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ECUmom3

Traveling Out Of Town For Wedding

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I need help. I'm still new to eating gluten free (approx. 2 1/2 months in). My son is getting married in New Bern, NC-approx. 3 hrs. away. We will be down there for 3 nts. and staying in a hotel. Made the reservations prior to diagnosis. It just came to me that I might need to check and make certain the room has a refrige. and microwave. They do not, but we're working on that.

Any suggestions on what to do for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Also, what to take and have at the reception? I'm also Insulin resistant, and on meds., so I can't have refined sugars, etc. I had originally planned on buying some dinners from Pei Wei Diner along the way and store those in a cooler then the refidge, but I was glutened there Sat., so now that's out! Now I don't trust eating out anywhere. I can't afford to get sick and miss my son's wedding!!! I really need some ideas from those who have experience. Thanks so much.

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Take as much shelf stable food as you can--Lara bars, gluten-free granola, gluten-free pretzels, trail mix, etc. If you can't get a fridge in your room you might be allowed to keep some food in the hotel's kitchen fridge (just be sure it is labled clearly with your name). If the hotel has a good breakfast buffet look for things like hard boiled eggs, bannanas and yogurt. Usually you can get away with taking an extra banana or apple back to your room for later. Be sure to wash anything like an apple or other fruit where you eat the skin--as the buffet hostess might have been touching bread items prior to stocking the fruit or other guests might have picked one up and then put it back.

For the wedding there is an Outback Steakhouse in New Bern and they have a gluten-free menu. You could get some steak and a baked potato/steamed veggies made gluten-free to go. Ask the kitchen/caterers at the wedding if you can heat it (and use the catering plates at the reception). I searched and didn't see any other gluten-free restaurants in New Bern but there might be a few places like fast food places where you MIGHT be able to get something. I can safely eat a plain baked potato and chili from Wendys. Chick-fil-a has a chargrilled chicken salad that is gluten-free as long as you leave off the croutons and sunflower seeds. You can also get Chick-fil-a waffle fries IF they are made in a dedicated fryer--be sure to ask if they have fried any of their chicken products in the fry fryer before ordering, though. I have found I get glutened from the fries at my local CFA about 50% of the time even when I ask. The salad has always been safe for me however.

Scout out where the grocery stores are before you go and write down/print out the address, phone numebr and directions to the stores from your hotel. They should have a Harris Teeter. My local HT is not the place for large quantities of gluten-free food yet but they are getting better. You can check out what the New Bern store has on their online shopping feature (Express Lane-- no need to buy online to see what the store carries). HT's Express Lane has a gluten-free category on their main page (after you choose the speciifc store). You can browse their selections online and that way you can figure out what your options are if you run out of the gluten-free food you packed.

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When traveling somewhere where I won't have access to a safe kitchen, I usually take along a cooler full of meals prepared in advance at home and a bag full of shelf-stable snacks. Think about what does well as leftovers and make a few large batches of hearty recipes (I usually do chili, lasagna, chicken noodle soup, etc) for main courses and a few lighter things (chickpeas, sauteed spinach, etc) for sides and then put them into tupperware. Also nice to throw some fruit and yogurt in the cooler. This might be a good plan for you, since you'll be able to make sure what you are eating during the wedding is safe, won't have to worry about finding accommodating restaurants in New Bern, and could even try to match the food you bring to the reception menu. Definitely pursue having the hotel secure you a fridge for the room, and if they aren't able to provide that, GlutenFreeManna's idea about storing labeled food in the hotel's kitchen seems like a good one. It would be more work, but if neither of those options work out, maybe you could keep refreshing the cooler with ice from the hotel?

Good luck, I hope you find a good solution and have a lovely time.

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We just stayed at the Westin in Seattle for a dance conference. I'm diabetic so have to watch what I eat as well. We were able to get one meal from their cafe and also one very expensive meal from room service. Sadly we did not get our fridge. I had forgotten but I do have a small 6 pack cooler that was a gift. Had I brought that I could have at least chilled some drinks to take with me.

I did bring plenty of shelf stable food. Canned beans, canned green beans, hummus, chips, aerosol and other cheese, canned chicken and tuna, gluten-free pretzels, nuts, fruit.

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Thank you all for your replies. They have been very helpful. I went shopping yesterday to stock up on supplies. The hotel manager contacted us a few days ago and promised that we would have a microwave and refrig. What a blessing! My only problem now is my son and soon to be daugther-in-law keep inviting us to places and events set around eating. (Ex. bridesmaid luncheon on Sat. and lunch (catered) for Mother's Day on Sunday for both families. It's very sweet, but because I'm still new to all this, I'm getting to the point where I'll be glad when it's all over!

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Thank you all for your replies. They have been very helpful. I went shopping yesterday to stock up on self supplies. The hotel manager contacted us a few days ago and promised that we would have a microwave and refrig. What a blessing! My only problem now is my son and soon to be daugther-in-law keep inviting us to places and events set around eating. (Ex. bridesmaid luncheon on Sat. and lunch (catered) for Mother's Day on Sunday for both families. It's very sweet, but because I'm still new to all this, I'm getting to the point where I'll be glad when it's all over!

I freeze small containers like chili and then stick them in the cooler. They help keep everything cool.

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