I hope you are doing well, staying home as much as possible, and weathering our current pandemic storm with grace. As you know, I currently live on the road in a camper van. My partner and I are staying well, spending our time completely isolated in the desert and only driving into town every 4-6 days for food, water, and gas.
Here are my weekly wins and losses living gluten-free in a camper van during the pandemic:
1. Creamy Avocado Pasta!
My first win is a brand new travel recipe with canned chicken that I absolutely adore! It takes only 15 minutes, is gluten-free and dairy-free, and uses only a few ingredients. If you don’t have canned chicken, it also tastes nice with white beans and even black beans will do in our challenging circumstances.
Check out my new Creamy Avocado Pasta recipe!
My goal is to make more recipes like this for travel and for home — seriously I’m never going back to recipes that take longer to make than they do to eat! This was actually my “food rule” before I started this blog, so I rarely post anything requiring more than 30 minutes of hands-on time (I’m a slow eater!).
2. Gluten free goods were the last to go!
My second win was learning that while the grocery store appeared bare when California began shutting down, there were still many gluten free products! I think this was largely due to a higher price point for gluten free pastas and certified gluten-free rice brands, but I was certainly not complaining!
My partner and I were able to get a few items to store in our 60 sq ft of living space. Our biggest concern is avoiding the store if we get sick to prevent spreading — we don’t have friends and family nearby to help us out if we fall ill and can’t wander into the store. We stocked up on broth, rice, gluten-free pasta, rice cakes and applesauce as easy-to-digest options if we don’t feel well.
1. Cancelling a three month trip to Europe.
Well, there is of course the pandemic. While this is not gluten-free related, I want to let you know that my partner and I cancelled our 3 month cycling trip to Europe beginning in May. This was the third leg of our year of travel and all three were foiled by unexpected circumstances.
To catch you up —
Trip Leg 1:
Cycle from Seattle to Canada, then all the way down to Mexico! We were evacuated from the Sonoma Coast due to the Kincaid wildfire in October and the fires in LA prevented us from continuing on after it was under control.
Trip Leg 2:
Cycle from Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road in Australia beginning in mid-November. We then planned to cycle North along the East Coast to Sydney. This was also cancelled due to catastrophic bushfires in Australia.
Trip Leg 3:
Cycle across Europe beginning in Mid-April or May — COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic cancellation.
This year has really been about accepting uncertainty, managing disappointment, and embracing new possibilities in some of the bleakest situations. But we LOVE the camper van, so I can’t say I’m not having fun 😉
2. Grocery regulations that make gluten free challenging.
The second round to the grocery store yesterday was disappointing and unnerving. Here in the Mojave Desert (AKA the middle of nowhere, but I mean that in a good way), there is only Walmart.
Walmart currently only allows each customer to have ONE of a single brand of item. So you can purchase three cans of tuna, as long as they are different brands.
However, as a strict gluten-free eater, there are often only one or two brands I can eat. While we have abundant fruit and vegetables (hurray!) we have very little protein and shelf-stable foods.
If you follow my travel instagram (it’s been a little nuts but we’re getting back into it), I wrote that we’re traveling on a ‘wing and a prayer’ due to some van troubles in the middle of the desert. It now applies to our food situation too.
With a little luck, we’ll all get through this ok. Wish us luck my friend, I’ll do the same for you, and tell us how your week is going during this interesting time in the comments below <3
With love and gratitude,
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