Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gluten Free Dining in Mexico

Well, we've been home now for a few days after spending 8 days in the gorgeous Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  I've been avoiding writing this post because I simply don't know where to begin.  I've decided that it's important to mention the resort where we vacationed because it is an all-inclusive, family style, eco-friendly resort.  I receive absolutely no compensation from the resort.  My hubby and I booked this trip a few months ago through an on-line discount travel agency.  The Sandos Playacar in Playa del Carmen is an absolutely beautiful, beach front resort with a gorgeous pool and fantastic nightly entertainment.  The food was good, a huge variety to please every palate, but as far as gluten-free, it was a bit of a challenge.  

Gluten-free in Spanish is gluten libre.  Without gluten in Spanish is sin gluten.  The Sandos staff was extremely friendly and helpful, however, I don't think one person we spoke with really understood what gluten/wheat is.  The resort has four restaurants open for dinner where you can make reservations, be seated and served.  There is a cafe that serves cupcakes(none were gluten free) and a variety of coffees, teas, and shakes.  There are two restaurants that are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and are buffet style.  There is a fabulous beach front juice bar - really awesome, a beachfront bagel cafe(nothing gluten free) and a beach front lunch stand.  Everything is all inclusive so you can go anywhere and eat "anything".


We spent our first full day there at the beach, exploring the resort, relaxing and figuring out the lay of the land.  We headed to the beach front lunch stand where there were hot dogs and hamburgers with buns and fixins, what looked like roasted potatoes, and an ice cream machine with cones.  The food is set out buffet style.  I fixed a plate of a plain burger and potatoes for my little guy.  Within two hours he was vomiting violently.  The last time he had an accidental gluten exposure was one year ago(when he was at a Scout meeting) and he also vomited suddenly, quickly, violently but within minutes, bounces back and feels "fine".  Prior to going gluten-free he NEVER vomited.  I think his body is more sensitive now that he has been strictly gluten-free for just about two years now.  Needless to say, I was devastated that I had made that error and exposed him to gluten.  I'm still devastated and worried about the long term health effects of gluten exposure.  Trying to find the silver lining, it did serve as a good reminder for him of what will happen if he does have gluten.  But I still haven't forgiven myself.
Anyway, the food.  We chose to mainly eat at the buffet style restaurants as there was a great variety to please all five of us.  My little guy dined on lots of fresh fruit, yogurts, fresh juices, hot rice cereal, lots of jello, plain grilled chicken and cups of ice cream.  A really lean and healthy diet.  But for an energetic, growing boy with days full of swimming, hiking, horseback riding on the beach, atv rides through the jungle, river raft rides and nightly live entertainment, he was hungry the entire week!  Thankfully, we had brought a large bag of g-free granola bars, cookies, pretzels etc.  He really needed those extra snacks to help keep him satisfied.  My hubby made out better as he had omelets with veggies and ham, salads full of garbanzo beans, lentils, and cheese, steak, and lots of tropical daiquiris.

We had a fabulous family vacation at the Sandos Playacar.  The kids want to know when we can go back!  I highly recommend the resort, just bring a bag full of g-free goodies with you!

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