Learn how to keep up with your gluten-free lifestyle and your busy life all at once.
If you’re like most of the American population, you’re always out and about running errands, commuting to work, taking the kids to practice, getting groceries, etc. Such a hectic schedule lends itself to crappy eating, and crappy eating completely sabotaging your new lifestyle. Finding gluten-free foods at restaurants can be difficult without proper planning. I make finding gluten-free dining out options easy for you. Eating gluten-free on the go can be challenging. I understand this all too well.
I don’t want this to happen to you. It’s happened to me before, and it took me a few days to get back on track. Some people never get back on track. If you are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, one meal with gluten-containing foods can wreak havoc on your body. Therefore, I want to provide you with the tips and tricks I learned for keeping up with a gluten-free lifestyle in the midst of a busy life.
Tips on How to Eat Out on a Gluten-Free Diet
- Always, always, always keep gluten-free friendly snacks in the car or in your purse (you may need a cooler). I recommend things like a bag of nuts or seeds, granola bars (gluten-free-approved, not the sweet, half-chocolate kind), a bag of vegetables, or a bag of fruit. You can take fresh fruit or even dried fruit.
- What if you don’t have anything on you at the time the hunger hits? You can visit a grocery store with a fresh foods section (Hello, Whole Foods), and grab a healthy salad, a cup of fruit, a bag of trail mix, etc.
- No grocery store? No problem. If you failed to bring any snacks with you and cannot make it to a grocery store, you can visit a fast-food restaurant if you need to. If you must do this, order a salad with just veggies, protein, and healthy fat (if they have it). For example, you could order a side salad from Wendy’s and a grilled chicken sandwich without the bun or sauce. At Subway, you can order a salad with protein and a side of avocado (when it’s in season). You should also probably skip the dressing at fast-food restaurants, unless you can get fresh olive oil, vinegar, or lemon juice.
- For sit-down restaurants, what you order depends on the type of restaurant you’re visiting. I make it easier for you by providing suggested gluten-free foods at restaurants. Gluten-free dining out doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some examples of meals:
Gluten-Free Restaurant Options
- Bar & Grille: A turkey burger without the bun or sauce and a side salad with boiled eggs and no premade dressing; a chicken sandwich without the bun or sauce with a baked sweet potato on the side (I find coconut oil is a great sub for butter on the potato); or, simply a healthy salad loaded with veggies is great too (if they have avocado, that would be even better to add to your salad).
- Breakfast joints: Eggs, eggs, and more eggs with some veggies and avocado would be an excellent option; a large fruit cup would be a nice snack.
- Chinese: Grilled veggies and seafood/veggie combos; sushi (if you don’t go crazy on the rice). Ditch the soy sauce.
- Mexican: Beef or chicken fajitas without the fajita, loaded with veggies and a side of guacamole
- Italian: Stick with a simple salad with protein on top.
- Steakhouses: Fill up on the steak, veggies, and sweet potato; if you’re feeling dessert, opt for a fruit cup
- Deli: Any type of salad with protein; a protein-filled lettuce wrap; other wraps not made of grains (spinach or tomato, for example).
Best Gluten-Free Snack Options
If you’re searching for gluten-free snacks for your busy life, I recommend these brands:
- Pop Chips
- Skinny Pop Popcorn
- Wonderful Pistachios
- Kind Mini Bars
- Cauliflower Crackers
- Made Good Granola Minis
Finally, I just want to mention – it’s so important not to over-complicate this lifestyle. If you do this, you will stress yourself out and not enjoy the process of becoming healthier. Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to eat gluten-free-approved, so do your best with it and remember – every little step in the right direction, no matter how small, is still a step towards optimal health and your best self.
What Has Been Your Biggest Challenge When It Comes to Finding Gluten-Free Options on the Go?
Do you find it difficult to find gluten-free eating-out restaurant options? I hope you found value in some of my great gluten-free dining-out options. Let me know your experience in the comment section below. I would also love to hear what you think, or take a photo and tag me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva