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horsegirl

Feeling Left Out

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I've now been gluten free for 3+ years, & soy/casein-free for 2-1/2 years. Some of my health problems have improved, but some are still worsening.

One thing I really struggle with is feeling left out when it comes to meals. I do all of the cooking at home to keep safe, but whenever we travel elsewhere or go out, I feel left out. I can eat in only about 2-3 restaurants because of the intolerances, & it's not always convenient to bring something along to eat. When we travel it's especially hard, because who knows where I can eat safely? A couple of family members have been awesome about learning to cook things I can have, so going to their homes is great. Other family don't understand or think about the restrictions though, so I can't eat what they've prepared. My husband & young daughter are tired of eating at the couple of places where I can eat, & understandably want to go elsewhere, but usually it's when we're coming home from a trip, & I don't have food with me, so I sit at the table, smelling great smells, watching others eat, & wind up feeling sorry for myself (as well as feeling hungry).

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Can any of you who successfully deal with this give me some suggestions, please? This is feeling really overwhelming to me.

Thanks.

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boy, I'd like to hear something positive on this one too! Being intolerant of so many different things, finding gluten-free menus just doesn't get it for me either. Traveling is definitely challenging and not always possible to pack foods for myself. Someday I may kill for a pizza!

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Once while traveling, I found only two things at a restaurant that I felt safe eating. Ice cream and Kahlua. So I had an Adult Sundae. Didn't bother me at all, steered away that depression really fast. Sure wasn't the most healthy thing but tasted mighty fine without making me sick. I wasn't driving either. A baked potato can be found at most restaurants, ask for it uncut. No you are not going to get what's on the menu but that is the price of keeping our bodies from damage.

Sometimes thinking outside the box will help. I can always stop for lunch meat or pepperoni while traveling. I'm not dairy free so lunch meat wrapped with cheese is fine with me. Toss in a few pickles. All picked up at any store across the country. Veggies and dip.

I always do an Internet search for restaurants and health food stores along our travel route. That way I can also stock up on supplies. It is hard to carry enough gluten-free bread items for 3 weeks. Next trip post a message here of the area you will be visiting and a few places along the way to see if anyone has ideas of places to stop.

Traveling is hard. Sometimes those exits and rest stops are way too far apart. And it's not like we can use a tree to hide behind.

DH and DD could make a dinner date every month. This is just for them to go fill up on poisoned foods. You should do something to pamper yourself on these days. Visit with friends, a movie with a gluten-free, go scrapbooking or stay home and nap. Whatever you like best. They have time to do some family bonding without you and you get some much needed time to yourself.

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This is my first gluten free holiday season...I traveled to my brothers home a few states away. Along with my luggage and presents I had a cooler full of stuff I cooked so I could eat and enjoy meals with my family. I haven't been diagnosed for very long but my friends keep an eye out for gluten free stuff..including gluten free chocolate wine....yum!! Anyway, the point behind this whole thing is that a friend found an article in her local paper that talked about all the gluten free restaurants in her area...there were like 20!! And none of them the chain type. I have found it takes a lot of research and explaining, but most places are willing and able to cook you up a gluten free meal...just not on a friday night!!

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Boy, I wish I could be the positive one for food away from home, but 'fraid not. Most people don't understand that gluten free is just the initial triage. Once you get to the soy, corn, tomato, citric acid and potato they just throw up their hands and you say, oh hell, why bother? Isn't there something you haven't gussied up in some way?? Just give me bacon and eggs, and Cook Them In A Clean Pan!! :ph34r:

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Thanks for the ideas, AHorsesoul. Sometimes I think that if it were "just gluten", it would be easier, because there are so many gluten free menus out there now. However, I've been to countless restaurants where I literally can have nothing because everything they have is prepackaged or marinated, or basted, or something. I've asked for plain baked potatoes, but many places coat them in shortening or butter first, which are both out. Even stopping at grocery stores is tough, because there's only about 1 brand of lunch meat that's totally safe, & though your pickle idea is great, even those have to be checked out first due to hidden soy or casein/dairy-derived ingredients.

I hate sitting there, looking sorry for myself while others enjoy the time eating out, & sometimes would rather just sit in the car while they eat!

I like your idea of DH & DD going out on a "date" sometimes. In fact, it brought tears to my eyes as I read it, because I know I need to do more things to care for myself, but I don't. It's too easy to put ourselves on the back burner, until it's too late.

Thanks for the caring.

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I just do what I have to to survive so my suggestions might not be the most appealing but they give me a meal that meets my needs, but I do understand the emotions. When I traveled last, I faced some similar challenges. Some things that I tried on our last road trip and worked well so would do again are:

a stash of shelf stable items that can be combined to make a meal or supplement something purchased-such as:

* order travel size condiments from minimus.biz-salad dressings, mustard, mayo, soy sauce, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, mimi bottles of olive oil, etc.

* purchase(both in advance and enroute at a grocery store) mini cans of tuna-I searched and finally found some that don't come with the crackers or pre-mixed with mayo etc., also packets or mini cups of salmon, and packets of chicken

* enroute-purchase a plain salad(grocery store, fast food place, or restauraunt) and dumped the can of tuna on with something from the travel size condiment stash to flavor it

* grab fruit, juice, tea from the complimentary hotel breakfast and supplement with gluten-free cereal(brought along)

* bring along a cooler and fill with ice from the hotel to keep food(restaurant leftovers-pre cooked meals from home for the first day out) until the next stop

* request a fridge in the hotel room

bring along empty bento or tupperware containers(that will fit in the cooler) for restauraunt leftovers

all the usual-dried fruits, nuts, carbs

I flew with a small frying pan once so that I could cook my meals in it at the home where I was staying-just simple meat and veg. meals.

Sometimes I have to get creative and think off the menu when ordering and request ingredients that they have on hand and combine them myself at the table-simple example is when no salad dressings are safe(which is often the case for me), ask for lemon wedges and oil and mix together with salt and pepper for a dressing. Check out those travel size condiments and see what you might be able to do with them to flavor plain things. A bit of raspberry jam, some oil and vinegar might make a nice rasberry vinaigrette in a pinch. It's kind of like wierd science, but you may find something that helps. I would not hesitate to dump my can of tuna on a salad at a restaurant if no other safe protein was available. I hate to just give salad ideas but they are easy to make over-other things you can tote along to dress up a plain salad are dried fruits, nuts-candied nuts, those mandarin orange segmenst in the plastice cups. I have an attractive, insulated lunch bag that doesn't scream "I'm a lunch bag" that I can bring inconspicuously into restaurants or other public places.

Hope that gives you some new usable ideas or sparks some creative juices to flow!

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horsegirl,

We will figure some way to help you out.

Do you have horses? We had arabs and an icelandic. Miss my icelandic like crazy since we gave up our hobby farm.

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missy'smom - thanks for the great suggestions. Where did you find the mini cans of safe tuna, salmon, & chicken? Those sound like a great idea for protein, which is what I'm always looking for.

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Ahorsesoul,

No, I wish we had horses, but live in a subdivision with only a back yard. I love them dearly though, & have a friend who breeds Friesians, which are amazing animals!

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missy'smom - thanks for the great suggestions. Where did you find the mini cans of safe tuna, salmon, & chicken? Those sound like a great idea for protein, which is what I'm always looking for.

Shelf stable proteins(meat sources) are a mission of mine! I realized right after I posted that I included some ideas that are not soy-free :( Sorry. I've been CF a long time but just recently soy-free. Just today I reached for a mini can of tuna and re-remembered that it has soy in it and I couldn't have it. Drat! Two of them(that contain soy but come in mini cans or pouches) are Starkist and Chicken of the Sea, there was another less known brand(for the chicken) that I found too. But look around as you are out and about. There may have been others that were mini/individual that were soy-free but that I avoided because of the carbs or something else. Check the Gourmet sections of the grocer too. Sometimes they have tins of flavored or smoked fishes-tuna or other. Even baby canned shrimp would work. A little pricier than for everyday use but you're not needing it everyday. Enroute, I drained the cans into an empty water bottle and tossed in the trash at the next stop. For kiddo, I ordered some individual serving, sliced salami/summer sausage from minimus. That would work on a salad too but I don't know the soy status. Cost Plus/ World Market has some mini bottles of basil oil and garlic oil that are tasty and would be nice on a piece of meat or salad at a restaurant. They have a selection of individual things. What I did was make a list of the things I found that seemed useful and then contacted the companies or looked up the info. on the internet to see if they were gluten-free and met my other restrictions. Then purchased them. A little homework at first, but I won't have to do it agin for the most part. I know know which things will work if I need them again. Minimus has a gluten-free list but there are others that are not on the list that ARE gluten-free. You have to know your brands or do your homework. Happy hunting!

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Shelf stable proteins(meat sources) are a mission of mine! I realized right after I posted that I included some ideas that are not soy-free :( Sorry. I've been CF a long time but just recently soy-free. Just today I reached for a mini can of tuna and re-remembered that it has soy in it and I couldn't have it. Drat! Two of them(that contain soy but come in mini cans or pouches) are Starkist and Chicken of the Sea, there was another less known brand(for the chicken) that I found too. But look around as you are out and about. There may have been others that were mini/individual that were soy-free but that I avoided because of the carbs or something else. Check the Gourmet sections of the grocer too. Sometimes they have tins of flavored or smoked fishes-tuna or other. Even baby canned shrimp would work. A little pricier than for everyday use but you're not needing it everyday. Enroute, I drained the cans into an empty water bottle and tossed in the trash at the next stop. For kiddo, I ordered some individual serving, sliced salami/summer sausage from minimus. That would work on a salad too but I don't know the soy status. Cost Plus/ World Market has some mini bottles of basil oil and garlic oil that are tasty and would be nice on a piece of meat or salad at a restaurant. They have a selection of individual things. What I did was make a list of the things I found that seemed useful and then contacted the companies or looked up the info. on the internet to see if they were gluten-free and met my other restrictions. Then purchased them. A little homework at first, but I won't have to do it agin for the most part. I know know which things will work if I need them again. Minimus has a gluten-free list but there are others that are not on the list that ARE gluten-free. You have to know your brands or do your homework. Happy hunting!

I was very disappointed when I finally got to the U.S. looking for these individual serving items that they all (at least the ones I looked at) contained soy :( Even the salad dressings had soy bean oil. It was a major blow!

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I was very disappointed when I finally got to the U.S. looking for these individual serving items that they all (at least the ones I looked at) contained soy :( Even the salad dressings had soy bean oil. It was a major blow!

Kiddo and I were recently re-tested for allegies and have lists of things to avoid so I've been contacting companies again, asking questions and reading labels diligently. SO MANY thigs contain X, Y , or Z that we can't have at the moment. Take just one ingredient and it's in everything! Lemon, apple, garlic, etc. You name it! You don't realize it until you start really looking. I thought I was great at reading and knowing labels after my initial gluten-free learning process. Boy have I learned alot more! My liquid vitamin D is extracted from lambs or sheeps wool-Yuck!

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Kiddo and I were recently re-tested for allegies and have lists of things to avoid so I've been contacting companies again, asking questions and reading labels diligently. SO MANY thigs contain X, Y , or Z that we can't have at the moment. Take just one ingredient and it's in everything! Lemon, apple, garlic, etc. You name it! You don't realize it until you start really looking. I thought I was great at reading and knowing labels after my initial gluten-free learning process. Boy have I learned alot more! My liquid vitamin D is extracted from lambs or sheeps wool-Yuck!

Sheep's wool isn't that bad :) We wear it on our bodies, why not put it in??? :lol:

I know what you mean about the label reading. I was initially so busy looking for gluten that I didn't even notice that half the things I was choosing had soy, until I had to eliminate soy. And on, and on and on. Finally, I thought the citric acid would be fairly easy, but it is hard to find *any* fruit juice (except grape and apple, both of which i loathe) that doesn't have it added, not to mention all the hundreds of other foodstuffs that have gratuitous citric acid to enhance, preserve, or whatever :unsure::angry: Not much purity around in the processed world. :blink:

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Sheep's wool isn't that bad :) We wear it on our bodies, why not put it in??? :lol:

I know what you mean about the label reading. I was initially so busy looking for gluten that I didn't even notice that half the things I was choosing had soy, until I had to eliminate soy. And on, and on and on. Finally, I thought the citric acid would be fairly easy, but it is hard to find *any* fruit juice (except grape and apple, both of which i loathe) that doesn't have it added, not to mention all the hundreds of other foodstuffs that have gratuitous citric acid to enhance, preserve, or whatever :unsure::angry: Not much purity around in the processed world. :blink:

What does citric acid do to you? How did you know you were intolerant? You're right - that stuff is in everything! Is there a form of Vitamin C that doesn't contain citrus in some state? (maybe a dumb question - just wondering!)

