By Joan Breakey

Managing a low chemical, limited wheat and dairy diet in Asia is much more than just having lists of foods that fit the diet. And there are no ingredient lists, and you can’t guess what the ingredients might be in some made up foods. You may be provided with a large variety of food choices in hotels or on a cruise. They look wonderful. You are forced to manage the whole experience of choosing food in a new way.

You started your diet at home and gradually found the variety of allowed foods you needed with important recipes and the narrow list of suitable commercial foods, preferably with an experienced dietitian. This took weeks, even months to build up to a manageable diet. When you arrive in a hotel in Singapore or enter an Asian Restaurant you have to plan diet management in a different way!

You are looking for foods that are lowish risk in most categories. In restaurants you can ask for plain chicken with plain rice, and the chicken and cashews is often very mild. This way you will be avoiding the high risk foods, especially those high in spice, tomato, capsicum, deli meats, and desserts high in additive colour and flavour and chocolate. In hotels and on a cruise all the frustrations of being on a diet are there in force! You see all the foods you used to eat and enjoy, and feel all the “It’s-not-fair-that-I-have-to-be-on-this-diet!” feelings.

For hints on how to manage see