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slee11211

First Time On Plane Celiac

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So now I'm getting a bit nervous...first time traveling since diagnosis. Any ideas for me? Things you've happily discovered in airports, etc? I'm flying out of NYC to Florida....and I know myself, I'll be busy taking care of 5yo and dealing with husband unwinding for vacation. Last thing I'll need is not having anything to eat. What do you all do as a routine? No, it's not a long flight, but I'll be going somewhere where they don't know I'm celiac and I'll probably have to go right to a store (maybe a good thing?)...any advice welcome....

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Thankfully that does not involve long flights! Our most recent trip did and I planned in advance by notifying the airlines who gave me (yucky) gluten-free meals but I also took lots of snacks along. Thank goodness I did because we had one major flight delay. One cool thing I noticed in the Venice Marco Polo Airport was an advertisement for a gluten-free restaurant in the airport! And the airport is pretty small, too. As we were flying from there I had no need to sample it but if it were on our way somewhere I would have tried it out. They are SO knowledgable about celiac disease in Italy. Amazing. Prett good in Croatia as well. Far better than here in Canada (at least in our area).

Anyway, I would definitely check out grocery stores and markets if I were you. And take a few snacks along just in case. Relax and enjoy. It seems as though the thought of something is scarier than the reality. :)

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So now I'm getting a bit nervous...first time traveling since diagnosis. Any ideas for me? Things you've happily discovered in airports, etc? I'm flying out of NYC to Florida....and I know myself, I'll be busy taking care of 5yo and dealing with husband unwinding for vacation. Last thing I'll need is not having anything to eat. What do you all do as a routine? No, it's not a long flight, but I'll be going somewhere where they don't know I'm celiac and I'll probably have to go right to a store (maybe a good thing?)...any advice welcome....

Pack food in your carry-on and lots of it. I made gluten-free spaghetti and placed it in small containers for me and my sons. I had no trouble getting it through security. We also brought trail mix, raw veggies and plenty of snack type items like crackers, cookies, and mints. On my final flight home from Italy I was last on the plane (thanks to a 6 year old with a potty emergency) and was not allowed to bring my carry-on as they were full. I explained that I needed the food in my bag and they let me dump all of it into a plastic bag which I stowed under my seat. Crisis averted!

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It's a short flight so your best best is pack food. Airports are hit or miss. Sometimes I can find sushi (or Legal in Boston) but most times it's a fruit/vegetable/cheese plate or fast food. My advice when you get there is to plan ahead so you aren't stuck driving around trying to find some place accomodating or worse yet go hungy while everyone else is enjoying themselves. Find the nearest Whole Foods, carry a list of restaurants that have gluten-free menus (with adddresses so you can pick one nearby in a hurry), etc. If you are planning a day trip somewhere pack a cooler, etc. A little bit of planning saves everyone frustration...finally, accept that even with the best planning it still might not work out every time so try not to let that get you down.

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It's a short flight so your best best is pack food. Airports are hit or miss. Sometimes I can find sushi (or Legal in Boston) but most times it's a fruit/vegetable/cheese plate or fast food. My advice when you get there is to plan ahead so you aren't stuck driving around trying to find some place accomodating or worse yet go hungy while everyone else is enjoying themselves. Find the nearest Whole Foods, carry a list of restaurants that have gluten-free menus (with adddresses so you can pick one nearby in a hurry), etc. If you are planning a day trip somewhere pack a cooler, etc. A little bit of planning saves everyone frustration...finally, accept that even with the best planning it still might not work out every time so try not to let that get you down.

Thank you! I must be doing something right because I already researched where the whole foods is and which restaurants are gluten-free in the area we are in. Already packing a larger than usual carry on so that I can load up with foods that are OK for me (I'm also allergic to casein, so any dairy is off limits). Good to know I didn't miss anything glaring and that I'm on the right track..

Probably the worst part about it is that I'm a horrible traveler, always have been. Being super flexible is hard for me because of how incredibly on the edge I have gotten used to being in my life (never know when, or why, I'll be super tired, in a complete fog, feeling horrible for no reason, angry, etc - travel always throws me off that much more). And my husband is very much someone who thrives on and NEEDS calm around him at all times, so you can imagine how THAT goes....

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I agree with the other comments about bringing your own food/snacks on board. Even if you order a gluten free meal, there's no guarantee you'll get it. I had the situation once where they gave my gluten free meal away to someone else who ate the whole thing before asking why she's gotten a special meal! But I didn't mind because my carry on bag was full of LaraBars! Of course I'll be in big trouble if I'm on a plane someday with someone with a nut allergy and I'm not allowed to eat my food (which invariably always contains nuts....)!

