If you have more than one food allergy to contend with you know that finding safe takeout food can be a huge bitch. I'm allergic to dairy, nuts, and all legumes (lentils, chick peas, peanuts, etc.). So basically, I can't do cheesy food which crosses out one half of the options and I can't do vegan or "health" food which crosses out the other half. Seriously, WTF? It's often impossible to find food on the go that I can actually eat. In Toronto my usual picks are Swiss Chalet, Freshii, or New York Fries. I love NYF. So filling, so cheap. I know that's not usually something to desire but in the case of someone for whom food options are few and far between it's a sought after trait.
But what's a girl to do when she's out of her home hub? Assemble a picnic, I say! The impromptu picnic is the greatest thing since striped toothpaste. Forage for your food like our ancestors did, with the help of a farmer or grocery store. When I forget my lunch at home and am feeling too lazy to walk to the 10 minutes back to get it, I go to the grocery store of equidistance instead. I grab some prosciutto, greens, and the one brand of bread I can have and take it to the nearby park. Picnic for one, hearty sandwich, ten points for Mandy.
But the real point of this post, I swear I have one, is to get you to do this on vacation. As you scroll through this post you'll see numerous photos of me (humble as always) hovering around farmer's markets, picking out hand-held fruit, berries, and artisanal coffee. You can do this at a grocery store but a farmer's market is way more fun. Last week I was in Vancouver for the first time and feeling uneasy about how my I would navigate my allergy situation. When Bran and I got to our hotel we passed an IGA and I literally shrieked IGA! THE HAVE IGA! NEXT TO OUR HOTEL! Never in the history of IGA has anyone ever been so happy to see one. Personally I was thrilled because this meant that after a night out when Brandon got street meat I could pop in and grab a snack too.
I do this on every trip I take. In Boston Karrie and I assembled a wicked picnic in the park by Faneuil Hall. We picked up some amazing artisanal coffee, an assortment of berries, and freshly shucked clams which were so delicious I still dream about them. I did not purchase the papaya in this photo. We decided it would be too difficult to cut with a plastic knife.
I did it in Vancouver at Granville Public Market. If you visit Vancouver you must go here. I'll write more about it and what we ate, saw, and did while there in a later post. But wow did they have amazing produce and such a wide selection of it. Brandon and I did brunch there and we each assembled our own meal. He had some delicious-looking hot food and I had a coffee, BC strawberries, a banana, and an Enjoy Life Chewy Bar. We grabbed a table with a good view and enjoyed our meals which, although very different, were very tasty too. The best part about eating this way is that you don't have to waste an hour seeking out a fast food chain that will please both of you.
So the next time you're on vacation or a work trip, grab a grocery bag, spread out a checkered blanket, and throw yourself an impromptu picnic. You deserve it!