7 Tips For Gluten Free Traveling to Foreign Countries

In need of some tips for gluten free traveling to exotic countries?  Well,…,look no further!  You CAN travel with confidence to foreign lands.  Don’t let your diet choices and necessities rob you of your confidence.  it is not only possible, but probable, to travel anywhere.  Life is meant to be lived in abundance.  

As I write this, I am currently in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  The diet I eat is gluten free, grain free, soy free, and liquid dairy free, yet I feel free to travel anywhere with confidence.  I am staying at an all-inclusive resort here and having a fabulous time!  From the very first day I arrived, I was ‘met’ by some of my favorite foods…plaintains and mangoes!  Can I get a ‘yum’ from you!  

Traveling has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.  My parents were both born and raised in Canada, so I have been traveling outside the United States for my whole life.  All of my extended relative live in Canada as well.  I was raised with more of a cosmopolitan outlook on life as a result, which I greatly appreciate.  

Eating different foods is something I enjoy.  Maybe partly because I enjoy change, and also partly because I have cultivated an abundant palate for new foods.  What are you cultivating with your taste buds?  Keep in mind, please, that you are never too old to cultivate a taste for different foods.  After all, variety is the spice of life!  

Living gluten, grain, dairy, soy or maybe even nut free...you fill in the blanks...does not mean that you are resigned to a tasteless existence!  May it never be!  There is such an abundance of foods and tastes all around us.  The key is to embrace new and different tastes and textures. 

So, I encourage you with all that is in me to embark on your traveling adventures with an open mind and heart.........bon apetit!

7 TIPS FOR GLUTEN FREE TRAVELLING TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES:

  • Research the regional foods grown, and their growing season.  This is easily done by searching for this information in your favorite search engine online.  Eat fresh foods during their growing season.  This will provide you with great healthy foods that are the ripest, and most fresh, making them easier to digest by our bodies.  Just type into your search engine of choice - regional foods of ___.   
  • Do a search of regional dishes, and their preparation.  There is a reason that regional dishes become...well...regional favorites.  This is usually an indication of locally grown and produced foods.  The locals will love that you are trying to learn and eat what they eat, and you will probably make new friends along the way.
  • Make a list of the regional dishes that you want to try.  If you also learn their names in the language of the country that you are traveling to, the locals will LOVE you for it.  This is a step further than tip 2 that will surely help you with the locals.  It will also help you to remember to try out the dishes that looked great to you in your research.  It would be unfortunate to travel halfway around the world and then forget to try these dishes.
  • Look up the terminology and symbolism used for gluten free, grain free, dairy free, etc., and then make your own list to take with you.  This way you can show your server these symbols if you are having trouble communicating.  Most of these symbols are universal worldwide.
  • Pack a safety pack of snacks that you can take with you when you are out and about.  This will be helpful to keep your blood sugar stable, so you can make good food decisions.  Dried fruits, meat sticks, nuts, etc., are all good choices.  They are easy to fit into your luggage and are not too bulky to take a small amount out with you when you go out.
  • Keep an open mind.  Try the local dishes that you can eat.  Just because you are not familiar with it doesn’t mean you will not like it.  Variety is the spice of life!  Developing a taste for other foods starts with TRYING these other foods.  Be bold.  Be courageous.
  • Go with an adventurous spirit!  If you have done all of the above BEFORE you leave, then you will be much more confident, have a positive mindset, and possibly even a healthy anticipation of the wonderful time ahead.  These mindsets create a positive environment inside of us, which then raises our immunity, and our overall body functions.  Anxiety, and feelings of impending problems, can ACTUALLY cause problems for us digestively where none may exist.  Anxiety and hanging onto negative emotions will lower your immune system and make you more susceptible to any bugs you come in contact with.

The best part of traveling is getting outside of our familiar comfort zone and into new worlds of possibility.  Seeing how others eat, and live, is invigorating.  Learning new culinary practices can open up new possibilities when we get home.  It will give you new appreciation for different foods.  

Learning about other cultures also helps us to appreciate where we live.  When we eat the same thing every day.  Do the same thing every day.  Think the same things every day.  Then we become stagnant inside - our minds actually work less and we can become dull.  Staying ‘in shape’ physically helps our body, and organs, stay fit and working optimally.  

Our tastebuds can suffer the same fate. Seriously!  If they only get the same tastes, day after day, they lose the ability to taste them.  That is why people put more and more salt on their foods as the years go by if they eat the same things over and over.  Varying our foods, and spices, helps to keep our tastebuds fit and working well.  Then we can taste with small amounts, which is much safer for our bodies. 

Well, it is time for me to sign off for today.....now I am off to enjoy the beach, and the beautiful pools at my resort.  Tomorrow I am off to a little local town to hang with the locals.....until then, "Live the life you love, and love the life you live."

Please feel free to leave your comments...I would love to hear from you....and visit our website at www.gfmamas.com and www.gfmama4life.com.  Have a great day!