Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Rivergirl

This Sucks With My Crazy-busy, Travelin' Life!

Recommended Posts

In May I found out I had this crazy Celiacs-thing. The diagnosis was a long time coming with a multitude of symptoms, so it came to me as complete relief. I had high hopes thinking I could deal with the diet despite my crazy life. I travel once a week somewhere (not always a big town, sometimes internationally, and often a small town without franchise restaurants). When I am not on travel my job requires me to carry a heavy social calender. Dinner with consultants, rotary and chamber lunches, breakfast meetings, etc. On top of job socialization - I am just a social person - parties, baseball games, rafting, fishing, golfing, music festivals. I barely leave enough time in my life to do laundry, feed my dog, or kiss a boyfried - let alone cook. I actually have always hated cooking.

I try very hard to follow this diet, in fact, my solution to this diet has been: "when in doubt - don't eat". This has resulted in a very quick weightloss plan - but I am hungry all the time and I am drinking more (not excessively- but definately filling time I would be eating with drinking). But when I do eat out, I get very sick. I have went as far as calling ahead, asking for chef recommends for gluten free dishes, eating plain rice with salt and pepper with a side of steamed veggies, talking at length to the chef and waiter so they understand not to contaminate my food, going to restaurants where my trusted assosciates and friends are cooking the food (who promise me they will take care of me - but I still get SICK). I am sick of plain naked salad, corn tortillas, plain rice, broiled plain fish and chicken, and not enjoying the social aspect of eating out! :huh:Sorry had to whine for a moment.

I realize the best thing I could do for myself, is slow down, eat at home more often, and just suck it up! But this requires me to travel less in my job, and say no to more events and activities - I just do not want to give it up.

So -- I guess I am reaching out has anyone out there been in my shoes and chose a lifestyle change?

Or has someone out there found away to be a crazy, social traveling nutcase like me and not get sick all the time? All ideas welcome --------thanks

(by the way I am typing this while on travel and eating dinner - a handful of raw carrots and cottage cheese bought at the only grocery store in town, because I did not trust the Eat at Joe's place on the corner)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only suggestion would be to find a dietician who specializes in celiac disease. You're probably near a major city, so you should be able to find someone. I live close to Cleveland, and there's actually a dietician who has celiac disease at MetroHealth Medical Center. I'm thinking of going to her because she would know what she's talking about.

I can't help you with the lifestyle. I'm a teacher and auxiliary police officer who sticks close to home except for the yearly vacation to New York City. I'm sure someone on here has a fast paced life, though.

Good luck to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings,

I am new to this Celiac Biz myself. I have been gluten-free for two weeks and my birthday is Friday. I just want to eat

cake, pasta and bread. Which is my typical dinner in the North End of Boston.

I teach full time and we are always having parties for something, my mother is very Italian and not being very supportive. She is like the mother from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She told me the other day, "Oh a little wheat won't kill you." Well after I injested cookies that I thought were gluten-free and ending up with hives, she changed her mind.

I hear you. I love to travel as well. I have done some searches this week on the net. I am not able to find the site, but I came across a Gluten Free vacation / tour. There are a group of folks that travel together , I know they are leaving in the middle of February for a warm and tropical outting. I may be worth attempting to find it.

I searched under Gluten-Free Vacations, Disney offers gluten-free dining, not sure if you are up for that. I have contacted several different places that I frequently dine at. I was told my a few that if I give them 24 to 48 hour notice they will prepare something gluten-free just for me.

I hope this helps. Happy Traveling!

Take Care,

Sara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there's "slowing down" and there's "SLOWING DOWN". you can slow down to the point of taking one day a week to cook yourself up a bunch of food that you can eat throughout the rest of the week (lots of things will stay good for four or five days in a fridge, or longer in a freezer) that can fit in with your schedule. also, learning what things you can cook/prepare in 10 minutes can help.

it's not an all or nothing sort of thing, really, but you have to find where you can compromise. that, and - honestly - looking on the bright side of plain veggies and meat at a restaurant. I know it's hard, and you don't always have to eat that way (learning all the places you can eat great gluten-free food around you takes time, but is very useful), but sometimes, it's something to be grateful for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked tarnalberry's idea of taking a day and cooking for yourself. granted your lifestyle is going to need a slight change but once you get into the hang of things you will be back on your old routine. I noticed I am just as active now than I was before I started really getting sick. I am so happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear you-- I am always on the go and there are some days that that it is a luxury just to be able to go to the bathroom. I travel a lot now, and as soon as I am done college I will be traveling a lot more. It is just the nature of my occupation. I have learned that I don't have to slow down at all, I just need to smarten up. But, you need to eat otherwise you will be a grumpy monster and you won't have time for fun.

