Stop Blaming Others for Your Lack of Preparation

pack food for celiac disease

Hey everyone…it’s me…Gluten Dude. Can’t see me? I’m up here…on my pedestal. There you go!

Look…being a celiac can seriously suck sometimes. No need to sugarcoat it. And we’ve all had those “Crap…I didn’t pack any/enough food for the day!” moments. But when that happens, let’s lay the blame where it belongs. On us. Why am I bringing this up today? Good question. Let me explain.

I spent last week in Hong Kong visiting a friend. I know…interesting timing…but it was planned long ago. Great trip. Anyway, it was a 15 hour flight each way. When I booked the seats, I requested a gluten-free meal and let them know I had celiac disease. The flight took off at 1:00AM so dinner was served pretty quickly. Before it was served, a stewardess came over to me just to confirm that I requested a gluten-free meal. (Nice touch Cathay Pacific!)

So the food came and without even thinking about it, I ate the entire meal.

Just kidding.

The meal was labeled “Gluten Intolerant”. Good start. I know “Gluten Free” would have been better but semantics. Anyway, I tentatively opened it and it was empty inside. Kidding again. It was chicken, brown rice and veggies. Basic stuff…in a good way. Was it safe? Probably…though it did look like there MAY have been a sauce on it. So I sat there staring at my food for a few minutes. The woman next to me most likely thought I was saying a silent prayer. Instead, what I was doing was measuring the pros and cons. Well, measuring the cons anyway.

“Dude…get to the point! Did you eat it??”

I did not. I spent the next 14 hours drowning my sorrows and my hunger in red wine.

Yes I’m kidding once again. I was fine because I packed enough food in my carry-on to feed the entire airplane…and yes, that includes the pilots thanks for asking.

I am now 320 words into this post and I haven’t gotten to the point. Here’s the point.

This dude with celiac disease had a 10 hour flight, upgraded to a premium seat (I’m not sure why this is relevant, but it’s mentioned multiple times in the article) and requested a gluten-free meal. When he got on the flight, they had no record of his request. So they served him the only safe food they could muster up…popcorn and crisps. He got hangry. And he went on social media and bitched about it.

Look…is it a bummer? Sure it is. Do mistakes happen? Yep they do. Whose fault was it that he had nothing to eat? His. All his. You got a 10 hour flight and you’ve got celiac disease? You pack some dang food in your bag.

And yes…it really is that simple.

(Stepping off my pedestal now…using the emergency ramp.)

bring food on airplane

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4 thoughts on “Stop Blaming Others for Your Lack of Preparation”

  1. Could you do a follow up to this and talk about what kinds of foods can go thru TSA, how to pack them so they don’t spoil?

    1. And also perhaps, talk about what it’s like going thru airport security in another country with food. I don’t know anything about Hong Kong airports — do they have a TSA equivalent, and do they have the same type of wacky rules we have in the US about liquids etc.?

  2. We went to China this summer. I took a packing cube of fruit snacks, protein bars, crackers, and meat sticks. I take a doctors note explaining my need for the food, but haven’t needed it. I had no issues with Chinese TSA equivalent, which is far more efficient that the US. The US TSA opens your bag of snacks and checks every item. Chinese liquid allowance is similar to the US and Europe. Happy travels!

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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