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320 days

Travel 320 Days

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I am on the road for 320 days a year. How the heck can I do a gluten free diet? You can't find it at any restaurant?????? Help me, this is hard. I have diabetic family. This is FAR harder than eating as a diabetic.

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are you traveling by car or plane? Either way it looks like a cooler & an electric skillet will be your best friends. Cooler is easy if by car, if by plane you can pack food but no ice or liguids...

Yes, there are restaurants that have gluten-free menu, some are on line. For the retaurant go to menu & then nutritional menu or special diet. Anything is doable if you want to do it & can actually be quite adventuresome. You would also need to contact the local support groups where you will be staying.

going to New hampshire anytime soon? the list serve just posted about a fabulous place there, B & B, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shop with gluten-free goodies.

BTW, I hope you make oodles of money to justify being on the road for 320 days & not having a home life. Are you sure it is worth it?

we need details of how you structure your day & what you want to eat. Do you need to take a lunch? are you in the boonies or cities??? Makes a big difference. If you are in NY City you are in gluten-free heaven...

also you should order that book about gluten free restaurants...

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320 DAYS A YEAR???!! :blink: What on earth is your career???? I think astronauts are home more than you!

Hmm. Breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, or eggs fried to order (scrambled are often premixed with pancake batter to stay fluffy), gluten-free cereal in your room with milk.

Lunch and dinner: salad (NO croutons!) and grilled meat, plain steamed vegies, Chinese restaurant steamed meat/fish with vegies (no sauce or BYO soy sauce), fresh fruit.

Emergency hotel room food: canned tuna, canned salmon, canned chicken, Spam (read labels, though!), minute rice cooked with immersion coil and coffee cup, peanut butter, canned baked beans (read those labels!), Hormel chili (I think someone said it's gluten-free), Larabars, nuts, Nutella, canned fruit, applesauce cups, etc.

You might download some of those free diner's cards that are translated into a million language that explain celiac and what you can and can't eat. I can't remember what they are called--anybody?

Are you diabetic, too, or can you have desserts?

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I always rent a room with a kitchen. I premake and freeze signal meals to take with me. The amount depends on the availablity of gluten free food at my destination and if I am going by car or air.

For car travel I bring all of my own food. The cold and frozen food in an ice chest.

For air travel I have packed my premade frozen meals in my suitecase and checked them. I put them in as softsided soda/lunch pack with blue ice.

I also bring along or buy the following:

Plastic silverware

A gladlock/ziplock large enough to put a salad in

Ziplock sandwich and gallon bags

Paper Plates, bowls and cups

Salt

Can Opener

Salad Dressing (leak proof container), I make my own oil and vineger that does not need to be refrigerated.

I locate a health food store near where I am staying and call them asking about the selection of gluten free food. I start by looking for a WholeFoods or Wld Oats Store. If that fails I access one of the companies that specialize in gluten free products and access the "where to buy the procucts link".

I have also contacted the local support group prior to leaving for suggestions for places to buy food and go out to eat.

It takes preplanning to eat gluten free on the road but it is possible.

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hotel with a kitchen, and bring your own pan and utensils.

that's what I did whenever I had business travel.

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Great suggestions, everyone! Only problem is, it sounds like 320 days is NOT going to have access to a good freezer to freeze that blue ice at night. Even renting a hotel fridge doesn't guarantee that you'll get one that has a working freezer compartment (they're usually those little dorm-cube fridges).

When you are working all day, checking in a hotel at night, and leaving first thing in the morning for another destination, you don't have TIME to shop/prepare/pack meals and ingredients. It's hard enough just to pack and repack clothes every night and plan when to clean them! (I only have to do that kind of thing for a few weeks a year, I don't know HOW you manage, 320 days!)

I think what will be most helpful at this point would be suggestions for the best chances at gluten-free at restaurants, and suggestions for non-perishables to bring in a suitcase.

320, are you traveling mostly by car or plane?

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hotel with a kitchen, and bring your own pan and utensils.

that's what I did whenever I had business travel.

