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Monday, January 23, 2012

Special Needs Eater

Last week I was in the Santa Monica/West Hollywood area for a commercial shoot. The nice thing about being the client when you're on production is that you're well catered to. During casting call-backs, I was feed a delicious raw, vegan and gluten free lunch from Planet Raw. The dish I inhaled was some sort of vegan sushi. The guys at casting didn't know the dish's exact name. I perused Planet Raw's menu and can't determine which of their five sushi rolls I had. I recall seeing cilantro and avocado. The dish looked something like:

Before heading to call-backs, the producer, art director and I hit Whole Foods. I purchased a gallon of nose water, which is distilled water. I have to use the pure stuff in my sinuses to ensure that I don't accidentally flush bacteria or a virus up into my cavities. I also hit the smoothie bar where I ordered a kale, banana, strawberry smoothie. The liquid seemed to counteract my lack of sleep, which became a constant theme as insomnia set in.

One evening the agency took the client to Boa for dinner. A steak and seafood house isn't necessarily the best dining option for a vegan. However, the list of veggie dishes was encouraging. The producer had phoned ahead and mentioned my dietary needs. After taking everyone's drink orders, the server excitedly said to me, "I love serving people with special needs." I wasn't sure if I should laugh or feel embarrassed and hide. Since the server had inserted her tip in her mouth, I just sat there and placed my order.

Twenty minutes later a huge plate filled with sauteed local wax beans and tomatoes, sauteed mixed mushrooms, sauteed spinach and a baked potato topped with roasted garlic arrived. Honestly, it was more food that I could handle. All the veggies were tasty. I managed to have about three bites of the potato since the other dishes really filled me up.

Since I was traveling, I hadn't packed my Acidophilus or Evening Primrose supplements which require refrigeration. As the days went on, my gut became incredibly unhappy. I'm not sure if it was the ingestion of allergens like nuts. Bouts of gas and unrest became a regular occurrence. I was so uncomfortable. My belly looked prego. My digestive enzymes and HCL didn't help.

After a rough night of sleeping on the redeye, I returned home to my apt in the city. I swallowed a double dose of Acidophilus and Evening Primrose. I ate a bowl of g-free rice crispies with flax and then took a two hour nap. I woke up to a normal belly once again.

Maybe the server at Boa was right, and I am a special needs dieter. Next time I travel, I'll be sure to purchase locally all my daily supplements so I at least appear normal. Then again, is there a normal?

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