Surviving a Road Trip, Gluten Free
Have you been contemplating a Road Trip but are afraid to because you live a Gluten Free lifestyle? Adventure is out there, take a leap of faith and bring your gluten free food with you!
Think about what cities or towns would stop in? Where would you eat? Do they even have gluten free options there? If these are questions and concerns that you may have, then I completely understand. I have been there and face the same worries.
Being gluten free by necessity means that you need to plan accordingly and do a little research before you hop in that car. After you have figured out the cities that you will be traveling to, then you can look into what restaurants and markets that they have. What is the food like in the area that you will be traveling to? What major grocery stores, if any, are there? Make a list. Make sure to utilize technology, in the way of apps such as “Find Me GF” and “AllergyEats” to help you find restaurants that you are comfortable eating at. I have also been told that if you carry a Nima Sensor, it also has a helpful app to use in that regard. (I do not own one yet but it is on my wish list). If you happen by a grocery store or smaller market on your travels, stop in for fresh produce. Maybe you’ll even get lucky and find some novelty gluten free items. And if you are really lucky, you can pick up a Kombucha or two!
Now, let’s talk about surviving on that open road. Remember these two words Prep Ahead. Think about your favorite gluten free snacks. What fills you up and holds you over? The last thing that you want is to get “Hangry”! Next thing you know, you’ll be scrambling for a Snickers bar at the next convenient store (even though they are gluten free and sometimes necessary!) or anything that you can get your hands on, which probably will not be as healthy. Ask yourself, what transports well and is something that you can easily carry on you?
One of my go-to’s is always homemade trail mix. Luckily, I don’t have any nut allergies and I love them all! Simply combine unsalted mixed nuts, dried fruits, unsweetened banana chips and I love to add dark chocolate morsels by Enjoy Life Foods. Then portion out the trail mix into individual Ziploc bags or small containers. These are so easy to grab-and-go! Other sources that are high in protein are great to include on your trip. Such as, beef or turkey jerky and/or beef or turkey sticks. Brands like Archer Farms, Chef’s Cut and Golden Island are some of my favorites. Next, choose your favorite bars to take with you. I love RX Bars, 88 Acres and Made Good granola bars. Straight granola is another great snack. Make your own at home and again portion it out into individual bags or containers. It’s great to have on hand, then when you visit one of the markets that you searched out, you can pick up some yogurt and berries and make your own parfaits- VOILA! A healthy lunch or breakfast.
Now let’s talk sauces, condiments, dressings and nut butters. Do you have any that you can’t live without? Most small towns likely won’t have a plethora of gluten free salad dressings, etc. so bring it with you! If you are not going to have a cooler or ice chest in your car, then make sure the condiments and/or dressings that you bring do not need to be refrigerated. I love to make my own simple salad dressings in small mason jars to bring. Another great individual serving packet that I always bring are nut butters. Something similar to Justin’s or RX brand, which are great to use on your favorite gluten free crackers (one of mine is Nut Thins) that you could pack as well! Or, maybe you’ll get lucky enough in finding some GF bread in one of those markets that you researched. Perfect to pair with nut butter before you hit your next stop!
Are you thirsty yet? We tend to not drink enough water while traveling. We are busy exploring, on the go then on to the next stop. Try adding a hydration tablet such as Nuun Hydration to your water bottles. These will help keep your electrolytes up and don’t contain junky chemicals like some of the others do. Lastly, I always bring my chocolate protein powder and a shaker cup with me! I portion my protein powder into individual baggies and it’s as easy as pouring it into the shaker cup and adding water and ice to it. Shake and Go, protein plus hydration! Another great ingredient to add to your chocolate protein powder is coffee! Find a Starbucks (they are literally everywhere!) or a mom and pop coffee shop. Google it in whatever town you are in currently or heading to next. Starbucks is always a good stop, not only can you get coffee, but they all have gluten free snacks and are usually clean restroom stops.
Now you have a list of your city/town stops by name, a list of markets and restaurants for each of those stops and your car is stocked with gluten free nutrition to keep you fulfilled and happy along your route. These tips will surely help you to survive any road trip while still living your healthiest gluten free lifestyle. Adventure awaits, go find it Gluten Free!
Hello! My name is Amy Reid aka AmyGFgirl. I am a wife, a Mom of four beautiful kids and YES, I am GLUTEN FREE! I am a certified fitness instructor and nutrition certified, both through ACE. Our house is always busy, never quiet and we are usually on-the-go. I wouldn’t have it any other way, my family fills my heart. As a family we love to travel, go camping, play at the beach, go for family bike rides and enjoy music together. For me personally, working out and going for runs help to clear my mind and fill me up on a different level. Another creative outlet for me is through my cooking and baking, it is something that I have always had a passion for.
I became gluten free in 2009 after I had our third child. I started having symptoms such as acid reflux and digestion issues, which I tried over the counter and prescription medications for and nothing helped! It was a lot of trial and error, feeling sick and a lot of tears! At the time, with our newborn and two other small children, I felt overwhelmed and feelings of depression and anxiety started to set in. I immediately started seeing a therapist to help me work through all of this, started taking Yoga (so that I could be in quiet for a moment and just breathe) and I completely changed my diet. I went on a raw diet, only eating meats, fruits and veggies for about three weeks. Taking out all carbs and anything else that had Gluten in it, helping my body to rid itself of all the gluten that it had stored. (Later learning that it can take 6-8 weeks to rid your body of all the gluten that your body has stored!) During those cleansing weeks, I read a ton! Anything that I could get my hands on about what it meant to be gluten free, what I could eat, what I shouldn’t eat, cooking tips and baking gluten free. Then, little by little I started to reintroduce carbs that I missed but only if they were certified GF. I started shopping at specialty grocery stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods, I experimented with recipes and my kitchen quickly transformed into a gluten free cooking space. Ever since, if I am cooking, my whole family eats gluten free along with me. I do not have Celiac Disease, I have been tested (via blood test) twice, both times were negative. The second set of tests that I had in 2016 did show elevated levels for gluten intolerance. (But I knew that based on what happens to me when I do by chance “get glutened”, which for me, means that I am sick in the bathroom for at least 8 hours.)
Being gluten free for me is a whole lifestyle. It is my life, my health and not just another fad diet to me. Which is exactly why I am doing this, to help others, who like me were sick and stuck and didn’t know where to turn or what to do. Because it really is the worst feeling.
Like I said, I am a busy mom! We are all over town at various sports, practices, games and I don’t always have time to spend cooking extravagant meals for my family. But I do love to cook! I am a fan of 30-minute meals, I love to use my Crock-Pot and I am big on meal prepping over the weekends to get ready for my week ahead. I always have meals on-hand in my freezer as well as smoothies that just have to be thrown in the blender. I am constantly on the hunt for new gluten free products to try, love testing out new gluten free recipes and finding new restaurants that have gluten free menus. It’s the thrill of the GF hunt!!! So come with me, allow me to help you.