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Old 05-07-2014, 02:54 PM   #1
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Default Gluten Free - International Travel

In the coming weeks my family with several diagnosed celiacs among us (along with other food allergies and sensitivities) ...will be traveling to Mexico. It has become more and more common for the AI resorts in traveled areas to be abe to accomodate allergies, and especially Gluten Free needs for celiacs.

The two resorts I will be at are able to do this and Trip Advisor had a post this week concerning GF for one of them. I will be staying at Now Jade and The Grand Palladium. I thought it might be a nice thing to share since there are others here on 3FCs who have this concern when traveling. We will be at Now Jade from 5/30-6/9 with our daughters and their families, and then I will change resorts and spend another week with (just) my sisters ...(girlie week) at The Grand Palladium, which also has had postings both on TA and The grand Palladium Addict forum ...very positive about the gluten Free food they make available.

Perhaps others may like to share international information they have on this thread for international travel if they or a member of their travel group has a need for this. I will update this topic when I return with my own first hand experience. Liana posted some info on travel cards...which one can find and print in just about any language earlier this week. Having dealt with celiac since about 2002, we have used these for years...and they are very helpful. Esp when you don't speak the language!! But, having a resort actually take the initiative to label food and take individual reservations to ensure precautions are in place for guests is amazing and comforting.

Cut and paste from TA on Now Jade from this week:

“Now Jade has Gluten free for Celiac Disease”
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW
I want to reassure guests because I read a review discouraging going there. I loved everything about it after just getting back to Canada from a week family wedding trip. Although I was terribly worried beforehand about my 1st resort, it was or nothing. I brought 2 packages of Kinnikinnick English Muffins (traveled well, sliced into 3 -4 each for bread, toast or burgers) & 2 boxes of Breton Crackers & cookies I didn't need most of it. The dining restaurants have gluten free signs on their menu & generally have something in each category. Besides that I was asked to make a reservation each day for supper before 3:30 @ front desk. We by-passed the line-ups outside, as they were expecting us. I printed off & showed a gluten free travel card with English-Spanish & I am sure that card kept me free from gluten & cross contaminated so I felt well the whole time. The card-

As soon as I handed it to anyone, the chef came to my table to let me know what they could do for me. When I saw anything else they tried to make it special just for me. I got all the lovely pancakes I wanted & they had maple & honey syrup. The food was more "pure" not cutting corners like on cruise ships using boxed eggs containing wheat. No they eggs were there & you watched them make it. You put the ingredients on a little plate to be cooked in your pile then into your omelet. But it was the same grill so I just tried it once.

The receptionist named Izsa at Castaway Restaurant ( by the pool) invited me to the preferred breakfast fine dining twice. (we were in lower cost section)
Castaways Restaurant put my bread into their frig so I had burgers on toasted buns for lunchs. They had bread but it was crumbly. I brought flaked nutritional yeast in
my purse to sprinkle on things for cheesy taste without cheese & also turns creamy on wet lettuce as salad dressing. Daily I chose fruit & bacon at Carnivel Buffet. As the mango & papaya where so fresh & delicious I piled my plate high. Just outside there's a coffee shop so hubby got his tasty cup there & brought it into buffet. Everyone loved the buffet & many eat only there because it's huge & much better than any buffet I've ever seen. They had sliced beef at breakfast & roasts for lunch that I could have had.

The buffet fruits, cheeses & salads weren't close to anything with gluten that could cross contaminate them. Although if would probably be best to use your own spoon to put it on your plate since you don't know what the serving spoon touched on another person's plate. I ate there for the fruit & mostly because all my family were there. Otherwise I'd have stuck with Castaways for lunch & breakfast where I could have had toast made from my bread. I got Room Service only once & had a fruit plate with double order of bacon although I could have had eggs made up in any fashion.

All the chips are made with wheat, but they have little packages of gluten-free corn crackers. Also their guacamole has wheat but they made a huge bowl just for me & chopped raw tomatoes, onions etc into a fine salsa (my bowls were about 5 times larger than what was being shared at the other tables !) In the Mexican Restaurant I twice had fajitas with fresh made warm gluten free warps that were really yummy.

The wedding had a special pre-ordered meal for me, tasty & filling. I tried the sushi served at the pool after talking with the people there & showing my card. In the pool came floating along a big raft full of all sorts of fruit on skewers made into flowers ...what a treat !! All the water is bottled even in restaurants, don't even taste the tap water there because it's full of minerals that cause the runs. The meals were garnished & presented professionally . The gluten-free food was flavorful, not bland. It was our first resort, (usually take cruises) but I
felt safe knowing what I could have. So I time I noticed they garnished some refried beans with some colored corn-wheat chips... My adult daughter who is gluten intolerant chose to eat chips there & got very little reaction so there can't be much wheat in them. But I have proven Celiac & usually do stricter SCD /Specific Carbohydrate Diet except for special occasions, then I just do gluten free. In my opinion meals are far healthier at NOW JADE RESORT (compared to cruises) with smaller portions, (although you can order double
of anything) less starchy, less fat, not calorie rich, sugary, less dairy with fresher & more exotic fruit & veggies. If you want a fancy drink the bartenders on the beach itself give the most alcohol with the least flavor syrups & mistakes ...just talk to him rather than the waiters. Our only excursion was to non profit Jungle Spa (nearby Puerto-Morelos) for massage ...Wow the Mayans know special healing techniques for mine & my daughters tummy & everything else. I've tried every method of massage/body work...I got the benefit of a healing center, very unique & without high fee. Google Jungle Spa. The resort itself has massage & everything there...even massage on the beach, Mexican handicrafts & hair breading... so other than that we stuck around the resort & enjoyed what it had to offer. I hope I get a chance to return to this resort for the whole experience that is way more than just food. All the staff smiling & greeting you the whole week long . The entertainment was generally better than on cruise ships. And there was never a dull moment. The beach & pool hammocks...well, it was love at first sight. I'm really tempted to go again later this year.

At Cancun airport are abt 3 Johny Rocket Burger places & I found on cruise ships they have gluten free burgers using lettuce. I had trouble with 2 attempts wrong, so I
got the manager to watch the process & get my burger on a plate then used my own buns & also made a BLT at my table for the plane trip. I wished I'd had my travel
card handy that time, but I managed because we had lots of time.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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