Londonness - Traveling on a Crazy Pants Diet

Ah yes. The joys of traveling on a restricted diet.

I knew going into my London trip that this would be an issue, despite all the cool U.K. blogs I'd discovered dealing with my particular food issues (aka the FODMAPs way of life). And then, mere days before taking off, I threw caution to the wind and started taking a daily multi vitamin, which INSTANTLY made me sick until the day of the trip itself. Ah yes, to be at such a wonderful point where a vitamin will make me sick! Luckily my nutritionist came to the rescue at the very last minute and enabled me to get my hands on some of these sweet babies:

Ultimate Aloe powder packets. I'd already been hooked on the Aloe Juice, which was insanely amazing at getting rid of heartburn, nausea, the regular cocktail of stomach maladies I was used to dealing with. But thanks to this travel convenient form, I could safely take it along WITH me on my trip, leading to a much better stomach-on-the-go. Whew.

So since I mentioned yesterday some of the amazing restaurants we discovered right in our hometown for the week of Brixton, I was amazed to find out that several of them just happened to also be gluten-free. Woot! Okay, so one was a happy accident, and one I searched for.

Here's my list of some FODMAPs-friendly, gluten-free places we managed to find:

  • WAGfree - featuring breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, and sandwiches. I had a bacon-egg-toast thingie one day, and grabbed a giant loaf of bread with toasted pumpkin seeds on top another. Yum-MY. And even though I went to the one in Brixton, they popped up all over the place during our travels.
  • Brick Box- the first time I typed this as Brick Top...

    Such a wuvable gangster. Brick BOX was where I managed to find some gluten-free crepes that came in all varieties of sweet and savory. Also located in Brixton Village, and the staff was so friendly they let us squish in for seats next to a couple trying to have a private dinner. Ha HA, take that suckers! Romance can't compete with my gluten-free appetite! Looks like they have multiple venues as well.

  • The last place we hit up in Brixton was a vegan cupcake place called Ms. Cupcake. I didn't realize it also had gluten-free offerings until I wandered in and hit the motherload - bars, gummy bears, cookies, and a fine selection of gluten-free cupcakes. SCORE. I loaded up on snacks for the flight back but couldn't help but hork down a GF cupcake while I was at it.
  • While visiting the West End Theatre District, we turned the corner from the Leicester Square Underground Station and stumbled upon TONS of restaurants and eateries. Seeing Italian food, though, I figured to hell with it and surrendered. It wasn't until my traveling companion Heather shouted "GLUTEN FREE PIZZA AND PASTA!" before I realized my good fortune. We'd happened upon Bella Italia, and it was mighty tasty.
  • Also in/around the West End (or maybe not, I was a tourist after all), and further up near Convent Garden on our way to the British Museum, I'd scouted out a little out of the way place called Da Mario (SURPRISE! Also Italian. Which is part of why I love traveling with Heather - the girl will eat pizza with me anywhere.) It was super cute, the servers were really attentive and fast, and it was clearly THE place to go for lunch during the work week. We got a table before a regular patron could - who's in the know?? They also had a dumb waiter that brought food up from the kitchen to the dining room. Fantastic.
  • Last but certainly least was the Ebury Wine Bar, which took only about 2 hours on foot to find. It just so happens in some parts we were wandering through in London that there'd be 12 streets with the same first name of the street but with Avenue, Street, Square, Place, arbitrarily tacked onto the end. So since these were my fabulously detailed directions to the restaurant (the lower portion): So yeah ... me writing down "Ebury" sent us on a wild pub chase for quite some time. BUT! Here's the reason that Heather didn't kill me: on our way to the Ebury Wine Bar we passed many a fine establishment, one of which was called The Orange and full of hoppin' people enjoying great food and drink. So when we finally dragged our feet up to the Wine Bar and the host snubbed us, it wasn't too hard to decide where to go. I made sure to repeatedly remind Heather that if it wasn't for MY directions, we never would've stumbled upon The Orange (okay, and a zillion other places) in the first place. After enough wine she agreed with me. And The Orange, though not particularly gluten-free, was amazing and full of hot, happening people. (I'll dish more about that in the Pub Post!) So ... I'm not saying don't go to the Ebury Wine Bar. But if you do go and they're kind of rude ... there's a kick-ass pub right down the street.

And thus ends my discussion of the gluten-free eats I found that helped me keep to my diet for at least part of the time on my trip. What also helped? CHIPS! The savior of vegans and weirdo dieters alike.

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