For almost everyone the holiday has started. Time to relax and discover the world. Preferably abroad. But how do you do this if you are on a diet?
A gluten free diet (celiac disease) is, compared to a few years back, now quite doable. More and more restaurants are serving gluten-free food. Make sure you know how to ask for gluten-free food in the language of the country you are in.
|English||Gluten free / without gluten|
|German||Glutenfrei / ohne gluten|
|Spanish||Sin gluten / libres de gluten|
|Dutch||Glutenvij / zonder gluten|
A few tips:
- Find out in advance, whether there are any shops with gluten free products in your area of destination.
- Consult with the hotel in advance about what they can or cannot provide or book an apartment where you can cook for yourself.
- Perform an internet search to find out where you can get a gluten free meal.
- Take vacuum-packed gluten free products with you such as: tortilla (also works well as a pizza base) / pizza base / rice waffles / crackers / bread / muesli / biscuits, etc. I take my homemade seed mix (muesli) with me as they have gluten-free yogurt everywhere.
Low fructan diet
But what do you do when your diet is more complicated? My diet is low in fructans (FODMAP diet) and that is gluten free and completely without onion family (onion, garlic, leek etc), without cabbage family (white cabbage, red cabbage, pointed cabbage, green cabbage) and some other mysterious exclusions. For example, peas are not allowed, but capuchins are. It’s a strange diet, but it helps me a lot. That’s why I made a diet list. There are 3 columns on this: Green = what I can eat, Red 1 = what I can’t eat according to the low fructan diet, Red 2 = what I can’t eat because of allergies.
In the Netherlands it works great. On beforehand I call the restaurant or hotel and I send the list via email and clearly explain that I am willing to answer any questions and bring my own products if necessary. If I don’t get an answer by e-mail, I often call to see if it has arrived safely and if the kitchen is having problems with anything. So far the reactions have been very positive and the restaurants and hotels are very happy to cooperate.
Make your own list!
That is why I’m sharing my diet list with you. You can adapt it to your own diet. If you go abroad, translate the entire list (and also send the translation to me, so that I can make it available to others). Translations into English and into German are provided in the document. The second tab contains a letter and additional explanation for the restaurant (in Dutch). Make sure you have several printed copies with you in COLOR. In color it is much clearer for the cooks. If you print it out in black and white, you will no longer see the difference clearly and in what is allowed and what is not allowed.
I laminated one printed copy. I take it everywhere and has already helped me in several locations (restaurant, hotel, supermarket) to find the right products.
What is your best holiday diet tip?
PS: In restaurants and hotels, they pay VERY STRICT to possible cross-contamination. This has to do with liability in the hospitality industry. If they indicate that they can make something for you, it is usually good. Unfortunately, this limits the offer, it is not always possible for the hotel to serve you. This means that sometimes you can receive a no and you will have to eat somewhere else.
Although I am definitely not a fan of McDonalds, many McDonalds restaurants already have gluten free burgers. Also abroad.