The first thing to do is to learn to love to cook. Hating to cook generally means that either you aren't very good at it, you hate spending the time, and/or you hate cleaning up. All three were me. However, cooking is a lot more tolerable when you actually know how to do it and are efficient. I would take a cooking class (great social activity and a lot of places will make gluten free food/allow you to do substitutions if you talk to them). What I do is I take one night a week, open a bottle of wine, turn on the TV, and make meals for the week. I make breakfast muffins, rice and beans or veggie soup for lunches and rice, tomato sauce (you can make up pasta later in the week), steamed veggies, and 2 or 3 different entrees for dinner. Then, I literally grab the tupperware and throw it in the microwave on the way out the door. I may spend 2 hours, at most, cooking for the week. If you pm me, I will give you my 30 minute recipes for pot roast, spinach/pepper/chicken pasta, tacos, and pot roast.

When I am on the road, I swear by Thai Kitchen noodle carts. All you need is hot water and 5 minutes. I have even made them in the airport. They are not exactly healthy, but better than starving. I also travel with a lot of fruit leathers, apple sauce, Envirokidz bars, dried fruit, and nuts. At restaurants I get either an omelet, bunless burger, steak, or nachos. It isn't great and you do have to go over the routine of explaining it a lot, but I generally am fine.

I am skeptical of eating food that someone other than me, my great aunt (who was nice enough to share her gene with me :angry: ), my boyfriend, or his parents (biologists who fully understand what gluten is and how horrible autoimmune diseases are) cook. This means that even my parents, grandparents, and friends get the third degree. Unless I am in the kitchen looking over their shoulder, I generally won't eat it. Instead I will either cook for everyone or I do drinks, but not dinner.

As far as all of the business/social dinners, there are a few things you can do: call ahead (if it is caterer and explain, then if you get sick, write a letter of complaint and follow up with a call to figure out what the problem was), bring your own food, or eat before hand. If someone who is not a professional is making the food, bring your own. As far as games and the outdoors, bring food. I can give you a recipe of chicken salad that keeps outside for hours (pm me if you want it). When I went white water rafting I brought a tupperware thing of chicken salad, a fruit leather, carrots, and trail mix and put it in the guides' first aid box. At festivals there is no way you should eat anything. I throw all sorts of nonperishable goodies in my purse and eat dinner before I go. You will save so much money by eating your own food and it tastes great.

Good luck!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I travel for a living but a few years ago i worked all over the world. The only thing is can say is bring the "i can't eat what products" cards with you to EVERYTHING. If you can't get an answer from people just start bringing your own stuff....sounds tacky and it's a bit embarrassing at first but you get over it real quick cause you aren't playing a guessing game!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to make room in your busy life to cook quick and simple meals. I do some traveling in my job but I am not required to eat out. I cook the main meals before I leave. I pack them in individual servings, freeze them and pack them in my check in luggage in a soft sided insulated beverage cooler with blue ice. I also bring along my own salad dressing, gluten free snacks and rice bread. When I get to my destination I buy the rest of my food including yogurt, drinks, eggs, and salad makings.

The key to my travel is I always rent room with a kitchen. I only eat at out at places with gluten free menus. I will either eat before hand or bring my own meal if the restaurant chosen does not have a gluten free meal. In order to do this you also need paper plates, plastic silverware, ziplock sandwich bags and at least on tupperware type (Gladware ect...) container that will hold a salad.

The other key coping strategy, in my opinion, is to segregate food from social events. You can still go to all your social functions, just don't eat the food. The people are the important part of the social event. Once quickly explained, if required, that you are on a medically restricted diet no one will blink an eye.

PM me if you want any more details on my travel friendly meals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big thanks to all of you... your ideas were refreshing and has really helped me get out of my whoa-is-me funk.

