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Info on IBS diet while at TDL? Lactose, fructose, wheat free...

Discussion in 'Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai' started by KikoKea, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. KikoKea

    KikoKea Well-Known Member

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    We are leaving for TDL 17 Apr for a week- this is an early 35th anniversary trip, so I'm hoping all will go well. But, I was diagnosed with IBS-D about 7 weeks ago and have been following a Low FODMAP diet with great results- didn't realize that what I thought was feeling 'normal' was actually nothing near feeling good. I want to stick with the diet as much as possible.

    Low FODMAP (has to do with the forms of sugar that are not digested and play havoc in the intestines, such as Lactose, Fructose, Fructans, and so on) Among other things, it is free of dairy, fructose and high fructose corn syrup, and nearly gluten free.

    At DL or WDW, I know I can always get a Caesar salad with chicken or grilled salmon and plain veggies just about anywhere. Do the restaurants at TDL and the Seas offer either? I saw that they note quite a number of allergens on their menus, so that looks promising.

    Just wondering what I can look forward to. Anyone have any experience dealing with special diets at TDL?
     
  2. TMH

    TMH Well-Known Member

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    Taking IB Guard half an hour before your meals always helps me, regardless of what I'm eating. Might be hard to work around dietary restrictions in Japan. You're most likely going to have to rely on supplements to manage the symptoms.
     
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  3. KikoKea

    KikoKea Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thanks! I'll look into that.
     
  4. TMH

    TMH Well-Known Member

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    They're pricy but very helpful! It's basically just isolated peppermint oil extract, so Altoids have a similar effect. It allows me to drink 3 cups of coffee without being in the bathroom immediately afterwards!

    I hope that works out for you. Unfortunately, the language barrier and cultural differences make substituting foods tricky.
     
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  5. GiveMeTheMusic

    GiveMeTheMusic Well-Known Member

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    The parks there offer special "allergy meals" and you can get full details on what they are and where you can get them here:

    http://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/bfree/allergies.html
     
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  6. KikoKea

    KikoKea Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thanks! I saw that- it looks promising and is a good option. I will print the lists and take them with me. We don't have reservations at any restaurants yet- not sure how to make then from the US, but there are counter service meals.

    Have you been there? Do they have simple salads at most eateries?
     
  7. GiveMeTheMusic

    GiveMeTheMusic Well-Known Member

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    I don't really remember the salad situation to be honest. You won't need reservations in advance unless you are trying to see one of the dinner shows (luau or Horseshoe), which I can't say I'd really recommend. For Magellan's and other table service locations, day of reservations are almost always fine.

    I seem to remember Queen of Hearts have side salads, but that's all I can remember from the counter service places. Sorry!
     
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  8. KikoKea

    KikoKea Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thanks for the info- I was worried it was like WDW or DL where you have to make them months in advance to even have a chance. I'll definitely try to make reservations when we get to the hotel. We live in Hawaii...don't need the luau!
     
  9. PiratesMansion

    PiratesMansion Active Member

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    I can verify that in 2010 Queen of Hearts had a side Caesar Salad available.
     
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  10. KikoKea

    KikoKea Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Just returned from our trip and here's what I found.
    Those special meals without the 5 major allergens....they do NOT offer them. I asked at three places specifically for that meal and was told NO. Instead, I had to tell them what I could not eat. In all instances, they were very cooperative and sent out a manager or chef with a tablet or a notebook that contained every dish and its ingredients. At counter service, he would point out to me what I could have. For instance, at a curry place the only thing I could eat was white rice and a green salad, no dressing. At two buffeterias, one in each park, I found roasted chicken and vegetables with white rice as a side order.

    Most salads are simple green salads. There are no chicken Caesar salads, and certainly not the large salads offered at DL or WDW, but I did find a couple of "Cobb" type salads. All are small and have mostly lettuce with paper-thin shavings of meat, carrot or bell pepper, if you are lucky. The Cobb or 'deli' style are more specialty and aren't available except at a theme place, such as a deli at DS in the NY area. It had shaved meat, shaved veggies, and a small stick of cheese. There are usually 2 types of dressings- one being Japanese sesame and another.

    Portion sizes can be small. At DS' Columbia boat, I had an excellent large sirloin with vegetable sides- 1 small baby ear of corn, 1 small broccoli floweret, and about 1/4 cup mashed potatoes. At DS Portofino, I had a roasted chicken that had a little more veggies on the plate, but not much more- but the chicken was very good. So, don't think you're going to fill up on veggies with a meal. And, you cannot buy individual fruits at the park, like apples or bananas, but some buffeterias may have a small cup of cut fruit as a side dish for purchase.

    The restaurant staff are super polite and eager to help. But, it is Japan and English is not widely spoken, at all. I had asked a friend at church to write out several phrases for me in Japanese and that proved to be a lifesaver. Without that paper, it would have been very difficult to get across to the chef what I could eat.

    None of the menus had allergy notes on them. That is, there's no "GF" indication, etc beside an item- at least not in English. As for special accommodations, the only one I could get was no sauces on the meats.

