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majicbunnies

Is Backpacking Possible?

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I am 19, and very sensitive to gluten. I realllly would like to travel someday. I would like to backpack around Europe, Mexico, wherever really. I'm worried about how I would eat though. Most of what I eat now are:

Veggies, Fruits

Microwaved or baked food (either covered in the microwave, or baked in my own toaster oven, or covered in foil in someone else's oven)

I don't know how backpacking would work in my case! Would I eat only fruits and veggies? Would that give me enough energy???

If I do come across a microwave and napkins so that I can cover my food (like my bread, I cover it so that any food splatters with gluten don't come in contact with my gluten-free food)..well the issue there is how am I supposed to get gluten-free bread when it needs to be refridgerated? And there is no guarantee I will find specialty stores around the country everywhere I go.

Do I just live off of fruits, veggies, nuts, and berries? Will that give me sustainable energy?

Help! I want this so badly!! I need to see the world without feeling too restricted or left out =(


Scream thy last scream!

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I am not sure about Mexico but it can be done in Europe. I assume by backpacking you will be staying in youth hostels and taking the train. You do have to stop at the grocery store everyday. In Europe these are generally in the basements of department stores. I did this thirty years ago and lived mainly on fruit, veggies, yogurt and roasted chicken (I bought it at butcher shops, not sure if this can be done today). It should be much easier today to locate a larger variety of foods and places to eat out.

Do your research online to find places to buy specialtly gluten free foods in various cities and countries. E-mail hotels and hostels in cities you are thinking about visiting and ask if they will let you use the refrigerator to store food and refreeze blue ice.

Look into staying a week or more and renting a flat with a small kitchen and taking day trips. This is not that expensive if you are able to share the cost with a traveling companion.

Also, look into Triumph dining cards. They come in many languages.

FYI, a loaf of gluten free bread will last 3 to 5 days depending on how hot it is without refrigeration.

Plan your basic route based on your research.


Phyllis

Gluten Free - 30 years

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Did it. Through Italy and Eastern Europe. It's a lot easier than you think. I eat cheese, and that's always available. There are a lot of bologna-like sausages that are in the markets, also processed meats. Many of the packages have the ingredients in multiple languages (I ate a lot of potato chips).

A lot of countries aren't bread oriented, so you can get stuff at a restaurant without it. Also, wheat isn't used as a filler, so you don't need to worry as much about it being hidden.

Go. Have a fabulous time.


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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I've done it (gluten, dairy and soy-free). No problems. Don't expect to eat elaborate meals in restaurants, but backpakers don't do this anyway.


"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." - Hippocrates

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Did it. Through Italy and Eastern Europe. It's a lot easier than you think. I eat cheese, and that's always available. There are a lot of bologna-like sausages that are in the markets, also processed meats. Many of the packages have the ingredients in multiple languages (I ate a lot of potato chips).

A lot of countries aren't bread oriented, so you can get stuff at a restaurant without it. Also, wheat isn't used as a filler, so you don't need to worry as much about it being hidden.

Go. Have a fabulous time.

=)

I'm worried about cheeses. I have come across cheese with vinegar in it/distilled vinegar. Also, I'm slightly lactose intolerant so I can't handle too much cheese/milk.


Scream thy last scream!

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I found that Europe in general is much less wheat-saturated. For the most part, if it doesn't look like it has wheat, then it doesn't. Rice dishes are fine. vegetable dishes are fine. And whole fruits and veggies from the markets are fine.

Jars of pickled things from the stores are good.

Not sure why you're concerned about vinegar, but you can always bring some lactaid tablets to help you through any difficult cheese situations. In general, the more aged the cheese, the less lactose is in it. You can get a good chunk of cheddar some where and cart it around in your backpack for a few days (doesn't need refrigeration).

The worst part for me was that fruits, veggies and meats weigh a whole lot more than bread - and all the weight is on your back. Nuts too.

