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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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First Out-Of-Town Trip Since Diagnosis. Big Girl Pants.
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My husband and I are obsessive compulsive planners.  Our road trips are planned extensively, and I do vast amounts of research before we leave.  We live in Tiny Town, USA, so travelling to any Big City brings some glee ... because I know I can find somewhere to be social and dine with others ....  Travelling around our area requires a cooler and food from home.  I take printed pages of "options" along our route, along with the address (for our GPS) and phone number.  I learned the hard way to call ahead.

 

We drove 2,000 miles round trip recently.  On the road, we have a cooler with cheese cubes, gluten-free sausage, envelope pouches of salmon (I can't eat tuna), fruit, (Grapes travel well, oranges, apples, bananas) cut up veggies, etc.  Squeeze packages of mayonnaise to mix with my salmon, and I have a meal. Any food eaten inside our vehicle is gluten free.  If the other travelers want a fast food meal, they dine inside while I check out things and eat what I've brought along.  It's easier that way.  We stop at stores off the interstates and replenish if necessary.  Hormel makes pepperoni slices that are gluten-free and don't require refrigeration until opened.  They work in case of extreme hunger.  Protein helps my hunger faster than anything.  A tablespoon of peanut butter can save my day.  Another saver is gluten free jerky.  So much so that we've bought a dehydrator and are learning to make our own healthier jerky. I start out with hardboiled eggs from home, but those don't last long.  I'm working on a recipe I found for quinoa that is oatmeal like with pecans and blueberries.  I could make it up ahead and take it with me in my magical cooler.

 

Someone told me about quinoa flakes, so I'm looking for those wondering if they're instant.

The hardest part of my trip, fortunately, was my worry ahead of time. Our first trip since my diagnosis, and my first time being with family since diagnosis.  I cannot express my gratitude enough for every one of them being respectful of what I needed. 

 

I did internet research ahead of time, reading reviews, and even calling a few places ahead to ask questions. 
PF Chang was great.  Red Robin is a staple for travel.  Five Guys Burger places are springing up, and the only thing they deep fry are French fries in peanut oil.  They are my go-to place for fries!  Burger in a bowl, with cheese, and a little extra tip and I've yet to have a bad experience at one in 5 states.
 

DH and I cooked a gluten-free dinner for our hosts, including gluten-free brownies. (Using my own knife and cutting board and some foil baking pans and glass baking pans.) People are really surprised at how good food can be when done right.

The prep work is what saved my life ... or at least my discomfort.  I was glutened at one local restaurant who assured me they had a gluten-free menu, and we were oh-so-careful.  Once in a 10 day trip isn't too bad, I'll take it.

 

Anyway, that's what works for us ... compulsive over planning.  Being hungry and cranky and having a headache can make me just as ugly as being glutened ... it's just easier to "fix" by eating something healthy for me. 
 

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I plan as much as I can, but I could get a call today and have to leave tomorrow morning..or get a call this morning and have to leave this afternoon...I don't always have time.  I have a small bag packed with some food that is safe now, but that is enough for a meal or two.  I'll take a photo some time of the choices I have while traveling....

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We live in Tiny Town too, Cathy! :) We're in rural Michigan, so we don't have a lot of choices. We have to go to a bigger city area even to go to a Red Robin's.

 

I'm going to my SIL and BIL's, and I'm packing KIND granola, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, and assorted types of yogurt (dairy for others, non-dairy for me) for the road. For lunch, I got one of those preassembled veggie trays and a jar of shelf stable hummus. I also have Udi's bread for sandwiches.

 

I have a 4 cup glass container with a snap on lid that to put homemade soup in, to eat that night. (SIL has soup on the menu that night) I also bought precut sweet potatoes to pop in the oven for sweet potato fries. I let SIL know that I would be providing my own food this weekend so I went through the menu that she sent me and decided on a gluten free choice for myself to bring for each meal. For meals that are complex like lasagna and macaroni and cheese, I'm just going to buy the Amy's frozen versions of those and pop those in the microwave.

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I plan as much as I can, but I could get a call today and have to leave tomorrow morning..or get a call this morning and have to leave this afternoon...I don't always have time.  I have a small bag packed with some food that is safe now, but that is enough for a meal or two.  I'll take a photo some time of the choices I have while traveling....

 

My thought was packing a "ready bag" or a "go bag", with things that have a long shelf life.  An unopened pack of pepperoni, a box of gluten-free crackers, a package or two of tuna or salmon, small packs of mayo (I've "borrowed" some from restaurants ;-) ), chips, jerky ... even some of those squeeze packs of fruit meant for kids ... If you're driving, that would work to get you a start.  Schaar makes gluten-free breads that are vacuum packed and have a very long shelf life.  We like them a lot, especially for travel.