    Many menu offerings involve a meat covered with a sauce or curry and rice. There were hamburgers and fries, usually a plain green salad or salad in a cup, or interesting pizza (about 12") combinations. Don't expect a huge pile of fries- the cup they came in had plenty of room for more. There was no sushi in the parks, and we checked every menu.

    After two days, I gave up trying to follow my diet strictly and just focused on 2 or 3 major triggers, such as onions, garlic, and dairy and tried to avoid the majority of the other items by eyeballing the menu or buffet line. If you are ALLERGIC to something, obviously this is not a good option, but mine are an intolerance and I was willing to risk some misery in order to eat something more than green lettuce and rice. But by the end of the week, I was not feeling well.

    If you have major allergies, your best bet might be at the buffets, which run from about $30-50. The park buffets had a variety of meats/sauces and a salad bar, breads and desserts so at least you have a better chance of finding a few items you can eat.

    We ate at the Oceano at DS' Miracosta Hotel and it was very good. The chef walked the line with me, thick notebook in hand, and pointed out what I should avoid. It was heavy on seafood, but everything was very good. Tiny portions, but that allowed you to try many things...if you can tolerate onions. Onions were in many dishes and sauces. (Eat at the 7pm sitting, and you can go outside and watch Fantasmic from the restaurant balcony- best view in the park!)

    Our favorite, by far, was the TDL Hotel Sherwood Garden buffett. The chef, the manager, and a very nice young man who spoke English came out and went over all the dishes. At this one, there was less onion and sauces, and a good variety of meats. We agreed that it was well worth the extra money and the 5 minute walk from the park entrance to the restaurant. Had I known about the Sherwood Garden or the Oceano at the beginning of the week, we would have eaten there every night so I could at least get one good meal a day. (We made reservations easily at their check in counter. Most buffets at the park had no openings, though, even on days when the park crowds was light).

    So, if you have allergies or special dietary needs, you will probably find TDL challenging, but not impossible if you are flexible and do not expect many options. If at all possible, have someone write out your needs. ("I cannot eat onions or garlic." "I cannot eat dairy or milk products." "Please help me choose a dish I can eat." etc) This was VERY helpful.

    Most of the snack carts have items with gluten- bread-covered meats, churros, or ice cream sandwiches. Breads and desserts with wheat are numerous on the buffets, too. So, eating gluten free will take some effort. There are popcorn carts everywhere, though!

    Also, take snacks or food with you. I hauled a can of tuna with me every day, along with small peanut butter packs and homemade trail mix, and bag check did not stop me (in fact, they barely look in your bag). Had I not found the roasted chicken on second day of nothing but green lettuce and white rice, I would have popped that tuna lid and dumped it on my rice! The TDL website says they will heat up your special diet food- not sure about that, but have my doubts since they don't offer the special allergy-free meals.

    Salt and pepper are not on tables, nor are there packets of either on the condiments rack. If fries are served, there will be ketchup packs, and there's sugar/sugar syrup, but nothing else. A minor thing, but when you're faced with a plate of white rice, again, a little salt and pepper would help. At buffeterias and buffets, they might have S&P if you ask for it, but counter service did not.

    Whereas WDW and DL hotels offer a quick service, along with a family restaurant and one or two fancier places, the hotels at TDL are mainly geared toward adults and are expensive- $50- over $100 with buffets or limited menus/set Chinese menu. For kids, the buffets usually had Tater Tots, chicken nuggets, or a mini corn dog thing.

    Overall, TDL does not seem to be as friendly towards those with special dietary needs as WDW or DL. The people at the restaurants are wonderful, but the food choices are not as wide. Still, it was fun and I did not starve. :)
     
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  11. Disneysea05

    Disneysea05 Well-Known Member

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    I would have asked that English speaking cast member at TDL Hotel about those allergen meals. I'm very curious as to why they don't offer them.

    Glad all went well.
     
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  12. KikoKea

    KikoKea Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I wish I had asked him, but at the time I didn't think to. I was hungry and it had taken 20 minutes already for the chef, manager, and young man to come out. I'm thinking that the tablets replaced the special meals, which apparently took quite a bit of effort and time to prepare. Now, you tell them what you cannot have and they will check their menu for what you can eat. Easy and efficient, even if it means the customer may not have much choice at some places.
     
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  13. Juujuugurl

    Juujuugurl New Member

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    I've never seen anything in Japan listed as "GF" unless it was a foreign wrapped food product. Gluten allergy is super rare in Japan. They also don't list vegetarian, since vegetarian is looked on as a "crazy" diet. I feel bad for anyone traveling with those dietary restrictions within Japan. I'm glad you had someone who was able to write out certain phrases for you, and I hope you had a good time despite having to eat a lot of white rice. Since living in Japan, I've grown to really hate white rice, haha.
     
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  14. KikoKea

    KikoKea Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I live in Hawaii...two scoop white rice with every meal, is the norm here. This morning, I met my son at his school in Laie and we went to McD's for breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, Spam, and white rice- great local breakfast!
     

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