Gluten-free in a new country

Being gluten-free isn’t always easy and when traveling it can kinda suck. When I travel I usually bring gluten-free oatmeal or some kind of gluten free granola bar so I can have breakfast without any worries. (I also pack some Pepto Bismol just incase I eat something with gluten). When I moved to Vietnam I packed some gluten free items I really wanted to have but wasn’t sure if I’d find. My brother/sister-in-law even gave Imodium in a farewell gift “just incase”. To my surprise I haven’t had any problems finding gluten-free items. Honestly, I feel like I have more options here then in the states.

There are two kinds of grocery stores here; Western grocery stores and Vietnamese grocery stories. My first week here I just googled “grocery store” and was pleasantly surprised when I walked into one called “An Phu Supermarket.” This is what I found.


When I saw the Carmen’s brand I got excited. It’s Australian gluten-free muesli. Gluten-free muesli in the states was hard to come by. It’s all pretty expensive ($USD for a box of granola bars) and I usually don’t buy a lot of boxed food, but it’s nice to know it’s there if I want it.

They also have my guilty pleasure (not the potato chips) …IMG_5449

There’s even almond butter.IMG_6072

The only things I haven’t been able to find are gluten-free flour tortillas and coconut yogurt (not a gluten thing, just a preference).

I did find giant corn tortillas. That’s a normal size plate.


The Vietnamese grocery stores don’t have as many options (and I can’t read the labels) but they have other fun things…



IMG_5714Cheese that’s locked up

IMG_5730Salt in a bag (from what I’ve heard this is pretty common outside the US.)

IMG_6047Juices I’ve never seen it bread of

IMG_6065.JPGWell played, Vietnam! Glad to see mimosas are a universal drink!

I haven’t taken pictures of the meat sections but it’s interesting. A lot of live things.

The only thing I can’t get at a grocery store is medicine. You have to go to a pharmacy for that and then you can pretty much get anything you want… without a perception.🤔

Eating out hasn’t been that hard either. Most things are riced based and if I’m not sure I just don’t eat it.  There is even a bakery in town that has a few “gluten sensitive” items. My sweet friend Katie, who is also gluten-free, gave me a Vietnamese Gluten Free Restaurant card. I keep it in my wallet just incase there is confusion. Like when I went to a BBQ place for a co-workers birthday. I asked, the American owner, what didn’t have gluten in it. His response “stay away from the bread.” His menu had fired chicken and Mac and cheese on it. I’m going to go ahead a bet those have gluten in them. My card wouldn’t have helped in that situation but it just shows that I can’t assume that anyone really understand what a gluten allergy is.

FullSizeRender 3

I hate to say it, but eating out/ordering-in is often cheaper than going to the grocery store. There is this fantastic app called Vietnammm that makes ordering-in so easy! Just pick your favorite place and they deliver!

On a different note, I finished my last around of immunizations until next year. Next year I need to get a booster for Japanese encephalitis but other than that I’m done! This is exciting for me because I’ve had to spend three Saturday mornings at the clinic getting poked. Here is what I got: Hep A (I’ve started this series and never finished it), Tetanus booster, Japanese encephalitis, Meningitis (I’d never gotten it),  and Rabies (the idea of having a shot into a bite wound sounds horrible). The doctor said there was no point in me getting the typhoid immunization as it doesn’t really work.
**Please note if you come visit you don’t need all these. Most of them are recommended if you go to rural places. Ho Chi Minh City is not rural 😉**

This is my “I’m tough” photo, when in reality I flinched so hard today the nurse asked if I was okay. Ha ha! Some of them legibility hurt going in and after first round I was sore for several days. Better than getting any of those diseases though!😉FullSizeRender 4The whole immunization process with interesting. I’m used to nurse just bringing them in all ready to go. Here you talk to a nurse who takes your temperature and blood pressure, then you wait in a waiting room, then you talk to a doctor, then you wait in a waiting room, when you finally go in the nurse shows you the box for you to check and cracks open and mixes little vials in front of you. I had one nurse write on the box where she gave me each shot. They were very thorough!

And for anyone who was wondering, I figured out what was going on with my power bill. I couldn’t pay it because it had already been paid. By who? I’m not sure. Ha ha!

Blogging is not something I’m necessarily good at and autocorrect and I have a love/hate relationship, so please ignore any typos, misspelled words, or all together wrong words. 😉

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