|View from the western shore of Oahu|
We just returned from a wonderful trip to Hawaii ... we enjoyed more than our fair share of sun, sand, volcanoes.... and stomach aches. And headaches, and rashes, and did I mention bloating? If you are reading this site you are well familiar with these types of symptoms. Yes, we ate things we were allergic to and paid the price.
Luckily, none of us have anaphylactic allergies, so our troubles were temporary, but they impacted our vacation nonetheless. My original plan to bring food was scuttled by the long distance, limits on luggage, and restrictions on carrying food into Hawaii (no fruits allowed, etc.). Plus, rice cakes don't travel well :(
Not having visited Hawaii before, I didn't have a good sense of what we'd find in the food stores. As it turned out, finding food stores at all was difficult. The area where we were staying was strictly a resort, and featured absolutely zero places to purchase groceries. Luckily, we had rented a car, but our tourist-y path through the island unwittingly took us away from civilization. If I was more familiar with the location, I'm sure I could have more efficiently found food stores, but as a newbie, I wandered much too far afield.
Regrettably, our hotel did not offer any types of gluten free starches at all, despite the fact that there were several restaurants. We thought it would be relatively simple to avoid dairy, but soy was tough to identify, as was corn (cornstarch, etc). Hidden allergens became our downfall, as the "hang loose" attitude rubbed off on us and we tried to choose appropriate foods without carefully inquiring about the ingredients.
What do you do when you're on vacation and you need to find foods without allergens? I wish there were more websites out there like www.allergyfreemouse.com, which lays out the safe path through the Disney parks for the food-allergic. Does anyone know of any?
Looking forward to hearing your stories and tips!
Shared with Pennywise Platter at the Nourishing Gourmet and Allergy Free Wednesday at the Tasty Alternative.