As I often mention to my husband, when it comes to dining out, I can generally find something gluten-free on the menu. It might not be satisfying, or even exciting (why, oh, why do restaurants insist on serving indifferent salads? Sure, it excites me all the more when I find a really great salad, but, wow, what passes for “salad” in this country makes me sad.). But I can generally eat something at most places.
Being gluten-free is a challenge, but it’s one I’ve embraced.
This week, however, I learned about eating in (social) captivity. I was stuck at an all day offsite*. I knew lunch would be served. I had high hopes.
Those hopes were dashed. Rudely. Lunch was sandwiches, accompanied by wan tomatoes and scary-looking pickles (and I love pickles!). Once upon a time, this lunch would have made me pretty happy.
Instead, it made a long, mentally tough day even harder.
I had potato chips for lunch. One little bag because even if a food is your primary source of sustenance, it’s hard to justify scarfing down two bags of chips in one meal. Especially in front of co-workers.
I had a rice cake as a snack. Later, another bag of potato chips. Finally, as things began to drag, I scrounged up a tiny bag of peanuts.
Protein is so, so important.
I thought about picking the meat out of the bread, but these were sliced sandwiches. I could see crumbs (yeah, I was the kind of hungry that I looked as closely as possible without, you know, appearing weird). I did the math: to risk it or not.
Decided a day of potato chips wouldn’t kill me.
Yes, co-workers thought I was crazy. And weird. I don’t deny those charges.
You’ve been there. You know what I mean. You know I made the right decision.
And you know I was texting the husband madly as the long day wound down: start rice, chicken breasts, accident on freeway, near home, HUNGRY!
(Yes, I learned a valuable lesson: plan for the worst-case gluten-free scenario by bringing my own lunch and snacks. In this case, I could have put together a GF sandwich — since access to a microwave was an unknown quantity — or a great salad.)
* By all day, I mean I left the house before seven am, arrived at my destination at 8:15, left at 8:40, arrived home at 9:30. Close enough for me.