{How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan} Week 12 or Traveling While On A Restricted Diet

by Valerie on September 6, 2009 · 1 comment

Update June 2010 on How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan – I had originally named this series the Detox Diet Diaries, but my experience with these changes in my diet, while incredibly positive, has made me decide I really do not like the concept of  a detox diet.   It is ironic in that the diet my naturopath put me on was incredibly helpful, and a year later, it has become clear I have non-Celiac gluten intolerance, as well as a strong dairy intolerance.  I continue to avoid all dairy and gluten, as well as other problematic foods such as corn, but have grown to really dislike the concept of “detox” – the term promotes the concept of a quick fix, which is just nonsensical.  I firmly believe that the vast improvements in my heath are based on the long-term changes I made, and want my posts on the experience to convey this.    

Background: TheDetox Diet Diaries recounts my story of doing a detox diet for healthreasons and to isolate food allergies which may have been acontributing factor to some of my health problems. This diet involves real food.I am not on the Master Cleanse, or Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cleanse, orOprah’s cleanse, nor are my posts on my diet a way to support theiractions. As I explained in my background post, I am doing this under the care of a naturopathic doctor. 

So you might remember that I went to upstate New York during Week 12 of the detox diet. The trip was going to be a combination of staying at a hotel and with husband’s family, so I had some access to a kitchen.  I knew Wegmans was not Whole Foods, but I thought having access to Wegmans would help the trip in terms of staying on the diet.

Here is what I did to prepare for the trip:

*make and freeze two batches of hummus
*make and freeze these blueberry oat bars
*confirm that the hotel room had a fridge
*make a list of medication and supplements along with portable foods.

I packed a cooler with the following items:

*hummus (it thawed slowly so stayed nice and yummy for the whole drive, and I kept it in the fridge at my destination)
*a bag of organic baby spinach
*brown rice tortillas
*blueberry oatmeal bars
*a quart of chilled unsweetened rice milk
*2 chilled tuna cans (I like American Tuna)
*supplements that need to stay chilled, like my calcium and probiotics

I packed a crate with the following:
*3 more quarts of unsweetened rice milk (I had no idea whether unsweetened rice milk would be easily available where we were traveling)
*Metagenics rice protein powder
*4 boxes of Mary’s Gone Crackers (original is my favorite)
*4 shake cups
*a can opener
*supplements like my multivitamin

During the drive up, I snacked on crackers and hummus and the blueberry oats bars.  When we stopped to eat during the first day of the trip, I made a spinach and hummus wrap.  The first night away, we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant that had good sashimi and seaweed salad.  So far, so good.

The next four days of our trip were really hectic, with lots of driving and very little time for meals.  There was only so much hummus I could eat, but I had figured I could eat brown rice veggie sushi or salmon sashimi from Wegmans as easy to-go fast meals. Plus there’s always a salad bar.

I was wrong, so very, very wrong.

The Wegmans brown rice sushi (and all their sushi) is made with distilled grain vinegar, which as you may remember from this post, is not on my list of allowed foods.  Also, if you maintain a gluten-free diet, grain vinegar is off-limits.  The fact that Wegmans, which had an extensive gluten-free aisle, would add grain vinegar to sushi made no sense to me.  The vegetables in the veggie sushi had been treated with some preservatives, as had the fish in the sashimi (kudos to Wegmans for stating it so clearly on the ingredient label).  The brown rice sushi made with fish was generally covered in spicy sauce (which has eggs).  As for other items in the sushi case, there was an edamame salad, but it had high fructose corn syrup in it (yes, that shocked me).  Basically, plan-brown-rice-sushi-and-sashimi-from-Wegmans just did not work real well.  When I tried buying Wegmans prepared hummus (since I eventually ran out of mine), I was shocked to discover that that too had distilled grain vinegar in it. And the baba ghanoush? It had mayo and yogurt in it.  

Fortunately, I was able to cook a couple of meals during my trip – it was easy to find good gluten-free pasta at Wegmans, along with canned Muir Glen tomato products, though I have to say the Wegmans organic produce selection was small.  I do not know if it was the two stores I went to, but I did not have much choice.  Fortunately they had organic spinach, so I bought a lot of that. 

Overall though, between the lack of time and the fact we had to rely on take-out, I ended up eating a lot of raw vegetables and not-so-great raw fish on our trip.  And eating cold raw food does not work well for me for days on end.  And I relied on my protein shakes more than I would like.  

The trip was definitely a learning experience for me.  I do not get much prepared foods at Whole Foods, but I at least have several more options than I did at Wegmans.  I used to really dislike the Whole Foods I go to in Washington, DC, but I found myself really missing it during the trip.   

Disclaimer: I am just aregular person posting about my experience doing a detox diet forhealth reasons and, ultimately, to isolate food allergies that may bethe underlying cause of said health problems. I am not a medicalprofessional or nutritionist. Please do not use information from theseposts to do your own detox diet. Rather, seek advice from a doctor, naturopath or nutritionist to determine what the correct course of action for your health is.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Carolyn September 27, 2009 at 3:23 am

Gosh eating well while traveling is hard for anyone, let alone with so many restrictions. I think you did a great job in preparation (going to try some of those recipes!), and I'm tres impressed (although not surprised at all).


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