Recently, I have had some increased food sensitivities and find myself symptomatic more than usual. The worst part of food allergies is the lack of social enjoyment. Being married for 30 years is hard to celebrate when you are limited to where you can dine out.

Sushi has been our night out meal for at the last two years. We go to the same two restaurants and life was good! Past tense. The last three to five visits have been discouraging. In spite of the fact that the owners, sushi chefs and wait staff know us and our allergy to gluten, we have been getting sick. The last two times I even asked them to use a fresh preparation surface and a fresh knife, but still got sick. Normally, we will not give a restaurant so many chances, but this was a safe haven for two years!

Because of our corn allergy, it could be they are using a new thickener or vinegar that contains corn syrup, dextrose, citric acid, or one of the other hundred names for corn.

Starbucks has recently let me down further as well. Their coconut milk contains corn dextrin and xanthan Gum. Their almond milk contains xanthan gum and their soy milk contains sodium citrate (corn derivative). With no corn free, non-dairy choices, I have begun to cary coconut milk powder in my purse to add to their house coffee.

Cold Stone, Baskin Robbins, and every ice cream parlor I have contacted locally use corn syrup in their recipes. Even new places that boast “homemade ice cream!” contain corn syrup. Date nights are not the same without the repertoire of “where do you want to eat?”

Early this month I spent time at what I like to think of as the original Google, Barnes and Noble. I roamed the cookbook aisles looking for insight. Gluten free cook books contain recipes using corn and dairy. Vegetarian cookbooks contain a lot of cheese. I found what I was looking for in The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and Action Plan. I highly recommend this book to anyone with more than one digestive disorder (but no nut allergies). So far each recipe that we have tried has been a winner. If you want to try out some recipes without the benefit of the educational pages, search Pinterest for “Autoimmune Paleo Recipes.” I am filling up a notebook with some winners from there too. A pause to say thank you Lord for allowing me to eat coconut and almond flours.

The diet allows for zero sugar with maple syrup or honey very rarely. But…. there are times when I just need one bite of chocolatey goodness. I found Coco-Roons last month and in spite of the fact that there are only 8 cookie balls in a bag, they are so satisfying that I only need to eat one or three a week.

I am on the road often for appointments and meetings each week. Food portability is a must! I try to pack something pre-cooked or fresh to take with me when I travel, but sometimes weather or time prevents me from packing ahead. I keep a couple RX Bars,  Mighty Bars, and Ningxia berry juice packets in my bag at all times. This way if I find myself away from home longer than expected, I am safe from the hangries and the glutening. If you are not cutting out grain, check out The GFB they have amazing gluten free bars and a new portable warm cereal that converts from bag to bowl for easy eating on the go. Just add hot water! Their customer service is amazing and they offer discount coupons for online shopping all the time.

Lastly, ice cream. We may not be able to spend date nights at the ice cream parlor like we did in the 80’s and 90’s, but I found an ice cream that even my hubby likes to eat. NadaMoo! organic and non dairy ice cream. Most of the flavors are corn free, all are gluten and dairy free. If you have not had chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in years, let me tell you, you will shed tears of joy after one bite of Cookies and Cream (well at least I did). The Pistachio Nut flavor reminds me of spumoni ice cream without the chunks of fruit in it and the Mint Chocolate Chip is just plain yummy.

Do you have a special “emergency travel food” in your bag? Comment below, we would love to hear new ideas. None of the items recommended above were given to us by the supplier, or even suggested to us by the supplier/manufacturer. We do all the research through trial and error, so you know it is unbiased.

Don’t forget, we are not doctors and do not pretend to know everything about celiac disease. We know what is working for us. We offer tips and tools to help you deal with the discomfort of being gluten intolerant, but are not specialists. Consult your doctor or specialist if you are suffering with any kind of pain or discomfort that is not normal. Trust your instincts when it comes to your body and be your own advocate for better health and wellness.