If you're flying, that's a whole 'nother thing.

 

Any grocery store will have "supplies" you can cobble together for a meal.

 

My husband was in the hospital recently for emergency surgery, and on short notice, I had to figure out how/ what to eat in a hospital cafeteria.  Believe it or not, the cafeteria had no real gluten-free options.  I ate pre-wrapped cheese sticks, an orange, a banana, a bag of potato chips, some juice ... junk and some fruit.  But I had to eat because I was getting shaky and a headache.  There were no other gluten-free protein options.

 

It sucks to be away from home, in a strange place ... and then have to worry about eating. 

It is the stuff of nightmares.

 

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We live in Tiny Town too, Cathy! :) We're in rural Michigan, so we don't have a lot of choices. We have to go to a bigger city area even to go to a Red Robin's.

 

I'm going to my SIL and BIL's, and I'm packing KIND granola, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, and assorted types of yogurt (dairy for others, non-dairy for me) for the road. For lunch, I got one of those preassembled veggie trays and a jar of shelf stable hummus. I also have Udi's bread for sandwiches.

 

I have a 4 cup glass container with a snap on lid that to put homemade soup in, to eat that night. (SIL has soup on the menu that night) I also bought precut sweet potatoes to pop in the oven for sweet potato fries. I let SIL know that I would be providing my own food this weekend so I went through the menu that she sent me and decided on a gluten free choice for myself to bring for each meal. For meals that are complex like lasagna and macaroni and cheese, I'm just going to buy the Amy's frozen versions of those and pop those in the microwave.

 

I've done that with the microwave meals.

 

Another thing I pack are nuts.  Almonds especially.  Raw veggies and I seem to have a disagreement lately.  I like them, but they do not like me. mmmm.  Hummus.  I even use rice crackers with hummus, since veggies don't set well. 

 

I bought some new plastic containers with screw on lids, they seem to work well for liquidy foods.  Those and mason jars.  I like the plastic because I don't have to worry about breaking.

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I also keep a box of shelf stable snacks in the car. Things like GoPicnic's, Larabars, packets of Planter's nuts, etc.

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My thought was packing a "ready bag" or a "go bag", with things that have a long shelf life.  An unopened pack of pepperoni, a box of gluten-free crackers, a package or two of tuna or salmon, small packs of mayo (I've "borrowed" some from restaurants ;-) ), chips, jerky ... even some of those squeeze packs of fruit meant for kids ... If you're driving, that would work to get you a start.  Schaar makes gluten-free breads that are vacuum packed and have a very long shelf life.  We like them a lot, especially for travel.

If you're flying, that's a whole 'nother thing.

 

Any grocery store will have "supplies" you can cobble together for a meal.

 

My husband was in the hospital recently for emergency surgery, and on short notice, I had to figure out how/ what to eat in a hospital cafeteria.  Believe it or not, the cafeteria had no real gluten-free options.  I ate pre-wrapped cheese sticks, an orange, a banana, a bag of potato chips, some juice ... junk and some fruit.  But I had to eat because I was getting shaky and a headache.  There were no other gluten-free protein options.

 

It sucks to be away from home, in a strange place ... and then have to worry about eating. 

It is the stuff of nightmares.

 

 

Those are the meals I usually end up eating, but you can only do that for so many meals without getting sick from the junk too.  Just got notice I'll be going out of town earlier than planned next week.  Looked up hotel options on my work travel site--um, NO hotels in town...not a good sign!!!  Tried to find an extended stay type place, no luck.  Searched for gluten-free restaurants in the area, NONE.....going to be an interesting 3 days....

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Those are the meals I usually end up eating, but you can only do that for so many meals without getting sick from the junk too.  Just got notice I'll be going out of town earlier than planned next week.  Looked up hotel options on my work travel site--um, NO hotels in town...not a good sign!!!  Tried to find an extended stay type place, no luck.  Searched for gluten-free restaurants in the area, NONE.....going to be an interesting 3 days....

 

I do understand ... a few days of eating less that healthy food makes me miserable, too. 

We're trying to plan a trip to the west coast, and the area we stay in has limited hotel choices.  So I'm scouring for things I can take that are easy to pack in a suitcase.  I've found Quinoa flakes that are instant (90 seconds with hot water).  So, if there's not a microwave in the room, I could use hot water from the coffee maker.  hmmm.

