Eating Gluten-Free at a Conference (Or How I was SO Hungry at BlogHer13, that I Thought About Eating Katie)

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I promise there are only a few more BlogHer13 posts left. I’m saving Dr. Travis for next week. I know that you are anxiously anticipating my afternoon with the real life McDreamy…but you must wait. PATIENCE is a VIRTUE, bitches.

It is now Thursday. My eating/digestive schedule is STILL off kilter. Why? You may ask?

Over the weekend at BlogHer, food things were tricky.

It is very annoying to have to ask about EVERY. PIECE. OF. FOOD. That enters my mouth. When I cook at home, I know what I’m eating. When we go to restaurants, they tell me what I can eat. When I go to a conference, a little sign might be there. Or a little sign might not be there. But you have to ask. About EVERYTHING.

Here are my notes for the BlogHer team on the food. Hopefully next year, I’ll be back to eating gluten.

1. I am not a vegan. I am not a vegetarian. I am a meat and cheese eating girl TESTING out a gluten-free lifestyle. Meat. Cheese. I want those. I don’t want your fake chorizo and weird scrambled tofu.

2. If you tell someone a food line is “gluten-free,” It’s best to keep the FLOUR tortillas off the line…especially when you have labeled them CORN TORTILLAS. It’s best not to have GLUTEN in the vegan stuff. Or you should have a separate line for those items. Or be VERY CLEAR that it contains gluten. I saved some girl from having a giant attack of glutening because the lady in charge of the line told me that the vegan food had gluten in it. (When I asked if I could eat eggs and meat off of the normal food line).

3. If you invite a girl to a secret special lunch, and she asks if there is gluten free food, do not wait an hour and 10 minutes into the presentation to say, “Oh, by the way…you can’t eat the main courses.” She will then leave to meet with the hot doctor and be very. very. very. hungry. And crabby. If I had known, I would have left and gone to the regular food line…

BlogHer13 Food
This does not a lunch make.
BlogHer13 Food
I could eat 1 item on this plate.
BlogHer13 Food
Sauces do not a lunch make. I wouldn’t let them take the plate until I consumed all of the nuts, the pepper and most of the rosemary. I almost bit someone’s arm off to keep it.

4. If you have an important everyone-must-go-to-this-event at dinner time. Fucking serve up some dinner. If you don’t want to serve dinner, fine. CHANGE THE TIME OF THE ALL-IMPORTANT-EVENT. ESPECIALLY…if the emcee is going to be an hour late and the event is going to run over even longer…making the end time an hour and a half later than expected. (I’m talking about Voices of the Year. And I’m talking about Queen Latifah. I was hungry and cranky. Forgive me.)

5. If someone is starving enough, they’ll eat anything. Consequences be damned. Did I ask about gluten in the sausages? The cheese fries? No. Did I care? No. Was I totally sick in the middle of the night, resulting in the very bizarre Best Buy drama day on Saturday? Yes. Do I blame gluten or grease? I don’t. Know. (Seriously, though, I slammed 4 sausages while I was in line for cheese fries, which were gone before I could even grab a glass of wine. Which was good, because then I had 2 hands for the calming effects of wine and water–by water I mean the Chicago River, which Katie and I snuggled on a bench in front of with our beverages.)

6. A gluten free line with deli meat that is not labeled as gluten free frightens me after I was told that there was gluten on the same line the day before. So I did not eat lunch. I was sick anyways, so that was a moot point anyway. I skipped the keynote in order to eat food. I felt a lot better.

While I’m still feeling the effects of this weekend’s weird food schedule, I’ve come to the conclusion that I may not need a gluten-free diet. I thought that I felt better, but it could just be the fact that I was eating much healthier…we’ll see. I’m giving it 2 more months (So October 1, I’ll be enjoying some type of gluten to discover the results.)

Did you go to BlogHer? Tell me about your food experiences?

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12 Responses

  1. That sucks. My husband has a gluten intolerance and it’s so difficult to get gluten free food at some events. We went to something not too long ago and the people in charge of the food were told that he was gluten free. “No problem they said, we’ll have plenty of gluten free options.” Guess what they served … PIZZA. Yeah it was fancy delicious pizza, but on what planet is pizza gluten free? My husband was stuck eating several tiny side salads that he had to pick the croutons out of and still ended up feeling sick that evening.

    1. That’s TERRIBLE! I would have been PISSED. I’m hoping that when I eat that first piece of gluten-y bread, I do not get sick and life is okay. But then I have to figure out what the problem is. Oy.

  2. A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease. (according to Wikipedia) Hopefully you don’t have that. Baring that, there is little evidence that it does anything beneficial for the general population.

    1. There is a lot to be said for the “gluten intolerance,” which is non-celiac, but I’m not sure if I have it or not. Leaning toward not. We’ll see. 2 more months.

  3. A closing-the-barn-door-after-the-horse-has-been-stolen-and/or-run-away suggestion for anytime you find yourself slightly adrift the mainstream when it comes to food tolerances ( be it by choice or necessity) pack your own. Always!

    In your travels you will find those who think you are more trouble than you are worth and will try to “get’cha” (though as a whole they are far & few between and usually do fine once their meds are adjusted). The majority will honestly just not know/understand your needs. Their ignorance may have you communing with the toilet bowl or being hooked up to an i.v. in E/R later in the evening. (You definitely don’t want the “or worse” as in you’re not around for later in the evening.)

    With time hopefully the storytelling of your adventures will grow more elaborate with embellishment. Until then, you wrote an entertaining post. 🙂

  4. Just reading this made me hungry. I am surprised Blogher doesn’t do a better job with this considering so many people are gluten free now…so many bloggers are! If I ever go I am totally stashing snacks in my purse. I read another bloggers account of Queen Latifah being late. I think she may have lost a few fans by making starving women wait on her!

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