My family just got back from a Fabulous trip to the UK!

We traveled all over from Manchester to Liverpool, Northern Wales, Yorkshire, York, and ended in London.

We were gone for 10 days plus the 2 days of travel.

I was so excited to take the kids to Europe. Whenever I have traveled in the last 10 years I get a gut sinking thought of “am I going to be able to eat?”

I am so happy to say England/ UK was fantastic! Kudos to all who live there and realize gluten, dairy and food allergies are no joke! Even better the extra effort to accommodate the hungry, nervous customer does not appear to be a bother to the people working at the establishments.

All too often in the US, many people are unaware of what gluten and even dairy allergies are. And when it is explained I have often felt a sense of burden or bother from many of the people who are there to assist me. Frequently my family jokes “oh Danielle they are totally gonna spit in your food.”

That was so far from the experience I had in the UK. Every establishment had a book of allergen containing foods. The servers from coffee shops to the 4 star restaurants were very helpful, kind and creative when necessary to make sure I was fed safely AND had a good experience.

Before I got there, I had no idea what it would be like. I did some research online prior to leaving. But I wanted to be prepared. Here are some tips that I did use to ensure I was going to have a good trip, to be safe and not starving.

Again, as I always say… failing to plan is planning to fail.

  • Prior to the trip we called the hotels we had reservations at and asked if the breakfast had a gluten/dairy free option.
  • I bought foods that I could travel with my favorites are epic bars, nuts, collagen protein powder, single serving packets of coconut oil, a few cans of tuna fish.
  • I bought a brand new lunch bag with some cool features, it collapsed in to nothing and it had a strap that made it super easy to connect to my backpack.
  • Before each flight I made sure of the foods I could bring in my lunch box the plane. I had a Tupperware of roasted chicken and vegetables, 2 hardboiled eggs, a can of tuna an epic bar and an avocado. Just in case we had 14 hours of travel one way and I did not want to be tired, jet-lagged and hangry to start the trip.

Dairy-free with FREEDOM - Abroad

I think most importantly for me I worked on my mindset. This was vacation it was to be fun it was to be a break from the daily life l lead. I let go of the “perfect diet” idea. I allowed my self to be less strict… that does not mean I ate sticky toffee pudding every night. That would not serve me or my body to feel good for my trip. It does mean I realized the meal was not the point of the trip. The food wasn’t important, my kids, my time with my family, laughing at the table that was the priority, not the food.

This was a big step for me. I do believe the food and the lifestyle I lead has been my medicine. These changes have allowed me to live the busy, active, fun life I live. As a recovering perfectionist letting go was not easy, perfect meals and exercise plans are a big part of my identity. Who I wanted to be on this trip was a good wife, a present mom, a person who was in the moment of having fun.

That meant asking for the gluten free meal and not being upset when it was chicken again… That meant not longing over the Guinness but really enjoying my hard cider (even allowing myself 2 😊)

Vacation is for fun, for laughs, for life experiences not for the routine of perfect diet or amazing workouts.

I was was able to find joy and reset. For me and my family this trip to England was awesome for all of that, and the food was really good!

Spring in York

Liverpool – The Fab 4… Or 5

Conwy, Wales

Theses smiles are what its all about!