Eating Gluten-Free at a Conference
Eating gluten-free at home is easy-peasy…you have all of your substitutes in the pantry, a designated toaster, freezer stocked with gluten-free bread, and your lunch box packed every morning. You also don’t run into any problems when you go out to dinner in your hometown because you know where you can dine, what to ask for, and your waiter may even know you as the gluten-free girl/guy.
I honestly can say I have no problems maintaining my gluten-free diet from the comfort of my own zip code. But, I will say once I leave the Toledo Metropolitan Area, things can get a little tricky.
This past week I was at Content Marketing World, a conference held in Columbus, OH. While registering for the conference, I checked the little I have allergies box, and noted that I was gluten-free. I figured that since this option even existed, the conference staff was hip on their dietary restrictions, and I would have no problem at all with my food for the week….
I was wrong.
Apparently there is a misconception that Vegan is the same as Gluten-Free. I don’t know about you, but that frustrates me. I know I am 23 years old, and the average 23-year-old likes salad….but I’m not average. I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl. I don’t usually gravitate towards the salad bar, and green beans have and never will tickle my fancy. So, the fact that my designated gluten-free meal was essentially an assortment of steamed veggies, lettuce, and a strange-looking mushroom, I was quite sad [and very hungry].
Needless to say, I sent out a few tweets expressing my disappointment, and then bought some potato chips out of the vending machine to fill the void in my stomach. Next time I go to a conference with banquet dinners and convention-style meals, I will be sure to pack a bag full of gluten-free protein bars, cereal, and rice chips.
What have your gluten-free travel experiences been like? Do you run into the same problem of being mistakenly associated with a veggie lover, when in fact you like to throw down with a big juicy steak?
Pass any travel suggestions you have my way so I can share! Spread the g-free love.