this is the same product that is imported and sold in Canada. The U.S. version of the product apparently does not have any gluten content.

Michelle

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Dear Michelle,

You are right. The only ones that are safe are made in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., maltodextrin can be something other than corn. I know in Canada, that it contains wheat a lot of the time. Reading labels is always your best bet.

NoGluGirl

Actually, maltodextrin is safe in Canada. But yes, always check the labels :)


Shirley

[save the Earth, It's the only planet with chocolate and wine.

It isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...

It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Gluten free since 1989

West Kootenay.... British Columbia

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There are many quick references available through this parent website, the Celiac Sprue association of America and specialty stores as Whole Foods or Wild Oats(though I read it will all be Whole Foods before long). I am 4 years into the diet and I still refence Bette Hagman's cookbooks for their prefaces. Quick references for condiments,spices,vinegars(I don't know why I have such a hard time keeping all them straight!!) has helped me through many a meal.

Try not to focus too much on what was......it's easier to just have a good blowout(no pun intended!!) of emotions, and then just deal with it day by day. At least you have ~14,000 or so new friends! :D


Iron deficiency without anemia, unexplained weight loss 2/2003

Positive celiac biopsy 4/2003

Autoimmune thyroiditis 8/2005

Gluten Free Since 2003

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So true GFMemphis!! :)

I've been doing a lot of reading in these forums and it's what's kept me going since going gluten-free in January 2007. I appreciate the tips on traveling - I find it so challenging to even go out for a meal once in awhile!! I feel reassured for sure! Thanks all!

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Dear Michelle and Shirley,

Thanks for the info. In case I ever get to travel, that helps a lot! It is amazing how things can change from one place to another. I personally feel there should be an international standard for this. That would simplify things a lot.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl


Jin

Strawberry Allergy, mold allergy, dustmites allergy, ragweed allergy, dust allergy, food dye allergy - 1985

Asthma - 1994

Ovarian Cyst - May 1999

Anemia - 2000

4 More Ovarian Cysts - March 2000

Bloodwork for Celiac - November 2000 negative

Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Intercolisis, Gastric Emptying Study - May and June 2001 negative biopsy

Fibromyalgia - June 2001

IBS - June 2001

Gallbladder Removal - July 28, 2003 after doctor said the tests showed nothing, so it was not gallbladder disease. It was very inflamed and irritated and nearly ruptured the surgeon told me at my 10 day post-op check-up.

Thyroid Disease - August 2004

Celiac Disease - March 2007 Current Dr. refers to me as Celiac, as she says blood tests are often inaccurate.

Official Purple Glittery Bat Keeper, District Attorney, and Chinese Restaurant Owner of The Silver Dragon of Rachelville

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