Traveling with Celiac Disease: O’ahu, Hawai’i

Celiac Disease (CD) can be a real pain in the ass when it comes to traveling. From bringing food onto an airplane, to making sure the CD-sufferer has safe food and snacks throughout the entirety of the trip, it becomes a real ordeal to travel. Some destinations are way more Celiac-friendly than others. This means that a lot more prep and research has to go into any trip.

Our rules for safe Celiac eating:

  1. 100% dedicated gluten free facilities are always the best.
  2. Restaurants with dedicated food allergy areas and protocols are second best.
  3. Restaurants with airborne flour are a hard no. Looking at you, non-segregated pizza spots.
  4. Other restaurants that are confused when Celiac or wheat allergies are mentioned is a hard no. These places are extremely risky.
  5. Every restaurant that is not 100% dedicated gf gets questioned on how safe they are, and the order noted it is for a Celiac and gluten-allergic eater. Gluten-allergy doesn’t exist, but more people recognize the severity of an allergy versus Celiac Disease.

We recently traveled to O’ahu to celebrate our cousin’s wedding, and it was a treat! Perusing Find Me Gluten Free got me very concerned about what I’d be able to eat since it didn’t seem like a lot at first glance, but being located in an extremely touristy area worked to my advance in finding safe food.

We stayed around Ko’Olina in a villa with a full kitchen. All of the resorts around us had restaurants that could reliably accommodate CD, but we kept heading back to Aulani (Disney). Character dining, buffet, Disney! 🐶

Hawaiian Airlines: Breakfast

Hawaiian Airlines breakfast box

Breakfast box!

Surprisingly, we actually got breakfast on our flight to Honolulu. The yogurt was actually gluten free, and the silverware wrapped in plastic, so the cross-com risk was minimal. I stayed away from the grapes, granola, and the wrapped onion corn cake thing, just in case.

(The cake smelled really good, though!)

 

ABC Store/Island Market by ABC

Island Country Markets by ABC Stores in Ko'Olina

Taken by Yelper T. Anthony N.

Unfortunately no pictures from me, but the Island Market in Ko’Olina was surprisingly well stocked for cooking at the villa. They stock fresh vegetables, eggs, and steak… While also stocking gluten-free bread, drinks (ok maybe I wouldn’t splurge for a $10 orange juice carton but hey), snacks, and pineapple Dole Whip.

Other ABC Stores also stock gf snacks. They’re all over the place, so it’s a safe spot to stop by for a quick refuel. Safe snacks are marked with a “gluten free” sign.

 

Aulani’s Poolside Food (Off the Hook & Papalua Shave Ice)

Disney’s Aulani resort has a number of on-site restaurants and eateries, including some poolside options that are a tad less expensive.

Unfortunately no pictures of this either, but I got a bomb set of kalua pork tacos in corn tortillas with pineapple salsa and avocado with a side of fruit. The food options I had were burgers with gf buns, tacos, salads, and flatbread. Nothing from the fryer unfortunately, but with that many options it wasn’t at all an issue.

The shaved ice from Papalua is gluten free. I didn’t inquire about getting the condensed milk at the time, but the shaved ice by itself was pretty darn good. 🐠

 

Aulani’s Makahiki Character Breakfast Buffet

 

Character breakfast was a real treat at Disneyland, but I found that Aulani’s character breakfast was just as good. Disneyland’s Mickey waffles win out for being mochiko based, but Aulani won with an eggs benedict — something I never really had a chance to have before. In this buffet, the chef will walk you down the buffet and ask you what you want to eat. Food came directly from the back with allergy sticks on them. It was a really good variety!

The show was also cute, and it was totally worth it. Loved hearing the auntie sing and go through the different routines. We had a visit with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy at our table. 🙂

Aulani’s Makahiki Dinner Buffet

 

Non-character dinner, and that’s OK! My only complaint is that this buffet is totally aimed at the seafood lovers. I got to have a lot of different foods for dinner buffet, which was totally awesome. Same thing as breakfast: chef walked me through the line and asked what I wanted. I’ve never had poke and some of the other foods before, so I got a plate. (When we went to Disneyland’s Storytellers Cafe for dinner buffet, they couldn’t accommodate me at the time and I went for a meal instead. So it was nice to have another buffet style meal.)

