I had to travel to Oklahoma City to attend a horse show at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds for nine days. It was a difficult eating scene for the gluten intolerant. Everything seemed to be deep fried in a wheat based batter. When I asked about gluten free options, waitstaff looked at me with panic and dread. Although I’ve been adding more foods to my diet, I try to adhere as closely to SCD/GAPS as possible, especially because when I eat cleanly, I get fewer headaches and feel better overall. That means no grains, no refined sugar, and no chemicals. I knew this trip would be difficult. It was. HOWEVER, there were moments when I was pleasantly surprised by how nice and accommodating some people were.
Hampton Inn — Airport
Breakfast options were pitiful. I tried eating hard boiled eggs. They were gross. There was cut up fruit. It looked like it came from a can. I didn’t trust it. I did grab some especially waxy delicious apples and coffee from the lobby every morning. (Warning–there were bedbugs in my room. I have bites all over. Not fun.)
I stopped at a super Walmart not too far from the hotel and bought:
- plain greek yogurt
- small container of honey
- 2 limes
- applesauce cups
- paper plates
- paper towels
- mesclun greens
- small container of whole milk (from an Oklahoma based dairy operation) — I got migraines after drinking the milk, which made me really suspicious of it–what’s up with that?
- cut up pineapple
- cut up mango
- gallon of spring water
Also, I brought from home:
- Trader Joe’s dried mango
- Trader Joe’s honey chocolate mints
- homemade grain free granola
- homemade honey caramels
- homemade dried apples
- Smoked Plymouth cheese
- Homemade salad dressing (apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, honey)
Earl’s Rib Palace
I had smoked turkey and smoked chicken, potato salad, and green beans. Yummy and safe. The cook came out to talk to me when I ordered. He was sweet and promised to keep my food free of gluten.
Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant
The only thing I could get was ceviche. Not bad, but I thought there would be more options. Nearly everything was fried in a shared gluten fryer, and all the chicken had soy sauce on it. Still, it was authentic and I got to spend some quality time with a friend from college. She got the ceviche and some deep fried plantains, which looked really good–definitely something I would make at home.
I don’t eat steak, but they had an allergy free menu. I had plain salmon, a baked potato, and a salad with oil and vinegar. The steak looked good, and I was tempted. However, the menu touted that the cows were “corn fed”–not something we would be bragging about in Vermont. My dining companions got dessert–chocolate pie and cobbler. Both looked delicious and made me wish there were some gluten free dessert options that I could try.
The Cafe at the Fairgrounds
The women who worked there were so nice and went above and beyond to make sure I could have a safe meal: caesar salad with grilled chicken. I had that two or three times. I brought my own salad dressing.
That’s it. At the airport, I bought a bag of dried fruit, potato chips fried in avocado oil, a watermelon lime seltzer, and mango juice. On the plane, I had hot tea and plain seltzer.
So glad to come home and eat my regular stuff, plus lots of no-nos. This weekend I had gluten free shortbread, gluten free strawberry fig newton style cookies, Cooking for Isaiah double chocolate brownies, raw milk, cinnamon ice cream, apple crisp, and lots of potatoes.
What’s up with not having a local food scene? Where are the farmers out in OKC? I had no idea where most of the food came from, which made me worry about what was in it and how animals were treated. Also, I was so disappointed that I only had a mini fridge and a microwave in my hotel room. The temperature controls on the fridge did not work and most of the fresh food I bought ended up freezing and had to be thrown in the garbage. The most important advice I would give for eating gluten free in Oklahoma City, OK is to know how to describe celiac disease and the need for gluten free food in Spanish. Most of the hotel and food service workers only spoke Spanish and, although I know some Spanish, it seemed to go out the window when I was stressed and trying to get a safe meal.