These cards help to explain to restaurant staff (in both English and Spanish) that you need to dine gluten free.
I picked these up for a trip to Guatemala that I just returned from.
Prior to ordering these I had been apprehensive about going to a country where I do not speak the language (I do speak a little spanish… a little) with Celiac Disease [See: About Me]. It’s not the traveling itself that has me on edge, I love to travel. It’s Celiac that’s the issue. This is was my first major international trip since being diagnosed.
These cards put me at ease, by a good bit. They are much more detailed when I compare them to free cards or apps I’ve found. I don’t want to publish a picture because these are a work of Triumph Dining and I don’t want to give away their hard work. The cards contain the following sections.. First: A statement telling the waitperson that I have celiac disease and that I must eat a special diet. It asks for their help to do that. Then… “I Cannot Eat”, “Please Check” and “I can eat”. Each of these areas contain additional information and examples. There is a “Thank you” statement and finally a section on cross contamination. One side of the card is in English and one is in Spanish.
These cards made it much easier to navigate eating while traveling in Guatemala. I tried to minimize my risk be taking some food along. For most breakfasts I ate fruit and a bowl of KIND Gluten Free Granola. Most of the time I did this at the hotel’s restaurant. I just asked for some cold milk and a spoon and bowl and on every occasion was kindly provided those things. The rest of my party ate regular breakfast. For lunches I would typically eat a protein or food bar. A couple of my current favorites are Luna’s Chocolate Salted Caramel and Nugo Dark, Chocolate Chip
I also brought along some shelf stable and microwavable Hormel Chili with Beans as a fallback. Things went well enough at restaurants that I never had to resort to eating the chili.
Other foods I brought along – Oberto Original Beef Jerky, Lance Gluten Free Crackers (both the cheddar cheese and peanut butter), Jif To Go and a couple CalNatural Svelt Protein Shakes. I used Rubbermaid Canisters – the smaller sizes in this set – to pack the liquid items to protect against crushing or leaking. I used the smallest size to put protein bars in to put in my backpack. I don’t like the textured of crushed and smooshed protein bars. Packing them in a container keeps them undamaged.
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance is not prevalent in Guatemala. Very few people have the condition or have heard of it. I went to one restaurant that had a GF menu on my trip Epicure in Antigua. I still used the Triumph Dining card for that meal. I ended up with some sauteed vegetables and a grilled chicken breast. It was very good. Epicure also has a delicious selection of gluten free desserts. I tried a couple and they were delicious. They also brought some chocolates with our bill that were identified as gluten free. If you’re looking for gluten free in Antigua… check out Epicure.
I ate at a variety of restaurants with the assistance of Triumph’s dining’s Dining Card.
One suggestion that I would make is… There is a section at the bottom of the card that basically covers cross contamination. In my opinion, that’s your biggest unseen risk and it’s probably also the area that’s most likely to be missed or misunderstood. I would suggest using a highlighter to highlight that section so that servers, cooks and chefs pay special attention.
Without Gluten Free Dining Out Cards, I don’t know if I could have explained my situation in another language to a people that are by and large completely unaware of my medical condition. I’ll have this on hand with me for every trip I take to a Spanish speaking country. Based on my experience, I can recommend these to you as a tool to help you eat gluten free while traveling to Spanish speaking countries.
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