Recently, I was asked to share my "emotional transition" story in having to adjust to a gluten free diet. What's funny is that I had to share that I had a difficult time relating to those who were having an emotional transition, since I was just so relieved to discover that my son's (the first to be diagnosed) symptoms and deteriorating health were disappearing in just two weeks off of gluten! Overjoyed! Grateful! Giddy! And honestly, I felt the same when I discovered that my long time tummy troubles were also due to Celiac. However, I did cry when my first born and last to be diagnosed at 13 years old got a positive test result!
But I know from spending time in a Celiac support group that many people do have a very difficult time adjusting. They feel so restricted in what they can eat and fearful of eating contaminated food. Some were hesitant to attend social functions, and others would not even consider the idea of travel, eating out, or camping. Fortunately, there are so many resources now for those with Celiac disease, and even restaurants are becoming very savvy, but I still though I'd share how we make camping trips work in our family! (And it's an excuse to show off all of my silly food photos. Who takes photos of all of their meals?)
The first photo that happened to load here was of dessert, so I guess we'll go backwards! I didn't even plan for dessert (except for the bar of dark chocolate!), but when I saw the bananas, the chocolate, and the homemade GF granola, it looked like a delicious dessert. I threw them all in foil, added the leftover nectarines from our "appetizer plate" (also above) and then put it on the fire for about 20 minutes. It may not look so appetizing in the "after" picture, but I can assure you it tasted good. Keep in mind this was adult-only camping. The menu is different when the kids are around ~ campfire nachos and muffins in orange peels!
Dinner each night was what I've called "hoboes" since I was a Girl Scout: some sort of meat, chopped carrots and potatoes, salt, pepper, and lots of butter. We used chicken both nights, and added LOTS of green stuff. I brought the veggies from our farm share that week, and so we added kale, chard, collards, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, white potatoes and sweet potatoes. We seasoned them with salt, pepper, butter, and "Bone Sucking Sauce" which I found at Whole Foods. This version was not actual sauce, but a dry seasoning. I think the second ingredient was brown sugar, so you can bet it tasted great.
And breakfast... On the camp stove we fried bacon and scrambled eggs in a bit of the grease. (Sorry, vegetarians, but nothing is quite as tasty, and I'm not even a pork lover.) Then we grilled the corn tortillas on the stove ~ also in a bit of the bacon grease. :) We added grated cheddar, a vine-ripe tomato, and salsa. Oh my. It is hard to say which was my favorite meal. My mouth is watering as I type!
For lunch on hikes or bike riding adventures, we packed cheeses, GF crackers, prosciutto, pepperoni, hummus, apples, and clementines. And we just packed them all in a small backpack ~ no ice. I used to be pretty uptight about refrigeration until my friend, Trish, from South Africa commented about "Americans and their refrigeration" one time when I brought a cooler to the park packed with cheese and hard boiled eggs. I think her bread and cheese were wrapped in a towel ~ together, and simply unwrapped for lunch. Of course, it's also not 110 degrees here, so a few hours without refrigeration worked just fine.
No emotional transitions here except for pure enjoyment of lots of good food! Hopefully, others will feel encouraged that the gluten free lifestyle can go anywhere and do anything!