Traveling, Eating Out and Austin
After coming home and settling back into my day-to-day life from a vacation, I realize so much more the satisfaction I get from my work and helping others eat a safe and DELICIOUS diet.
Traveling is hard. Every time I take a trip now since I got diagnosed with my multitude of food allergies I realize how difficult it is to live in this world “out there” with allergies. When I am at home, I cook for myself, my friends that cook for me I trust to keep me healthy, and I have a handful of restaurants I can rely on to eat a meal at without consequences. But when you are traveling, that can allllll go wayyyy out the window.
I tend to get pretty anxious about flying. No matter how much I “think” I am calm, my stomach is always in knots. And maybe it is partially to blame on the pressure changes and what not, but I am sick to my stomach for days after flying. (Of course a little Bloody Mary before always helps out
My trips always start out with a handful of items to help alleviate the stress.. homemade granola bars, packets of nut butter, protein powder and seeds for my smoothies. But most of that can only last a few days; granola bars get eaten or go stale, you can only have so much nut butter (did I really just say that?!)
So inevitably another trip to the store is needed to stock up on snacks again.
And if we get real here… I cook everyday for other people, on vacations I would LOVE to let go just a little bit of that and just indulge! What fun is it to travel to a new city and not experience their awesome hole in the wall restaurants and the “best” or “world famous” this-or-that. I may have a lot of restrictions but there still is a hard-core foodie inside.
This last trip to Austin was great , and all the fun I had and people I met, I couldn’t have asked for more! I was at the BlogHer Food Conference the first two days (amazing, I must add!) then I stayed to hangout with my family for a few days after. I packed snacks for the conference and did the best I could with their “Food Allergy-Friendly” meals and snacks (maybe step up your game on that next year though But my sparkly clean diet hit a few road bumps.
Of course I always take the necessary steps;
Inform the servers and chefs of your allergies and severities.
Research restaurants online before you go. Check out the menu options and if they state whether or not they are allergy friendly.
Warn of cross-contamination, keeping your foods separate and away from the other guests.
Hope and pray they listen and it goes well…
And of course on top of this list I am looking out for restaurants that use Organic foods, locally-sourced of course is always even better, and if I am eating meat then grass-fed (No sad mutant animals please!!)
Luckily I only had one more severe reaction while on my trip, but that is one more than I wish. Immediately after eating my “safe” meal from a “gluten-free, accommodating” restaurant I started to break out in a feverish rash and went scrambling for my anti-histamines… Russian Roulette I tell you. Eating out is a damn game of Russian Roulette.
We all do the best we can to keep ourselves safe, and I do believe that most of the restaurant workers do as well, but you just never know. I don’t want to become a recluse just because of this, I enjoy going out and being social and enjoying a beautiful meal in a fun atmosphere. I think the best things we can do are to keep spreading AWARENESS, KNOWLEDGE, and INSIST that more places do their work to be accommodating. Our health is not something to be taken lightly and neither is our happiness and security.
I am not perfect and I am still learning tricks and tips to make living with allergies easier. Although this trip had a couple slip-ups, and I am sure there are more times like this to come, I did find some fun friendly restaurants in Austin that you all (or ya’ll as they say) should definitely check out!
Snack Bar – 1224 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Their Menu was fantastic! Locally sourced, organic, mostly vegan and allergy-friendly! Fantastic!
Brussels Sprouts | flash fried sprouts, herb aioli – mmmm This was a great treat!
Avocado Quinoa | chilled quinoa, arugula, cotija, pineapple, avocado, , banana pepper-pineapple vinaigrette
JuiceBox and Soup Peddler – 501 W. Mary St., 2801 S. Lamar Blvd. – Smoothies and hand-made soups, sooo good I had to go twice! Local, unique, allergy-friendly and mostly vegan, they were perfect for the hot summer days of Austin.
Also, seems it was too delicious for me to photograph. Slurped them down before I took any pics :/
What do you do to help make traveling easier with allergies?! I would LOVE to hear some of your tips and ideas! Please share!
Here are some great travel tips from FARE
Here is a link for Food Allergy Translation Cards. Great for when you are traveling abroad!
and Click Here to read my full blog