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jasonD2

Should I Allow Myself To Get Glutened For My Trip To France?

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I have a 8 day trip in Cannes, France coming up and am absolutely dreading it (who would ever dread a trip to France?)

I have no idea how Im gonna survive out there and dont want to not enjoy myself because of the food issue. I will be there for a sales meeting for 5 days and a lot of the food will be already prepared and catered for my company (at least during the day) and at night everyone is gonna wanna go to the french restaurants. I feel like no matter how careful I am, im still going to get hit with gluten and dairy..its just inevitable. so im thinking I should just embrace it, enjoy the trip and get back on track when I return.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I dont get severe symptoms so i wouldnt be in that bad of shape if i were to get gluten. I just dont see any way around it without looking like a complete psycho in front of the 500 people in my company

any suggestions ?

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Could you call the catering copany and see if they can accommodate you? Call the restaurants before you go out, just like you might at home? Even if your symptoms aren't too severe, I'm sure you are fully aware that damage is still being done. You could also shop at a nearby grocery to have some safe foods in the hotel room with you.

Good luck whatever you decide and have a great trip :)

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France! Lucky you.

Found some hopefully useful links for you:

http://www.celiachandbook.com/france.html

http://www.tamaraduker.com/tag/gluten-free-travel-france/

This one is gluten intolerant group of France, http://www.afdiag.org/, but it is in French (parlez vous Francais?)

and this is link to celiac.com's Gluten free Dining Cards

http://www.celiac.com/catalog/product_info...products_id=643

Looks like there is advice and options out there.

And I agree you shouldn't just through caution to the wind. Just because you're not doubled over with immediate reactions doesn't mean damage isn't being done.

Have a wonderful trip.

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Thanks! i must confess part of me wants to just go there and eat a baguette and say F*** the free world, but I won't ;)

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Thanks! i must confess part of me wants to just go there and eat a baguette and say F*** the free world, but I won't ;)

LMAO!! As much as I would want to do that, you don't want to end up getting sick on your vacation. Have fun :)

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this was a great post to gain information for myself also. Not going....yet. But my husband's company is French and he's been there once and I'm really hoping to get to go with him sometime. The eating was a concern though. I'm jealous that your symptoms aren't serious enough to cause you real problems!! If I were that lucky, I'd throw caution to the wind! Have a good trip and let us know how cooperative they were for you!!

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People! Come on now, just because youre traveling, or in a different country (I currently live in Paris as a student) does not mean you just start eating Gluten...????? This isnt some fad diet that we pick cause we feel like it. You have the office manager or whoever is setting up the event have the catering company bake a plain peice of chicken and a potato...NOT HARD. I have been to Cannes as well, just find yourself a super market, buy som fresh veggies and fruit or yogurt= breakfast, can of tuna with veggies= lunch, plain chicken with veggies or rice = dinner. If you want to eat gluten eat it, but dont pretend its because you dont think you wont be able to eat gluten free while youre there.....not buying it :-) (you can bring food with you too)

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You've asked this question before. Are you hoping that someone here will suddenly tell you to go for it? You're in the wrong place. It seems like your main concern is what other people think, maybe that's the issue you should be thinking about. It seems like a wonderful trip and yet you want to let that fear spin round and round in your head. Let it go and accept that you can survive it, the people around you will be having such a great time, they won't care how you eat, and guess what, you can let yourself enjoy it because a trip is about more than just food! See the sights, learn a language, mingle and make new business contacts. If your fear is still that great, maybe you should talk to someone about it.

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;) would smash some nice bread stuff too to be honest.

Without being Devils Advocate in the big scheme of things after I had had a week off my doctor said... you know its probably not going to kill you, or for such a short amount of time being off (I get no symptoms either)

But he said for that week off you will be recovering for the next month or two. So it is up to you. So its up to you. Its all about your own perspective I personally have a much more easy going attitude to Celiac than alot of the members here, perhaps because I am young or asymptomatic.

My doctor told me he recently discovered Celiac in an 88yr old. Now if you can leave to 88 and not even know you had this business then you have done alright! May be an isolate case I am not entirely sure, but a week off say in between in 6 mths of being gluten-free I think is unlikely to affect major long time.

"do the the good things the majority of the time"

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Thanks! i must confess part of me wants to just go there and eat a baguette and say F*** the free world, but I won't ;)

This makes me laugh, and sounds like something I would say. i have lived in France, and travel there pretty often, though since I have only discovered I have Celiac this year, I have not been there since. Though, I actually have a friend there (in Normandy) who has it, by coincidence.

I admit, I HATE knowing I can no longer have real French bread when I am over there or crepes..my all time favorite snack food in France. But what can we do? I know i don't want to feel icky :(

I actually found a baguette (gluten-free) the other day that I had warm with cheese and I was in heaven!! They are made by Deerfields Bakery...just to let you know if you ever want the real-tasting thing at home.

