Blogger and health coach Erika Schlick is something of a wanderlust wanderer — but in recent years, globetrotting wasn’t always so simple. It all started with a tick bite.
In 2012, she went on her third camping trip to Yosemite, unaware that this would alter the course of her life forever. On her return, she found herself regularly coming down with the flu. While it would come and go, she noticed that this particular one never fully went away, and she only seemed to deteriorate.
For two years, she would undergo numerous tests for allergies and health disorders. The last resort was to test for Lyme disease, and, in 2014, she was finally diagnosed. After a long health battle, she went into remission in 2017, and her eyes were opened not only to the value of living a healthy life, but also to what a privilege it is.
A New Purpose
The experience of living with and recovering from Lyme disease helped Schlick discover a new purpose in life. On her healing journey, she acquired a large amount of knowledge about health and natural healing methods. She decided to supplement this with an official qualification, graduating from the Institute For Integrative Nutrition (INN) in 2015 as a certified health coach.
An important part of Schlick’s health journey was adopting a paleo and gluten-free diet. She then condensed a 28-day paleo meal plan with all the hard parts figured out for newcomers in her book “Wandering Palate”. Not only is it full of paleo-adapted recipes from around the world, but it empowers readers to create their own dishes.
City Eating Guides
Still, Schlick wanted to go further by providing travel resources for fellow gluten-free foodies who may be feeling a bit out of their depth in a new city. After all, anyone who lives with a dietary restriction will know just how much of an inconvenience you can feel like when traveling with family and friends. No one with a special diet should ever be made to feel this way, even when — to make matters worse — there aren’t options available for them.
Pottering around cities and towns before taking refuge in a cafe you stumble across may sound quaint, but it usually spells disappointment for anyone who is vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or has any other type of dietary requirement. That’s why Schlick decided to start creating comprehensive city eating guides for just about everywhere she visited — from boutique west coast cafes to al fresco spots on the Mediterranean coast.
One glimpse at Schlick’s guides and you’ll see just how much gluten-free foodies are able to indulge with the right amount of planning. So far, she’s created guides for many of the major tourist spots along the west coast, including Portland, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and her former home city of San Francisco.
The guides offer an extensive and detailed selection of recommendations — everything from affordable brunches and on-the-go salads, to sweet treats like freshly baked cakes and waffles. There’s also options for drinks — cocktails, mocktails, smoothies, coffee stops — and everything in between. With a little bit of pre-planning, visitors with dietary restrictions can enjoy a new city while mapping out their eating plan along the way.