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Paris with Food Intolerances
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Jaclyn



Joined: 02 Feb 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Toronto, ON

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 4:57 pm    Post subject: Paris with Food Intolerances Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

I will be travelling to Paris for the first time in two weeks. I'm very excited, but I am concerned about food. I have several food intolerances (gluten, dairy, soy, corn, caffeine, and alcohol, to name a few) and am worried I will have nothing other than fruit to eat in a country otherwise famous for bread, cheese, and wine!

I have scoured the web, but have yet to find the web-sites of any special food shops or allergy-friendly restaurants in the city. None of my food issues are severe allergies, so an entirely allergen-free environment is not necessary. Still, it is quite important that I be able to avoid items such as those I've listed.

Any suggestions of restaurants or markets (or random tips, if you have some to share) would be much appreciated!
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woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my chemistry teacher in HS had food allergies along the lines of yours. she only found that out after she had been ill for a long time and lost a lot of weight. do you mind saying how you figured it out? b/c other than dairy, i have no idea how to detect a food intolerance. Confused Embarassed
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Jaclyn



Joined: 02 Feb 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Toronto, ON

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodstocker, I've actually had a digestive disease since I was twelve-years-old, so it was admittedly difficult to figure out what was actually food-related and what was just my disease causing problems. There were things I knew--lactose has always caused problems and is common in my family--and many items I suspected--pain after eating tomatoes or peppers, exhaustion and heartburn after eating cereal or bread, bloating after drinking soy milk (which I could never understand--seemed like a perfectly reasonable alternative given my lactose intolerance!).

My gastroenterologist never did testing, so my old methods were very much based on trial-and-error. However, in the last few months, I started also seeing a naturopath. One of the first things she did was to get me tested for food intolerances. She chose electro-dermal testing for me, though it's somewhat controversial; she selected it over traditional skin-prick testing because the latter only finds severe allergies via a histimine reaction, while the former detects levels of intolerance.

Controversial or not, it's been a life-saver for me and well worth the somewhat costly investment! The items at the top of my list were gluten, diary (both the proteins and the sugars), soy, corn, cane sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, and thus those are the main things I avoid (cane sugar is very difficult to get around!). The diet is difficult at times, but it has absolutely changed my life. Very Happy
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woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the important thing is that you feel better! Very Happy i know she (my teacher) was always more chipper (is that correct?) when she ate things that her body liked.
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Jaclyn



Joined: 02 Feb 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Toronto, ON

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chipper is a good word! In pain less often, with more energy...sort of feels like I've come out from under a cloud, especially after getting rid of the gluten.

But hence my concerns about Paris. Yes, I could hypothetically ignore my diet for the week I am there, but I'd really like to feel good while I'm there...
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villacollinette



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Antibes, France

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having had plenty of food issues myself, I can understand where you're coming from. France does have plenty of health-food-type stores, and most of them should have things that are gluten-free, or dairy-free, etc. Satoriz is a chain that has them in my area (I'm in the south of France) but I don't think they get as far north as Paris. Most of the "magasins bio" (organic stores) will have other health-food type things, too. I know the name of only one specific store in Paris -- Colline. It's in the fourth arrondisement and should have some things to help you keep eating through your trip. I know there are others, but I don't know the names.

In restaurants, it's actually not as hard as you might think, as long as you avoid the quickie-type choices, and stick to bistros, which have more formal, sit-down-type items (plates of fish or meat and vegetables). Then you only have to be wary of the sauces. And Paris has a plethora of foreign food restaurants, many of which may be easier choices for staying on your eating plan (and feeling well). Smile

You mentioned you were seeing a Naturopath -- have you considered NAET? I don't want to proselytize, but I'm about 9 months into my treatment and the results have been amazing for me -- I'm eating both dairy and gluten again which have been problems for most of my life, as well as potatoes, peppers, tomatoes (the nightshade family of vegetables) that used to give me terrible arthritis-like pain. Just something you might want to look into . . .
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please tell more about this NAET. I also get the same pains (and other "unpleasant" symptoms from the nightshade family....) and you cannot avoid them totally if you want a balanced diet. Would be really interested to know about this.

If you want to send me a PM with detailed info, that is fine. Otherwise, it might be beneficial to others if you post it here.

There was also a thread a few months ago that talked about allergies and how to cope in Paris/France. Can't remember the name of it, but you might like to scroll through the index. Think it was started by Erin?
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If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
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villacollinette



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Antibes, France

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm happy to give the information, and thought I might as well post it here so anyone can find it. I don't want to push it on anyone who's not interested, but it's been amazing for me, and I really believe in it.

NAET (Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique) is a treatment to eliminate allergies. It's based on acupressure and Chinese energy meridians in the body. It's alternative medicine, and as such I know many people wouldn't even consider it. I am not big on traditional medicine, and even for me it was a stretch to get past the idea that allergies and intolerances, which I'd always heard were so permanent, could be eliminated. It's not a one-time fix, but rather something you work on for often a year or so. I've had appointments once a week for the last nine months, and it has really been amazing. I've got a few smaller food intolerances I'm still finishing up with, but I think my treatment will be done at around the one year mark. I've also done it for my toddler, since she had terrible reactions to both dairy and gluten. She is now eating both happily. For anyone wanting to know more about it, there's a web site at NAET.com. There you can find some basic information about it, and information about books by the woman who discovered it (Dr. Devi Nambudripad). There's also a link to NAET Europe to find the addresses of people who perform the technique. I go to a homeopathic doctor for my treatments, but I know that it is also performed by chiropractors and naturopaths. I started a blog a few months after my treatment to document all the changes I've gone through, and my daughter as well, and if any of you are interested in it, I can send you the address of the blog. Just send me a PM.
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fabulous! Thank you so much. I also have a list of allergies a mile long, and it can be so frustrating. I am used to working around it, but it would be nice to be able to just eat anything and not have to worry.