I agree with Tiffany.

For when you can't, invest in a toaster oven (small) that you can bring with you to plug in at a non-kitchen hotel.

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Get in the habit of stopping at grocery stores or health food markets instead of restaurants when you're hungry. You might have to eat simple stuff while traveling, but it's very doable. :)

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When I was travelling frequently, a long, long, time ago as a young single female to a place that I felt uncomfortable to be out by myself after dark . . .

I went to the grocery store after my work day was done, and just bought a few "groceries" for my meals and ate in my room. Even if I had to throw half of it away because I couldn't take it with me (and there was no refridgerator) it was still cheaper than eating at most restaurants. There are lots of hotels that have a microwave - you could heat up chili, or (gluten-free Progresso soup), hormel has the ready to go roast beef and pork roasts (w/au jus NOT w/gravy) that are pretty good, grab a bag of salad and some raw veggies or fruit . . . whatever you would normally buy at a mainstream store.

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When you're first diagnosed, there is a substantial learning curve and there is much work, research, trial and error, etc. Villi damage usually takes at least several years to heal, for most adults, even under the best of circumstances.

Having a job 'on the road" is the worst job a person with celiac can have. I do not think that it's possible to travel to that extent, with Celiac, and avoid getting glutened. Unless you travel in a Winnebago with a kitchen, cross-contamination, or worse, in restaurants is inevitable. Even in restaurants that are gluten aware, mistakes can happen.

You have to take care of your health, and to have a long healthy life, I would strongly advise that you consider changing careers - unless you somehow can prepare and carry your own food.

We have enough trouble planning an annual vacation in a hotel that has a room with a fully-equipped kitchen, near a large health food store or supermarket that carry gluten-free foods. Good luck.

Edit: Sorry to sound "negative" - but that's my honest opinion. Sometimes you have to make major life-changes, and if I had that job I'd get out.

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I think it IS possible to eat at restaurants and not get glutened--but the menu might get a little boring after a while! Then again,many of us have been complaining that what we prepare at home is getting a little boring!

At a restaurant, you would have to request to speak to either the manager or the chef EVERY TIME, and be prepared to leave the restaurant if it looks like they just don't get it. But impossible? No way. We can have plain broiled meat or fish (ask the chef to put it on tin foil before broiling), salad with a wedge of lime for dressing, or oil and vinegar, plain white or brown steamed rice (available at any Asian restaurant with very little chance of cc, as noodles are never cooked in rice cookers)and plain steamed vegies.

Having done quite a bit of traveling for work myself, I can tell you flat out that it isn't always possible to GET to a grocery store. Here in Pittsburgh, for example, grocery stores simply don't exist in downtown Pittsburgh. There just aren't any (unless you count 7-11, which I don't). And if you are downtown without a car, well, then, you are out of luck if you want to buy groceries.

Go for it, 320days--and tell us how it's going, okay?

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I am wondering why your doctor wants you to quit eating gluten ... does he think you are intolerant/celiac? Or does he just want you to avoid it best you can for some other reason?

There would be a big difference on how I would handle it based on the doctor's reason.

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Thank you all, been busy. I am a trainer. I have LOTS of problems w/ the enbrel and having to handle temp. Yeh Dr. is pretty sure it is Celiac due to character of skin problems. Soon as I have the money I will be getting the blood tests.

My days here in Northern MN and getting here were not good. Basically didn't eat, which totally crashed me.

There is a Celiac at the store I am training and she showed me some stuff. I have read Gluten for Dummies but in a small town where I have never been it is tough. She was good to talk to but the different hotel every night is tough.

Honestly depressing as hell. Which sent me into a bit of not taking the Synthroid, and have to get home ot get check to get the Enbrel and my skin has ERUPTED after two weeks w/o it.

I've read that P F Changs, Outback, and Bonefish have gluten-free menues.

Subway manager was great in Mpls airport area in explaining to his employee how to prepare a salad for me.

Panera said that they would seriously try to avoid contamination.

