Friday, May 23, 2014

Singapore

On April 25th, my husband and I flew to Singapore. We decided to take the trip on that Monday, booked our flights on that Tuesday, and flew out that Friday night. We had no itinerary. We just knew we wanted to see Gardens by the Bay.

Goal of the weekend: See those Dr. Seuss trees.
When I woke up on Saturday, my first thought was "What's for breakfast?" Although better cortisol coverage has lessoned the severity of my hypoglycemic like episodes, I still have a limited window of time from when I wake up and when I must eat substantial food. I grabbed my pre-breakfast snack of a mixed nut bar, left a note for my still sleeping husband, then ventured down to the river to scout out food.

Our hotel was located right on the river.
Eating gluten free in Asia is proving to be a challenge. This isn't because all dishes have gluten but rather because they are not accustomed to being asked about the ingredients. Food allergies seem to be uncommon here which creates a lack of understanding. However, as I wandered the small cafes and shops along the river, I stumbled across a hole-in-the-wall cafe that looked promising. The owner was un-familiar with gluten intolerance, but he could explain every ingredient in his dishes. I brought my husband back to this cafe and we enjoyed our breakfast alongside the Singapore River.

Our river taxi, with some of the Singapore skyline in the background.
After breakfast, we began our journey to Gardens by the Bay. We took a water taxi and ended up at large mall on the bay just as it started to rain. For my Florida friends, picture the daily afternoon downpour that you can set your watch to. As we waited out the storm in the mall, we decided to eat lunch.
Pure Fruit: Definitely Gluten Free.
Roasted Animals: Can be gluten free, but be very careful with the sauces they roast them with.
Pure Flour: NOT Gluten Free
Pure Seafood: Gluten Free
I was very appreciative of this mall's food court. Most of the employees still could not answer the question of "ingredients" when I asked, but all kitchens were open. I could see how the food was prepared. My husband and I decided on Baja Fresh to enjoy a little taste of home. I did chuckle at the amount of rice in our burrito bowl. The rice to bean ratio of Baja Fresh Singapore is much higher than that of Baja Fresh Arizona. Also, we did finally make it to Gardens by the Bay. Somehow a ten minute walk from the water taxi stand turned into a three hour journey with Baja Fresh but we didn't mind!

Dr Seuss Trees success!
However, due to the second impending storm, we were not allowed up the Dr Seuss Trees.
Then it was time for dinner, my husband's choice. He took me to Singapore's only gluten free restaurant: Glee Kitchen. I wanted to cry tears of relief when I walked through the doors. I could eat anything on the menu and not be afraid. I could just enjoy. Woah.

Fresh salad with made from scratch dressing.
Lemongrass rice pasta with prawns.
Gluten free chocolate cake.
So. Good.
Glee Kitchen is a fairly new restaurant and Keirra's passion. I loved chatting with Keirra and learning about her journey. Six years ago, she took her son off of gluten to see if it would alleviate behavior problems. Doctors told her she was wasting her time but she refused to give up her hunt to find the true problem. She was tired of masking symptoms with more pills. Parts of her story reminded me of my mom's own determination to fight for her child's health and to never give up. Keirra described her journey as living through the dark ages of gluten intolerance.

Eugene and Keirra. Eugene's cooking was amazing!
She explained that in America, people are beginning to grow accustomed to the question "What is this made of?" In Asia, this is not a common question. They did not have to worry about ingredients because they were eating real food. Keirra also explained how Asians are starting to discover the ill effects of highly processed food due to the sudden influx of Western style food.

Standing outside of Glee Kitchen.
In that respect, Glee Kitchen is ahead of its time for Singapore. The open air kitchen and amazing home cooked food reminded me of a smaller version of True Food Kitchen. If you are in Singapore and are gluten free, you must stop by Glee Kitchen. This dinner was the highlight of our quick weekend get-away.

You can see the kitchen as they cook.
This experience also reminded me of the importance of a healthy life style. There is no cure for Primary Adrenal Insufficiency. My daily medicine is just a band-aid patch to sustain my life. I do not buy into the false promise of swallow these pills and return back to a "normal" life. However, I am living a seemingly normal life with my Adrenal Insufficiency. But I also place a priority on my health which includes actively monitoring my diet. What I feed my body plays a huge role in how well I feel. I want to eat real food and only real food. I want to understand the ingredients. I don't want to eat science experiments and things I cannot pronounce. Changing my diet was a purposeful choice that left me feeling more alive and all around healthy.

Am I diseased? Yes. Am I healthy? Yes. Am I Clearly Alive? Always.

My Husband is a bit more adventurous than I am.
That's as far as I was going out on that palm tree!

9 comments:

  1. You're both awesome and it's SO great to see you doing so well! I have some VERY interesting GF info I just landed on and will post soon and flag you on, Amber! Keep having a blast out there!! We miss ya'! <3

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    1. I look forward to reading it! So yes please, flag me on it :)

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  2. thanks for sharing your life with us, Amber. You are very courageous and an inspiration to all who read this.

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  3. Hubs certainly had a lot of faith in that tree! LOL See you both again soon! ;)

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    1. And yes, he definitely had more faith in that tree than I did. He made climbing out on it look easy. The next tourist that tried got about as far out as I did and then decided that it probably wasn't a smart idea. My husband made it all the way to the end of the tree though!

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  4. Yes, it is hard to eat out in Singapore if you have allergies and food sensitivities. Everything is covered in MSG which is a huge problem if you have chemical sensitivities. Glad to hear of Glee Kitchen. Will go check them out soon!

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