As a celiac, you might avoid any and all gluten-containing foods. This is because those foods can cause a severe reaction for you. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. The term celiac is used to describe a person who does not tolerate these foods. If a person is intolerant to gluten, then they may have a range of symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, muscle pain and shortness of breath.
As a celiac, the first thing I do when I travel is research what foods I can safely eat and what not. Over the years I have found that most airports have at least a few gluten free options. However, I have also found that sometimes these options aren’t safe to have and I have learned how to avoid these places.
It’s a common misconception that gluten-free food doesn’t taste as good as food that’s been made without the protein. In fact, this isn’t true at all. In fact, many gluten-free products are better than the “regular” version because they are made with healthier ingredients, and are either lighter or less calorie dense. A good rule of thumb is to compare the ingredient list on the back of the label to see if the product is “gluten free” or not. If so, then it is more likely to taste better.. Read more about gluten free travel agent and let us know what you think.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease in the early 2000s, before knowledge was as widespread as it is today. Many poor nations naturally have little knowledge about the illness, but misconceptions exist in the West as well. It’s an auto-immune illness that affects not just my stomach when I consume wheat, but also my joints, my capacity to function normally, and a whole lot more. Gluten-free travel adds a layer of anxiety to the normal concerns about eating safe, uncontaminated food.
I used to travel using gluten-free restaurant cards that I discovered and bought online when I first began this blog.
The issue is that when I used them while traveling, I still felt sick.
So I decided to make my own, complete with lengthy instructions.
DETAILED GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANT CARDS & CELIAC FOOD GUIDES
CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS
Travel Translation Cards for Celiacs Must-Have Gluten-Free Country Guides Celiacs’ City Guides to Gluten-Free Cities Celiac Disease Resources: Articles and Diagnosis Guides
Gluten-Free Restaurant Cards in Digital Format
I know how it feels to be concerned about what you eat. For me, the consequences of ingesting gluten may linger for days and can be caused by something as simple as eating anything cooked in contaminated oil. So I’ll feel sick if I eat a spring roll made with rice paper that was cooked in the same oil as a breaded product.
You may have seen other gluten-free restaurant cards, and many of them are excellent choices for people on a gluten-free diet. Even as a celiac with a high sensitivity, I felt unwell after using them. I really appreciate the time and effort that went into the publicly accessible cards, but they were unfortunately insufficient.
The Legal Nomads cards, on the other hand, are:
- A celiac who enjoys eating conducted the research.
- With the traveler in mind, this book was written.
- Use native dish names, not simply a translation, depending on what is eaten in that nation.
- Cross-contamination, preparatory care, and tainted oil should all be clearly stated.
- Two translators who are acquainted with cuisine and speak the local language double-checked for correctness.
They’re also available as straight digital downloads that are optimized for usage on your smartphone while traveling.
According to the New York Times:
“Keep a set of handy translation cards that properly communicate your dietary requirements if you’re traveling with a health-related food restriction like celiac disease, as Ms. Ettenberg does. Ms. Ettenberg’s own cards account for cross-contamination and numerous local dish names if you’re gluten-free.”
As a celiac, you may travel securely and with less worry for around the cost of an appetizer – and eat well while doing so.
These cards will not only describe your requirements as a gluten-free diner, but they will also address cross contamination by utilizing local food names to ensure that you receive precisely what you want and need.
On an iPhone 6, the celiac translation cards are in use.
A description of the card may be found on that page. Upon purchasing, English translations are also provided!
Note: You may buy the card from a reputable 3rd party site that utilizes https, so you can be certain that your information is secure.
Restaurant cards are available in 15 different languages and locations (click on a language to get to that language’s page):
Catalan is a language spoken in Catalonia (Spain) Dutch French German Italian-Greek Japanese Latin America is the continent of Latin America. Spanish is a language that is spoken in (Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina) Malaysians are Malaysians (Bahasa Malaysia) Arabic in Morocco Polish-Portuguese translation (Brazil and Portugal) Spanish is a language that is spoken in (Spain) Thailand-Vietnam
NOTE: If you’d like to promote these cards as an affiliate, please follow these steps.