There is more coverage, so there are glimmers of understanding, but I work VERY long hours and eating is turning out to be a real tough thing.

Skin, Thyroid, Enbrel, Adhd, Amphets for that, as much metabolic stuff as I could imagine.

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I am wondering why your doctor wants you to quit eating gluten ... does he think you are intolerant/celiac? Or does he just want you to avoid it best you can for some other reason?

There would be a big difference on how I would handle it based on the doctor's reason.

Hi, thanks, he is pretty sure, but have to get tests. He sort of specializes in this stuff. This is not easy and I basically passed out last night. Couldn't hold water down. So sick, think it was only an apple and two eggs in 2.5 days cause I couldn't find anything to eat up here in rural MN. Nice Celiac woman helped me today find some packages of food.

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I think it IS possible to eat at restaurants and not get glutened--but the menu might get a little boring after a while! Then again,many of us have been complaining that what we prepare at home is getting a little boring!

At a restaurant, you would have to request to speak to either the manager or the chef EVERY TIME, and be prepared to leave the restaurant if it looks like they just don't get it. But impossible? No way. We can have plain broiled meat or fish (ask the chef to put it on tin foil before broiling), salad with a wedge of lime for dressing, or oil and vinegar, plain white or brown steamed rice (available at any Asian restaurant with very little chance of cc, as noodles are never cooked in rice cookers)and plain steamed vegies.

Having done quite a bit of traveling for work myself, I can tell you flat out that it isn't always possible to GET to a grocery store. Here in Pittsburgh, for example, grocery stores simply don't exist in downtown Pittsburgh. There just aren't any (unless you count 7-11, which I don't). And if you are downtown without a car, well, then, you are out of luck if you want to buy groceries.

Go for it, 320days--and tell us how it's going, okay?

Awful.

I think that I could find no food for 2 and a half days had something to do w/ me getting so ill yesterday and not being able to hold water and passing out when I got back to work at hotel room.

There was a nice Celiac woman where I am working that showed me a dozen things at Target that are Gluten Free.

She said there was a section at the supermarket, but I couldn't find a damn thing other than plain Tuna, which, btw, I like.

Are Kidney Beans as generally in cans ok? I LOVE a mean of a can of tuna and a can of Kidney Beans.

This is harder than skin, thyroid, and other metabolism issues.

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Your skin, ADHD,and thyroid problems are almost certainly caused by the celiac in the first place (I have the skin and thyroid issues, too, if that helps you any). Many people with celiac describe a certain "brain fog" that goes away when gluten-free.

Yes, canned beans and canned tuna are most likely safe. Look at the label to be sure (ingredients would have to say; "contains WHEAT" if a wheat-based modified starch is used--modified food starch is usually but not always made from corn in this country). Tuna packed in olive oil is generally safer, as they don't usually add "broth" to it. Canned vegies and fruits are actually a good bet. Most places have canned applesauce--even McDonald's and Wendy's do, I believe.

And someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't someone say that Hormel canned chili and beef stew are gluten-free?

I'm about to say something that some here may disagree with: I think you are better off EATING, and maybe risk making a few mistakes as you start out. NOT EATING is obviously taking an enormous toll on you. It took me over a month to figure out that Rice Krispies and Corn FLakes are not gluten-free--but even though I was eating them (and making similar mistakes about other foods), I STILL felt about 500% better.

I'm not recommending that you go out and buy a box of Rice Krispies. Then again, I'm told that in England, they are considered gluten-free, as the labeling rules there allow a certain tiny amount of gluten, even though many celiacs react to that tiny amount.

So I suppose that it's better to eat "nearly-gluten-free," and be eating healthy amounts of the healthiest, gluten-free-est food you can find, if the alternative is starvation. You are in a very tough position, and we on this board should support you! Quitting the job seems to be the answer for some, but if it's not the answer for you, heck, it's your life! I don't recommend quitting your job if it's something you love. I think you can find a way to make it work, even if you don't find that way for a few months or so.

