I’m in the process of being diagnosed with Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. This requires me to be 100% gluten free for several weeks. This of course all happened within days of leaving for vacation and my birthday, but we were up for the challenge.
My first stop was the store to stock up on gluten free snacks. This was for traveling and also to carry with me during our exploring of the different cities. Always best to have stuff with you when you don’t know if there are any safe places to eat!
Oh the struggle is real!!!! No restaurant is truly safe unless they are dedicated gluten free. We did find many lake restaurants that had gluten free buns. For the most part, the servers had some knowledge of what gluten is.
Our first night we ate at Boatwerks. It was right on Lake Macatawa and the views were beautiful! I had a burger with chips. John had their perch sandwich and chips! The waitress didn’t know if the burger was safe but she went and asked the chef for us.
Our hotel offered breakfast which made at least one meal a day a little less stressful. I had eggs and yogurt and John had all the goods 😉. I’m pretty sure the sausage patty is not gluten free and i should have known better 🤷♀️!
Day 2 we found a restaurant on the boardwalk of South Haven. The brewpub had several gluten free options. I went with the chips & salsa and a gluten free pizza. It was honestly the most flavorful restaurant pizzas I’ve ever had. John had fish tacos! We sat outside under an awning and just enjoyed the hustle and bustle on the boardwalk! **the awning was blue which is why the photos have strange coloring!
I’m super grateful coffee is gluten free!! I was so happy to find my FAVORITE coffee shop had this cute little spot on the boardwalk!
For my birthday dinner we ate at Salt & Pepper. I found it based off reviews from Find Me Gluten Free. It was delicious!!! I had a Kobe Steak, loaded baked potato, and a side salad. John had boursin bacon corn chowder soup, a Kobe steak smothered in Boursin bacon and roasted red pepper. For dessert we shared a flourless chocolate torte! AMAZING!!
Day 3 we started out at a gluten free bakery and yep i had a brownie and chocolate chip cookie at 9am 😂!
For lunch we ate at Red Robin. We hate eating at chain restaurants but i will say this place is really safe for gluten free. They have gluten free buns and a separate fryer for the fries. It was nice to know i could enjoy my meal without the worries of unsafe food.
For dinner we ate at Captain Lou’s on the river in south haven. They didn’t have many options so again i had a burger on gluten free bun and a salad. We ate there with John’s childhood buddy and his family. It was nice to hang out with all of them and watch the boats go down the river. We were right next to the draw bridge and Fisher was excited to watch it go up!
Finding places to eat was challenging, but we did it!!!
From the website celiac.org:
The terms non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) are generally used to refer to this condition, when removing gluten from the diet resolves symptoms, after testing negative for celiac disease and a wheat allergy. 1
Until now it was thought that people with NCGS/NCWS only experienced symptoms and did not have any intestinal damage. However, in July 2016, a team of researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, published a study confirming that wheat exposure in this group is, in fact, triggering a systemic immune reaction and accompanying intestinal cell damage.
It is estimated that the impacted population is equal to or even exceeds the number of individuals with celiac disease (the vast majority of whom remain undiagnosed).