 

http://www.vitacost.com/ancient-harvest-organic-quinoa-hot-cereal-flakes-gluten-free-12-oz-1

 

And some dehydrated fruit to add.  That would be a decent breakfast for the road. Those could go in my luggage, even carry on.

Some pecans. 

 

I feel your frustration ... and I sincerely understand. I've been 3-4 days eating things cobbled together from "food marts" at gas stations. 

A hospital cafeteria for 3 days ... yeah.  It's awful and doesn't help. 

 

If I come up with any interesting choices in my trip research, I'll be glad to share if you think it helps.

 

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Hi Ladies....it isn't a delicious meal, but I utililize the new-ish squeeze pouches made for babies and toddlers...although me and my adult kids call them astronaut food...between those, packing fruit that doesn't bruise easily, nuts and freezing real food before I leave home I am good to go in a car or air travel for at least three days...I have never gone more than 24 hours without running into a grocery store to run in and grab fresh veggies to crunch on or snacks for the kids.

It gets easier!

Fast food joints almost all have salads now that are made up in a different facility...they are decent and sometimes quite good.

Walmarts are often easy to find on the road and have a great variety of gluten-free processed items.

It gets easier :)

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I do understand ... a few days of eating less that healthy food makes me miserable, too. 

We're trying to plan a trip to the west coast, and the area we stay in has limited hotel choices.  So I'm scouring for things I can take that are easy to pack in a suitcase.  I've found Quinoa flakes that are instant (90 seconds with hot water).  So, if there's not a microwave in the room, I could use hot water from the coffee maker.  hmmm.

 

http://www.vitacost.com/ancient-harvest-organic-quinoa-hot-cereal-flakes-gluten-free-12-oz-1

 

And some dehydrated fruit to add.  That would be a decent breakfast for the road. Those could go in my luggage, even carry on.

Some pecans. 

 

I feel your frustration ... and I sincerely understand. I've been 3-4 days eating things cobbled together from "food marts" at gas stations. 

A hospital cafeteria for 3 days ... yeah.  It's awful and doesn't help. 

 

If I come up with any interesting choices in my trip research, I'll be glad to share if you think it helps.

 

 

I've been very surprised at the lack of gluten free options at hospitals.  When I was at my last appointments, Mayo Clinic even, I could eat yogurt....they had shelf of gluten-free food, cans of soup, some cookies, etc. but nothing in the hot line that was gluten-free.  I was at another hospital doing some research and they listed gluten-free food on the menu. I couldn't find what they were talking about so I asked.  The chef at least had a clue and said that their hamburgers and grilled chicken breasts were gluten-free and they did have gluten-free buns so I did have that.  I was going to make a salad but as I approached the salad bar, the woman in front of me was using the same spoon in about 4 different bowls so I decided I better not do that.  My meetings next week are in a hospital so we will see if they have anything for me.  I'll be there for 3 days then I have another overnight stay at a hotel and 2 days of driving to another hotel (that one is at least an extended stay place so I can cook for myself) for a week, then I have 7 weeks at a yet to be determined place--still trying to find a place that will work for me!!

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I've been very surprised at the lack of gluten free options at hospitals.  When I was at my last appointments, Mayo Clinic even, I could eat yogurt....they had shelf of gluten-free food, cans of soup, some cookies, etc. but nothing in the hot line that was gluten-free.  I was at another hospital doing some research and they listed gluten-free food on the menu. I couldn't find what they were talking about so I asked.  The chef at least had a clue and said that their hamburgers and grilled chicken breasts were gluten-free and they did have gluten-free buns so I did have that.  I was going to make a salad but as I approached the salad bar, the woman in front of me was using the same spoon in about 4 different bowls so I decided I better not do that.  My meetings next week are in a hospital so we will see if they have anything for me.  I'll be there for 3 days then I have another overnight stay at a hotel and 2 days of driving to another hotel (that one is at least an extended stay place so I can cook for myself) for a week, then I have 7 weeks at a yet to be determined place--still trying to find a place that will work for me!!

 

I had an 8 day hospital stay in 2010 at UCSD...couldn't eat for first 5 days anyway, but when able there was nothing but ensure, yogurt and ice cream bars that were gluten free.  I've seen some improvement at another San Diego hospital that my mother has had a few stays in, but UCSD remains woefully unable to cater to those with Celiac Disease.  There usually is fresh fruit and chocolate milk in every hospital cafeteria....at least those are my go tos with coffee.

