Dairy-free + Gluten-free = DC!

How do you like my mathematical equation?  As you saw in my last post, I’ve been dealing with some drastic diet changes, yet again.  Well, drastic in that some foods are back in the “allowed” column and others are forever in the “not allowed” column.  The jury is still out on eggs, btw…sadness. 

Fortunately, or unfortunately, this change occurred right before I was planning to travel to Washington, DC for a work-related conference/training. I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to maintain an elimination diet during travel. I had it down to a science at home, but how can you tell your server that you have to avoid potatoes, nightshades, eggs, beans, nuts, etc. without getting the “she so crazy” look.

Side note: when I travel, at least half of my suitcase weight is food (true story). Apples, Larabars, Justin’s oh-so-convenient almond butter packs, rice cakes, pre-made food for travel day, etc. 

So my “only” limitations were dairy & gluten. Easy, right? Eh, sort of. What I’m finding at restaurants is that things are either vegan (aka dairy-free) or gluten-free.  But not both.  For instance, at Busboy’s & Poets (which I HIGHLY recommend, btw…more later), when pizza crust becomes gluten-free it’s no longer dairy-free (they add parmesan, very common in gluten-free pizza crust). Pizza-craving dreams crushed. So yes, it was difficult to find things dairy-free AND gluten-free.  I had my life figured out when I was dairy-free but this gluten-free nonsense is making things more difficult. Humph.

And the only option for dairy-free, gluten-free folks at the continental breakfast offered at Hampton Inn was fruit. I guess I can’t complain since it was free, but it was still frustrating. I managed to bring protein powder with me (that I mixed in a tiny cup with hot water because I forgot my blender bottle…so gross) so I managed to eat bananas, Justin’s almond butter, & VERY concentrated protein powder every day for breakfast. 

I think I successfully avoided dairy & gluten but I did NOT avoid other foods that make me feel awful (raw onions, tomatoes, beans, & mango hot sauce…I KNOW, I splurged).  4 days after we came back home, I’m finally starting to feel better and my weight is starting to go back down (inflammation weight…ugh).

On the bright side, here’s a list of places we successfully (and often) visited that had great DF/GF options.  

Busboy’s & Poets:  Menu here. Look at all those allergy-friendly options! We went here THREE times! Their gluten-free/dairy-free nachos were so good we had to get them twice. Their breakfast options were great too, including almond milk lattes. YUM! 

Protein Bar:  Here’s their menu.  This place was amazing.  I NEED this place to come to my area. Protein shakes and awesomely healthy options. We went here twice, once for dinner (I got the Memphis Salad with vegan cheese) and once to take advantage of “happy hour protein smoothie deals” before heading to the airport (I got the DC Redline w/soy protein & almond milk). This place has my name written all over it! ❤

We also ate at Corner Bakery for lunch on our first day but their options were so limited for dairy-free/gluten-free people. 

Two places we wanted to try but couldn’t make it happen were SweetGreen & Chop’t.  Both seemed to be hot spots for the healthy-minded population but we didn’t love SweetGreen’s prices and Chop’t’s menu was a bit more limited for the GF/DF population. 

I also wanted to hit up all of the wonderful cupcake/bakeries that I know are allergy-friendly but we ran out of time, money, and stomach room. Next time, DC. 

A VERRRRY frustrating thing I’m noticing is that for many restaurants/caterers, vegan/dairy-free also means protein-free.  At my conference they offered a vegan/dairy-free wrap that consisted of sauteed veggies & a non-gluten-free wrap. So sad, so hungry. 

So there you have it. Now when you travel to DC you’ve got a good start for approved restaurants. Enjoy! 

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