Super Duper Gluten-Free Travel Round-Up: Boulder, Colorado, New York City & Iceland

gluten-free-travel-newyork-iceland-coloradoWhooo-boy am I glad to be back in my own kitchen, you guys! Back where the only gluten exists in bagels snuck into my home by my husband who should probably stop doing that. Back in the U.S.A. where gluten-free menus are plentiful and gluten-free knowledge is (sometimes) right on. Yes, I know I’m being awfully sunny about the state of dining out in America, but after negotiating gluten in a foreign country I realize it’s pretty good here. Again, sometimes. Not this time. But this time! And this time, too.

Before I get into all my travel reviews, of which there are many, I have a few things to say/confess/holler. The main one being, with a few exceptions, I have no idea if the gluten-free food I ate was 100% safe. I mean, I asked, I researched, I made myself clear, I had people reassure me . . . but physically I had no way of knowing (again, except for a few specific times in 100% gf restaurants) if I was getting some cross-contact up in me. Because, lucky me, I was already a tad bit sick in the ol’ tum-tum starting with my first trip to Colorado and never really recovered. So checking to see if I had a safe meal via my physical symptoms was not an option for me on any of these trips. Which is a bummer since I went full Paleo in the 5 days between travel when I was home, but it was not quite long enough to get everything back in working order. But this brings me to my list of things to always do when you leave your home for a family trip, vacation, or other journey. Hooray! Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Iceland: Blue Lagoon to Rotten Shark

gluten-free-iceland

Is this mud gluten-free?

Oh. Em. Gee. I am a bit traveled out right now, you guys. I’m not sure how every bit of my trips/vaca days got booked all together but they did, and now I’m home to fill you in on the good, the gluten-free safe, and everything in between. (Rotten shark would be in between, ya’ll. Way in between.)

So, yes, Iceland! The land of elves and narwhals is just as magical as you might think. Having never seen anything like it, my entire family was shocked and awe’d (in a good way) as we traveled around this little country built out of volcanoes, a dash of Goth and a lot of pure love.

I highly recommend visiting the land that sits partly on the North American continental plate, and partly on the Eurasian continental plate. It’s a country like no other (well, maybe like Greenland, I didn’t go there) where geo-thermal power makes cities go and glaciers are just hanging out like it’s nothin’. From whale-watching to geyser viewing this independent country is absolutely fascinating. Gluten-free? Well…..

Iceland is either perfect for the gluten-free, or really freaking hard. Perfect if you’re a huge fan of seafood and lamb (which I’m notsomuch) and hard if you’re looking for the nod of understanding from your waitstaff when you start talking about gluten. The fact is, you will find a load of gluten-free options if you’re adventurous. If you’re like me and balk at whale, horse, puffin, lamb (I raised baby lambs as a kid, I just can’t eat those adorable fluffies) and rotten shark—you should hit a grocery store straight away to load up on gluten-free snacks and food you can prepare in your room. Just in case.

With that said, there are a ton of restaurants in Reykjavik and I only had to leave one due to the only gluten-free options being puffin and horse related. I ate well, and the food was rich, which meant I didn’t need a ton of it. At the same time, I brought gluten-free crackers with me (and picked some up at a health store with gluten-free options) and bought meat and delicious Icelandic gouda to make snacks with whilst on the road. Like this—

gluten-free-icelandOne of you lovely readers turned me on to The Coelic Plate’s review of gluten-free Reykjavik and I did find myself in a few of the recommended spots. It’s a fantastic list and I recommend you take a peek before your trip North.

A word about Skyr. Skyr is the Icelandic yogurt that people rave about. Personally, I hate yogurt unless it’s frozen and has chocolate sprinkles. I did want to try Skyr, however, I also hate fruit yogurts and when my husband said the plain was not awesome, I skipped it. He did love the fruit flavors and thought it was one of the most delicious treats ever. So if you’re a yogurt type, load up on the Skyr.

Here’s where I dined out safely, and deliciously! Continue reading

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Gluten-Free New York City: Meet My New Favorite Brekkie

gluten-free-new-york-cityAhhh, summer in the city. Where no matter how naked you are, you will still be sweaty and disgusting. You’re just going to have to trust me on that one. But I was missing NYC so much I almost didn’t mind the heat. That is, until after a full week of subways and running, and bad hair—then I kind of lost it. Still, wow I heart New York!

