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Have you walked gluten-free?

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Some, and with luck, some more.
Hello all,

Have you been able to walk a Camino gluten-free without adding too much weight to your pack?

Buen Camino
 
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Laurancetsang

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June/July 2012 Camino Frances
March 2017
Hello. Just spotted this. I met a girl who had these requirements plus many allergies and she did carry a lot of extra food with her needless to say a lot of extra weight and preparing your own meals. I don't think the pilgrim menus will cater for you and not many big chain supermarkets on the Frances route to replenish except maybe the big cities. It has however been a few years since I went so things may have changed a little
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Time of past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
I met quite a few pilgrims that had to eat a gluten-free diet and they did well without carrying huge amounts of extra food. Look out for food labeled "sin gluten" as also Spanish people suffer from this condition. Eating out might be more of a challenge, there might be meals available that don't contain gluten (tortilla comes to mind) but cross-contamination in the kitchen can be a problem. Your best bet is to self-cater, there are lots of fresh fruit/vegetables around, pre-cooked chickpeas, beans etc. Stay away from processed foods (sauces etc), unless you know how to read a Spanish food label and cook from scratch.

Buen Camino, SY
 

txpeah

Ultreia!
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CF 2018, Primitivo 2019, CF 2022
Hi @JohnMcM

I can see you are a Camino veteran! I have Celiac disease and walked the Camino Frances in the spring of 2015. I didn't need to modify the normal meals too often, but when possible I chatted with the albergue hosts and they let me know what to avoid on the menu. Rarely did I need special accommodations for the meals.

For the most part it was not a problem aside from 1st breakfast (with the only thing serves is a toast/pasty and coffee). I would eat chocolate with nuts and fruit along with coffee and zummo. I tried to shop the night before for fruit and snacks and then usually managed to a find tortilla for second breakfast mid-morning. I didn't need to carry much food, but always tried to have chocolate, nuts and fruit in my bag just in case. Lunch always fine and same with dinner as mentioned above.

I didn't stressed about the food issues too much and it worked out well for me.

Leah
 
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MCFearnley

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Ponferrada to Santiago (September 2016)
I am celiac and walked the way this past September. I had no trouble finding sin gluten food in the supermarkets. I did carry Glutenfreeda instant oatmeal packets for my breakfasts (12) and a couple of freeze-dried pouches of gluten free backpacker meals by Alpineaire to use in the event I was stuck for something to eat. They came in handy. I also brought a bag of Kilimanjaro mix by Prana for some trail mix I nibbled on as I travelled. I tended to eat things like chorrizo, serrano ham, cheese, fruit, veggies, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate. Lays chips are sin gluten ;) In medium to large grocery stores you will find plenty of food to accommodate your needs. Generally one packet of ham or chorrizo and one of cheese would do me for two meals. I also had with me this card http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/spanish/ to present at a restaurant. It explains clearly what is required for a gluten free meal. I did find places that could accommodate me and others I walked away from because they did not inspire confidence. I never got "glutened" once. Even if the basic recipe is gluten free, I stayed away from the tarta de Santiago as the risk of cross contamination in a bar/café/restaurant is way too high. I did pig out :eek: on one that I bought at a shop in Santiago that was labeled sin gluten. It was sooooooo good. :) The shop is just off the Praza Cervantes. If you put the Cathedral behind you while facing the bust of Cervantes, it will be just around the corner from the left-hand colonnade on your left side. I posted the address in another thread. I will look for it.

Edit: The shop where I found the sin gluten tarta de Santiago is at 1 Rua da Algalia de Arriba
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Some, and with luck, some more.
Hi @JohnMcM

I can see you are a Camino veteran! I have Celiac disease and walked the Camino Frances in the spring of 2015. I didn't need to modify the normal meals too often, but when possible I chatted with the albergue hosts and they let me know what to avoid on the menu. Rarely did I need special accommodations for the meals.

For the most part it was not a problem aside from 1st breakfast (with the only thing serves is a toast/pasty and coffee). I would eat chocolate with nuts and fruit along with coffee and zummo. I tried to shop the night before for fruit and snacks and then usually managed to a find tortilla for second breakfast mid-morning. I didn't need to carry much food, but always tried to have chocolate, nuts and fruit in my bag just in case. Lunch always fine and same with dinner as mentioned above.

I didn't stressed about the food issues too much and it worked out well for me.

Leah


Thanks Leah,
I'm still getting used to the idea of it all, so, your reply is very encouraging. Thank You.

