On April 25th, 2014 I flew to Singapore. It was decided to take the trip on that Monday, the flights were booked on that Tuesday, and I flew out that Friday night. There was no itinerary. I just wanted to see Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore Garden by the Bay
Goal of the weekend: See the Dr. Seuss Trees. Photo from April 2014.

What’s for Breakfast?

When I woke up on Saturday, my first thought was “What’s for breakfast?” Although better cortisol coverage has lessened 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.

Singapore River
The hotel was located right on the river. Photo from April 2014.

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 unfamiliar with gluten intolerance, but he could explain every ingredient in his dishes. I brought my husband at the time back to this cafe to enjoy breakfast alongside the Singapore River.

Singapore sky line
The water taxi, with the Singapore skyline in the background. Photo from April 2014.

After breakfast, I began the journey to Gardens by the Bay. I 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.

Singapore Louis Vuitton
Very expensive store partly underwater… What? Photo from April 2014.

Eating Lunch

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. In the end, 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.

Food court in the mall in Singapore
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

Also, I did finally make it to Gardens by the Bay. Somehow a ten minute walk from the water taxi stand turned into a three hour adventure with Baja Fresh but I didn’t mind!

Just me being silly at Gardens by the Bay. Photo from April 2014.

Eating Dinner

Then it was time for dinner at Singapore’s only gluten free restaurant: Glee Kitchen. I wanted to cry tears of relief when I walked through the doors. Everything on the menu was available for me to eat! I could just enjoy. Woah.

Glee Kitchen, a gluten free restaurant
Fresh salad with made from scratch dressing. Photo from April 2014.

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. Keirra described her journey as living through the dark ages of gluten intolerance.

singapore glee kitchen
Eugene and Keirra. Eugene’s cooking was amazing! Photo from April 2014.

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.

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.

Singapore Glee Kitchen
Open kitchen concept. Photo from April 2014.

Importance of Food

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.

sentosa island singapore
Sentosa in Singapore. Photo from April 2014.

I 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. The ingredients should be easy to understand. 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.

choclate shop singapore
Yay chocolate! Photo from April 2014.

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

Just me being a goof in Singapore. Photo from April 2014.
Amber Nicole is Clearly Alive