I love the idea of starting to think of cooking as a once-a-week social activity - drink some wine, crank the tunes, invite a friend... and COOK - cook for the week. As much as I thought I hate cooking, if I motivate myself by popping the cork off of a really really good wine, that will certainly help the situation.

I head to the UK next Sunday so I will most definately bring airplane snacks with me as suggested and I will tolerate the boiled potato and steamed veggie lunch until I can get home and settle in...

Big Hugs to all of you for helping me see that it will be OK....................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, btw, even on airplanes sometimes the airlines will offer a glutenfree menu. I thought, there was a list on this message board here at one time with the telefone numbers, wasn't it? Haven't been here for a while. Maybe somebody else can help out.

Here in the states you can get a glutenfree menu at Outback steakhouse and Carrabbas, but you have to ask for it at the desk at the entrance, when you enter the restaurant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My room mate bought me a toaster oven. At first I hated him for it cause I couldn't find good gluten-free bread....well I found good gluten-free bread and now that is all i cook in. I do what is called pouch cooking, you take any kind of meat, throw some seasons on it, wrap it loose in foil with a tiny vent at the top and throw it in there at 450 for about....fish i cook most and that's 15-20 min. You can also put tater tots in there, my fav! and any vegies with a tiny bit of water in the bottom of the foil and seasoning. Throw it in there for about 20 min and when it's done it's done, no mess, no dishes and it's fast! You can also (I learned this from Alton Brown on food TV, check out the pouch cooking show) do noodles!

Grab the gluten-free top ramen, layer in this order: top ramen, scallops, mushrooms, 5 shrimp, and the top ramen seasoning. This is where is gets a bit tricky. Bring the foil up and throw in 1 cups of water, close foil and cut a tiny vent and YAY you have a great meal! It's EASY! I love to cook but I find you can do so much with pouch cooking! It's also easy to travel with, just bring foil! lol I hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gotten back to traveling alot which is awesome. I went and bought a little cooler and I carry it with me. every couple of days I cook a good size meal and then portion it up in glad containers. This works very well for me since I'm single and don't want to have to cook a big meal every night. I made chicken and rice the other day. I have one container of that left. I made something else last night and have some of that left. I'll cook tonight and tomorrow since I have a friend coming in town next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi this did not cut and paste right I don't think, so just e-mail me at home from your email and I will send as an attachment. jacqui5129@comcast.net

Welcome! It does get better. I went through I guess like a drug withdrawal. I would dream about cheesy garlic bread and wake up salvitaing.

Sorry, I will probably overwhelm you but I have been through hell since September 2005. I was opposite of most Celiacs, I went up to 153 lbs. and my norm is 120, I slept for 20+ hours every day for ~6 months, I walk like a drunk (2 years) and use a walker or cane depending on where I am, numbness/tingling, memory loss, dizziness, migraines for 2 months 24/7, severe bloating, pain, constipation, and I have probably left a couple out. I had some typical symptoms of celiac disease plus the rare symptoms so was misdiagnosed until April 2006. I was picked and prodded for months even had a hysterectomy per my GYN thinking that the severe abdominal pain was b/c of scar tissue. Finally after that and an ER visit with severe abdominal pain and vomiting my GI doctor reluctantly did the scope on me which came back celiac disease and THEN he ordered the labs! I was actually diagnosed with IBS ~12 years ago, which is the most common diagnosis most Celiacs receive first. I probably have had celiac disease my whole life. Anyway that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to work away from home a lot too, so I have learned to start preparing food in advance. Theres many meals that can be made quickly in the crock-pot, then portioned and frozen for later use. We do roasts, soups, stews, pastas, etc. in ours. It doesnt take much time to prepare, then it cooks all day while Im at work.

I also got a lunch bag and pack it every day before I leave with all kinds of sandwiches, snacks etc. That way Im not tempted while Im away or should I decide to do something spontaneously I already have something to eat.

I highly recommend My Own Meals for traveling. They have 5 ready-made gluten free meals that just need to be microwaved or eaten strait from the container (I personally like mine hot though). I think they are really good, especially the Beef Stew. They have a site at www.myownmeal.com, but I bought mine at www.glutenfreetradingcompany.com These meals are also important to have around in case of emergency or if the power goes out. What I like most is that they dont contain eggs, dairy, wheat or soy and no preservatives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also carry my food with me and travel a lot though usually to the same places. I make sure where I am staying I have access to a fridge, and some way to warm my food. A big hassle, but I enjoy the trip more when I am not sick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Celiac Disease can be a watershed moment in someone's life. I can't offer practical advice about how to navigate your life because I live a very different life.