Buen Camino
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Some, and with luck, some more.
I am celiac and walked the way this past September. I had no trouble finding sin gluten food in the supermarkets. I did carry Glutenfreeda instant oatmeal packets for my breakfasts (12) and a couple of freeze-dried pouches of gluten free backpacker meals by Alpineaire to use in the event I was stuck for something to eat. They came in handy. I also brought a bag of Kilimanjaro mix by Prana for some trail mix I nibbled on as I travelled. I tended to eat things like chorrizo, serrano ham, cheese, fruit, veggies, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate. Lays chips are sin gluten ;) In medium to large grocery stores you will find plenty of food to accommodate your needs. Generally one packet of ham or chorrizo and one of cheese would do me for two meals. I also had with me this card http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/spanish/ to present at a restaurant. It explains clearly what is required for a gluten free meal. I did find places that could accommodate me and others I walked away from because they did not inspire confidence. I never got "glutened" once. Even if the basic recipe is gluten free, I stayed away from the tarta de Santiago as the risk of cross contamination in a bar/café/restaurant is way too high. I did pig out :eek: on one that I bought at a shop in Santiago that was labeled sin gluten. It was sooooooo good. :) The shop is just off the Praza Cervantes. If you put the Cathedral behind you while facing the bust of Cervantes, it will be just around the corner from the left-hand colonnade on your left side. I posted the address in another thread. I will look for it.

Edit: The shop where I found the sin gluten tarta de Santiago is at 1 Rua da Algalia de Arriba


Thanks MCFearnley,

Appreciate you taking the time give such reply. Thanks.
Buen Camino
 

Sandra Ashby

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September
Hello all,

Have you been able to walk a Camino gluten-free without adding too much weight to your pack?

Buen Camino
Hi, I walked on the Camino in Sept/Oct. 2016. I found that the gluten-free issue was a bit of a problem but it was not insurmountable. The tortillas are usually gluten free....basically just potatoes and eggs, and so I had those for breakfast. I usually carried corn cakes, cheese and fruit for lunch. Corn cakes are a little bulky but very light and I always had a packet with me. Most alberques made an effort to cater to the gluten-free pilgrims but it is important to let them know as soon as you get in. A lot of places had a kitchen and you could make your own food from the produce at a local store. After Sarria, it did get a little easier. There is a lovely little alberque at the 100 km mark where I was offered gluten-free bread with breakfast. As the gracious owners had made their own selection of jams....I was so excited that I could have both. As for the restaurants, it was often a little harder. Some places made an effort and others were annoyed at the inconvenience. In Burgos, I was asked to leave a restaurant. It was quite a shock and I was very embarrassed and upset. Later, I was able to rationalize the experience. I chose a restaurant that had a lot of tourists ....thinking they would have more experience with the issue. The problem was....there were too many people and I think the waiter was overwhelmed and perhaps the kitchen too. The gluten-free restriction is more work for them. I ended up in a small bar/restaurant where the young waiter initially said no to the gluten-free request and then took a few minutes to ask a some questions.....and I had a great meal. I think that many restaurants were scared that they would do something wrong....or they simply do not understand what it means to be gluten-free. In the cities, the hotels and the larger super markets do have a reasonably good selection of gluten free items.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I checked out the card referred to above by "MCFearnley." It is excellent. If you have this health issue, you should download, print, and laminate (against moisture) this card, at least IMHO.

DO make a contribution as the site requests.

While I do not have this specific malady, that I am aware of, I do have a very temperamental stomach and GI tract. Sometimes, eating "sin gluten" is just what I need to get the lower regions humming along in sync once again. So, this is very helpful to me.

Thank you for the constructive lead.

I hope this helps.
 
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Csutak

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
Hi @JohnMcM,
I am also celiac and I had almost no problem with the food. Now in Spain a lot of people have this disease and even other people know quite a lot about our diet. I always take this GF reastaurant card with me and it helps a lot. http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/spanish/ And you will find LOTS OF GF products is the supermercados, as well. :)
Don' worry, you can make it!

Buen Camino! :rolleyes:
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Some, and with luck, some more.
Hi @JohnMcM,
I am also celiac and I had almost no problem with the food. Now in Spain a lot of people have this disease and even other people know quite a lot about our diet. I always take this GF reastaurant card with me and it helps a lot. http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/spanish/ And you will find LOTS OF GF products is the supermercados, as well. :)
Don' worry, you can make it!

Buen Camino! :rolleyes:

Thank you Csutak, (does that name mean anything?),
I take heart from your reply.
Buen Camino
 

MCFearnley

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Ponferrada to Santiago (September 2016)
I checked out the card referred to above by "MCFearnley." It is excellent. If you have this health issue, you should download, print, and laminate (against moisture) this card, at least IMHO.

I simply made about a half dozen or so copies of the card without lamination. I carried them folded in a ZipLok baggie in my tummy tote. I had plenty, so if the card was taken to the kitchen and not returned I had more. I also handed some copies to fellow pilgrims when I would overhear that they needed to eat "sin gluten". That happened twice in cases of "I could not help but overhear... you might find this handy..." They were both very appreciative.
 
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Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Time of past OR future Camino
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
Hello all,

Have you been able to walk a Camino gluten-free without adding too much weight to your pack?

Buen Camino

In addition to all the useful specific advice people have given, I would add that the Spanish diet is very meat-based. In fact one of my daughters, on university exchange in Spain a few years ago, went there as a vegetarian, but lasted about a week before she wrote home that she would starve if she tried to maintain it in her student share house. You can get meat meals anywhere. If you can't speak Spanish you could also carry a card explaining your problem, so even a Spanish -only waiter can help you avoid trouble in your choice from the menu.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
With all due respect to our colleagues who follow the vegan or a modified vegetarian lifestyle, meat / poultry / fish is high quality protein. Protein = survival.

