Take a look at my tagline. The seven green words in my blog header, in quotes, after the three dots.
It’s so easy to be gluten free!
I’m not exaggerating. I’m not making it up. I’m not telling tales out of school. I wholeheartedly believe that it is easy, so easy, to be gluten free! Some of it is a head game, no doubt. But isn’t that true with everything, that attitude makes a huge difference in how you approach anything in life. And attitude can help you approach and deal optimistically with challenges that might otherwise be overwhelming and seemingly impossible to overcome.
And so it is with following a gluten free lifestyle. First, I believe that you have to decide you’re going to do it with panache and a determination to make it work. Then, once you make up your mind to do so, it’s just a question of finding resources and a support system to help you create strategies for success.
They say it takes 21 days (I read that somewhere a long time ago) to establish a new habit. So, if going gluten free is new for you, give yourself the better part of a month. I’ll bet you my bottom dollar you’ll be a pro at it before too long.
Diane Eblin is a blogging buddy of mine and good friend. She is hosting an event over at her blog (The W.H.O.L.E. Gang) during the month of May called 30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living. A bunch of us gf bloggers decided that weâ€™d heard the questions and comments one too many times: How do you do it? It must be SO hard!. Well, you know what? It’s not hard. In fact, it’s easy, as I mentioned above. And to the GI doc who told me, when I was first exploring the possibility of my having Celiac Disease, that I didn’t want to be diagnosed with it. Phooey. I’m so much happier. No more bloating, no more stomachaches, and my hair has grown back. Um, I’ll take it, thank you very much! And to Diane, for giving us bloggers an opportunity to help you learn how easy it is to adopt a gluten free lifestyle and diet, I say thank you!
For this series, my focus is on something I’ve learned to do very well concerning travel gluten free. I hope that my gluten free travel tips will help you as you head out the door for the open road, whether you’re going on a short, local trip or a vacation away from home.
You know what the Boy Scouts say? Be prepared. That’s become my motto. Whether leaving the house for a few hours, a few days, or a longer period of time, I plan my snacks and meals with great attention. No sense being hungry and having no options. Here are a few ideas to inspire you and aid in your gluten free travel:
1. Before you read this list, come up with a list of travel snacks and post it in a prominent place in your kitchen. This is a list of go-to snacks that you can rely on when you’re out and about doing errands. You can throw these snacks in your purse or briefcase. Some ideas include Lara Bars, homemade granola bars (make sure the rolled oats are GF), Elanaâ€™s Pantry Power Bars with Chocolate Topping, an apple and some almond butter, or a small container of hummus and baby carrots.
2. When you’re invited to eat at someone else’s house, call your hosts in advance to ask whatâ€™s on the menu and how the meal will be prepared. Sometimes, a little tweak to their menu will allow you to eat what theyâ€™re serving. On the contrary, don’t hesitate to bring your own food if it becomes a necessity.
3. If you will be eating catered meals (family functions, conferences, etc.), prior to leaving home, get in touch with the person in charge of preparing the food. If possible, email a document that explains what you can and cannot eat, in order to give them time to prepare for your meal.
4. Google is your friend. Part of planning your road trip can include searching online for restaurants near your destination. Many restaurants that have GF menus often post them on their website. Call ahead and speak with either the host/hostess or the kitchen manager. You can also use the Gluten Free Registry to find restaurants.
5. If you’re flying to your destination, prior to leaving home, use Google to find out about the supermarkets near your destination. Upon arrival, make a trip to the market to stock up on some foods. For example, GF chips and salsa, GF breakfast cereal and/or granola, milk, juice, corn thins and peanut butter, fruit. I know what you’re thinking: PEANUT BUTTER??!!! I’ll never finish it before we leave to go back home. It’s true, I’ll admit it. There have been numerous times when I left the peanut butter behind in the hotel frig. But at least I had it while I was there. You can also buy individual nut butter packets (Justin’s) that are great for traveling.
6. Think outside the sandwich box. For example, you can buy romaine lettuce and/or kale leaves, hummus (Cedar’s hummus is GF), tomatoes and cucumber. Spread the hummus on the lettuce or kale leaves, add tomatoes and sliced cucumber. Voila! Instant sandwich without the bread!
7. Don’t be afraid to turn your hotel room in a mini-kitchen. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
8. Go to www.celiactravel.com and print out free Gluten Free Restaurant cards to carry with you and give to restaurant waitstaff. The card will explain what you can and cannot eat. Carry extras just in case they forget to give it back to you!
9. When making your hotel reservation, ask for a mini-fridge and/or microwave. There might be a nominal charge for these two appliances, but having them might allow you to prepare simple meals as needed.
10. Pack a few essentials in your luggage. If you’re flying, make sure to pack these items in your checked luggage unless you want to risk them being confiscated when you go through security. Items include a thin, plastic cutting board, a can opener, a large chef’s knife, a small paring knife, a kitchen towel, a sponge, to name a few.
11. If you have room in your luggage, pack a Magic Bullet blender. Throw in some protein powder. Once you arrive at your destination, you can either use fruit and juice from the hotel complimentary breakfast or purchase these items at a local market, and you can make a great smoothie. Don’t be shy – throw in some greens from your market trip for extra fiber and calcium!
With some advance planning, your travel experience can include safe gluten free options! And you’ll be well on your way to realizing that it’s so easy to be gluten free!
Don’t forget to check back throughout the month for other great tips for Easy Gluten-Free Living! Here is the schedule:
Wednesday May 11th Me!
Thursday May 12th Kim from Cook It Allergy Free sharing
Friday May 13th Melissa from Gluten Free For Good sharing Gluten-Free Food Rules
Saturday May 14th Brittany from Real Sustenance sharing Healthy Allergy-Free Quick Bread with easy flavor variations.
Sunday May 15th Nicola from g-free Mom sharing Kids Lunch Boxes
Monday May 16th Wendy from Celiacs in the House sharing Fast Food for Teens
Tuesday May 17th Shirley from gluten free easily sharing Your Pantry is the Key to Being GFE
Wednesday May 18th Nancy from The Sensitive Pantry sharing BBQ and Picnic tips and Recipe
Thursday May 19th Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom sharingÂ tips for getting kids to eat healthy, real-food snacks!
Friday May 20th Silvana from Silvana’s Kitchen sharing
Saturday May 21st Maggie from She Let Them Eat Cake sharing
Sunday May 22nd Sea from Book of Yum sharing Gluten Free Vegetarian Burritos
Monday May 23rd Tia from Glugle Gluten-Free sharing
Wednesday May 25th Hallie from Daily Bites sharing
Thursday May 26th Carol from Simply Gluten-Free sharing
Friday May 27th AndreaAnna from Life as a Plate sharing Tips on Traveling on Day Trips with Kids
Saturday May 28th Zoe from Z’s Cup of Tea sharing
Sunday May 29th Kelly from The Spunky Coconut sharing
Monday May 30th Jess from ATX Gluten-Free sharing 1 Meal 3 Ways, Jazzing up Leftovers
Tuesday May 31st Naomi from Straight into Bed, Cakefree and Dried