You can probably find packages of gluten-free crackers while you're there to cart around with you. I'd skip the pastas and things that need cooking, unless you're bringing your own pot.

Eggs can be boiled in anything and last a day without refrigeration (unless it's really warm).


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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You can pretty much live on trail mix, supplementing it with fresh food when available. I did that in my Sr. year of high school and in college. I made my own with a mix of nuts, seeds, coconut and fruit.

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a lot of youth hostels, since they are catering to people who want to do things cheaply, have a small kitchen. I've survived on trips to Europe by going to the grocery store daily to get fruits, veggies, and gluten free muffins or croissants, kalamata olives, nuts, etc on days that I didn't have access to a kitchen. On days that I did have access to a kitchen, I'd just bring along a lightweight non-stick frying pan (got it at Ikea for $5), some foil, and a few napkins and plastic baggies and would just cook whatever meat product or pasta I could get my hands on in the grocery store. You'll have to bring one less outfit to squeeze in the cooking stuff, but it's totally worth it.


Diagnosed July 2004

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This is reassuring. I'm a travel junkie, but a bit paranoid about it after my last trip. I had to come home early because of the food situation.

Are hostels with kitchens common?

I'm also interested in programs like couchsurfing.com and WWOOF but I worry that I might be a rude guest if I don't eat what I'm offered.


Gluten free since Feb 2006, Dairy and Soy free since 2009

Anemic off and on since 2003

Negative tTG Ab, IgA, Gliadin Ab IgA, wheat allergy (IgE) blood tests (Feb 2006)

Positive wheat allergy skin test(Apr 2006)and dietary response (Feb 2006)

Celiac grandmother (Dx in 1940s, "grew out of it")

Training for my first triathlon to support the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

~Amy

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Are hostels with kitchens common?

I think that this depends on which country you're in; it seems like if you do a YHA hostel, it usually has a kitchen (though they're usually a bit lacking in the charm). if you pick up a good guidebook (I use Lonely Planet, tho it sucked for Argentina), the book will say whether there is a kitchen available...

oh, something that I find helpful is that I usually carry a bag of gluten-free cereal (Trader Joe's has granola), a bowl of instant rice noodles (Thai Kitchen), and a thing of Indian food (Tasty Bites) just in case. You don't *need* a kitchen for the first two (tho it definitely makes it easier)

Have fun!

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This is reassuring. I'm a travel junkie, but a bit paranoid about it after my last trip. I had to come home early because of the food situation.

Are hostels with kitchens common?

I'm also interested in programs like couchsurfing.com and WWOOF but I worry that I might be a rude guest if I don't eat what I'm offered.

I've been to lots of hostels in Australia and some in Europe. They've all had kitchens.

I want to do WWOOF too. I've seen some farms that mention they're "special diet friendly" so it might be possible.


"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." - Hippocrates

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=)

I'm worried about cheeses. I have come across cheese with vinegar in it/distilled vinegar. Also, I'm slightly lactose intolerant so I can't handle too much cheese/milk.

The only vinegar that a Celiac cannot have is malt vinegar. Distilled vinegar is definitely NOT a problem, except if it contains malt.

Eating in Europe and Mexico can be much easier than here in the States....they don't eat the processed foods that Americans do, or at least very little of it. Plus, Mexico uses a lot of corn so that should make things easier also.

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I'm really glad I found this thread, I'm going backpacking this coming year, I want to go to a lot of South East Asia, (Thailand, Cambodia) and Italy and then backpack and travel around the United States as well.

This thread is re-assuring, I've been VERY worried about how to take care of my health.

I also want to do wwoof. I think the key will be talking to the hosts beforehand. I think many of them will be willing to accomodate you especially if you tell them you will help cook meals and stuff, and that you don't need special expensive foods just a simple diet of rice, meats, veggies, whatever. It's all about finding the right farm, I am looking right now too, good thing there are millions of farms to choose from all over the world.

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