Hello, new feature!
In an attempt to be more candid and bring a little more ME to Melificent (see what I did there?), I will be starting to post entries regularly about things that are going on in my personal life, beliefs, advice or just what’s cluttering my brain at the moment. What can I say? I was a Livejournal kid. It’s my natural tendency to want to bear my soul.
Naturally, my first post would be about some Miami gripes (another post coming about the city in general soon), but do not shun me, Miami lovers. There is most definitely a silver lining to this tale. You see, despite Miami being labeled as a “big city,” we do not have the usual amenities that others do. Unfortunately for me, this means a very small market for my gluten free needs. Sure, I could head to Whole Foods and spend half my paycheck on things I may need to cook myself some safe meals, but I realized how we were truly lacking in this department when I visited other big cities as a Celiac. First off, everyone is aware of the allergy and very willing to accommodate, while in Miami, I often get blank stares or even worse, people that just shrug it off. I find myself having to explain what that means to chefs or managers, which more often than not leads to me having to endure the pain of a very empty stomach or a very angry stomach. Neither very fun at all, I can promise you. Second, almost 70% of eateries in other big cities have some sort of gluten free option on their menu or can at least inform you if there is a chance of cross contamination.
I know, this isn’t sounding very positive on the Miami tip, so I guess now is the time to bring in the silver lining. I have noticed a huge improvement over the past couple of months in our dear little city in regards to catering to individuals with special diets. And I want to share them with you, in case you are, too, struggling with a similar dilemma here in Miami or in another city. For starters, Target now carries an array of gluten free foods, which is amazing!
Annie’s gluten free mac ‘n cheese, Archer Farms gluten free pasta, Amy’s gluten free burrito (!!!!) and my personal favorite, GoPicnic quick gluten free meals. I can’t tell you how these have completely changed my life. Seriously. Not even joking. Since I am on the road all day, every day, I would find myself tempted regularly to stop at a fast food joint (I’m looking at you, Taco Bell) and cheat on my diet (after popping some gluten enzymes, of course). Now on my extra long days, I carry one of these GoPicnic meals and know my snacking is completely safe! Plus, they are delicious, keep me full and were 2 for $7 last week! Score!
These selections are not only wonderful and convenient (I go to Target once a week anyways), but they are also so much more affordable than going to Whole Foods or even Publix! Thank you so much, Target, for getting on the ball and thinking of all the Celiacs in the world! Finally, Miami is also getting more health conscious grocery stores, such as our newly opened Fresh Market and the-soon-to-come-but-never-soon-enough, Trader Joes, which is set to open in February of next year. Looks like Miami is ready to play with the big boys after all!
Do any of my local readers have recommendations on any other great gluten free suppliers in the area?