A gluten-free diet lifestyle shouldn’t be filled with anxiety or stop you from enjoying traveling quickly on the go. Summer vacations for family travel on the go should be a fun experience, even when you have certain dietary restrictions with a gluten-free diet. Finding gluten-free foods and meals at restaurants while on the go can be difficult without proper planning. I make finding gluten-free dining out options for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and even dinner easy for you. Eating gluten-free on the go can be challenging. I understand this all too well, but with my easy nutrition tips, I make it simple.
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.
The same goes for traveling to visit family or going on a summer vacation. So, what can you do to ensure you eat gluten-free food while on the go? Follow these simple tips to get you started today.
My Gluten-Free Travel Story
Let me start by telling you my gluten-free on the go travel story. My husband and I were traveling once again on PCS orders to relocate our home due to army life challenges. We stopped along the way on our road trip at a local restaurant.
Well, the anxiety set in because I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and worried I would make the wrong choice and get “glutened”. The fear of that horrible bloated feeling, frequent trips to the bathroom, itchy inflamed skin all set in and I started to panic.
After a brief moment, I remembered all the nutrition information surrounding what “safe foods” I could eat, without stressing over asking a million questions to the waitress.
Why am I telling you this story? Well, to save you from that same anxiety.
Learn How to Eat Out with Your Gluten-Free Lifestyle!
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. I hope these ideas for gluten free meals on the go come in handy on your next road trip or vacation.
Tips on How to Eat Out on a Gluten-Free Diet
GLUTEN-FREE SNACKS ON THE GO
- Always, always, always keep gluten-free friendly snacks in the car or in your purse (you may need a cooler). I also like Yeti coolers. I recommend things like a bag of nuts or seeds, granola bars (gluten-free-approved), a bag of vegetables, or a bag of fruit. You can take fresh fruit or even dried fruit.
GROCERY STORE SNACKS
- 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. I personally love to pack different flavored nuts and seeds or fresh fruit in a stainless steel bento box or container.
QUICK GLUTEN-FREE FAST FOOD MEALS
- 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, one of my favorite gluten free meals on the go is to 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.
GLUTEN-FREE DINING OPTIONS ON THE GO
- 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 while on the go, I recommend these brands:
- Pop Chips
- Skinny Pop Popcorn
- Wonderful Pistachios
- Kind Mini Bars
- Popcorners Corn Snacks
- Cauliflower Crackers
- Made Good Granola Minis
- Crunchmaster Avocado Toast Crackers
Finally, I just want to mention – it’s so important not to over-complicate this gluten-free lifestyle. If you do this, you will stress yourself out and not enjoy the process of becoming healthier and healing your body.
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