Monday, June 29, 2015

Chai Latte Anyone?

Today I wandered around Kristiansand, checking out the stores and enjoying the ocean view. I had absolutely no agenda (except that I had to buy common necessities like toothpaste and floss), so I took the time to "see the sights." I have always enjoyed a good chai latte, so when I came across the Taj Chai and Coffee house, I decided to explore their gluten-free options. It was a typical quaint European cafe, furnished with eclectic furniture and decor-something straight out of a TV show or book. The best part was that they had gluten-free apple muffins, among several pastries (suksesskake included), so I immediately ordered a muffin and a chai latte. I sat outside with my drink and pastry, reading from my e-reader, and kind of felt like a hipster.

What I love about Norway is that most cafes and bakeries carry gluten-free options, so I can enjoy the experience of picking out freshly baked pastries instead of getting them from the freezer section :).

After I finished my chai latte, I headed down by the water and spent a good two hours reading and basking in the sun. Notice my practical tennis shoes-I've been doing so much walking here, so comfort trumps fashion ;).

Monday, June 22, 2015

An Update on Living Gluten-free in Norway

Good afternoon from Norway! There has been gorgeous weather in Kristiansand in contrast to the ongoing rain in St. Louis. I was taking the bus home (I'm getting pretty good at public transportation) and I looked out the window and saw this gorgeous view:
#nofilter :)
I have been talking to chefs and exploring stores and restaurants, and I haven't had a hard time trying to find food to eat! The gluten-free sections in the grocery stores consist of the European brands like Schar, and they are all clearly marked gluten-free.
 Whenever I speak to chefs, they always know what the gluten-free options are-even when there is no gluten-free menu. I haven't come across many gluten-free menus, but the servers usually point out what can be made gluten-free on the regular menu. Recently, I went to Clarion Hotel Ernst in Kristiansant for dessert, and found out that the chocolate nemesis cake was gluten-free (I had to tell them I was gluten-free, because normally they sprinkle cake crumbs on top). Almost everyone at my table ordered it, and they all loved it. I'm not going to lie-when I saw the cake, my jaw dropped, because the piece was so small. I was expecting this huge slice of chocolate cake, since it was priced at 125 kr (about 16 dollars). In the end, I was glad it was smaller, because I wouldn't have been able to finish it-it was so rich in taste! The best part was that I ate the same thing as everyone else! :)

Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Peel a Fresh Shrimp

I got the opportunity to peel fresh shrimp-something I'm not exactly used to, since I'm used to the ready-peeled shrimps that you get at a store or restaurant. Living in the mid-west deprives me of fresh shrimp, so it was quite a treat to be able to peel the shrimp myself. It was hard to peel the first shrimp I picked up, but after three shrimps, I managed to get the hang of it. Before I knew it, I had piled my plate with shrimps, and I was ready to make a "traditional" Norwegian shrimp sandwich, complete with mayonnaise, avocado, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

How to Peel a Shrimp
1. Take a shrimp.
2. Break off it's head.
3. Gently peel off the shell of its tail.
4.  Peel apart the shell in the middle of the shrimp. (Pull the two sides of the shell apart in the middle. like you were opening a hotdog bun.)
5. Take off any access parts of the shell, as that is not part of the meal.

Voila! You have freshly peeled shrimp (naturally gluten-free, and absolutely delicious).

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Always Be Prepared!

Wow, what a trip! On Sunday I departed for Norway, and I had quite an experience at the airport. I got to my gate on time, stopping to buy an iced chai tea latte and a bottle of water before I settled in for a long wait until boarding time. Half an hour later, there was an announcement that the plane wouldn’t be arriving on time, and it would be delayed 20 minutes. 20 minutes turned into 40 minutes which turned into an hour, and before I knew it, I realized I wouldn’t make it to my connecting flight! I immediately went up to the counter, and they managed to book me onto another flight with another airline. I walked swiftly to the other terminal, which happened to be a 15 minute walk not including the terminal train, and re-checked my luggage. I inquired about a gluten-free meal, but learned that it was too late to actually order one on the flight, so I was thankful that I had eaten a gluten-free pizza at the Hilton connected to the Chicago O'Hare airport earlier. Everyone was so nice and understanding at the airport, that it really made traveling alone so much easier!
The restaurant at the Hilton connected to Chicago O'Hare had so many gluten-free options-including pasta and pizza!

My number one motto of bringing extra emergency snacks really helped in this situation, since I didn't have the option of a gluten-free meal on my new flight. You should always be prepared to deal with any situation whilst traveling, so you won't be stressed out about food :)-that you can take the time to enjoy yourself instead. They gave me a plate of fruit for breakfast to make sure that I didn't go hungry on the long flight.

I got a box of chips on the plane. It was so fancy that I had to take a picture of it :).

Stay tuned for more updates on my experience with living in Norway (for the summer) on the gluten-free diet!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Food Allergy Bullying

I recently collaborated with two other teen bloggers to explain the effects and solutions to food allergy bullying. I got to team up with Taylor Miller and Rebecca Pytell, two very inspiring gluten-free advocates. I urge you guys to check them out!

Click here to read "How We Can Put an End to Food Allergy Bullying One Person at a Time (From Teenagers' Point of View)"