Maybe you should do the best you can for now--bunless burgers, plain grilled meat, eggs, fruit, vegies, rice, and lots of salads WITH NO CROUTONS--and re-evaluate your situation in a month or two. Yes, you will probably be getting a tiny amount of gluten here and there. It might affect you noticeably; some people here become violently ill for days from a crumb.

It might not seem to affect you at all (but be aware that it could still be triggering your immune system to be attacking things like your thyroid and your skin, even if your digestion is perfect).

You might try keeping a food diary of what you eat (more than an egg and an apple, please!), see how you feel and if flare-ups match up with certain foods. If you are uncertain about some meals when you are on the road, eat them anyway if the alternative is starvation, then when you have time, post what your choices were here, and we can tell you what the best choices would have been and why.

Going gluten-free is a learning experience. Please don't feel pressured to be perfect the first week or even month in. You'll get there! Really! Most of us here made mistakes in the beginning

If your doctor is pretty sure, then it should be up to you whether you want tests. Being gluten-free will screw up the tests. Being on gluten might not be worth it, especially if your rash is DH--that's a guaranteed diagnosis of celiac anyway.

With all the travel you do, you might try to find out if there's a celiac support group somewhere near whatever cities you visit, and contact them in advance. Google health food stores in those cities, too--they usually have gluten-free stuff that the supermarkets might not carry. And if you are in such rural areas that you can't find salad bars, then you can likely find farm stores--and they have tomatoes, carrots, fruit, and most likely cheese. You can find sliced deli meats at any supermarket. I think most major chains have a gluten-free list on their websites. (Some deli meats are marinated in soy sauce, which contains wheat. Same goes for rotisserie chicken, BUT Sam's Club, Costco, and Boston Market all have gluten-free rotisserie chicken!!)

Minute rice (white or brown) is gluten-free--travel with that and a hot pot or an immersion coil and a mug, and you won't starve!

Gluten-free sections at supermarkets are usually located in or near the organic section.

Best of luck to you, and I hope to hear back from you SOON that you are feeling better!

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once you learn what is gluten free in any supermarket, you'll find it much easier. there actually are a lot of things, but it won't be all that tasty if you can't do a bit of cooking. canned beans and vegetables and meats - if unseasoned and unembelished - are often gluten free. (always check the labels) and rice cakes and peanut butter make a filling and transportable breakfast. hummus from a refrigerated section and a bag of baby carrots can be a quick grab for something actually fairly filling and healthy, even if it's not actually a complete protein. you'll learn the tricks, but, quite frankly, you may need to take some time off to do it, because it takes effort and time to process through your brain. it's also really not optional if you want to be healthy.

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Thank you all....

Given the character of the skin on my back it is pretty sure.

OutBack has been really really good.

This is hard, but getting used to it.

Lots else going on in my life now so it is just one more challenge.

Thank you all for your suggestions.......

Your skin, ADHD,and thyroid problems are almost certainly caused by the celiac in the first place (I have the skin and thyroid issues, too, if that helps you any). Many people with celiac describe a certain "brain fog" that goes away when gluten-free.

Yes, canned beans and canned tuna are most likely safe. Look at the label to be sure (ingredients would have to say; "contains WHEAT" if a wheat-based modified starch is used--modified food starch is usually but not always made from corn in this country). Tuna packed in olive oil is generally safer, as they don't usually add "broth" to it. Canned vegies and fruits are actually a good bet. Most places have canned applesauce--even McDonald's and Wendy's do, I believe.

And someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't someone say that Hormel canned chili and beef stew are gluten-free?

I'm about to say something that some here may disagree with: I think you are better off EATING, and maybe risk making a few mistakes as you start out. NOT EATING is obviously taking an enormous toll on you. It took me over a month to figure out that Rice Krispies and Corn FLakes are not gluten-free--but even though I was eating them (and making similar mistakes about other foods), I STILL felt about 500% better.

I'm not recommending that you go out and buy a box of Rice Krispies. Then again, I'm told that in England, they are considered gluten-free, as the labeling rules there allow a certain tiny amount of gluten, even though many celiacs react to that tiny amount.

