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Laura!

Central America And South America

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I just found out that I'll be traveling around Central and South America for 7 months this year (for my job) and I'm VERY excited but also pretty nervous about eating there gluten-free. I don't even speak spanish (but I'm going to try to learn)!

Have any of you ever been there? (Or are any of you from there?)

Do you know what sort of things I can order in restaurants?

I'm pretty anxious, so I would be really, really grateful for any advice.


♥ Laura

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Congratulations what a great experience you will have! What areas are you going to? I know in Nicaragua it would be really easy to stay on a gluten free menu. Their diet consists of beans, rice and corn for the most part.

I would try some spanish c.d.'s but down there it is a little different than Americanized Spanish.

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I was in Mexico (Queretaro) last month. Restaurants are tricky, very few waiters speak English. Some restaurants have separate Spanish and English menus, those are fairly easy. DO NOT eat mashed potatoes in a restaurant in Mexico, they all seem to be putting wheat into those!

Not even the restaurant in the international airport in Mexico City had any people who spoke English. And I mean none, not a word (unless you count 'no', which is the same in Spanish ;) )! Which is pretty bad, when you consider that at least half the people going through there don't speak Spanish.

You should be safe ordering tacos, just make sure they are corn tacos. Of course, you can't expect anybody to understand about cc, so you always take your chances, unless you go to a restaurant every day that is so expensive only rich people can afford it.

Be safe, don't drink tap water, and don't eat anything from a roadside stand! Wash fruit, and don't eat it if somebody else peeled it. Which reminds me, don't assume you got glutened when you get D, because if you didn't follow the instructions for water and fruit, you might have a bacteria, or maybe even parasites!


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Congratulations what a great experience you will have! What areas are you going to? I know in Nicaragua it would be really easy to stay on a gluten free menu. Their diet consists of beans, rice and corn for the most part.

I'll be going to a different city every week from June to December, so I'll get to go pretty much everywhere, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, etc. :) I'm so excited to see so many new places!

And I just thought of something else:

You know the list of "forbidden" ingredients that's on the celiac.com website? Do you think there's a spanish version of it out there somewhere? It would be really cool if I could bring that with me to grocery stores so that I'll know what's in the food that I'm buying.


♥ Laura

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I tried to find a list of premade foods that were safe, but it's not really feasible in most third world countries because it seems, at least in Mexico, that the grocery stores get a lot of random things and when those are sold, they're replaced with other random food items. Some of the same brands are usually available like Kelloggs and Campbells, but they don't always label with allergens listed. I used to have a list of safe food items in Spanish, but I haven't been able to find it. If I do find it, I'll post it here. I did find a few things online. I realize you said you don't speak Spanish, but these might be good to have with you down there because unless people are fluent in English, they probably won't really understand the information in English.

I found one of the food lists! It's from Argentina:

http://www.nutrinfo.com/pagina/gyt/celiacos.pdf

These other ones are just information.

Spanish

http://celiac.org/spanish-quickstart.php

http://celiac.org/spanish-brochure.php

I got those off of this site (in English):

http://celiac.org/celiac disease-main.php

More Spanish although most of the site is in English:

http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/en_espanol/...celiac_esp.html

Basic information, no foods listed, but discussion of the disease and symptoms:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish...icle/000233.htm

Argentinian celiac site in Spanish and some things in English:

http://www.celiaco.org.ar/

More food information:

http://www.olavarria.com/archivos/organism...luten/index.php

Here's a totally random Celiac blog. I think it's from Spain.

http://infoceliaquia.blogspot.com/

I hope that helps. Send me a message if you need more help with stuff.

Ezme

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I took a month-long trip to Costa Rica a couple years ago. It was pre-DX, but I hardly remember any gluten. Beans, rice and corn is right! With my host family, a typical day of meals would be: homeade tortillas with eggs and rice and beans for breakfast, and rice and beans with chicken or fish or something for lunch and dinner (they aren't big on dinner down there). This is about what you'll get in restaurants too: your main concern will be the seasoning on things. It shouldn't be too hard.

Buena suerte, espero que vayas bien y que no te enfermes :) you'll be suprised at how easy it is to pick up Spanish once you're down there... I went with two years of school spanish (easily replicated with a celiac disease in a couple months) and came back casi fluente! (almost fluent)


Gluten Free since 10/07

Mildly Lactose Intolerant, slight intestinal symptoms after eating milk products, but easily corrected with lactase enzyme

Endometriosis- DX'd 5/07

Gluten Antibodies- "negative"...don't know exact numbers, am highly suspicious...

DXed celiac 12-19-07 via genetics/elimination diet- DQ2 allele

Brother with Celiac, aspergers...his tests were all negative (he didn't have genetics done), including endoscopy, but he definitely is at the least gluten intolerant...highly suspect my mother has it as well- she has hyperthyroid, fibromyalgia, hemochromatosis, and now colon cancer, and she has been weak and exhausted and just generally sick. She's going to get tested.

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I took a month-long trip to Costa Rica a couple years ago. It was pre-DX, but I hardly remember any gluten. Beans, rice and corn is right! With my host family, a typical day of meals would be: homeade tortillas with eggs and rice and beans for breakfast, and rice and beans with chicken or fish or something for lunch and dinner (they aren't big on dinner down there). This is about what you'll get in restaurants too: your main concern will be the seasoning on things. It shouldn't be too hard.

Thanks for the info... do you think I need to worry about flour being in any of the tortillas, or do you think they're always made with corn?


♥ Laura

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Thanks for the info... do you think I need to worry about flour being in any of the tortillas, or do you think they're always made with corn?

The corn tortillas are **usually** made with only cornmeal. I had the unfortunate experience of watching the girl at my favorite little restaurant pour wheat flour into the masa (cornmeal dough) in order to make it softer. The ones you can get at tortiller

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