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Just took my first flight since celiac. I stuffed my bag full of gluten-free sandwich, nuts, lara bar, fruit & veggies. I took way more than I thought I might need for a 4 hour flight and it was a good thing as by the time we got our car and to the hotel I was starved!

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I will use a carry on bag with the handle and the wheels, but then a backpack that I've stuffed my very small purse or fanny pack into as well, so I can be completely hands free if I need to. In the backpack I will have packed the minimum, non perishable gluten free food I need to get through the entire experience, including delays. They don't like backpacks in security for some reason, so this may get you a bit of extra scrutiny, but too bad for the airlines, because I cannot afford to get sick and I can't afford to get tendonitis either, lugging around an extra bag, and if they pull this stunt of trying to tell me there is no room for the carry on bag, that backpack with the trail mix is still coming with me. I do not care if they think I'm a chipmunk because I have all these clear plastic ziplock bags with almonds, dried fruit, etc.

Airline security personnel adore clear plastic ziplock bags, besides you being able to be organized enough to whip out any form of identification instantly. You may want to have a lanyard type thing you can put around your neck that holds your identification, that you can then put back into your purse. The miniature cosmetics you have collected for this trip, like the tiny little bottles of lotion, lip sunblock, etc, should all be displayed in a clear ziplock so they can see that it's a miniature collection of toiletries. Makeup in another clear ziplock bag instead of in a cosmetics bag. Don't forget to contact the airlines and find out exactly what the rules are now, for if anything is in a non solid form. How tiny does the deodorant have to be, etc. For those of us with extra sensitive skin, we need our stuff.

On the flight itself, ask for your own bottle of water or your own bottle or can of juice or whatever, so the stewardess is not opening something and touching gluten on other people's stuff and then handing it off to you. I've also refilled my clear plastic water bottle in the "safe" secured area and carried it on. Tell the stewardess you have a food allergy if they give you any grief - they likely will not know what "gluten intolerant" or "celiac" is, or care, but they can comprehend "food allergy" and might want to respect that a bit more. Drinking water helps prevent jet lag, altho you won't be changing time zones.

Airline etiquette- before whipping out the snack nuts, you may want to ask the person seated next to you, if you are next to a stranger, if they have any food allergies and would mind if you ate it. I like peanuts, but perhaps this is not the right time or place for gluten free peanuts. And if the airline offers you peanuts, read the labels.. For instance, American made candy bars of certain brands are okay, in terms of being gluten free, but if it is a candy bar that was the same brand but came from another country, it might not be okay.

Before a trip I will start converting myself over again to a lower carbohydrate, higher protein and fat diet, because I do not want to be eating like a regular person who gets up and has a bowl of cereal (blah, yuck) and then who is starving hungry 5 hours later, and who can just grab any old piece of airport junk food, because I cannot. I want to be able to eat a really nourishing and high fat breakfast that will stick with me all the way until dinner, if need be.

When you get there, for your hotel room, a roll of paper towels, to lay down on any surfaces you are putting your food on, is going to come in handy. I've packed enough hard boiled eggs before, that if there is just hot water in the room, I can have an egg, fruit and coffee in the morning before having to deal with foraging in Outside World. Who wants to go to breakfast, then you discover it's not a good restaurant venue but the other people are going to eat anyway. If there is a room microwave, you can do even more things. You might want to pack something like gluten free biscotti, which don't go bad and are good with breakfast.

If you are at a restaurant and they don't know the status of their salad dressings, you can always ask for either an oil and vinegar cruet set up, if they have safe vinegar (watch out for malt vinegar) or just use oil with a squeeze of a wedge of lemon.

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I have packed...

-energy bars

-small tuna cans

-crackers

-fruit

-small chip bags

-trail mix

-muffins

Seattle airport has a Wendy's (mmmm....chili).

John Wayne in California has a See's candy shop - they had a sign in the window saying gluten free products available - I picked up cookies, crackers, chips....that was all I could find in that airport but I was starving so it was good! We stayed near a Target near Disneyland and there was little gluten-free food available ! Some in restaurants, but not in Target or Ralphs....ate a lot of fruit, tuna, and Tostitos!

