Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eating Gluten Free or Paleo on Vacation

Nashville TN
How hard is it to eat right on a vacation? Practically impossible!! I know that by the end of my last vacation (a cruise) I came back weighing 5 lbs more than when I left! Eck!

Not only does my family have to worry about eating healthily, but also about food allergies, particularly gluten.

We've been Paleo for months now and love it! But when we did the Paleo elimination challenge we realized that we were definitely had a big problem with gluten. Luckily, we have found that it's not too hard to avoid gluten... as long as I cook! I wanted to make sure that we didn't take steps backwards in our health by eating out on this vacation!

Unfortunately, there aren't many paleo or organic restaurants so I researched gluten free eating establishments on our route from FL to TN. I wanted to make sure that we had places all up and down the road so we always had a place to go! I think that knowing that you can find a place that avoids your allergen or accommodate your diet is so important!!

Here are some tips to making your vacation successful:
  • Bring plenty of healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, organic beef jerky, paleo bars, kale chips, and lots of water. 
  • Call the hotel that you plan on staying in to make sure they have free breakfast options that your family can eat. 
  • Make a list of potential restaurants all over your route because you never know what's going to happen and when you'll need to stop.
  • If you have an event at a restaurant, then call ahead to let them know you have an allergy or a food sensitivity. If they can't provide food for you, then they should allow you to bring food to the event. 
  • Bring a natural anti-inflammatory and/or anti-histamines to help reduce symptoms of an accidental exposures to your allergen or sensitivity.
We did have a couple of cheats, but we used an herbal supplement that helps with whole body inflammation. We both felt really helped combat the food sensitivities we have such as increase stuffiness, headaches, bloating and joint pain. The supplement is called New Chapter Zyflamend and it's AMAZING. Once we ate a meal that we THOUGHT was gluten free, but we both ended up with some annoying symptoms and within 30 minutes of taking these pills we both felt remarkably better.

Savannah, GA:

Your Pie is a pizza place in Savannah that has gluten free options and uses only minimal, all natural ingredients. It was DELICIOUS!

Gluten free Pizza in Savannah GA

We took our pizza and ate at Chippewa Square which is where Forrest Gump was filmed. We wanted to sit on the same bench that he sat on and say "Life is like a box of pizza, you kind of know what you're going to get". However, the bench now sits in some museum so we just sat on another bench and said it anyways. It still made us happy.

Life is like a box of chocolates in Savannah GA

I've been to Savannah before and I LOVE it! It is definitely one of my most favorite places to visit and it could be the prettiest city in the South.

Greenville, SC:

Greenville SCTrio, A Brick Oven Cafe -- They have a complete gluten free menu and we ate the Salmon Topical Salad, except we asked for chicken since they use farm raised salmon. OMG! One of the best salads ever. EVER. I mean it. EVER. And the waiter was so nice. It was pretty much ridiculous.

When they put the plate in front of me I pretty much dove in, forgetting to take a picture. The salad was HUGE and full of wonderful things like cranberries, oranges, pecans, blue cheese, tomatoes, and the dressing was a tangerine vinaigrette which was to die for! So good! I really want the recipe for that dressing. It was amazing.

The city itself had one of the most beautiful downtown areas. They had these strands of lights hung up in the trees, old time looking street lights, the sidewalks were paved instead of just laying concrete, the store fronts were adorable and there really were green plants everywhere. The downtown was only a few blocks long, but they had

plenty of places to hang out, eat or shop. Greenville is just full of charm and history. We only spent the night there and I really want to go back!

Nashville, TN:
Nashville TN

This is a great city to visit, but be warned: the traffic is horrible. Just get in the city and walk everywhere you want to go. It's so much easier! Nashville was really interesting to me because it was such a mix of history, music and technology. There were modern skyscrapers around these beautiful old buildings and they even converted an old train station into a hotel (which looked awesome by the way).

To the right is a picture of the hotel, but you can't see the area where the trains used to pull up. They converted it to a covered walk way, but kept a lot of the old charm it used to have. It was so beautiful.

We went to Cantina Laredo-- Yes, that's mexican that's gluten free! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was!  And then this came out:

Gluten free in Nashville TN

WHAT?! That's sort of healthy for me?! YES!! It was an avocado and artichoke enchilada with a tomatillo sauce AND it had a mango salsa for a side. Thank you. It was amazing. AMAZING!

Gluten free in Downtown Nashville

My mom had a shrimp salad and she raved about how amazing it was as well. Overall, I would eat here every day. Seriously. Amazing. If you go to Nashville, go here. You won't be sorry.

Nashville TN

Red Pony-- this is an upscale restaurant in Franklin which is a beautiful area of Nashville. It's southern food done right! I had the shrimp and grits which was pretty much like heaven in a bowl. 

Gluten free shrimp and grits Franklin TN

Amazing. It might have been 5,000 calories (I seriously don't know-- I'm guessing, but I'm probably close), but it was worth it. Here is a picture of the bride and her entourage after we ate!

And this is Chip, the monument that represents the Civil War battle that was fought in Franklin, TN

Franklin TN

We also ate at a Japanese place which claimed they were gluten free on their website, but when it came down to it the waitress had no idea what we were talking about. We decided to TRY to order safely and I thought we did alright until we started to get congested and develop a headache. 

Sunday was the day of sin because we ate wedding food: Potato salad, baked beans, pulled pork, cake, cup cakes, cheesecake, strawberries stuffed with cream, and all other delicious things. It was wonderful though! ::sigh::

I think one of the reasons we got through eating some of these foods was New Chapter's Zyflamend which uses natural herbs and plants to reduce whole body inflammation. We both noticed a significant decrease in sinus stuffiness, headaches and bloating after taking it after we ate foods that we normally would stay away from due to food sensitivities. 

You can find it here: New Chapter Zyflamend

Atlanta, GA:

Atlanta GA

I found one place that served home grown local produce, mostly organic and had gluten free options. I was beyond excited about Yeah Burger! They have different options of meat-- antibiotic free chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef and bison, and organic veggie burgers. You can pick and choose your toppings and sauces or you could buy a popular sandwich. I made my own: Gluten free bun, grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and onion with avocado and turkey bacon. The lady who took my order recommended garlic aioli and who am I to turn down a recommendation! It was AMAZING.

gluten free in Atlanta GA

I couldn't believe the bread was gluten free because it was so soft and fluffy! And these sandwiches are HUGE! One sandwich was enough to fill me up. I didn't need any sides although they do have gluten free fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings. Oh, the choices! It is an awesome, awesome place if you are ever in Atlanta! 

And when I got home The Man had made me dinner!! It was actually really amazing and he really surprised me! He made his own marinade with pineapples, mangos and chipotle peppers and then slow cooked the chicken in it. He added it to a homemade salsa with mangos, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, spicy peppers and cilantro with a lime juice dressing. It was so, so, so good! I wish I took a picture, but I think I was actually in shock. 

Want More?
Learn about the basics of Paleo Diet from my friend at Mind Body Oasis
Sherri Griffin
Sherri Griffin

Thanks for checking out my blog. I get serious about a few things in life: animals, chemicals, and food. For the rest I can't promise anything so keep the bar low. For more about me check out my "About Me" page! Happy DIYing!

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