So I suppose that it's better to eat "nearly-gluten-free," and be eating healthy amounts of the healthiest, gluten-free-est food you can find, if the alternative is starvation. You are in a very tough position, and we on this board should support you! Quitting the job seems to be the answer for some, but if it's not the answer for you, heck, it's your life! I don't recommend quitting your job if it's something you love. I think you can find a way to make it work, even if you don't find that way for a few months or so.

Maybe you should do the best you can for now--bunless burgers, plain grilled meat, eggs, fruit, vegies, rice, and lots of salads WITH NO CROUTONS--and re-evaluate your situation in a month or two. Yes, you will probably be getting a tiny amount of gluten here and there. It might affect you noticeably; some people here become violently ill for days from a crumb.

It might not seem to affect you at all (but be aware that it could still be triggering your immune system to be attacking things like your thyroid and your skin, even if your digestion is perfect).

You might try keeping a food diary of what you eat (more than an egg and an apple, please!), see how you feel and if flare-ups match up with certain foods. If you are uncertain about some meals when you are on the road, eat them anyway if the alternative is starvation, then when you have time, post what your choices were here, and we can tell you what the best choices would have been and why.

Going gluten-free is a learning experience. Please don't feel pressured to be perfect the first week or even month in. You'll get there! Really! Most of us here made mistakes in the beginning

If your doctor is pretty sure, then it should be up to you whether you want tests. Being gluten-free will screw up the tests. Being on gluten might not be worth it, especially if your rash is DH--that's a guaranteed diagnosis of celiac anyway.

With all the travel you do, you might try to find out if there's a celiac support group somewhere near whatever cities you visit, and contact them in advance. Google health food stores in those cities, too--they usually have gluten-free stuff that the supermarkets might not carry. And if you are in such rural areas that you can't find salad bars, then you can likely find farm stores--and they have tomatoes, carrots, fruit, and most likely cheese. You can find sliced deli meats at any supermarket. I think most major chains have a gluten-free list on their websites. (Some deli meats are marinated in soy sauce, which contains wheat. Same goes for rotisserie chicken, BUT Sam's Club, Costco, and Boston Market all have gluten-free rotisserie chicken!!)

Minute rice (white or brown) is gluten-free--travel with that and a hot pot or an immersion coil and a mug, and you won't starve!

Gluten-free sections at supermarkets are usually located in or near the organic section.

Best of luck to you, and I hope to hear back from you SOON that you are feeling better!

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I also travel a lot, but am not in a different place every night, and I travel in Asia mostly.

Nuts are my food to fall back on. I carry cashews every time I travel. I buy raw and bake them myself but you can probably find them already roasted and safe to eat.

I also carry my food with me, frozen in individual portion containers. I usually check this bag as well for air travel.

Do most of the hotels have a microwave? This would add options.

Baked potato in a restaurant is something I try that is usually pretty safe.

There are some places that make gluten free pizza; if you could find one of those, buy extra, wrap the pieces in foil and freeze them to take with you. I make my own at home and take with me.

Someone on the forum posted a list of Campbells and another brand of soup, which were gluten free. This would work great if you have a microwave.

Maybe a restaurant would boil your noodles in a clean pot if you bring your own gluten free pasta. Or buy the instant type, and then buy gluten-free spaghetti sauce and heat in the microwave.

Walmart has gluten-free foods among their own brand name foods

I agree that it takes quite awhile to adjust, hang in there, it does get better.

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Hello,

I also travel a lot, and here is how I do it and stay sane.

First, before I leave or as soon as I get there, I go to the grocery store and get Tostidos or Fritos, salsa, and Taco Bell Fat Free refried beans. I also pick up Thai Kitchen Noodle Carts, plain apple sauce, and fruit leathers (I get the target brand). This is my emergency kit and everything put the chips travel well.

