F*ck it. I’ll Just Drink Beer.

And the food travel test is over.

Grade:  D-

Dude.  That was brutal.

Part of the problem with all of this is that I have three children and I am in a constant state of crazy.  So Thor and I had the best intentions of packing all this great stuff for me.  But at the eleventh hour, pretty much all that ended up tossed in the travel food bag was a bag of pretzels, a few raisins and non organic apples.  None of which I can eat. I did manage to pack up a tiny cooker of the following:

Fresh dill, goat cheese, some avocados, a bag of kettle chips for munchies, sliced cucumbers and a load of yummy Breadsmith french bread. And some honey.  Which I never used and it leaked all over my bag.  THUMP.

This is an overview of how the meals went:

Friday night, get to hotel, check in, see our lacrosse family friends and everyone says, “Let’s get mexican!!”  Ole.  Great.

First of all, the waitress was so very fricken pissed that we showed up with 6 parents and 15 very loud, obnoxious, hungry and pumped up little lacrosse players.  And 2 whiny girls.   So when I politely say that I have a food allergy, she hated me pretty much from the starting gate.

I had the bartender make me a Heatherita, which was fabulous and got me through the next 14 minutes until I got my second Heatherita.   I ordered fish tacos, with NO SPICING and a side of fresh avocado.  I swear to God that when she dumped, and I mean, dropped,  that plate in front of me, that fish was covered with crap on it.  But we couldn’t tell if it was just…grill stuff…or not.  This is the problem.  People don’t realize that even cooking it on the grill with residual stuff can maim me for like 2 days.  But I was so terribly hungry and at this point, increasingly buzzed, so I ate it.  Did I mention that they made fresh table side guac there?  Sadists.  Then they put this HUGE bowl with the chips and salsa I can’t eat right in front of me.  Satanists.

It’s at this point, I realize that I can’t do this.  How am I going to do this? For the rest of my life?

I jsut sat there, ate my fish taco, drank my Heatherita, pouted and looked pretty.  That was all I could do.

The next morning I woke up and my right had looked like this…

It’s fine. Whatever.  Brought the wrist brace.

We stayed at one of those Courtyard Marriott’s that includes the breakfast.  I had brought with me in a baggie some Honey puffed Kashi cereal that I can eat, so I happily had a bowl of that with an orange and that worked out really well.  I wanted a bagel and cream cheese and bacon, but I resisted the pout urge and forced myself to be perky, spunky and full of life.

Ok, let me set up the scenario.  Alpha was in a tournament with some of the top little lacrosse players in the Midwest.  We were in Brown Deer, Wisconsin and there where 14 fields of games going on all day Saturday.  It was so freakin steamy and not an ounce of shade.  Cracker and Bambi were hot, sweaty little messes and pretty pissed to be there.  So after the second game, everyone say’s “Let’s go to Culver’s!”  I wanted to say, “F*ck you”.  But I didn’t.   It’s not their fault.  So everyone went and ate butter burgers while I sat in the car with the air conditioning cranked with my lil’ knife and cutting board, my fresh dill in a baggie (DORK), my goat cheese and sliced cukes/carrots and had a mini cracker sandwich/pity party.  It really wasn’t so bad.  I did have one friend peek in the window at me and laugh but that was to be expected. And she has the allergy too.  So she sympathizes.

Thor was a sweetie for packing something adult I could drink and I ended up chugging a couple of Sierra Nevada’s out of the cooler, so that took the edge off.  Oh yeah!  REALLY great idea  to drink those and then stand in the hot beating sun for a few hours.

Other notable meal issues:

One of my high school BFFs lived 15 minutes from where we were and and another HS BFF was visiting her as well, so Sat night we went over to their gorgeous glass house on Lake Michigan.  Such a blast!  IT was so fantastic to see everyone.  They were grilling kabobs, which were already marinated, so I just made myself ANOTHER goat cheese, cuke, dill, carrot sandwich.  And as my dear friend and I were eating in her back deck overlooking the magnifient lake on a perfect night, I looked down and noticed that most of the sandwich I was eating was made of moldy bread.  GAG  GAG GAG GAG GAG GAG

I cry.

The next day, we were supposed to have at least 2 more games and the weather was horrible so the rest of the tourney was cancelled.  We were planning to stay on as a family and attend Milwaukee’s Summerfest.  I was of course dreading what I would eat there and at this point I was out of all food except a few pieces of  moldy bread.

So we went to Cheescake factory for lunch.  AGGGGHHHHHHKKKKK

I was nothing short of a hot mess looking at the menu.  I opted for a steak, some rice and sauteed spinach.

This was the food that surrounded me:

Alpha – breaded shrimp and the yummiest, sluttiest coleslaw I have ever seen.

Bambi and Cracker – A seductively ridiculous mound of homemade mac and cheese.

Thor  – Don’t even get me started with Thor.  He ate for four people.  And then he ate Alpha’s coleslaw.  And he had a pile of garlic mashed potatoes  like this And every time he took a bite out of something, he would moan with delight.  I swear I was seconds from stabbing him in the neck with my fork.

