I went to my first ever conference for work through The Day Job. They advertised one of the perks of going as a free contential breakfast. Oh goodie! Bagels and cream cheese. The registration form included a spot for special needs, so I wrote in gluten and lactose intolerant and saw what would happen. I stopped a Jamba Juice and had an all-fruit Mega Mango (all their smoothies can be made non-dairy and only one of their smoothies and a handful of boosts contain gluten). At the conference, there were bagels, cream cheese, coffee and dougnuts galore. Thankfully, there was some fresh fruit and water also available. In the afternoon, there as a refreshment break: they served cookies, hot soft pretzels, soda, juice and some fruit. I went with the juice. The only thing I had to choose differently from my standard gluten/dairy free diet was passing over the soda. I'm more tired than usual - I didn't realize how much I depended on my lunchtime soda for a mid-day pick me up!
For lunch, my co-worker and I went over to foodlife at Water Tower Place - great for tourists, shoppers, and conference attendees. foodlife is organized so you can order what you like and pay at the end - they swipe a credit card style card. I'm always a fan of these cafeteria-like settings - I can be as difficult or indecisive as I need to without slowing down a coworker and we all have loads of choices. I asked the host if he had any recommendations for gluten free foods. And then I got a sheet. Nine different stands had gluten free food! Win! But then I noticed the heavy mention of meat. The salmon and sushi sounded so good - so did the hamburger on the homemade gluten free bun! For ease, I went to the salad vendor and marvelled at all their gluten free choices, marked with a green g. I identified myself as gluten intolerant and ordered tofu for my protien and choose some other toppings. I told the man wild rice (clearly labeled gluten free) and he put the ingredient next to it on it. I asked what that was but he didn't understand. I asked someone else and she told me: bulgar.
I had them make me a new salad.
I've never done that before. I felt like a royal pain since it was the last ingredient to go on the salad, but of all things, why did gluten end up on my salad! I'm all for gluten free ingredients in salads, but there were a lot of gluten containing items surrounding it that made me nervous. Labeled gluten free goodies were next to wheat containing items. One unsteady move with a spoon could easily contiminate my food.
Thankfully, I made it through my salad (take 2) with spinach, tofu, corn, endame, guac and wild rice with a basic vingerate without any other incident. (Grand total of my salad lunch with water: $9.81. Got to love city lunches!)
foodlife has loads of choices for people on a gluten free diet. I'd be interested to compare a gluten free list with a dairy free list (if one was available) and truly see all of my available options. That homemade gluten free hamburger bun is teasing me...I'd love to go back after the 28 Day Challenge and give it a taste!