Then I go out with to dinner with people (we normally have working meals) and I survey the menu. If they don't fry the chips, nachos are normally safe, or I get a bun-less burger, or croutonless salad. If nothing looks safe, I order a drink and will eat the emergency food when I get back.

When I don't have to be at a lunch/dinner meeting I am normally better off. Wendy's chili, baked potato, and side salad make a yummy meal. So does Chicfilla's (I know I butchered it) waffle fries and grilled chicken salad.

My best advice is to make food the first thing you think about when you arrive so that you don't have to think about it later. The first thing I did when I got to my conference was find food. Luckily there were gluten free breakfast bars in the conference center store, but if you aren't that lucky, a bag of peanuts, snickers, or fritos can hold you over.

Good luck!

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Outback - gluten-free menu - be sure to read the red notes about how to modify your order. They instruct you on the menu to order your veggies with "no seasonings".

P.F. Chang's - gluten-free menu - yum is all I can say.

First Watch (breakfast and lunch place in some cities) - look online at their suggested menu for eating gluten free.

Chipotle - Burrito Bol (tell them you are "allergic" to wheat and ask them to put on fresh gloves, and skip the hottest salsa, which may contain gluten)

If you have to eat at a regular restaurant, the grill is your friend.

Try ordering:

plain grilled meat/fish, no grill seasonings

baked potato

plain steamed veggies, no seasonings

and of course salads, no croutons

It is important to say "no seasonings." If necessary, approach the staff closest to the kitchen when you come in and say, "I have food allergies and I need to talk to the chef before I order." Most are going to be happy to get the cook or chef for you. Tell the chef that you are allergic to wheat (it's easier to explain than Celiac) and that you are going to order X,Y,Z and you need it to be prepared straight up, no grill seasonings.

If you ever come to KC for travel, try staying at the downtown Hyatt. It's either the GM or the manager for the Hyattt restaurants in KC who has Celiac disease. I ordered room service twice at the Hyatt. I mentioned to the person who picked up the call for room service that I had special dietary needs. I also mentioned that I heard their managaer had Celiac disease and that I had heard they could handle gluten free. Both times, the room service people quickly told me (very politely), yeah, so-and-so has Celiac disease and we know how to do gluten free. I still ordered similar to above (plain grilled meats/fish, and plain steamed veggies). Both times I received good meals that did not make me sick (and I am very sensitive). The first time, rolls were accidentally brought with my meal, but they were accidentally added by the server, not the chef. I had the server call back up to the room to confirm that the meal was gluten free, and they did ring back up to do so. The rolls were wrapped in a cloth napkin, so I simply discarded the rolls and the napkin, and washed my hands.

For busy work and travel days, I also rely on non-perishable items like nuts, prepackaged gluten free foods like "Not Nuts!" trail mix by Enjoy Life foods, Tropicana FruitWise fruit strips, the small bags of Mareblu Naturals nut clusters (the big bags are made at a different facility and contain malt - steer clear), Enjoy Life chocolate chips (I have a major chocolate weakness).

What can you learn to make on a hot plate or microwave? Bring cans of food with you, b/c they don't spoil. Bring a can opener with you. I find that a can of organic chicken (I think I get mine at Wal-Mart) + a rinsed can of Libby's organic pinto or kidney beans, plus the individual spices cumin, chili powder, salt, and onion powder (other spices to your taste) makes a decent quick "pantry" (no cook) chili. You still need to heat it up somehow, whether microwave or hot plate. Medium heat for a longer time is better than high power for a short time, it makes the flavors blend better. Stir the spices in well. I like the organic varieties of canned foods because they tend to have fewer ingredients and less risk for contamination. You can buy individual spices on the spice aisle at grocery stores. If you are not a cook but like mexican flavor, the spice cumin is the flavor base for the mexican flavor. Just shake it on generously, you'll be surprised at how it enhances plain foods. It goes best when you also add onion or garlic powder, salt, and a dash of oregano or another green herb like basil. At home I like cooking with fresh onion and garlic, but the powdered forms should be okay for on the road.

Good luck. I really sympathize.

April

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