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Alamo Celiac Article- Moving With Celiac

August 13, 2007

Moving a state away can be hard enough, but making sure that I am covered when it comes to food added an extra kink into the plan. It was a two day trip, so there was going to be some eating out and some unusual meals. While we tried to plan the trip, I have learned that hardly anything goes as planned, so I planed to be on my toes about what and where to eat.On the advice of a friend, I recently purchased a book called The Next Exit. It is a book with the major highways and interstates in all 50 states, and the hotels, gas stations, and restaurants at each exit. This book was a life saver on this trip! We got off to a late start, and weren’t able to make it as far as we wanted on the first day. But I was able to check The Book and found an Outback for dinner (trusty gluten-free menu). I had packed a few snacks in a bag that sat to my right while I was driving the U-Haul. I packed several snacks, including Glutino pretzels and the HEB knock-off Doritos (which are gluten free per the label, while the Brand Name Dorito’s- the Nacho Cheese flavor-are NOT gluten free. I didn’t not call HEB to verify this, I simply went by the bag label. I understand some people would not be comfortable with this, so please use your own discretion). I also snacked on Tootsie-rolls and chewed gum.

Since it was a two day drive, and we had things pack pretty tight, I didn’t even want to pack a cooler with ice for my frozen gluten free food. I ate what I could before we left, and ended up throwing away some food…that really hurt, to see that money go in the garbage!! But I was able to take things like the gluten free flours that had been in the freezer and just pack them with the other dry food, so that was good. In the end I only threw away some gluten free waffles and some popsicles.

I packed all of the dry foods into a foot-locker. I had Thai Kitchen meals, My Own Meals (pre-packaged meals), gluten free pasta, gluten free flours, Ener-G crackers, peanut-butter, and various other foods, spices, and stuff. There wasn’t much food to pack since my usual gluten free meals at home are mostly meats, cheeses, things that need to be refrigerated. We ate most of those in the week before the move.

I was able to suffer through some fast food meals, like beef patties at Wendy’s for lunch the second day. Oh, and I had Chili at the Braums’s in Hillsboro, TX, so if you are near there, check them out. They were really helpful, and I checked all of the mix bags and ingredient labels. That was a good meal, followed by some ice cream (and they got a new ice cream scoop for me too).

I wouldn’t say that the trip went smoothly, because my husband was pulling a 32 foot vehicle trailer with the truck, and I was driving a U-haul, and things are just bound to happen! At the hotel I hit the “clearance” bar with the U-Haul because I thought I had enough room, but I was wrong….but there wasn’t any damage, just a bruised ego. We made it to Colorado safe and sound, and hungry!!

I knew that there were some Whole Foods stores near our new apartment, as well as some Wild Oats stores, but we were so tired, and needed to go to Wal-mart anyway, so I got what I could there for the mean-time. There is a Wal-mart brand (Great Value Brand) Pizza sauce that is labeled gluten free! We got a couple of those, some mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and pineapple chunks for my husband, and made pizza using Chebe’ bread brought from Texas. I used the “pizza” flavor Chebe’ bread, it is was really good! It is really ironic, because when we moved to Texas 5 years ago (pre-diagnosis) we had pizza the night we moved into out place. Same thing here, just different pizza!

The longer I live with Celiac Disease, the easier it is for me to adapt to unique situations. I had faith that I would be able to find fast food to eat while traveling, but it is an odd feeling knowing that there are 1 or 2 places at a major interstate exit that I might be able to eat without too much worry. I am very lucky to have an understanding and supportive husband. Now that we are in a whole new place, there is a sense of fear about finding new places that I trust to replace those familiar favorites in TX. But it is a new adventure, and there will be lots of stories to share! 

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