Meals I received:

  • Rice, mashed potatoes, prime rib, and fruit
  • Pasta bolognese
  • Poke 🙂
  • Ham & prime rib
  • Sushi
  • Glazed salmon, pork chops, some other beef thing
  • Tapioca pudding w/ mango and fresh fruit on top
  • Pineapple & watermelon

 

Dole Plantation – BBQ Corn

No pictures of this one either, but there’s a stand right outside of the Dole Plantation building that has BBQ corn. I pestered them enough times to figure out that yes, it is gluten free, no, they don’t deal with gluten in the stand, and that they use Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce if you get that corn.

 

What I missed

There were multiple restaurants that I missed in Ko’Olina that were Celiac safe: Ama’Ama in Aulani, Longboards at the Marriott, and one at the Four Seasons. Ama’Ama has a beautiful view of the sunset in the evening, but with the amount of food and leftovers I had it just didn’t make sense to spend more $$$. There were also a few restaurants in Waikiki itself that were Celiac safe and you can find those on Find Me Gluten Free that I also skipped for the above reasons.

 

TLDR

Get a place with a kitchenette just so you’re not spending a lot of money, but otherwise, O’ahu was totally fun and safe for this Celiac sufferer.

Currently Reading: June 10 edition

Header - Currently Reading

I’ve been requesting a lot of books to read that look interesting, so this list is GROWING! A lot of these are ARCs, so reviews won’t be coming out for some time. Let’s get down to business. 🙂


The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole-SmithThe Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole-Smith
Release Date: Nov 13, 2018 through Henry Holt and Co.

I’ll be writing a review for this book once the release date nears (likely mid-October), but this is a reading that I’m so pleasantly surprised by. As someone with Celiac Disease, I felt a bit called out because it is so hard to not get pulled into the whole food culture issue in America… but this is *not a bad thing.*

I have so many thoughts that I cant wait to share on this. 🙂


Confidence Creator by Heather MonahanConfidence Creator by Heather Monahan
Won in a Goodreads giveaway — Thank you!

If you want to boost your confidence, take a peek at this! Although I’m not exactly a fan of the writing style, the takeaways so far have been great and I feel that although this is meant for women, men can definitely take some lessons from this book.

I’ve found myself quickly going through this, so if you’re short on time, you can easily read a chapter during a quick break!


Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted

Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It by Larry Olmsted

5/27: A great read so far, this book is going into the issue of food fraud on a global scale and how this fraud is taking advantage of the people eating it. Who could’ve realized how much of an issue the name of products are?

6/8: Still a fantastic read, however this book can be very dry at some points with how much information the author shares about different types of food fraud. I’m currently slowly making my way through the wine chapter because it’s incredibly dry. Just taking a while!


America is not the heart by Elaine Castillo

America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

5/27: Another great read, this book feels all too real to how SF Bay Filipinos are in reality. I could seriously hear the voices of my in-laws when reading this book, complete with the Tagalog and other dialects that I have no idea what they mean.
There were some complaints about these not being translated, but it’s easy enough to pull up Google Translate and put in phrases so you know. Otherwise, for an authentic experience, leave it untranslated. 🙂

6/8: On hold to read other books right now…


Currently Reading: May 27 edition

Header - Currently Reading

Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted

Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It by Larry Olmsted

A great read so far, this book is going into the issue of food fraud on a global scale and how this fraud is taking advantage of the people eating it. Who could’ve realized how much of an issue the name of products are?


America is not the heart by Elaine Castillo

America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

Another great read, this book feels all too real to how SF Bay Filipinos are in reality. I could seriously hear the voices of my in-laws when reading this book, complete with the Tagalog and other dialects that I have no idea what they mean. There were some complaints about these not being translated, but it’s easy enough to pull up Google Translate and put in phrases so you know. Otherwise, for an authentic experience, leave it untranslated. 🙂