Having spent time in the south of France, I would think you will be ok, by sticking with fresh fish, salads, veggies, which is what you will find all over anyway. And cheese!

have a great time, and let us know how it goes!!

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ok i'm gonna post this one last time... ;)

there's plenty of gluten and dairy free food in France. They are celiac-aware...it is not that hard...but of course, it is your choice. good luck.

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I have a 8 day trip in Cannes, France coming up and am absolutely dreading it (who would ever dread a trip to France?)

I have no idea how Im gonna survive out there and dont want to not enjoy myself because of the food issue. I will be there for a sales meeting for 5 days and a lot of the food will be already prepared and catered for my company (at least during the day) and at night everyone is gonna wanna go to the french restaurants. I feel like no matter how careful I am, im still going to get hit with gluten and dairy..its just inevitable. so im thinking I should just embrace it, enjoy the trip and get back on track when I return.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I dont get severe symptoms so i wouldnt be in that bad of shape if i were to get gluten. I just dont see any way around it without looking like a complete psycho in front of the 500 people in my company

any suggestions ?

Jason...one of the surprises I had when traveling to Europe was the French were actually the easiest people to obtain a gluten-free meal from. Ok...I have never been to France but when in London, where there are many 1st generation French who open restaurants, I usually have the least amount of trouble dining there. Not everything needs the sauce and bread can easily be passed by. They do fantastic salads, grilled fish and chicken, potatoes are mandatory on a French menu and there is always mousse for dessert! Really, I tend to seek out the French places and I have never been glutened once when dining a la Francaise! Relax, and I am sure when you dine out at night, you'll be surprised at what you CAN have. Also, do not assume all sauces contain wheat. That is more of an American thing and many French will reduce their sauces to the right consistency and not add wheat to thicken it up.

Enjoy yourself, dude, because I am jealous! ;) Cannes? Your company knows how to choose a good place for meetings!

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You might want to invest in a diner's card that is written in French/English. I bought a set of them from Triumph Dining. Very useful. Anyway, from what I hear Europe is light-years beyond the US in recognizing and dealing civilly with Celiac disease sufferers, so I doubt you'll have any issues.

I think maybe guys suffer a little more from the social aspects of the disease. Having to make their needs known to co-workers or supervisors might be an issue you're struggling with. Maybe being blessed with estrogen makes it not so bad but I let my employer know and they bend over backwards for me. But they're pretty exceptional people too.

On the other hand, I spent 2 weeks in Paris before I figured out my gluten intolerance issues and man, I sure enjoyed the bread. I guess I'd have to weigh the possible misery I'd be suffering versus the transitory pleasure. Is it worth it to be sick while away from home for a little gustatory indulgence?

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There are plenty of ways to discreetly inquire about gluten free menus/items at a restaurant. You can call ahead, pull the greeter aside and ask, or simply ask the waiter when he/she comes around taking drink orders. The French pride themselves on their culinary accomplishments so you'll likely find that France is the best place to be gluten free!

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My doctor told me he recently discovered Celiac in an 88yr old. Now if you can leave to 88 and not even know you had this business then you have done alright! May be an isolate case I am not entirely sure, but a week off say in between in 6 mths of being gluten-free I think is unlikely to affect major long time.

My hesitation to agree there is that my grandmother was diagnosed in her mid-70s. Up until the hospitalization that got her diagnosed, she'd been healthy and active with what she described as a chronically upset stomach. Then she started losing weight (she'd already been thin her whole life) and was admitted to the hospital when they realized she was malnourished. To make things worse, they hooked her up to an IV with gluten in it. She lost more weight. Lovely.

Finally they discovered her villi were simply gone. She'd managed well and relatively asymptomatically for 70+ years, but the damage was severe. She never fully recovered (was hooked up to an IV, had to use a walker, had constant tremors and frequent seizures) and died at what is a pretty young age in my family. The worst part is that her last three years of life were such a low quality -- health problem upon health problem and no independence.

So, yeah... you can function, and possibly for a long time, but the pay off is pretty bad. Justifying cheating for any period of time could start that slippery slope towards causing irreversible damage. Whether or not it's worth it is up to the individual, of course, but after witnessing what I did, I wouldn't take or encourage taking those chances.

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My hesitation to agree there is that my grandmother was diagnosed in her mid-70s. Up until the hospitalization that got her diagnosed, she'd been healthy and active with what she described as a chronically upset stomach. Then she started losing weight (she'd already been thin her whole life) and was admitted to the hospital when they realized she was malnourished. To make things worse, they hooked her up to an IV with gluten in it. She lost more weight. Lovely.

Taking gluten into your system through an IV will not cause an autoimmune reaction....it has to pass through your gut. Your grandmother probably just had so much damage, she would have lost weight anyway. It would have been harder for her to heal at her age.

I am very sorry she had to suffer so and I know how you feel. My grandmother, who I am convinced also had celiac disease, passed away in the early 90's and she weighed

about 78 pounds at the time of her death. They blamed it on dementia and said she forgot how to eat. What a bunch of baloney! I believe her dementia was caused by gluten and the reason she lost interest in food was because it made her feel bad to eat....and they blamed that on age. No wonder people get so sick from this disease and I wonder also how many actually die from undiagnosed celiac disease.