My steak was clearly mistaken for one of the actual Stanley Cup hockey pucks.  And my bland rice and spinach just made me cry.  But there was a very big plus.  They had Sierra Nevada.  So I said, “F*ck it.  I’ll just drink beer.”

Seriously, it wasn’t THAT bad.   I did have pita chip crackers and some fresh berries that I would pop in my mouth every once in awhile and one time, I peeled an avocado and ate it like an apple.  It definitely is okay in the every day routine but the hardest is eating out in restaurants.  It’s such a random allergy that waitstaff are like, “What?”  And I don’t think anyone really takes it seriously.   And trying to eat anything at a fest or something like Great America, the best thing you can do is scope out the roasted corn and drink a ton of water.  I cheated with a few Blue Moons but there was an orange slice in it, so I faked myself out.  I am paying for it a little now, but all in all, I am a survivor WHAT I’m not gonna give up WHAT I’m not gon’ stop WHAT I’m gonna work harder WHAT.


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4 Responses to “F*ck it. I’ll Just Drink Beer.”

  1. 1 Tracy
    June 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Sigh. Actually SIGH. Where to start. That sounds about like my first trip. It will get better. WAY better. Things I might have done differently: first and foremost – gone to the grocery store. I would have taken one look at those kabobs, and said – darn it, I can’t eat that – is there a grocery store nearby that I can pop over to and grab a steak? And I would have bought the most decadent slab of deliciousness ever. I would have gotten more bread (so sorry about the mold – yay, life without preservatives!). I would have tracked down some rice cheese. And I would have flat out refused to go mexican. I would have left my hubby with the kids, and gotten myself to a steak joint. Or I would have asked for the manager and explained that I was going to swell up like a Macy’s day parade float and didn’t understand why I couldn’t get my food the way I asked for it, what the hell kind of restaurant is this anywasy???? And why couldn’t you eat the burger patty at Culvers? I have never been there, so I don’t know what they put in it – spices? This is why I go to expensive places when I must eat out – they have real, fresh ingredients. For the rice – I would have asked for some olive oil and mixed that with salt into the rice. YUM! Actually that works for spinach as well – maybe a little pepper. And I would have sent that steak back and said you REALLY REALLY meant rare. In a world with no sauces, you can’t have your meat cooked medium or you will want to choke someone to death. literally.

    Part of the problem I ran into early on is that I didn’t want to make a fuss. I didn’t want anyone to go out of their way. Well – guess what – you end up in the car eating moldy bread that way – making WAY more of a scene. People like to take care of other people. It makes them feel good. They will help you if you are super clear on what works and what doesn’t. When you don’t have total control over the food coming your way – you need other people to help you. Prepare your elevator speeches. One for your friends that want to hear ALL about it – so annoying the 147th time you tell it. One for the waitstaff. Hey – you have a food allergy – let them understand how bad their day will suck if you end up eating the tiniest bit of toxic crap. Even if it is an exaggeration, I like them to think I will expire at the table if they mess up. That’s right – fear of God, baby! They never bring me stuff with spices on it. If they even give me the hairy eyeball when I start my speech, I tell them I have a SEVERE allergy and will get REALLY SICK and can they go ask the chef? And then I make them go back twice more, just out of spite. And then I tip them really well.

    Just remember – just because you have to do it differently, it doesn’t mean you have to eat crap or starve. You just need to plan better. Next time you go on a trip, I want you to call me and we will talk through meal by meal what the plan is. It will go way better next time, I promise!

  2. 2 Abbie
    June 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I understand the problem with restaurants. I still have some problems after 6 months. And I have to say that vacant and glassy eyed look I get most of the time is getting old. I totally understand contemplating doing something dangerous with a fork (like when no one in the restaurant can tell you what is in the mayo based spread on the day’s lunch special and you ask for it on the side and they put it on both the sandwich and the side because they are frickin’ geniuses (and you don’t figure it out until after you get back to work)). However, I promise it will get better as you figure out better ways to explain what you can and can’t eat and start remembering to do things like checking (obsessively) to-go orders before you leave the restaurant.

    The way I get around feeling like an absolute complaining witch-with-a-b is to make sure to also compliment things that are done well. When I go out and find a great waiter and kitchen staff that really care (first off, I make a mental note to go back) I will make a point of asking for the manager and saying how much I appreciate his or her staff and what a great job they did. Don’t know if that will help you, but I feel like it helps balance my karma or something like that…

    Hang in there! (And really – I don’t think you did that bad a job for a first weekend out with a sulfite problem! You did tons better than I did!)

  3. 4 Tracy
    June 30, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Wait – I am confused by Abby’s reply, unless you have some kind of allergy besides sulfites. I mean – it doesn’t matter what is in the mayo based spread – it has mayo in it – which has sulfites…..

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Heather Moran

Crazed sulfite-free woman.

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