There are only so many breakfast options when you’re allergic to milk, wheat, corn, and soy and I’m tired of most of them. I thought for sure my days of butter soaked nook and cranny English Muffins were behind me until I recently discovered gluten free (and milk and corn and soy free) english muffins by Food for Life at my local Whole Foods.

To be honest, it was almost good enough that they come in a package that looks just like the English Muffin package the non-food allergic buy in the REGULAR bread aisle. But it just gets better. They are the same size as regular English Muffins. Again, to the non-allergic maybe that doesn’t seem like such a big deal but after five years of eating ALTERNATIVE bread that’s twice the calories at half the size, the fact that these match the regular version almost exactly was nothing short of miraculous.

But then, I’ve saved the best for last. They pretty much toast up and taste just like the real thing. Check out the nooks and crannies.

I used goat butter which for me takes care of my dairy allergy but for those who can’t do any dairy, these would be great with any kind of spread.

Now if they could just make an allergy free cracker that tastes like a Ritz.

I just got back from 5 days in Cancun.

This was my first resort stay since being diagnosed with food allergies five years ago. I was thrilled to find that the buffet at Riu Palace Las Americas had so many options for me. Eggs to order each morning with plenty of fresh fruit and crispy bacon. A huge salad bar at lunch with lots of grilled fish and chicken and the ingredients for a delicious do it yourself taco salad. A little harder at the a la carte restaurants, but I can’t complain, my options were way better than I thought they’d be. And, I’m not going to lie, I was jealous of my friends who had an endless supply of chips and guac and a huge assortments of desserts to choose from each evening but I gained less than a pound on the trip so maybe it’s not such a bad thing that I couldn’t partake.

For me, the hardest part about traveling is usually NOT what I’ll eat when I reach my destination but eating while traveling, (known forever more as EWT). When you have food allergies you think a lot about EWT. What will I find to eat for breakfast before my 6:00 a.m. flight? (at O’Hare airport, skybridge cafe serves made to order eggs and great breakfast potatoes) What will they serve on the plane that I can eat? (on US Airways that would be a can of almonds, if in stock, and literally nothing else) What if my flight is delayed? or worse, what if we get caught in holding pattern and I become hypoglycemic and the plane is out of orange juice?!?!?!

In a previous post I talked about my In Case of Emergency bar (also known as a peanut butter cookie larabar) that I carry in case there is no safe food in sight. I figured the airport in Cancun would be just the kind of place I wouldn’t be able to eat and so my first stop before the return flight out was the convenience store for some sort of doable snack that could accompany my larabar and pass as lunch until we changed planes in Philly and I could contemplate a more filling dinner.

And then I spotted the Johnny Rockets next to my gate.

I ordered a burger (hold the bun) and some fries. There was no notation on my receipt and I gave them less than a 10% chance of leaving the bun behind and prepared myself for the bun toss. I hate the bun toss as throwing good food away bothers me on many levels. I was just happy I was going to get some “real” food before my flight.

Imagine my surprise when they called my number and handed over this…

Not a speck of wheat in sight. So, I ate my nice filling lunch and boarded the plane for the Philadelphia airport where I thought I’d have lots of choices for dinner.

And where it turned out I was incredibly wrong.

We had an hour between customs and the flight back to Chicago. I stopped at nearly every restaurant and convenience store in the terminal. I KNOW Utz chips, which are made in Pennsylvania, are safe for me and believe it or not, none of the convenience shops carried them. Lays, lays, and more lays which use corn and/or soybean oil in all of their products. What’s up Utz???? How did you not get the airport contract in your home state? Work on that. Please.

My last stop was au bon pain and honestly I went in there looking for some chips figuring it was time to take out the larabar and call it a day. Checked out the salads and to my great delight found that they’ve added a new apple/goat cheese/walnut salad. No milk (cow), corn, soy, or wheat which was amazing. Of course, I couldn’t find a salad dressing that was completely allergy free for me so I settled for the raspberry vinaigrette which has maltodextrin (usually, but not always made from corn). I know I am VERY lucky that small amounts of corn don’t have long lasting effects. I grabbed a bag of chips and a diet sierra mist and headed back to meet my friend and eat my dinner.

I am SO happy au bon pain has added this salad BUT as I was eating my salad I noticed it had almonds, not walnuts like the label said. Not an issue for me but one I will be sending to the folks at au bon pain ASAP as nut allergies can be life threatening for so many.

Talk to me. Any tried and true EWT strategies to share?