The holidays behind us, a new year ahead. Many have made resolutions to start a new healthy lifestyle or diet while others have no choice, BUT to adhere to a certain diet. In travel-speak, it’s called a “special meal”, or as I like to say, “C.E.S.” (Can’t Eat Squat)!
As someone who has had to follow a “special” diet since childhood, believe me, it’s no picnic. In fact, it can be pure hell.
About 15 years ago, my sister and I were on a 10 hour flight and we were served a medicine dispenser sized cup of walnuts with a handful of grapes. Yes, this was way back when airlines actually served meals, though we argued a meal this was not, in fact, when the flight attendant brought our “special meal,” we asked if we were being punished for being “special.”
Needless to say, with all of the recent safety concerns, budget cuts and increasing health issues, food on airplanes is beyond S.A.D. (a.k.a. Standard American Diet) and challenging. Challenging, by the way, is putting it much too kindly. Ask me how I REALLY feel and I’ll share. 🙂
This past Christmas, we went to Ireland and of course, I went fully armed and prepared with my Morselicious Food Bags. That’s right…bag”s”. In fact, A few airlines have charged me or forbade me to take my food on board, because I can’t eat the food-like products they sell on flights. I’ve challenged these fees and most of the airlines, once I plead my case, have refunded me.
As a passionate avid travel and food lover, finding safe food in other countries, let alone, my own city, can be daunting.
Sure as fresh as the Irish Spring Soap commercial, Ireland was the safest and most accommodating country to meet ALL of my needs and tastes and was I ever spoiled? During the 10 days we were there, all of us enjoyed and relished in being well-fed and I’m talking home-made gluten-free, no sugar REAL food. Not only did someone cook for me, a real rarity, they also did the dishes! Whee! Farm Fresh at its MORSELICIOUS Best! Yes, there is a LIGHT-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel! (4 points if you can name that musical).
After spending over 21 hours of researching finding accommodations who could safely meet my restrictions; autoimmune disorders which I’ll share in a later post, we were served fresh-out-of-the-oven hot brown bread, blueberry scones, sultana scones, poppyseed bread, grilled courgettes (zucchini), leaves (still makes me giggle, their word for all types of greens) wild mushrooms, freshly foraged from the grounds, sweet potatoes. Actually, we were told if we brought sweet potatoes they would happily serve at our breakfast and that’s exactly what they did. Our sweet B&B owner brought out the small bag o’ RAW sweet potatoes with a knife, cheerfully placed in front of us,
“Here ye’ are. Please eat away.” We nearly burst out of our chairs doing our best to contain our laughter. We could not deny her hospitable intentions to accommodate us. Lesson learned.
After numerous attempts to order a green salad, “you want a bowl of leaves?” we realized we would need to be as literal as possible. Remind me to tell you about my sister getting detained and sequestered at the airport with the infamous “bag o’ leaves.”
Slainte’! (The Irish Toast- “To your health”)
Have you traveled with special dietary restrictions? Do you love to travel? Post a comment and let’s chat.