I just returned from a fabulous week of rest and relaxation at the beach with my family.
Sitting on the beach, reading, digging in the sand, jumping in the waves, walking around town, spending time with family, meeting up with friends – always sad to see it end!
It was a relaxing, refreshing week of disconnect from work and home. The sea air was amazing!
Disconnecting from the modern-day world of run, run, run is quite beneficial for our stress levels, mindsets and body.
We rented a beautiful house close to the beach, which worked out perfectly. Of course, the porch was my favorite for morning, afternoon and evening relaxing! As noted in my previous post, I precooked and packed up most of our foods. We had a full kitchen to use, yet, with minimal cooking we had delicious and healthy gluten-free, allergy friendly meals each and every day. All the pre-planning and precooking made our stay easy and manageable, snacks and goodies included. We treated ourselves to foods we don’t eat everyday and enjoyed every morsel.
This year it seemed that more restaurants on the boardwalk and town were advertising gluten-free offerings. My children were most interested in the gluten-free pizza signs. Those of us on this gluten-free journey know and understand that finding a great gluten-free pizza is no easy task. So, I decided to indulge and see what we could find.
All the “GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA SERVED HERE” signs really needed to be taken down. Honestly, if you are buying a gluten-free pizza from a pizza shop, one that is not completely 100% gluten-free, your pizza is really NOT going to be gluten-free. There is too much flour in the air, not to mention cooking all the pizzas in the same oven. This spells disaster of cross-contamination, followed by a reaction, followed by ruining your vacation.
Once you start eating gluten-free, would you buy something because someone says, “Oh yes, it’s gluten-free”?
Quite frankly, I hope your answer is no. There is more to knowing, “Is it gluten-free?”
When I asked, “What is in your pizza?”, or “What is the crust made of?”, NOT ONE SHOP COULD TELL ME THE ANSWER! One guy said, “Well, I know it is gluten-free – there’s no gluten!” (Steam was coming from my ears!!)
Additionally, the pizza shops questioned reported that they cooked all pizza in the same oven, except one who had an oven in the back used separately for gluten-free pizza. Each shop showed the GF pizza having its own dedicated pan. But you needed to purchase the whole pizza, as it could not be bought by the slice.
Having additional allergies besides gluten, there was no way I would put myself or my children in a situation of not knowing what is in the food. Taking a chance to have a reaction while on vacation was not something I would do. Honestly, these restaurants all need safe gluten-free training (and should so before putting up their signs).
Unfortunately, in the end, my kids walked away pretty sad. Mom said NO.
Many of the pizzas looked delicious in the windows so it was a let-down for all. We bounced back quickly as there was so much more to do on our fabulous family vacation!
When on vacation, ask about the food – never assume a food is safe!
Have some delicious, safe goodies with you to fall back on, and you will not be let-down. I typically make a special treat for the kids that I bring with us just in case. It certainly worked this time!
This reminded me that just because we see the signs for GF, not everyone really understands the importance of following a gluten-free lifestyle. All of these shops serving pizzas should not be doing so as someone will get sick and their vacation may be ruined.