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Thankfully that does not involve long flights! Our most recent trip did and I planned in advance by notifying the airlines who gave me (yucky) gluten-free meals but I also took lots of snacks along. Thank goodness I did because we had one major flight delay. One cool thing I noticed in the Venice Marco Polo Airport was an advertisement for a gluten-free restaurant in the airport! And the airport is pretty small, too. As we were flying from there I had no need to sample it but if it were on our way somewhere I would have tried it out. They are SO knowledgable about celiac disease in Italy. Amazing. Prett good in Croatia as well. Far better than here in Canada (at least in our area).

Anyway, I would definitely check out grocery stores and markets if I were you. And take a few snacks along just in case. Relax and enjoy. It seems as though the thought of something is scarier than the reality. :)

I am curious to know for how long you were in Europe and what you did about food while you were there. My husband has multiple food allergies in addition to being a celiac. He is very sensitive to even the smallest amount of contamination, so when we travel, I will reserve a hotel or condo with a full kitchen and we typically bring all of our food with us (except for fresh meats, fruits and vegetables). We tack an extra day onto our trips so that we can spend a day cooking, providing meals for the duration of the trip. I have an insulated picnic pack and we carry food with us for the day. We really don't trust restaurants after several bad experiences. So far, all of our travel has been in the U.S., but we have been discussing a trip to Europe. I figure we will need an apartment while we are there, to have access to a kitchen, but am not sure about how we can bring food from U.S. into another country. I am thinking we may need to ship it to our first destination ahead of time. We would like to see France, Germany and Italy. If it would not be too personal to share some of your experience, I would appreciate it.

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I am curious to know for how long you were in Europe and what you did about food while you were there. My husband has multiple food allergies in addition to being a celiac. He is very sensitive to even the smallest amount of contamination, so when we travel, I will reserve a hotel or condo with a full kitchen and we typically bring all of our food with us (except for fresh meats, fruits and vegetables). We tack an extra day onto our trips so that we can spend a day cooking, providing meals for the duration of the trip. I have an insulated picnic pack and we carry food with us for the day. We really don't trust restaurants after several bad experiences. So far, all of our travel has been in the U.S., but we have been discussing a trip to Europe. I figure we will need an apartment while we are there, to have access to a kitchen, but am not sure about how we can bring food from U.S. into another country. I am thinking we may need to ship it to our first destination ahead of time. We would like to see France, Germany and Italy. If it would not be too personal to share some of your experience, I would appreciate it.

We were there three weeks. We go three weeks twice each year - each May and each October (we have a house in Croatia with an outdoor wood-fired oven which makes it easy for gluten-free cooking and grilling!). But even we try to eat out some - even grilled fresh seafood. There are zero restaurants I trust in my town, that's for sure. They have no clue. But in Europe I have found things to be far easier, especially in Italy and Croatia. I have not been to Germany and France since my celiac diagnosis so unfortunately cannot comment on those countries except to say they are GORGEOUS! I would plan to stock up fresh ingredients at markets. You can take non-perishable snacks from the US but I have read and heard there are lots of choices in Germany (have not heard of France yet). And from experience Italy is probably one of the best countries in the world in which to be gluten-free. They are extremely knowledgable and have excellent gluten-free pasta, some gluten-free restaurants and gluten-free products. Bi-Aglut and Schar are popular gluten-free companies. I would recommend staying away from the Schar bread, though, unless your husband likes cruel and unusual punishment. Their crisp breadsticks are very good, though. Depending on your husband's allergies in Italy you can request and/or make polenta, risotto, panna cotta, pizza and so on. I have been to Italy about 20 times so know parts of it quite well. If you are in Venice there are excellent gluten-free choices to eat out (if your husband is able). Rome even has some gluten-free pizza (as do other places).

On our last trip I packed extra snacks which include some homemade ones but also pretzels, mixed nuts and dried fruit, a few favourite seasoning blends for cooking, Skittles, a toaster bag (love those things!), homemade apple chips and falafel chips (made some hummus for them there). Oh, and some English toffee.

If you see Vegeta seasonings (made in Croatia) most are gluten-free and very good. The Mediterranean, Picante and Grill flavours are amongst our favourites. They will likely have those in G, F and Italy. They have them in Canada - perhaps in the US? They come in blue packaging.

Turns out I actually took along too many snacks as I was able to find enough stuff in stores. By the way, in some countries you find the gluten-free products in pharmacies or DM stores (like pharmacies).

I would recommend printing out restaurant cards in various languages even if you do not eat out in restaurants because you may need them to purchase gluten-free things if you are in an area where there is not a lot of English spoken.

Would you be renting a car? Depending where you are that really helps so you have the flexibility of stopping when and where you want for snacks, bathrooms, etc.

