The Internet is a wild, weird world. Every day, I communicate with people from around the globe. Sometimes I think “I want to be friends with that person” especially if they are witty, funny, and smart. Charlotte, of Mommy and the City, is one of those people.
I can’t remember the first time we actually started Tweeting to each other, but Charlotte was someone that I clicked with online. I quickly realized we shared the same sense of humor and we kept in touch with over the past few months. Tweets progressed to emails and then we finally met a few weeks ago when Charlotte was in NYC on business from her hometown of Chicago. It is so funny when I meet a gluten-free blogger/friend/fan in person; I feel like I am going on a blind date with an online connection. Here you are arranging to meet a complete stranger that you only know about due to social media. It is just a strange experience that I can’t get quite used to no matter how many times I do it.
Over a few glasses of wine, Charlotte and I met and talked for a few hours during her trip to NYC. We clicked in person as much as we did on the Internet. Charlotte is honest and tells it like it is, which I find really uncommon in the gluten-free community. She recognizes being gluten-free sometimes sucks (especially since she has been really sick in the past) yet she continues to travel, dine out, drink wine, and socialize without having a pity party. This is my type of Celiac.
I know Charlotte travels all the time for work, so I asked her to guest blog for Gluten-Free Globetrotter. She jumped at the opportunity since her personal blog fell by the wayside in recent months due to work, kids, health, and life in general. You can always find her on Twitter, but her is here blog. Here’s her first post for my blog.
Gluten-Free with Charlotte, Part 1
I am relieved!
I have Celiac, and I am relieved. I am relieved that I am not crazy, something was wrong. I am relieved that all I have to do is avoid Gluten. I am relieved that it is easier these days than it ever has been before. I am relieved to be diagnosed properly after over 20 years of problems. I remember at 4 years old getting sick from brownies and not eating chocolate for the next 30+ years. It wasn’t the chocolate’s fault it was the FLOUR! So I am relieved.
I have found a close and small network of Gluten Free friends on Twitter that are positive and supportive. So I am relieved.
I have found solutions for traveling and re-instating my foodie nature. Say it with me now, I am relieved.
I work full-time, travel a LOT for work and for fun, and have 2 amazing kids and a great husband. That alone is a lot to handle. Now, I have to avoid gluten on top of that…ok, bring on the adventures, I say.
Pre Trip Tips:
- Go Picnic – read the labels on each individually wrapped part of the Go Picnic but there are 2 gluten free ones I like. I prefer the Go Picnic with Mary’s Crackers & Sunbutter.
- Make a sandwich – sandwiches always get thru TSA. I do Sunbutter & Jelly on Udi’s bread regularly (Udi’s is my preference). Sometimes I make a wrap w/Applegate Farms meats (always read the label) I have found them to typically be gluten and casin free.
- Apps – my favorite app is Find Me Gluten Free (http://www.findmeglutenfree.com/) it recently saved me in Santa Fe when a restaurant I thought I had vetted made me so uncomfortable I got up and left. This app found me a great pizza place three doors away and the hostess there was phenomenal and the food was fantastic. They went the extra mile to help me relax and assure me I was at a safe restaurant. Dish Freely is another great app that is still rolling out nationally (http://www.dishfreely.com/). When you find great places please add them to these apps, please rate places you have tried. It helps us all
Twitter– When in a pinch I reach out to some of my favorite #GF tweeters and Chefs.
- @gfreefun – You probably already know her (Editor note: that’s me!)
- @GlutenFreeTri – John has helped me on more than one occasion using his network to help me find restaurant options out East.
- @Lettuce Eats — a Chicago based restaurant group with restaurants nationally, all have GF menus and I have always had a successful experience. (http://www.leye.com/gluten-free-menus)
- @Mariobatali – Chef Batali most recently of the TV Show The Chew has tons of restaurants in NYC, LA, Vegas and more. He is an active tweeter and has saved me on more than one occasion when I find myself stuck somewhere with no good options. Every restaurant has a GF option and a very savvy staff. I was at one of his places in Vegas and they started by asking if I planned on ordering the pasta, as they wanted to get a clean pot of water started for me so my order would come at the same time as everyone elses. (http://www.mariobatali.com/restaurants.cfm)
- @MommyAndTheCity – that’s me. I travel across the country and have a good list of GF menus and restaurants to pick from and am a bit of a foodie.
I live in Chicago and travel for work all the time. I am obsessed with wine, mostly California wines. I have two kids (3 &5) an amazing husband and we all love Chicago! We live in the city and love all that it offers my family. I am trying GF menus where I find them one daring bite at a time. Keep up with my adventures at http://glutenfreemommyandthecity.blogspot.com/ or more regularly via twitter @MommyAndTheCity