Monday, November 14, 2011

Gluten Free Travel–Part One

Traveling as a gluten free-er can be…hard. Scary. Unknown.

Being away from the comfort and safety of the GHM kitchen wasn’t easy at first. Dining out seemed nearly impossible, and I often found myself in food deserts, with nothing safe to eat.

Luckily, with time and organization, I finally feel like I can travel freely and maintain my health.

MANDATORY

Food Bars. This isn’t actually just a travel tip. This is a gluten free sane life tip: always carry a food bar. My favorites: Luna Protein, LARA, and Amazing Grass. I also keep a small packet of almond butter in my bag too.

ON THE ROAD

Do yourself a favor: invest in a cooler. And if you’re like me and reader Amanda, you’ll be smart and invest in a few. I, like Amanda, have three coolers. Small, medium, and large. That way you can accommodate your food, and even prepare for eating in the car.

Making a road sandwich? Press it! The thing about gluten free bread, is that it’s best toasted. So to save yourself from traveling with a toaster in your car, press your sandwich. I use my George Foreman, and that way, even cold the bread still has a great texture and doesn’t crumble. My favorite road sandwich: Bestie Approved!

Skip the fries. One of the true benefits of being gluten free, is that I can’t eat most fast food. However, I try not to use that as a free pass to eat a bunch of french fries. An hour later I’ll feel tired and crappy and most likely regret those oil soaked spuds.

Snack Attack. Make it fun! Pack your favorite snacks! Fresh cut veggies with dip. Yogurt with gluten free granola. Sparkling Water. Whatever floats your boat! And this is where your cooler will come in handy.

Google like it’s hot. Reader Rachel, Ang, and I agree: use google! Otherwise, I would have never known about Panera and In ‘n’ Out!

day four 001

My smart phone is my friend.

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

Protein Power. I always pack a blender bottle and protein powder. Every hotel that offers a free breakfast, is going to offer milk. And the protein helps me stay full longer, while keeping my blood sugar happy.

Oatmeal. Yes! Oatmeal! There are quite a few gluten free oatmeals that are now being offered in small single serving, microwave packets. Small and simple, all you need is hot water! My FAVORITE BRAND!

Speak Up. Let your hotel know that you’re a gluten free customer. Every hotel may not go that extra mile to be sure you have what you need, but you’d be surprised how many will. Plus, it never hurts to educate!

CABIN or KITCHENETTE

BYOB. Bring your own breads! I love going to the mountains or staying in a beach house, and I always pack my GF essentials. Even though I know we’re going to go to a grocery store at our destination, I have no way of knowing what they will carry. So I pack the bread.

Stay safe with foil. Reader Ang noted that she always packs a roll of aluminum foil, that way she can cover baking sheets or cooking pans and avoid contamination.

Pack smart. You don’t need your entire box of oatmeal or cereal. Use smaller baggies to pack portions. This way you don’t weigh yourself down with too much food.

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Have gluten free travel tips to add? List yours in the comments!

Coming up next in this series: Gluten Free Travel and the AIRPORT!