One of the things I've come to realize is that life cannot be the same anymore; no getting around that. I think though that this realization is going to mean something different to each person who is diagnosed. My beliefs are such that I don't think anything happens without reason or purpose in our lives. But while believing that, I also understand that figuring out what that reason or purpose is ain't easy to say the least. I've said it before and I'll say it till the day I pass over, LIFE NEEDS TO COME WITH A FREAKING MANUAL.

I think the challenge, above and beyond the practical issues of what's safe to eat and where, is to find a way to accept Celiac Disease and acknowledge that this change now has a place in your life. To be very new age about it, you have to honor the change and accept it. I think that is the one thing that makes everything else easier.

How you do that, I don't know :blink: I'm still working on that. I was diagnosed in December of 06. Celiac Disease requires us to live very conscious lives which most people just don't do. We have to stop and read labels, ask questions and question answers. Being that conscious on a day to day basis is hard, particularly at first, but I think it leads to other realizations, and I think with time it helps you find a way to accept and integrate Celiac Disease into your life. It may lead you places you hadn't planned on going. I'm learning to be open to the options and possibilities and accept #%"&* change into my life :)

violet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To the OP (and whoever else, of course)... I do a fair amount of travelling and eating out (nothing like you though!). When I was diagnosed a year ago, it seemed like the first 6 months I just felt worse instead of better. It seemed like my body just went nuts--some days it seemed the only I wasn't reactive to was good old rice & bananas.

But whether I got smarter about what I put into my mouth, or my body finally learned to chill on the new diet, I've no idea, (probably both) but eating out's a lot easier now. And if I do eat something that's CC, it's not the gigantic setback that it was initially. For me, anyway.

It was really difficult for me to learn how to be firm with restaurant people. There's a bit of an art to walking that fine line between scaring them and scaring them off. But it's possible to be polite and gregarious and inspire people to take you seriously and go to those extra lengths for you and to have them even do it happily. As a social person, I'm sure you already know what I mean. It took me a bit longer to learn.

I also found the Triumph dining cards indispensible. They even look kind of official so restaurant folks tend to take them seriously. Plus, it means you don't need to rely on the server to accurately convey what you just said to the back of the house. And they can re-read what they need to. And the cards are cuisine-specific.

It also took a while to not feel weird about taking food into restaurants, movies, etc. Again, I try to be discreet and respectful, but I never hide what I'm doing--instead I let them know right away what I've brought in and why. It doesn't hurt to order some pricier item off the menu to go with your little packed items--or tipping well's always appreciated.

But so are remembering servers' names, looking people in the eye, smiling, asking for the manager, compliments...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work in the food industry and was just diagnosed in June and calling ahead, off hours and speaking to a manager is key. (FYI - Most managers have Mondays or Tuesdays off)

I was planning a going away party, I am leaving my current job this current Friday, and we are going to be a party of 30. When one of the managers I was talking to started to give me a hard time about bringing in outside food I reminded him that there would be 28 other people buying appetizers and drinks and that we could go elsewhere if there was a problem. (This was after he tried to tell me that serving the 2 celiac peeps their shrimp appetizer sans sauce would be safe and then started wavering about it) I said that it wasn't just me, that there would be one other person who cannot eat gluten and I want that person to feel comfortable and not like she is missing out. (IT A PARTY after all!)

Restaurants want our business:

1. because of sites like this where people share good and bad experiences

2. if they provide a safe meal we are more likely to return

3. statistically word of mouth is the best marketing tool (you are 10x more likely to patronize a place a friend recommends than if you see an ad for it)

4. many food service people KNOW about celiac and gluten intolerances, which is a giant leg up. you still need to go through the list of cans/cannots, but I have been amazed at the level of knowledge I have encountered

I am not saying be rude, but telling a business that you travel frequently and needed to hold business meetings, it might help push them into being more accommodating. Also asking a manager detailed questions like "is the flourless chocolate cake baked in pans dedicated JUST to that recipe" is easier to do when its not the lunch or dinner rush.

I agree that preparing meals in advance is key, but as a foodie, I refuse to give up going out to eat :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...