One of the reasons I decided to start this blog was because I eat Gluten Free. While Gluten Free is the current fad diet, I actually do it because I have a wheat allergy. Traveling gluten free can be difficult in a lot of places but if you know what to ask for and when to ask for it, you can usually get what you’re looking for.
I struggled with health problems for my entire life. I had two week long migraines that required some serious medications. I would have terrible stomach pains that would keep me curled up in a ball for hours. My weight fluctuated A LOT, which is hard on any teenage girl’s self esteem. I also had plantar fasciitis starting when I was 9 until I was 19. You’re supposed to be able to make plantar faciitis go away but apparently I was a special case. After years of struggling and doctors telling me that it was all in my head, my mom finally took me to go see an allergist. She did some allergy tests and my wheat allergy was discovered. I started to slowly take myself off of wheat, which was really hard. I really missed those Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets so I would cheat sometimes and go run through the drive through. After about nine months of on-again-off-again eating wheat, I finally went cold turkey. It has totally changed my life! The migraines went away, the stomach pains subsided, the plantar fasciitis is totally gone and I have lost 50 POUNDS!
Dress: White House Black Market (old)
So, how do you eat gluten free when you travel? Well for one, you need to make sure you know what you are asking for. Tell the restaurants and hotels you are staying at what your needs are. Don’t be afraid to be assertive and make a scene. Trust me, I HATE making a big deal out of my allergy. I would rather just ask for a salad then get all complicated. But its not worth the reaction I get to not ask. So be very clear when you ask. Tell people you can’t eat wheat/gluten/dairy/whatever your allergy is. Most places are pretty in the loop about what gluten is and if there is wheat in their food. Every now and then you will stumble across a place where they look at you like you’re the idiot. When that happens, move on and find a new restaurant.
The second thing to know is when to ask about food you can eat. Do it right away. ALWAYS! Don’t wait until after you get your meal and you’re not sure if that chicken has a slight breading on it. Again, definitely not worth trying to not make a scene. Because if you do it eat it and you are allergic to it, everyone is going to FREAK OUT (trust me on this one, they get really worried and start to call ambulances). Once you let people know what your needs are, they are usually happy to accommodate you. I was in a Marriott in Jordan a few weeks ago (I will post on that trip soon!) and they had gluten free bread at breakfast for me every day! Who knew you could go all the way around the world and still be able to eat like you’re at home.
If you are adverse to talking to people about your allergy, like I am sometimes, stick to the basics. Grilled meat and veggies are always safe and there isn’t a country I have been to yet that doesn’t have their own version of that dish. And asking a server to hold the bread is just something they are used to! So even if you are a little on the shy side, you will be able to find something to fuel your adventures!