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Hi Ladies....it isn't a delicious meal, but I utililize the new-ish squeeze pouches made for babies and toddlers...although me and my adult kids call them astronaut food...between those, packing fruit that doesn't bruise easily, nuts and freezing real food before I leave home I am good to go in a car or air travel for at least three days...I have never gone more than 24 hours without running into a grocery store to run in and grab fresh veggies to crunch on or snacks for the kids.

It gets easier!

Fast food joints almost all have salads now that are made up in a different facility...they are decent and sometimes quite good.

Walmarts are often easy to find on the road and have a great variety of gluten-free processed items.

It gets easier :)

 

I picked up some of these squeeze fruit things today.  I hope they are good :D.  I got some pudding cups too.  I prefer the Swiss Miss ones but these were the Snack whatever ones.  They are gluten-free though so I'll take it.

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I picked up some of these squeeze fruit things today.  I hope they are good :D.  I got some pudding cups too.  I prefer the Swiss Miss ones but these were the Snack whatever ones.  They are gluten-free though so I'll take it.

Some are tasty...others are simply safe fruit and veggies at the ready ;)

Happy Baby is making some targeted at grownups :). Those are yummy.

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Justin's individual squeeze packets of almond and peanut butters are all tasty...well I've only tried all the almond ones.

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Justin's individual squeeze packets of almond and peanut butters are all tasty...well I've only tried all the almond ones.

 

I've been looking for some peanut butter packets or something but haven't had much luck.  I'm on a mission tomorrow to find more portable foods.  I need about a week's worth of meals that don't require cooking...

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I love Justin's. I always have almonds on me...sometimes I mix with Justin's chocolate almond packs. Yum.

It may just be me...but I tend to bring more food than I ever use when traveling...you will run into safe sources everywhere...even minimarts usually have yogurt, cheese or fresh fruit ...so if you are packing for a week...I'd go a bit light or you just end up lugging a lot home...but if you are driving, not flying I wouldn't worry about it...load up on options and see what you end up eating for easier packing for future trips.

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I love Justin's. I always have almonds on me...sometimes I mix with Justin's chocolate almond packs. Yum.

It may just be me...but I tend to bring more food than I ever use when traveling...you will run into safe sources everywhere...even minimarts usually have yogurt, cheese or fresh fruit ...so if you are packing for a week...I'd go a bit light or you just end up lugging a lot home...but if you are driving, not flying I wouldn't worry about it...load up on options and see what you end up eating for easier packing for future trips.

 

 

I'll be on the road for 8 1/2 weeks, but the first week is a lot of hotel hopping, after that I settle down some and spend weeks at a time in one place.  

 

I was going to buy some cans of chicken but my app flagged them as having gluten.  I don't THINK they do but I need to check before I buy something like that....

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Well, this is less than helpful:

 

CAN YOU PROVIDE ME WITH ALLERGEN INFORMATION FOR CAMPBELL PRODUCTS?

We are committed to providing accurate and reliable ingredient statements upon which you can make your purchasing decisions. As ingredients in our products may change, we recommend that you check the label on our products for the most current and accurate ingredient and nutritional information.  We follow all government regulation related to allergen labeling.

 

 

I looked today--there was nothing on the label that said gluten-free or any other allergen info...

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I'll be on the road for 8 1/2 weeks, but the first week is a lot of hotel hopping, after that I settle down some and spend weeks at a time in one place.  

 

I was going to buy some cans of chicken but my app flagged them as having gluten.  I don't THINK they do but I need to check before I buy something like that....

I used to prefer the foil pouches of tuna and salmon...they tasted a bit better than canned ;)

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If I ever have a non-emergency hospitalization, I'm totally going to Bronson hospital in Kalamazoo, MI! When I was there with my son for his femur fracture, they presented us with a full gluten free menu, including gluten free bread and gluten free veggie burgers. They even had a gluten free quesadilla! I'm wondering if their accomodations have something to do with the fact that the area celiac support group meets in their building, because the other hospital in KZoo (Borgess) doesn't have hardly any gluten free stuff in comparison to them!

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Well, I found some individual fruit cups, some individual vegetable cups ( cut green beans and corn), found some canned chicken that was gluten-free--no pouches--probably would rather have a pouch though, some single serve cups of peanut butter.  I realized I don't have an extra can opener though--oops.  That should get me through a few "meals".  I need to get some celery or something to eat with the peanut butter when I get there--apples maybe too.  This sure was easier when I could just stop in a restaurant anywhere and eat....

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Sounds like you found some good options!  YAY !!!

 

What's that old saying?  Anything worth doing is worth doing well? 

 

You've got this ... time and patience and it will become "routine".

 

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