Am going to look it up now and see what levels of allergy it works on. I have allergies that vary from nasty stomach/bowel side effects through to full on anaphalaxis (I always spell that wrong... Confused ). THis may just be the change.

I agree that people quite often look at you strange for taking alternative therapies. But I have no choice as I am actually allergic to some of the chemical drugs so have to take a natural alternative. I prefer that anyway as I think they do less damage to your body in the long run and are far less addictive than the chemical medications.

Thank you again! Very Happy
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If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right Debbie, I was the one that started it. I put it in the wrong place though, it's in Around the World on a Zucchini.

Food allergies are the worst, though I am also concerned about my medical allergies. Debbie helped me out reminding me how to say, 'I am deathly allergic to...'. It is a scary thing, even in your own country making sure you have a knowledgeable wait staff or an doctor that is on the ball. Mine is not and I am currently in the market for a new one. Teach her to give me chest pains or to try and prescribe meds that put me into shock.

Anyway maybe picnic's with food you can hand select would be a safe alternative for lunch. That way you can avoid any secret dairy or peppers.

Have fun!
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"It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."

"It's hot ham water."
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villacollinette



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Antibes, France

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debbie -- if you're covered by the French medical system, it's great to have the treatments done here in France. I've heard that in America they can be quite expensive, but since I have them done by a homeopathic doctor, the Secu picks up the first 16 Euros (my doctor charges 30 Euros per treatment) and then our complementary insurance picks up 4 Euros more, making the treatments quite inexpensive, for something that is helping so much.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US medical care all depends on your insurance plan.... oh how I long for social health. Some good ones do cover alternative care, and many have been slapped with giant law suits so now they also cover alternative care.

My mom was covered for acupuncture, and recieved many benefits such as relief for menapause, sinusitus and depression. She was tired of ruining her liver/kidneys with all the medication. I have not tried it, that is only because when I see needles I tend to hyperventilate, vomit and pass out. I have however tried aromatherapy, reflexology, massage therapy, reiki and an Ayurvedic diet. All great.
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"It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."

"It's hot ham water."
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Erin. You and me both.... Sad I can cope with anything - blood, guts, fractures you name it... including pooey nappies and vomit... But bring a needle near me and my veins collapse and because that happens I get faint, etc etc.... (I also have fibromyalgia though, so a needle does feel like someone whacking me with a hatchet.... could have something to do with it maybe Wink)

Villacollinette, we have 100% cover (private and social) so that is good news. In Australia I would have paid out a fortune and received nothing back even with high health cover. Some things the French just have so right.

Erin, the correct doctor is so important. I also had a doctor in Australia who wouldn't believe that I would have an allergic reaction to vitamin C. "Absolutely impossible" was their comment...... they made me take a vitamin C tablet in front of them... and then had to revive me... if I hadn't felt like death (literally and figuratively) I would have laughed at the sheer panic on their face... Shocked Funnily enough I never went back to that doctor again..... Laughing THere was also the doctor who didn't believe that I couldn't have ventolin and put that in an inhaler when I had a really bad cold and then had to put me under observation while my heartrate and heartbeat went psycho.... didn't go back to them either.... hmm... Luckily I did eventually find a fabulous doctor who believed in complementary medecine. Here in France I am lucky that I found a similar minded doctor. Think they are more open to complementary or alternative therapies here though (as well as scripts for chemical medications as long as your arm).

Good luck with your search! There are great doctors out there. You might have to do what I did here. I visited a few doctors and "interviewed" them to see which one I thought was the best for me. A good doctor will not mind this. In fact a progressive doctor will see it as you proactively trying to improve your health and not waste their time by signing with them and then going elsewhere.
_________________
If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a matter of fact I am interviewing a few doctors. Most of my health problems have been caused by doctors not paying attention to details. When I had my wisdom teeth pulled, the doctor prescribed me a med that contained codine, which I am deathly allergic to. I had no idea of this until I took it. There have been several other incidents, if I believed in law suits I could be a rich woman. Earlier this week was the start of the chest pains, it turns out I don't handle steriod/antibiotics very well. It turned out alright thank goodness. I really wish I could find someone who listens. My old nurse practitioner in Seattle was so great, she listened and always provided me with a wealth of information on women's health. Maybe I will start flying to Seattle when I need to see a doctor. Somehow I don't think Phil would go for it.
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"It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."

"It's hot ham water."
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woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

having worked in a GP's office for about a year in HS, i can only tell you that doctors network more than just about anyone. well, maybe not as much as lobbyists, but you get my point. if you're really having trouble finding someone, ask one of the ahem, more troublesome docs. everyone has a different background, personal and professional, and those in the know might be able to steer you in the right direction.

also, it might be easier, and more productive, to ask the receptionists. many a good doc will otherwise offload a ton of info onto the person that answers the phone. our receptionist used to redirect quite a few patients toward the people they really needed to talk to. "mary can help you" or "mary, can you check and see if dr. so and so does this?" ah yes, its all coming back to me.
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