I am doubly blessed when it comes to my work life.
Not only do I work for myself, but I also work from home.
And because I run an web design company, I rarely have to travel.
(It’s ok to hate me for this…I understand.)
So 95% of my meals are from the safety of my own home.
As a celiac, I can’t begin to tell you how much easier that makes things for me, not to mention how much money it saves.
But I realize most people are not in the same boat. And their jobs require travel.
Lots of travel where you are jumping from meeting to meeting with only time for quick bites.
Or you are so remote that your only food option is the hotel you are staying at.
How the heck do you stay totally gluten-free??
I received the following email from Doug who needs your advice on this subject. He’s tried numerous strategies and all have failed.
So all you gluten-free business travelers out there, please feel free to chime in.
You’ll be helping Doug and countless others.
I’ll be in my kitchen if you need me
I’ve read a lot about gluten-free travel, but not much about business travel. That’s the travel where you don’t have time or packing space to bring your own food. You don’t have time to travel far to go to a GF meal.
Prediagnosis I travelled twenty weeks a year. Perhaps you saw me — the foggy headed guy in a suit that wasn’t aware he stepped in front of you in the TSA line, with such anxiety he always got selected for grope-downs. The guy whose peripheral neuropathy kept him kicking the seat in front of him. The one person who knew where all the airport restrooms were.
Post diagnosis, I only travel eight weeks a year. Eating out is always a problem.
I’ve tried all the well-known strategies.
In Kansas City I ate in the hotel restaurant the entire week. I always spoke to the wait staff and chef about my needs. At the end of the week, I was tired of plain veggies, so I asked if the creamed spinach was GF. The waiter checked in the back, and returned to say it was. I asked him to check with the chef. He went in the back, and returned to say it was GF. Given the reliability of the restaurant over the prior week, I ordered and ate it. That night it became painfully evident that the waiter was wrong. I called the restaurant the next morning to inquire about the cream sauce and was told that it did, in fact, contain wheat flour. The next three days were not pretty.
So I changed strategies and only ate at restaurants with GF menus. One restaurant once served me buttered vegetables. Only later did I discover that the butter they put on their veggies is pre-seasoned, and contains gluten. A different restaurant served me an unusually crunchy and tasty salad. After the first bite I found half a crouton under a piece of lettuce.
I get glutened one out of every three weeks on the road. This has to stop.
For this trip, I spoke to the Executive Chef at the hotel before arriving, sent him a menu, and impressed on him the importance of my dietary need. That strategy seems to work. The chefs working on all shifts have my food specially prepared; nice touches are added (like GF muffins this morning — Yum!), and so far I’ve stayed safe.
What other suggestions do your readers have?