I want to talk about living with celiac and travelling with others. In Koh Samui, we were with my husband’s friend who was a full-on gluten eater.I am talking bread for breakfast, lunch and supper kind of guy. Do you want to know how I survived while being a celiac, keep reading….
Game Plan for Living with Celiac Disease
Educate About Celiac Disease
Here you must be completely upfront about what Celiac is, discuss cross contamination and how it makes you sick. Without education, people without Celiac just don’t understand that it is an autoimmune disease and how it can negatively affect you internally and what your obvious outward symptoms are. You need to get specific for them to learn that you take is seriously and why they need to as well.
Make the Rules of Engagement for Keeping the Kitchen Gluten Free
We set some basic rules as he was still going to have products with gluten. We partitioned off a section of the kitchen which was his. He could put all his products there and prepare his meals there. We gave him specific plates, bowls, utensils and cleaning products to clean his dishes.
Cook Gluten Free for Them
Some people think they couldn’t possibly survive without gluten and some people pity you for having Celiac. I think it is best to show people that they don’t have to feel sorry for you by making something really tasty and invite them to have some. There is such a long list of good wholesome food that you can eat, so incorporate these items into lovely meals that everyone can enjoy.
Cleaning the Kitchen For Cross Contamination
Here I am a bit picky and even though he had a specific sponge to clean his own stuff, I would still do his cleaning, so I knew it wasn’t getting mixed with my stuff. The most conscience person can make mistakes and that is why I keep everything in order.
Call me what you will, I prefer to not get sick and to take my health seriously. You can always make a judgement call with who you are travelling with. My parents for example, are supportive and know what it takes to have me in their home without getting gluttened. If I was travelling with them, I wouldn’t take the cleaning component so stringently.
Families Living with Celiac Disease
Think about dividing up the chores in the family. For example, the person with celiac can be in charge of cleaning the kitchen so they can take all the required precautions in the area that matters most. Other can be in charge of vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, etc.
Another tool that you can consider using is the Nima Gluten Sensor. It allows you to test if a meal at a family outing or in a restaurant has gluten in it. See below to check it out:
Disclosure: The link above is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I only recommend products or services that I like and it helps me deliver free content to my readers.
Providing Feedback to People Learning to Live With a Celiac
If the person is really learning about your disease and doing their best to help incorporate these items, please thank them. If there were some small or big mistakes, constructive feedback will go a long ways to help people do better.
Things to do in Koh Samui, Thailand
There are a lot of things to do on the island. What we loved:
- The Fisherman’s village had the best vibe for us, which was laidback and relaxing. We would lounge on the beach in beanbag chairs with a drink. They would play nice music and we really enjoyed it.
- We were staying in the Chaweng area, which was mostly for partiers. Go out and walk the streets filled with bars and really get some good (or bad depending on who you are) people watching done. You will find drunks, people looking to just have fun, have sex and if you haven’t seen transvestites, you will some here.
- You must do the island tours. There are multiple tours and you can negotiate the price down from the vendors. They pick you up and drop you off from where ever you are staying. Our tour did Koh Wao Yai, Koh Mae Koh, Koh Sam Sao and Koh Kin Lak. We snorkeled, kayaked and hiked the steepest possible stairs to see the green lakes (not to code for North America standards for sure). You will find the softest possible sand and clear waters on this adventure. Check out a sneak peek of our tour which made our trip to Koh Samui. Check out my youtube link below for what to expect.
- Go for a Thai massage, I love them! I would have a massage back home every month and I had about four massages in Thailand in the month we were there.
Cheers, I hope you enjoyed my lovely trek,
Brett – The Ultimate Gluten Free Traveller