The most important thing that I have learnt during the course of my year of living completely gluten free is to always be prepared.
I’m one of those people who loves researching things and it’s something I spend a considerable amount of my time doing. This used to just be for fantastic holidays, hip hotels, the best flight deals, exciting weekend breaks, great restaurants, scenic walks. It still is but now it’s also all of those things…..with a gluten free edge.
On our trip to Milan I knew there were gluten free pizzerias. OK, we didn’t get into the one I had researched, but I loved the restaurant we ate our first anniversary dinner in. I know British Airways serves a gluten free meal, but I discovered that the gluten free meal on our flight to Lisbon on TAP was actually pretty good.
Probably my biggest discovery of the year has to be the Coeliac Travel cards. The cards are available to download in 51 languages from Amharic to Vietnamese. You can download them for free although the author suggest a donation of $5 via PaylPal or instead a link on your blog / website. When I download them, they print several cards to a page of A4 so then I cut them into individual cards to put into my purse. Oh, and if that’s not enough, you can also download the Coeliac Travel cards app to your iPhone or iTouch. Brilliant.
I cannot recommend the Coeliac Travel cards more highly. In Paris they literally saved me from a fate worse than….being glutened. But everywhere I’ve used them, they’ve been clear for the waiting staff to understand what food items I can / can’t eat and this has made eating out when I don’t speak the local language about as stress free as it’s ever going to be. As the author of the cards says on the website, the great thing about the Coeliac Travel cards is that the waiter can take your printed card into the kitchen and show and explain to the chef. This should help to minimise the risk of being glutened as much as is possible without actually cooking yourself.
Being prepared means that you can enjoy your well earned holidays as much as anyone else. Wherever I go from now on, the Coeliac Travel cards are the first thing I pack for the trip.