Traveling somewhere you don’t have control over the food you will be served? Are you gluten free and going to your in laws for dinner and they don’t plan to have anything for you? What about a friends house? For whatever reason you are on a gluten free diet, this can be a little annoying. I don’t ever expect people to cater to my food intolerances but boy is it nice to go somewhere where you don’t have to worry about what is in your food. That being said, I always come prepared or full when we are going out.
For those of you who don’t know what gluten is, it is a protein component of grains like wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut and triticale (a rye and wheat hybrid) among others. If you are really sensitive or have Celiac Disease you would need to add oats to the grains you should not consume. Oats can be certified gluten free though so if you like your oats and you do okay with them, go certified gluten free.
Whether you have Celiac, Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity or you just want to be gluten free I have some great tips to help you travel short or long distances and not have to starve or succumb to the dinner that you will pay for later with your health.
The key to travel is to BE PREPARED.
Pack a cooler if you can. When we travel to friends or family out of town I always pack a cooler. It can be a pain and it gets old having to always do it but if I don’t I will be miserable or end up eating a bunch of junk that I will later regret (or should I say my digestive system will regret). Sometimes I use an opportunity like this to have things I don’t eat on a regular basis like hummus, eggs, packaged non dairy milks like almond or rice.
What to put in your cooler:
- Fresh veggies and hummus
- Apples and really good cheese
- Chicken salad
- Deviled eggs
- Almond milk for mixing in protein powder or having cereal if you eat it.
- Gluten Free summer sausage and lunch meats
- Salad with chicken, ham, turkey or left over steak
- Olive oil, coconut oil, and/or grass fed butter
If you are bringing along some kind of milk you can also pack something like Nature’s Earthly Choice “cereal”. If you are bringing protein powder along you can get little single serve packets at your local food co-op. I don’t recommend eating protein powder on a regular basis but it is nice to have on occasions like we are talking about.
Cooler not an option? No worries. You can still pack some great food. I usually pack a treat or two for myself since I don’t have them very often.
No cooler options:
- Apples and nut butter (Justins single serve packets)
- Nuts and Seeds (preferably soaked, sprouted and dehydrated but do what you can)
- Anything from Steve’s Paleo Goods (my favorites are the Paleo Kits and Paleo Bar)
- Epic Bars
- Tanka Bars
- Enjoy Life not nuts! Seed and Fruit Mix (I like Mountain Mambo- this is my treat)
- Canned sardines, tuna or wild caught salmon
- Dr. In the Kitchen Seedsters (sprouted seed snacks)
- Homemade trail mix
- Power Nuggz
I also bake some things to take with me that travel reasonably well. Usually muffins of some kind. One of my favorites is the Apple Streusel Egg Muffins from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. These are so tasty and filling.
Notice there are very few options that are sugary. The only one would be the Enjoy Life not nuts! Seed and Fruit Mix. The sugar content is on the high side for me but it is a treat and not something I eat regularly. The reason for the lower sugar options is because sugar will not fill you up and provides zero nutrients. It isn’t something I would rely on when traveling. The point is to pack nutrient dense foods that will nourish and fill you up. A little bit of fat goes a long way to keeping you satiated. This will help you stick to eating the way you should or want to and keep your digestive system happy.
Traveling longer distances can be a challenge. When traveling to Amsterdam a few years ago with friends I ordered a gluten free meal for my plane ride. I wasn’t so sure that was going to work out so I ate at the airport before we boarded. Some airports have some great food options for those of us on restricted diets and the Minneapolis airport is great. I ate a burger without a bun before getting on the plane which was a good thing because the airline didn’t have a gluten free meal for me. The flight attendants were helpful and put together a salad for me which was nice. I had a bag full of jerky just in case though.
Once we arrived at our hotel in Amsterdam one of the first things I did was check with the hotel if they had a refrigerator for my room. They didn’t but hey were happy to let me put food in their refrigerator. Off the grocery store we went and I bought cereal and rice milk (a treat for me) and prepackaged veggies and beans. I brought lots of nuts in my bag so almost daily my lunch was nuts, jerky and veggies. It worked out pretty well and we had a good time.
Do you have any gluten free travel tips to share? Leave them in the comments.
Happy, Healthy Travels to You!