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Tim_M

Advice For Business Travel?

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Hi folks,

This is my first post here. I was diagnosed in July and have been gluten-free since 7/16/09. My transition to a gluten-free diet has gone okay, though admittedly I've fallen into the trap of eating the same "safe" foods over and over again.

Next week I will be on my first business travel since being diagnosed. Anyone have advice on how best to deal with business meals, i.e., finding restaurants that serve some gluten-free dishes (and convincing others to go there), what to do about lunches provided on-site by the workshop I'll be attending? I figure for breakfast I'm just going to take a box of my Chex cereal with me. My meeting is in Miami... I have no idea where the city and its restaurants fall on the spectrum of celiac awareness.

Thanks for any advice!

Tim

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I was diagnosed in 05 and used to travel a lot for business. It takes time but you will find things you can trust in most restaurants. You just have to remember to make sure they understand not to dump toast on top of your eggs, or dunk your meat in soy sauce. -- after awhile it gets easier.

Some chains like outback and bonefish and a few others have gluten free menues.

Most hotel chefs know what to do as well. Its a good idea to call them before or when you first arrive and they will make sure your well taken care of.

good luck

Ken

Hi folks,

This is my first post here. I was diagnosed in July and have been gluten-free since 7/16/09. My transition to a gluten-free diet has gone okay, though admittedly I've fallen into the trap of eating the same "safe" foods over and over again.

Next week I will be on my first business travel since being diagnosed. Anyone have advice on how best to deal with business meals, i.e., finding restaurants that serve some gluten-free dishes (and convincing others to go there), what to do about lunches provided on-site by the workshop I'll be attending? I figure for breakfast I'm just going to take a box of my Chex cereal with me. My meeting is in Miami... I have no idea where the city and its restaurants fall on the spectrum of celiac awareness.

Thanks for any advice!

Tim

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For meals provided on site, I just assume they will not be safe and take my own food. You can find out in advance who will provide the meal and talk to them about acommodating you but what if it arrives and it is wrong? You will be hungry. Always, always take something with you. You can buy something safe the night before that you can eat cold or take flip top cans of meat and your fave chips or buy a salad to take along. If your food arrives and it's OK, then fine, eat it. But many have had the bad experience of going hungry and that is no fun.

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If you are in new cities a lot, I'd recommend getting a book like Triumph's Dining Guide, or searching online. That is assuming you can choose where you eat.

If you are being taken out to eat and don't have a choice, I'd try calling ahead. If is a nice place where you can interact with a chef, this way you can ask any questions and give them a heads-up that you will be coming. This saves some time explaining to the staff. Same goes for provided meals- call ahead. Most hotels or caterers will do what it takes to please you.

If you are uncertain if the place understands your needs, then order something basic. Don't spend an hour telling your client about your special needs, just brush over it, and don't make it sound like a big deal. Hopefully, the client will already know what celiac is, and you can move on to productive discussion. The last thing you'd want is the client thinking you will have issues and not want to spend time with you... could cost you a potential deal.

I travel occasionally for business, and it is the only time I really avoid talking in depth about it. Just be confident about what you can and can't eat so things go smooth and quick. Order a gin and tonic and don't linger on how much you miss beer.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes(or went)

Again, be confident and quick about it. I'd have no problem if someone needed to call ahead during the car ride there to ensure things go smoothly. I'd have a problem, if it took an hour to order, they send back meals, and we talk about taking craps all night. In business, you don't want to appear insecure, so do what it takes with confidence.

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I was just diagnosed in Aug and brand spanking new to gluten-free in Sep. and I went on a week-long business trip in Oct. I was NOT looking forward to it, but I had made the committment months earlier, before I had even heard of celiac's disease. However I made it through surprisingly fine - but with a lot of preparation.

I packed a lot of food that could sit in a hot car all day: Nuts (read the label - Planters will fully disclose barley, rye and oats), dried fruit, Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch - Almond Crunch bars (a nice, mainstream bar - by mainstream I mean not triple the price like bars you find in the gluten-free section), individual juices, and for breakfast I bought chocolate soy milk in individual juice-box looking containers (don't need refrigerated) and Carnation Instant Breakfast powder (the 'malt' flavor has gluten, but the other powdered brands are currently supposedly fine) and mixed the soy milk and Carnation Instant Breakfast powder in with fast food coffee. All that took care of breakfast and lunches. I also bought candy including York peppermint patties so I wouldn't feel deprived.

For dinners I cruised the internet for restaurant options - I have a netbook with wireless and there were a few times I sat in the parking lot to look up a restaurant before I went in. (Websites have more info than employees and managers.) If you won't have internet with you then plan ahead with some fast food choices - since those are everywhere - I ate McD fries and Wendy's baked potatoe with chili. I ate at Chipotle but I think I had cross contamination - there's a still-active thread in the restuarant section and most people trust Chipotle. I even bought a box of 'boil in a bag' rice in case I went into a sit-down restaurant and needed them to cook me plain rice with some kind of meat - but I never did go to a sit-down restaurant.

When I was diagnosed in Aug I though I would do this one trip and then never schedule another one again because of the hassle of gluten-free - but now I'm getting ready to accept another travel request. You'll be able to eat more than just Chex!

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