Every cell in the human body MUST have protein on a regular, ongoing frequency for viability, cellular renewal and reproduction. If you do not get enough protein, you will eventually waste away and die as your body consumes lean muscle mass for it's protein content. This is even more critical when you are putting your body under the stress of walking weeks or months carrying weight on your back.

To clarify, I am NOT preaching, merely sharing what I have learned from direct experience.

I KNOW you all know all of this intellectually. But, on Camino, it may mean having to eat things you would not ordinarily choose to eat, for whatever reason. If you decide to forego commonly available (in Spain) sources of protein, like red meat, poultry, fish, or dairy (cheese, eggs, milk), the only viable choice for obtaining enough quality protein is likely to be toting along supplies of protein supplement powder or protein bars. Here is an aside on that option...

Because I have a bariatric lap band on my stomach (since 2005), I cannot eat enough conventional protein to satisfy my body's need for quality protein. So, I am on a medically supervised lifelong diet of supplemental protein powder. I must add about 60 grams of medical quality protein to my diet daily to supplement whatever else I might be able to consume.

Fortunately, this powder (brand = UNJURY) is available in single-serving pouches. Unfortunately, one pouch weighs about one ounce and contains 20 grams of high quality protein. Extrapolating, based on 2-3 pouches daily, two week's worth of protein pouches weighs about one kilo.

So, I must mail caches ahead for resupply every two weeks. In the caches, I also include the prodigious amounts of nutritional supplements I must take for general health as well as joint health. It is a nuisance, but beats weighing 150 kg.

When the weight of the nutritional supplements is added to the weight of the protein pouches, the weeks total added weight for my special needs is about 1.5 kilos, or 3 kilos per two weeks. This is also why it is practically impossible for me to attain an all-in-rucksack weight of 10 kg. If I can get it to 12 kg, I consider myself lucky.

I hope this helps.
 

Csutak

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
Thank you Csutak, (does that name mean anything?),
I take heart from your reply.
Buen Camino

Hi John,

(Csutak means wisp. One of my teachers gave me this nickname in the elementary school probably because of my hair. :eek: It doesn't sound bad if you don't know the meaning. :D)

Some more informtion: As "menu del dia" or "Peregrino meu" consist at least of three parts (starter, main course and dessert) and each part consists of several dishes, there will be no problem to choose sg. I was delighted to see that most ice-creams and flans were GF. :p Most of the cold-cuts and dairy products are also GF. The only difficulty might be with bread.I usually carried some bread and biscuits, just in case. In summer it's no use to carry a lot because of the heat. It's better to have some fresh and dried fruit.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Some, and with luck, some more.
Hi John,

(Csutak means wisp. One of my teachers gave me this nickname in the elementary school probably because of my hair. :eek: It doesn't sound bad if you don't know the meaning. :D)

Some more informtion: As "menu del dia" or "Peregrino meu" consist at least of three parts (starter, main course and dessert) and each part consists of several dishes, there will be no problem to choose sg. I was delighted to see that most ice-creams and flans were GF. :p Most of the cold-cuts and dairy products are also GF. The only difficulty might be with bread.I usually carried some bread and biscuits, just in case. In summer it's no use to carry a lot because of the heat. It's better to have some fresh and dried fruit.

Thank you Csutak.
I am grateful you took the time to reply.
I see you are starting the Norte on the 18th July. The Norte is on my list to do.
Buen Camino
 

Csutak

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
Oh no! I started it on 18th July this year! :) Actually, I've walked on the Norte several times and I always reccommend it to other pilgrims. I'm in love with it ... forever. :rolleyes: I wish you also fulfilled your dreams. :)
 
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Binya

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
chemin du puy, camino frances, camino muxia, vezelay
Is it possible to order soy milk instead of cow's milk in France/Spain...for the much loved café con leche/café latte...? This is my preference.
 

txpeah

Ultreia!
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CF 2018, Primitivo 2019, CF 2022
Is it possible to order soy milk instead of cow's milk in France/Spain...for the much loved café con leche/café latte...? This is my preference.
I don't recall seeing many soy options, but I was not looking for them.
 

WildPlace

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013, 2015
Via de la Plata 2022
Hi just to say that i've walked the Camino Frances one and a half times as gluten free, grain free, sugar free, no starchy vegetables (so no potato, corn or sweet potato) and lactose free (but am allowed hard/matured cheese, butter and eggs). I certainly didn't starve and occasionally ate a pilgrims menu if it was salad (some of the salad starters were a meal in theirselves!) and grilled meat or fish - those I always worried about contamination. I always made sure I had cheese, tinned tuna, nuts, dried fruit, chicharonnes (pork rind/scratchings) and chorizo in my bag as I was never sure whether I would find a shop or a suitable meal where I stopped after walking. Yes, extra weight but better than going hungry - which I had to do the first time I walked and didn't take food from SJPdP! 600 kcals consumed walking between SJPP and Zubiri but I learnt my lesson and didn't die of starvation!
 

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