Restaurant card (for Catalonia – Barcelona, Tarragona, Girona, etc.) in Catalan (Spain):
Card for a restaurant in the Netherlands:
Card for a French restaurant (for travel to France)
Card for a German restaurant:
Card for a Greek Restaurant:
Card for an Italian restaurant:
Card for a Japanese restaurant:
Spanish restaurant card for Latin America (adapted for Mexico, Central America, and South America):
Restaurant card in Bahasa Malaysia:
Moroccan restaurant card in Arabic:
Card for a Polish restaurant
Card for a Portuguese restaurant (for Portugal and Brazil)
Card for a Spanish restaurant (the items listed are only found in Spain):
Card for a Thai restaurant:
Card for a Vietnamese restaurant:
There will be more of these cards in the future!
Learn more about the translation cards and why I began making them:
Nicole, a reader who used the Japan gluten-free card, sent the following feedback:
Hello, Jodi. This card is fantastic, and it saved my life the other night. The edamame at the restaurant where we dined is cooked in the same water as the udon noodles. When I stated I could have edamame, the poor server kept pointing to the card until he figured out how they prepared them.
Needless to say, I didn’t eat much that night, but I also wasn’t poisoned.
Indispensable. Thank you one again.
Nicole, a separate reader who used the Spain gluten-free card, sent the following feedback:
The waiter in Barcelona glanced at the card and said it was amazing, one of the finest she had ever seen ? The cuisine you mentioned appeared to be just what I was looking for… I don’t think anything was forgotten, and I didn’t get ill. Thank you very much!
Gluten-Free Travel Country Guides are available for free and are long (3000-5000 words).
Street food delights in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – check here for additional information on how to consume street food safely while traveling.
In addition to the cards mentioned above, I’ve also written lengthy celiac tutorials that I’m giving out for free on this website.
Safe meals, foods to avoid, where to purchase gluten-free goods, local celiac organizations, further reading, and more are all included in each guide.
My series of “Essential Celiac Travel Guides” is a work in progress. So far, I’ve:
Readers have requested an English version with comparable wording since I began selling these cards, since it conveys both cross-contamination and roux in soup, soy sauce, mayonnaise, and other products.
Simply shoot me an email via my contact page (or click the card below to access my contact page) and I’ll give you a free download link.
Send me an email for this card by clicking here!
City Guides on Legal Nomads for Gluten-Free Travel
In addition to the nation guidelines mentioned above, Legal Nomads also provide region-specific guides. These are more restaurant suggestions for you to enjoy than particular items to avoid or eat. I aim to go to places that aren’t specifically dedicated to celiacs, but rather ones where we can dine comfortably while not excluding people with different culinary preferences.
As a celiac, these cards made it easier for me to travel securely.
As a result, I wanted my readers to be less concerned about becoming ill when traveling.
In Athens, gluten-free roasted eggplant in tomato sauce with fresh herbs and feta.
You can express your requirements – including cross-contamination – and explore the world more confidently for just $8.99.
Janice’s experience with the gluten-free card in Spain:
When I was in Spain, these cards were very useful. Yes, I could usually locate someone who knew “some” English, but when it comes to my health, I need better. These cards discuss cross contamination and hidden gluten, not simply “gluten free.” My server would sometimes ask to take my phone back to the kitchen to check that a dish was okay for me. I could never have communicated all of the information included in this useful small card. BONUS – For my vacation to Barcelona, I downloaded Catalan and Spanish and utilized them both on a regular basis.
Celiac Disease Resources in General
The city-specific guidelines I’ve prepared for celiacs or anyone who want to avoid gluten yet still travel the globe may be found at the bottom of the page. These are in addition to the lengthy free manuals mentioned before.
Because the illness is becoming more well recognized, I wanted to offer some tools for readers to use while they traveled. These are split into categories and include articles and websites that I saved when I established my own business and began traveling as a celiac. I was younger and more reluctant to learning more when I was initially diagnosed. As I began working as a travel writer, I became more interested in cuisine and realized that I needed to know as much as possible to be safe. I hope you find these resources helpful!
Foundations for Celiac Disease:
Celiac Primer: This tutorial will help you understand what celiac disease is and what it isn’t.
- Alessio Fasano’s Gluten Freedom: The Nation’s Leading Expert Offers the Essential Guide to a Healthy, Gluten-Free Lifestyle Fasano is a pioneer in celiac disease research and treatment as the founder of the Center for Celiac Research, and his book is one of the more useful ones available. It not only covers the fundamentals, but it also debunks myths and offers treatment options for some of the most frightening gluten-related symptoms, such as melancholy, anxiety, cloudy thinking, and joint pain. A reassuring read from a professional.
- Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic, by Peter H.R. Green M.D. & Rory Jones. This book, revised and updated in December 2023, provides thorough information about celiac disease and gluten intolerance / sensitivity, as well as talking about the identity shifts that come with being diagnosed with a chronic illness. It also includes guides for safe eating (what’s safe to consume) and is especially helpful for USA readers as it collates national support groups and manufacturers.
- Mayo Clinic is a medical center in Rochester, Minnesota. By Joseph A. Murray, M.D., author of Going Gluten Free: Essential Guide to Managing Celiac Disease and Other Gluten-Related Conditions. Written by some of the top specialists in celiac disease treatment and diagnosis, this book is both practical and detailed. Recipes, travel, and how to handle diet changes as a parent of a celiac kid are all covered.
- Rebecca Toutant, RD LDN CDE, has written Celiac Disease Cookbook for the Newly Diagnosed: Guidance and Recipes for an Easy Transition to the Gluten-Free Diet. This cookbook, authored by a licensed dietitian, is one I give to individuals who are just learning the rules of celiac disease. It’s a wonderful introduction to the differences in the kitchen and outside of it.
Interesting Articles about Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Eating:
I’ve added a few links to articles on gluten and other dietary restrictions and diagnoses that may be linked to food sensitivity. While some of these articles are contentious, I believe they are essential to read because the more we learn about celiac disease, the more equipped we will be to eat safely.
- This is How Gluten Affects Your Brain. December 2013 issue of The Atlantic
- When Gluten Intolerance Doesn’t Mean Celiac Disease October 2014, The New York Times
- Should You Go Gluten-Free Against The Grain? The New Yorker, November 2014, and the National Society for Gluten Awareness’s reaction, here.
- Gluten-free diet: health fad or lifesaver? February 2015, The Guardian
- Wheat and Gluten: 4 Surprising Facts March 2015 issue of Mother Jones
- Is Gluten Sensitivity in Non-Celiacs a Real Thing? April 2015, Healthline
- Diet fanaticism and myth, according to Alan Levinovitz May 2015, The Atlantic
- Boston Glove, Why Food Allergy Fakers Must Stop, October 2015.
- Celiacs on the Go is a survival guide for celiacs who travel. April 2016, The Guardian (by me)
- 5 Myths about Celiac Disease US News & World Report May 2016
- Here’s how a seemingly innocuous virus causes celiac disease. April 2017 issue of Ars Technica. “Viral infections may influence immunological responses in individuals with genetic predispositions.”
- The Gluten-Free Diet’s Conundrum WSJ April 2018
Recipes from the Road: I’ve put a collection of gluten-free recipes on the website.
- See Viet World Kitchen’s collection of Asian gluten-free dishes for more ideas.
- Page of Jamie Oliver’s Gluten-Free Recipes
- Manjula’s Kitchen has a gluten-free section on their website where you can find gluten-free Indian and vegetarian dishes.
- The Gluten-Free Recipes area of the Minimalist Bakers’ website may be found here.
- My GF Kitchen’s website offers a large number of recipes to choose from.
- You may refine your search on Love and Lemons’ website by adding other criteria, such as vegetarian or dairy-free. Here are some fantastic recipes.
- My GF Guide is an Instagram account I follow, and her dishes are delicious and unique. All of them may be found here.
Celiac Shop – Celiac Tote Bag
A section for celiacs is now available at the Legal Nomads Shop. The Bull-Woven Tote will donate a portion of its profits to the Beyond Celiac Foundation. Donations are accepted on a continuous basis. Tote bags and t-shirts with the phrase “I’m not being fashionable, I have the illness” may be found in the celiac department.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and eat safely!
When I recently decided to travel to Europe on business, I knew I had to ensure my health was in check for my trip, and to ensure I wouldn’t suffer any digestive issues or bouts of food poisoning. Luckily, I’ve been traveling around the world for the past 2 years on business as a Celiac, so I’ve had the chance to experience the best gluten free food in many different countries.. Read more about gluten free vacations usa and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What country is the most gluten-free?
The United States is the most gluten-free country in the world.
How do Celiacs go on vacation?
Celiacs can go on vacation by eating out at restaurants that have gluten-free options.
How do you eat gluten-free when Travelling?
I am not gluten-free.