The Glutenous Road
Travel plus food-ing can seem like leaping over the Empire State building in a single bound; especially if you live with food restrictions. Now, I'm not saying that being gluten-free is a formidable accomplishment. Or even a mildly interesting lifestyle choice, but for those who can't process the ol' glutenous wheat-grain or have other food restrictions - road eats can become... limited.
Generally, upon entry of a dining establishment, I attempt to seem very easy going and casual about my 'needs' as to not appear one of those tree-hugging, where was my meal born, how was it sourced, don't want their food particles to touch each other... PEOPLE. No one likes that. The leaders of your planet are calling you home: be FREE! Go.
Firstly you want to establish a rapport before you unload your laundry list of foods that make you feel icky, swelly, or you know - will-shut-your-body-completely-down-for-three-days-which-just-happens-to-be-your-entire-trip-duration. Two thumbs way down.
A) Make friends. A little, you don't want anyone getting the wrong impression. I'm forever telling my husband, "Hey, watch it, I'm pretty sure she thinks you want to impregnate her." "Geeeeezus."
B) Start with just one thing, like, "Do you know if this dish has gluten in it?" instead of addressing the entire menu and then watching the waiter's will to live slowly collapse like a deflating parking lot tube-waver-guy. I normally ask if they have a gluten-free beer which is a good set-up, plus if miracle of miracles they do, it instantly boosts my mood like 10 points... I don't know why. Mystery.
C) Once you place some sizeable hope into your dish-choice (not all of it because there could be a SAUCE that no one has spoken about yet!) then you just nonchalantly make sure they know to "Please make sure there are no:" <<NOW you can let it rip. Go ahead and practice your auctioneer routine here and let loose with all the other crap you can't eat>> "tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, nothing with refined sugar, nuts are a super no-no, and for the love of everything that is holy please no croutons." It's funny sometimes, you will have this whole conversation about 'gluten' and then... (this is my real life) the lovely ignorant service person says, "I can put them on the side for you"... like they're doing me some kind of favor. Croutons! YES. Yes please. I would like to stare at the delicious croutons while I eat my lettuce with no dressing. That sounds UH-mazing. Super.
So. Make sure you branch out on your next trip and eat something exotic, treat your wait-person with respect because in my estimation about 50% of humans in the U.S. still don't know that gluten means wheat and that percentage of people will try to back away from you slowly like you have a disease, then they'll 'go talk to someone', then they'll come back and offer you their gluten free pizza. "That's ALL we have for you" <freaks>.
Bitter? No not yet. Amused and bemused, probably.
Stay strong and healthy food-issue-folks! Sometimes it does feel like a super-power to be able to feed me, but I am so so so lucky to have a Super-dude arm in arm against the battle, who is actually better than me at ordering! Forever grateful.
And P.S. before you start getting all cringy-feely ~ as one will when watching a nature documentary and the prey gets fully murdered, just please realize that this is a rant and the writer is fully empowered. (And for the love of Mike, take your pro-pre-micro-unicorn-tears-biotics; we're gonna be fine.)
If you didn't know. FLUX skincare, it's gluten-free. #themoreyouknow