Let me know if you have other questions about Europe. I am passionate about it and love to help if I can! :)

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The big Costco-sized box of Larabar is a must!

Which flavours are your favourites? I have tried a few and have been sadly disappointed. However, I really like the Kind bars recommended by members here. Just personal taste! :P

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Which flavours are your favourites? I have tried a few and have been sadly disappointed. However, I really like the Kind bars recommended by members here. Just personal taste! :P

I haven't found a Larabar flavor I liked yet so have also been disappointed. But I do like Kind bars.

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Which flavours are your favourites? I have tried a few and have been sadly disappointed. However, I really like the Kind bars recommended by members here. Just personal taste! :P

Never heard of the Kind bars, will definitely check them out :) I like Banana, it just tastes great

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Never heard of the Kind bars, will definitely check them out :) I like Banana, it just tastes great

If you like lots of whole nuts barely held together with sticky goodness you will like Kind bars. Completely different texture than Lara Bars. Crunchiness with chewiness! :P

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I wish we could get Lara bars in Australia! You guys in USA are always raving about them! I am quite jealous.

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I wish we could get Lara bars in Australia! You guys in USA are always raving about them! I am quite jealous.

You are truly not missing much in my opinion. There are lots better out there! But I, too, often get jealous of all the products available (i.e. King Arthur flour) and gluten-free bakeries and restaurants in the US. We seem sooooooooo behind here in Canada. :( Hopefully that will change soon!

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You all should give Trio bars a try. I love them, and they're much yummier than Lara Bars. They have three seeds, nuts and fruits in them.

As far as airplane food, I just flew and packed a baggie of sliced peaches and a baggie of chicken to eat with gluten free crackers. I also have salad dressing in little carry on size toiletry containers, fruit strips, nuts, chips, apples, salt and pepper (dextrose in table salt), CHOCOLATE!! They've never blinked. :) The little tuna packets are great too. I get the ones packed in olive oil to avoid the soy broth (this is saving me from 4 days of starvation right now!). You can also get little packets of peanut butter and almond butter to put on apples or gluten free crackers etc. I try to make sure I have a good combination of protein and carb options so I don't get too hungry. Oh! Hormel has a gluten free pepperoni stick that is nice too. I got a big bag at Costco.

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I wish we could get Lara bars in Australia! You guys in USA are always raving about them! I am quite jealous.

There used to be a few health food shops in Melbourne that carried a very limited range of Lara Bars. But they all seem to have stopped selling them recently.

I wasn't a fan to be honest. They were very dense and sticky. I always need to drink a litre of water after eating one to wash it down.

I eat Carman's Fruit Deluxe muesli bars which you can get at most supermarkets in the regular muesli bar aisle. They're labelled gluten free and are the same price as regular muesli bars. Plus they are delicious.

I'm not a fan of Trio bars either. I tried one and it tasted like bubble gum which just seemed wrong.

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I wish we could get Lara bars in Australia! You guys in USA are always raving about them! I am quite jealous.

We can - I've seen them at Thomas Dux and other health food shops (though I haven't checked recently) I was really jealous of them too, but I actually don't like them much. They are very sweet. I bought heaps of them on a trip to LA and ended up giving them to my friend.

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I would recommend staying away from the Schar bread, though, unless your husband likes cruel and unusual punishment.

Do you mean the Schar bread gave him problems, or that it just doesn't taste good?

I live in Europe and eat a fair bit of Schar products, I'd certainly be curious to know if it caused problems for him.

Thanks!

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Do you mean the Schar bread gave him problems, or that it just doesn't taste good?

I live in Europe and eat a fair bit of Schar products, I'd certainly be curious to know if it caused problems for him.

Thanks!

On my first trip gluten free to Europe I tried Schar products and gagged on the so-called bread. It was so horrible! No problems - the flavour and texture were unforgettably bad but now I am rather spoiled by Glutino's Genius bread (or my homemade bread). However, I do rather like their hard crunchy bread sticks. Are there other Schar products you can recommend? We own a house in Europe and travel there regularly. Are the ciabatta rolls ok? As a baker I love to bake my own things but that is not always feasible when traveling long distances.

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Hi,

Thanks for your reply!

The Schar Fette Croccanti crackers are amazing. My non-gluten-free husband loves them too. They're just a snack, but they're great. Their little cracker snack packs are good too.

The croissants au chocolat are okay but not awesome, but it's nice if you're missing that kind of thing. You've got to warm them up.

The mini baguettes are good toasted (they crumble completely untoasted) and I've found them fantastic for travel. When we have guests and are touring around with them, I make myself a sandwich in a baguette in the morning and it's always quite tasty at lunch and saves me the worry of finding somewhere to eat.

