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The Sanctuary – Another Reason to Love Koh Phangan

Recently, a reader of Gluten Free Thailand asked me about gluten free resorts in Thailand. I was clueless; usually I just book somewhere cheap and then sort out dining as I go. If there are gluten free restaurants, then I am happy and go back. If not, I suffer with plain veggies and rice.

Well, The Sanctuary in Koh Phangan knows how to deal with gluten-free diets, which is another great reason to visit my favourite island!

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Lovely views

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This book helped me. A lot.

When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t do much to find out about Celiac Disease. I signed up to a few official sounding websites, but did not actively search out my diagnosis.

It wasn’t until last February, when my hair was falling out and I was really sick, that I started to think I needed to find out exactly what Celiac Disease was all about. This book broke it down for me.

celiac disease book

Available in kindle

Unfortunately, this is the only book I have read on my disease, but I am sure I will find some more when I go back to Canada next July. Until then, check this book out!

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Finding Decent Gluten Free Pasta

Despite being gluten free for over a year, I still miss decent pasta. I have had some awful pasta experiences, including De Boles rice pasta and trying to make it myself. Yeh, not a good idea without a pasta machine thingie. Not only that, but some gluten free pastas are ridiculously expensive and I have to travel all the way downtown to get them.

The Worst: De Boles

downloadThis pasta is available in most grocery stores in Bangkok, including Lemon Farms, Villas & Topps. But this pasta is not great – it’s slimy, breaks apart easily and has no taste. When you boil it, the water turns white and soupy since it is 100% rice. Avoid this pasta. If you want rice noodles, buy plain rice noodles and save yourself the money from packaging and importing.

The Best: Orgran

32257Available for sale in some grocery stores, I usually have to trek down to Maison du Vins to pick up my pasta. These cost 100-250thb, depending on the shop. Orgran products taste great and usually combine several ingredients, including corn, potato starch and rice; resulting in a nice texture and taste. Orgran also offers a variety of shapes and sizes, including lasagna sheets.

My New Favourite: Peacock Rice Pastas00810791011334_fullI found this in my local Topps and thought, for 29thb I couldn’t go wrong. I finally cooked up this pasta with some Prego spaghetti sauce and have to say – it was pretty darn good! This pasta is made from rice, corn starch and sago (similar to tapioca). The result was a great texture and decent taste! This pasta was al dente and luckily made from brown rice, meaning that there is no fat or cholesterol! Per serving (for me there are 2 servings per bag) means that I get: 6 grams of protein and 90grams of carbs. Not bad for 29thb!

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Gluten Free Shopping Tips

Don’t you put it in your mouth….

We all  know that eating fresh produce and fruit is the way to a healthier diet. But have you ever thought about the ‘real price of convenience’? I regularly buy cut up fruit from street vendors in Bangkok because I know they cut it right there and gluten isn’t around for miles. I tend to avoid store-prepared fruits though. Do you know why?

Cross-contamination is the big danger for Celiacs. I myself have been accidentally glutened several times, because somewhere along the way, my food has come in contact with that nasty little protein. Let’s think about the neatly chopped bits of fruit in cellophane. Was it cut and prepared on cutting boards used for bread? How about that bag of frozen peas – did it sit on the same conveyor belt as some wheaty cereal?

mmmm I wish I could find this in my local Villa…..

These are all serious questions you have to ask yourself whilst grocery shopping. And I don’t know about you lot, but I get stressed out whenever I walk into my local Villa or Topps Market.

To make my life easier, I get fresh organic fruit and vegetables delivered every week. I tend to buy the same Gluten Free labelled products at the grocery store. If I’m in need of something else, I’ll consult the internet to read food labels and other Celiacs’ comments on the product. A lot of research goes into food before it goes into my mouth!

My advice to any Celiac living in Bangkok is this:

– buy all your cut up fruit from street vendors

– make your own bread or buy it from Sunshine Market

– save time with prepared meals by Amy’s, which are available in most Villa and Topps Markets. Or you could cook your favourite things in bulk and freeze the excess

– do your research before buying anything processed; that means anything in a package or jar!!

– watch your nuts! I mean, contact the company to make sure that they have been processed in a gluten free facility (I have been sick from this mistake many times!)

With a little patience, you can find your go-to brands and shopping will get easier with each trip.

This ‘About’ website has been a great help to me for the past year. Please check it out!

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The World’s End Cafe Koh Phangan

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Whilst staying on the western part of Koh Phangan, my friends, who were staying in the north, told me that there was a gluten free restaurant there. I did not believe them until I went past World’s End and introduced myself. Turns out the owner/chef is gluten free too! This was a serendipitous moment: the universe put me here to do the detox and then eat delicious gluten free food! The only problem? I was only on day 4 out of 7 on my detox. Bugger! Continue reading

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Maison du Vins / Sense of World Taste – Sukhumvit Soi 19


maison

This is the first gluten free shop I found in Bangkok. It took some time to find, since I didn’t know what I was looking for. It’s about 500 metres from Sukhumvit, on the left hand side.

It is Thai owned and run, so don’t expect a high level of English to be spoken here. They carry a lot of Orgran products, including crackers, cookies, a range of different pastas, cake mixes, brownie mixes, bread mixes and pancake mixes. They also have a few different types of flours and lentils.

You have to walk around the corner and enter the door to the side here.

MAISON DU VINS SA.

Don’t be put off by the ‘Maison du Vins’ – there’s a great selection of wines you wouldn’t find in your local 7Eleven. They also have some interesting imported meats.

Word of caution: if they are running low on stock – don’t get upset. You need to check their availability every once in a while, as it takes time for stuff to reach them. But you can request things and buy in bulk (and get a discount!)

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