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What does citric acid do to you? How did you know you were intolerant? You're right - that stuff is in everything! Is there a form of Vitamin C that doesn't contain citrus in some state? (maybe a dumb question - just wondering!)

I became intolerant to citric acid when I started consuming too much citrus--flavoring everything with lemon juice, drinking citrus with Bacardi for a rum punch :D , it was citrus season here so lots of oranges and mandarins and suddenly I was itching all over. Laid off the citrus and it started getting better, then--after the loooong flight from Auckland to SFO, when I was punchy and without thinking, I ordered a frozen margarita. Bammo! That settled it, worst itching you can imagine all the way up to Tahoe in the car the next day--I was squirming. I have found Vit. C with only ascorbic acid, no citric, but they are NZ brands.

Everything I am intolerant of either makes me itch or belch with racing irregular heartbeats and fainting and sweating. Citrus and soy and potato are the itchies. Corn, gluten and tomato are the bloaties. :P

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Hi Horsegirl, I'm not sure of all the things you must avoid, but since I have to avoid all grains, all milk & diary, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey, msg, and a couple of other additives, I will tell you what I eat. I have learned to always eat an enzymatic fruit such as pineapple for breakfast (papaya, strawberries, mango, kiwis, etc. would also work), which digests any foods from the day before. If I move then to carbs or starches, I eat those the rest of the day, not mixing with proteins of any kind. If I go from fruits to proteins then I can only eat the easily-digestible starches such as asparagus, salad, etc. with any proteins for the remainder of the day. It is amazing how these simple combining rules help digest the foods.

Enzymatic fruit breakfasts: pineapple, mango, papaya, strawberries, kiwi: eat only one fruit, as much as

you want, for as many hours as you want--wait 2 hours before eating a different fruit or moving to other

foods.

Starch & carbs days = salads, any vegetables, beans, rice, corn, potatoes, corn pasta, tamales, and

anything made of these (cookies of corn flour w/Stevia, vanilla, etc.).

Protein days = chicken, fish, steak, meats + green salads with low starch veggies (not to include

potatoes, corn pasta, or any other high-carb vegetables).

Walden Farms salad dressings are no calorie, no carbs, no sugar, no anything, and taste GREAT.

Any of these foods are pretty easy to find at most restaurants or grocery stores. Best wishes & good

luck. Welda

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Hi Horsegirl, I'm not sure of all the things you must avoid, but since I have to avoid all grains, all milk & diary, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey, msg, and a couple of other additives, I will tell you what I eat. I have learned to always eat an enzymatic fruit such as pineapple for breakfast (papaya, strawberries, mango, kiwis, etc. would also work), which digests any foods from the day before. If I move then to carbs or starches, I eat those the rest of the day, not mixing with proteins of any kind. If I go from fruits to proteins then I can only eat the easily-digestible starches such as asparagus, salad, etc. with any proteins for the remainder of the day. It is amazing how these simple combining rules help digest the foods.

Enzymatic fruit breakfasts: pineapple, mango, papaya, strawberries, kiwi: eat only one fruit, as much as

you want, for as many hours as you want--wait 2 hours before eating a different fruit or moving to other

foods.

Starch & carbs days = salads, any vegetables, beans, rice, corn, potatoes, corn pasta, tamales, and

anything made of these (cookies of corn flour w/Stevia, vanilla, etc.).

Protein days = chicken, fish, steak, meats + green salads with low starch veggies (not to include

potatoes, corn pasta, or any other high-carb vegetables).

Walden Farms salad dressings are no calorie, no carbs, no sugar, no anything, and taste GREAT.

Any of these foods are pretty easy to find at most restaurants or grocery stores. Best wishes & good

luck. Welda

Thanks, Welda. What do you do for protein in the morning though? You mentioned only eating enzymatic fruits in the morning, but I would be shaky & have a bad headache very quickly if I didn't eat any protein until later in the day.

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