They have another product, I can't remember the name, that is a sweet breakfast bread. Petit Pain, maybe? Or Pain Matin? Anyway, it's delicious and you don't even need to toast it. Quite sweet, but very good. Definitely a treat.

Their penne and fusili are good.

Where I live we also have a DS-Schar brand that makes a few frozen things - I did not like the lasagne, I do like the tortellini, ravioli, and pizza. They are definitely frozen-food calibre, but within that category I think they're quite good. They also carry a millefoglie pastry crust which would probably be really useful for baking, though I've never tried it.

Bon Appetit!

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I am curious to know for how long you were in Europe and what you did about food while you were there. My husband has multiple food allergies in addition to being a celiac. He is very sensitive to even the smallest amount of contamination, so when we travel, I will reserve a hotel or condo with a full kitchen and we typically bring all of our food with us (except for fresh meats, fruits and vegetables). We tack an extra day onto our trips so that we can spend a day cooking, providing meals for the duration of the trip. I have an insulated picnic pack and we carry food with us for the day. We really don't trust restaurants after several bad experiences. So far, all of our travel has been in the U.S., but we have been discussing a trip to Europe. I figure we will need an apartment while we are there, to have access to a kitchen, but am not sure about how we can bring food from U.S. into another country. I am thinking we may need to ship it to our first destination ahead of time. We would like to see France, Germany and Italy. If it would not be too personal to share some of your experience, I would appreciate it.

Europe is actually quite easy and much more celiac-aware than the US. I find traveling around Europe easier than traveling around the US ('m sensitive with multiple allergies as well). I've done it without a kitchen - with a kitchen it would definitely be doable.

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    • If celiac disease is the cause of your reflux, it can take weeks, to months or a year for healing on a gluten free diet.    I have celiac disease but only was anemic when diagnosed.  Last year, I developed reflux for the first time.  Another endoscopy determined that I  had healed from celiac disease, but stomach biopsies revealed chronic autoimmune gastritis which slowly went into remission on its own after a many months.   I assume my Gastritis will flare up again in the future.   Unlike celiac disease where gluten is the trigger, the trigger for AI Gastritis is unknown.   To cope, I would sleep elevated and avoided eating late meals giving my stomach time to empty long before bedtime.  I also reduced coffee and ate a bland diet.  Reflux is awful.  I am so sorry that you are ill.  
    • Hi, how fast after starting with gluten free diet did you notice any improvement with heartburn or reflux? I am 4th day of diet and reflux seams to be worse than earlier. So I am a bit concerned. Please, help!!! Aya
    • OK good to know. Thanks for the tip
    • This is an old thread but I just need to get this out of my system! I am just so fed up with how every caregiver has been dealing with me case. My enzymes have been abnormal and my doc continuously asks me if I'm binge drinking - I literally haven't had a sip of alcohol in 2 years. Never been a heavy drinker.  She also tells me that all of my troubling neurological symptoms - sensory hypersensitivity, tinnitus, jaw/pain, headaches, fatigue, teeth grinding, nightmares, and EPILEPSY are "all in my head." ??? When my GI symptoms first started, she tried pushing acid reflux medications on me, even though Ive never dealt with heartburn. She was confused and aggressively asked, "Then what do you want!???"... um, to figure out the root of my issues? Some diagnostics? Gosh... When I told her my symptoms had decreased on a low gluten diet and I was interested in being tested for celiac, she asked me "why bother? if you're feeling better, just eat less gluten" - not understanding the value of a formal diagnosis.   I just wish I had some other disease that was more medically recognized and understood. Its so demeaning, and I try to see my doctors as little as possible now. I do my own research on PubMED and google scholar. And I don't even think I've had it the worst- I'm totally appalled by all of the crap I've read on this thread. Anyways, I'm done ranting.
    • Has your Dr mention Microscopic Colitis at all.  You mentioned taking PPI's.  I took them for over a year - 2 morning and 2 night.  I think that's how I ended up with Microscopic Colitis.  I don't think I have Celiac disease but do think I am very sensitive to gluten.  My GI dr. told me to eat whatever I want , but have learned from research, partly from microscopiccolitis.org that almost everyone with MC is sensitive to gluten and most to dairy and some to soy.  I know some on this site don't agree with some of what is said on that site, but they are really good people who want to help.  Just said all that to say, maybe you should ask your GI if you could have MC.  Hope you get it all figured out.  I know the frustration.  It can take over your life.
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