As usual, there are some amazing finds on the culinary scene in NYC, gluten-free and otherwise. I always eat well and have yet (knock on wood) to get sick. I went back to my favorites: Habana Outpost, Risotteria, Eataly, Artisanal, and discovered some new joints as well. And for the first time in New York, I had to leave a restaurant because it wasn’t safe. Don’t be afraid to do that, people. Unless it’s the only place in town and you are really thirsty, move on to another safe locale rather than risk your gut. If I can walk out there, you can walk out anywhere.

So here’s what was delicious, and what was 100% a pain in the ass. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Boulder: Yellowbelly, Shine, Dushanbe Tea House & GIMB

Right in the freaking window!!

Right in the freaking window!!

Hey there people! Long time no chat. I apologize for my absence but I do hope you’ve been following on Insta as I’ve been sharing gluten-free meals across the land. Wow, have I eaten well. Mostly. Now that I’m home I haven’t left my own kitchen for a week because almost a month of dining out is not so awesome for us celiacs, no matter how safe. Amiright?

And Boulder was pretty safe, or at least I assume. I was battling a bit of a stomach thing so while I didn’t get MORE sick, I also couldn’t say with 100% certainty if I didn’t have any cross-contact action. So let me tell you where I went and how I felt, and then you go forth with your own comfort level. Yes? Yes!

OH! Something else fun is that while we were in Boulder we were totally staying in a haunted hotel, something my kids figured out before we did as my daughter walked into our room and said, “NO.” My son woke up early the first morning stating, “This hotel is haunted.” Turns out, it was. I thought it was cool. My kids were terrified. Win?

Boo.

Boo.

I had a great gluten-free time in Boulder and I think I should probably be living and eating there all the time. I mean, my book is right up there in a window at Peppercorn up there in that top photo! I LOVE YOU BOULDER!!! Plus, see this?

gluten-free-boulder-coBoulder Book Store is also super awesome. I felt the love, and loved the feel. But you want/need to know about the vittles. Guess what? Also awesome. Continue reading

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I’ve Got 99 Problems & They’re All Related to Gluten

gluten-free-cheat-sheet-giveawayWhen one writes a book such as The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet: Go G-Free in 30 Days or Less, one goes through an editing process. It’s true! Not every word I write is brilliant or spelled correctly. Shhh! Don’t tell anybdy.

Sometimes words are removed that you feel need to still be said. So I am offering you, my awesome blog readers, one of my favorite sections that did not make publication. Still, the rest of the book is GREAT and should totes buy it. For your reading pleasure, the lost section titled “I’ve Got 99 Problems & Gluten Is the Biggest One.” Enjoy. Or not. Maybe you agree with my editor.  Continue reading

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That Time I Had My Family Eat Cricket Flour

Why am I upside down? It's because I'm made of cricket flour, isn't it?

Why am I upside down? It’s because I’m made of cricket flour, isn’t it?

The very optimistic folks at EXO sent me an email one day. They have these gluten-free bars that are also GMO-free, dairy-free and they just happen to be made with cricket flour.

Now, I know that ants and crickets and things can make for some pretty decent food when you’re in a desperate place. And I consider myself mad lucky to not be in that desperate place. Which is why I was like, “No, thanks.” But the EXO gal was persistent and thought I would enjoy their flavorful and healthy bars, and why not just give it a try? I mean these people are balls out. Their motto is “Crickets Are the New Kale” for chrissake. They believe in the product and I decided to believe in them.

So I finally said yes and the Apple Cinnamon, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Blueberry Vanilla EXO bars have been sitting in my snack bowl for quite some time. This week I decided I would face my cricket fear, but only if the rest of my family did it first. I didn’t tell this kid what was happening.

gluten-free-bar-cricket-flourAnd this one was laughing very hard after I told her, because her brother had eaten cricket flour.

IMG_1229My husband managed to disappear but my mother-in-law was visiting and was much more receptive to the idea of chowing down on bugs.

IMG_1231I’ll be honest, I still couldn’t bring myself to do it. And wow, are my kids mad at me for not telling them in the first place. Still, the taste testing mother-in-law had the following thoughts since she’s not afraid of a little cricket flour: Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Odys & Penelope

gluten-free-los-angeles-restaurantsSo I was on my way to Sugarfish when I walked by this nice wood/glass/shiny metal building that seemed super cute. I made a mental note (La Brea and somethingsomething) to find out what it was, but then forgot. I remembered real quick when I met my friend in front of Sugarfish and they were all, “It’s an hour-and-a-half wait.”

Moms don’t play that. I mentioned that I’d seen a potential hipster joint, and my friend said, “Oh yeah, it’s great. Let’s see if you can eat there.” Turns out, that was a freaking great move. Continue reading

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