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I think that gluten in an IV absolutely would cause a huge reaction. You have immune response cells everywhere. However, I don't think they would ever put gluten in an IV. It doesn't belong in your blood...

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I think that gluten in an IV absolutely would cause a huge reaction. You have immune response cells everywhere. However, I don't think they would ever put gluten in an IV. It doesn't belong in your blood...

Thank you Jess--I thought so too.

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I think that gluten in an IV absolutely would cause a huge reaction. You have immune response cells everywhere. However, I don't think they would ever put gluten in an IV. It doesn't belong in your blood...

Gosh yes it certainly would! I wonder if what the gluten was in was actually a feeding tube though.

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Gosh yes it certainly would! I wonder if what the gluten was in was actually a feeding tube though.

That's possible. My medical jargon is not well developed.

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Going back to the original post-- Jason's-- I completely understand where you are coming from. It is very hard to travel even in the US where you speak the language when you are dealing with MULTIPLE food intolerances. No gluten and dairy in France? What? You don't speak French? Oh. You are very sensitive to cc issues? Okay. That IS a toughie.

I would call your hotel to see if they can do your meals special and separate. This has worked for me in the past. Then you eat every meal there in the hotel. It won't be convenient and you may eat at odd times so you can still be with the group, but you will be safe.

The advice is well-meaning, but this situation IS special and difficult.

So if you don't speak French, how are you supposed to talk to the caterer (pray they speak English and know what gluten is)? How are you supposed to discretely pick out the items on the foreign menu that are safe (what the heck is ris de veau anyway-- tip: do not order it unless you like calves' livers-- they are probably breaded anyway and in a butter sauce)? Pray your waiter speaks some English and knows what gluten is. Lucky for you Cannes will probably have menus in English and probably there will be people in the restaurant who can help you out with the order.

And if you are in a group and have no choice about restaurants picked "spur of the moment" (by your boss, say) and if you are booked every minute of the day with sales stuff, how are you supposed call ahead to that spur of the moment place and talk to them in French about the problem? And if you are booked solid, then how are you supposed to go to a grocery store and cook/prepare stuff in your room? The corportate world may simply not give you the time you need to do these things. My brother does trade shows and he is booked solid sun-up to sun-down while he is abroad.

Also, they won't exactly let you take a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of gluten free bread on the plane anymore. So "bring your on food" might not work out very well either. But take what you can.

Jason-- call the hotel. Then get yourself a diner card and make sure you get one with the dairy intolerance on it too. Do your best. That is all anybody can do. Learn how to say "I cannot eat gluten or dairy" in French.

I wish you luck and hope that you don't get zapped.

Enjoy France.

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I have a 8 day trip in Cannes, France coming up and am absolutely dreading it (who would ever dread a trip to France?)

I have no idea how Im gonna survive out there and dont want to not enjoy myself because of the food issue. I will be there for a sales meeting for 5 days and a lot of the food will be already prepared and catered for my company (at least during the day) and at night everyone is gonna wanna go to the french restaurants. I feel like no matter how careful I am, im still going to get hit with gluten and dairy..its just inevitable. so im thinking I should just embrace it, enjoy the trip and get back on track when I return.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I dont get severe symptoms so i wouldnt be in that bad of shape if i were to get gluten. I just dont see any way around it without looking like a complete psycho in front of the 500 people in my company

any suggestions ?

Well I was in france in June on a cruise thru out europe...I have been gluten free only 3 months now and I did fine...I stuck with salads with vinegar and oil. It isnt worth putting yourself thru the damage specially when you know what it is doing to your body. I know salads are not that much fun but hey I did it for 2 weeks and I did fine. Also find out with the company that is catering...you be surprised how much they do know about it out there and how they will be willing to accomodate you. And dont feel like you are being a psycho....it is a health issue not a "weight" issue so dont ever be embarrassed!! Good luck and have a great time...drink plenty of wine!

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My friend went to France some years ago and said I would love the restaurants there because they bring around vegetables of all kinds. They just start piling them on your plate until you say "stop"! Which he didn't do because he wasn't paying attention. He said he had a huge plate of green beans.

Of course I don't know if those veggies have sauce or butter on them. Butter is very common in France.

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Also, they won't exactly let you take a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of gluten free bread on the plane anymore. So "bring your on food" might not work out very well either. But take what you can.

They actually do let you take food on a plane. I do it very very frequently. And while it might be difficult to communicate with restaurant staff and caterers, there are simply plenty of food options in France (supermarkets, produce markets and health food stores there have many gluten-free and df products with labels in English. Of course it requires effort and it's an inconvenience but I'm just saying I've done it, so others can too, if they choose.

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Or if circumstances allow it.

Mango-- how on earth do you get the jar of peanut butter through security? I would love to know.

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