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Eating Paleo at an amusement park isn't as hard as you might think – but you do need to plan ahead!
We have an amusement park nearby in Denver called Elitches that we decided to get a season pass to because my kids are all about having fun. But since we go for at least half the day, we do need to eat while there. While they actually have a selection of gluten-free options, I don't quite feel as comfortable eating there as I do at say, Disney. (See my post on Disneyworld about how AWESOME they are for eating gluten-free or for any food allergy). The staff there just kind of looks at me like I have 3 heads if I ask if something is really gluten-free, so I don't know how much I trust them. Plus, since it's nearby and we go often, I can't justify eating “just” gluten-free as I do when I'm on vacation. I might eat a little off of Paleo, like have a Silk Almondmilk that has sugar in it, etc, but I really don't want to make the stretch into having corn, quinoa, and dairy since I know personally, they really mess with me.
What do I do then? You can watch this video to see exactly what I had this past week when we went:
Can't see the video? Click here: Eating Paleo at an Amusement Park
Basically though, if you have a food allergy, most parks are understanding and will let you bring in your own food. However, I do highly recommend you call or email first to find out their policies and make sure you don't need a doctor's note or some other identifier of your allergy. At Elitches I just tell the security guard that we are Celiac and they are totally cool with it, but I know some other parks do ask for more proof.
If you do decide to try to chance actually eating the food they sell, again, try to be prepared ahead of time by looking at menus online and possibly calling or emailing the park as well to ask about options. Don't get fooled by thinking something is gluten-free just because it “looks” gluten-free. Many places put wheat flour on their fries to crisp them up and wheat flour in their salad dressings and sauces to thicken them. Even if you aren't sure you are gluten-sensitive or Celiac this could have ramifications (because remember, there are at least 24 different proteins that people react to for gluten/wheat and the typical tests only test for a small percentage of those- even if your doc said you aren't sensitive, you might still be if you have symptoms – best not to ruin all of your great efforts by unknowingly ingesting gluten).
One final tip about going to amusement parks – if you have had any adrenal issues in the past, make sure you try to plan a chill evening and possibly a chill next day as well afterwards. I notice as a past sufferer of adrenal fatigue that the adrenaline spikes I get at the park as a result of going on freakin terrifying wooden rollercoasters that look like they'll fall over at any second or other rides that were fun when I was 15 but aren't so much now that I'm 40 cause me to get some of my adrenal-fatigue symptoms. If I get some good sleep that night and take it easy for a few days they go away, but I have a feeling if I wasn't so low-key afterwards I might be suffering. I don't get this so much at a theme park like Disney because there are lots of breaks/downtimes like shows and easy rides so you tend to pace yourself a lot better, but amusement parks are usually all about the thrills and it's just a lot for someone who has adrenal issues. So do yourself a favor and “after thrill, chill”.
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