How To Travel Gluten-Free

by Amie on November 21, 2011

Some say it may be tough.

But I’m used to it.

It’s not so hard when you’ve been preppin’ food for flights, road trips or a day of on-the-go Manhattan meetings for many years.

I’ve been packing food bags for my travel adventures since I was in college…

Lots of fresh veggies, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, Greek yogurt, hummus, organic salt-free turkey slices and salsa.

It works for me.

And it’s quite delish.

I create kale and nori wraps with all of the above; roll ‘em up and take a bite.

You can also cook up a large batch of gluten-free grains such as brown or wild rice or quinoa.  Toss them into containers and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs for an easy and quick eat.

Not in the mood for grains? How about some beans? There are more beans out there in the food stores than you’ll know what to do with.  Cook ‘em up; toss them into a separate container, mix with salsa and guacamole and serve wrapped in your kale leaves or nori wraps.  Simple, easy and healthy.

You can also slice or chop up some sweet potatoes, place them onto a baking sheet with cinnamon n’ chili powder, then bake to create your very own potato chips or fries.  Serve with a side container of hummus or fruity salsa and you’ve got a great snack to hold you over during a lay-over.

How about packing a few toasted corn tortillas with an individual packet of nut butter?  When you’re tummy starts rumbling, simply spread the nut butter onto the corn tortilla, sprinkle with chia seeds and wrap for a protein-packed nosh anytime of the day.

Or you can pop a batch of air-popped popcorn, sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon and pack in a Ziploc bag for a fun eat-with-your-hands snikkity snack.  Toss in some dried cranberries, raw cacao nibbs and peanuts and you’ve got your own fun trail mix that you can share with everyone.

Sometimes I’ll buy a large container of Olivia’s Organics mixed salad greens.  When I’m ready to eat, I’ll add salsa, chia seeds, turkey or egg and avocado.  A nice drizzle of lemon juice and I’m a happy little clam flying in the air.

My Ziploc bags of veggies shown consist of leeks, fennel, sweet bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, zucchini, jicama and lots of fresh, flavorful herbs.  I bring a separate plate, fork and knife with me when I travel so I toss these veggies onto my plate, top with some avocado, chia seeds, salsa and Greek yogurt and have a nice little feast with myself.

There’s always room for a little bit of dark chocolate so I’m never caught traveling without my Dagoba bar.  I enjoy a few squares at a time and it’s a great way to cure a sweet tooth.

My other traveling staples are fresh lemons (for hot tea and salads), Traditional Medicinals roasted dandelion root tea, Amazing Grass Wheat Grass packets, green tea, Navita’s Naturals Maca powder and Stevia.

My best advice to you or someone you know who suffers from food allergies or intolerances is to jot down a list of the foods that you enjoy eating and make you feel good. This is likely to be veggies and fruits, possibly nuts and seeds, nut butters and lean proteins such eggs, poultry and tofu.

Sometimes it can be tough to find a gluten-free protein source when you’re stuck at the airport, on a train or in a car…plus, unless you have a cooler, those eggs, Greek yogurt and turkey sure aren’t going to last long.  What do I do in this case?

I simply bring a large bag of chia seeds with me and sprinkle them atop my snacks n’ meals.  It’s a whole lot easier than carting around hard-boiled eggs, yogurt and poultry in a cooler. That’s for sure.

Before I head out on a trip, whether it be for pleasure or business I always hop on the internet and search for the nearest Whole Foods Market, get directions and make a plan to stop there before hitting the hotel.  Then, I call my hotel to request a microwave and fridge in my room; gotta love eggs and veggies in the micro and I keep my perishable goods chilled in the fridge to make sure they last throughout the trip.  Sometimes there’s a small fee associated with these amenities, but they’re usually on the house.

I’ve been laughed at, looked at funny and smiled at a whole lot while I snack and travel. Especially when the person sitting next to me catches me eating my ripe avocado with a spoon. Hey, it’s good and ya know what? My tasty avocado is a heck of a lot better than what they’re eating…the processed cookies and burger served in the snack car sure takes a lot more guts to eat than a pure avocado.

Wouldn’t ya say?

I’ll stick with the avocado.

Here are some more of my favorite gluten-free snacks and gluten-free munchies.

What are your favorite foods to pack when you’re traveling?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Alyse November 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Your food prep and packing is so inspirational!! You should feel proud eatting that avocado. : ) I will try this on my next road trip!

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Amie November 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Thank you Alyse. Great to hear from you!

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Alta November 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

This all looks good – and those fresh veggies are so essential to keeping your body feeling good on a trip! I haven’t had to fly since going gluten-free…do you get any grief when trying to bring these items on a flight?

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Amie November 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Thanks so much, Alta; great to hear from you. I usually bring on an extra carry-on of food and bring it with me on the plane so I have to check my other baggage! It works and it’s so worth it.
Thanks again Alta; have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
xo

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Chris December 3, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Amie – Thanks for replying to Alta’s question. I’m getting ready to head to NYC on Monday (thanks for the link via Twitter to your Foodspotting page by the way) and I was planning to bring snacks but was concerned that the TSA agents wouldn’t let me through security with food packed away in my carry on. You haven’t had this issue?

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Amie December 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Thanks Chris; great to hear from you. I bring an extra bag of food with me every time I travel; they usually don’t say anything except my last trip to LA they were not too happy with me bringing all the food on the plane but I ate a bunch before I got on board! Try to bring a shopping bag of food and carry it on and let them know it’s your food to eat on the plane. Hope this helps; have a great weekend!
Safe Travels.

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Becca - Our Crazy Boys November 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I make homemade granola bars and carry them around in ziplock bags. Also, a cooler full of fresh fruit and veggies.

And it’s true – once you do it for a bit, packing food isn’t such a pain :)

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Amie November 22, 2011 at 7:59 am

Sounds yummy, Becca; I’m a cooler traveler-kinda gal, as well…gotta love fresh foods on the go, right? Have a lovely holiday week!

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Nizzy November 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I definitely need to try this! I love traveling but hate being away from the foods that make my belly feel good. I always end up having some kind of stomach problem while on vacation.

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Amie November 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I am sorry to hear that Nizzy; try packing some fun, Clean snacks for your trips and you may be surprised that your tummy feels a lot better. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
xo

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Katie November 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Amie – I am so glad I am not the only one with a large carry-on of just food! :) Whenever I travel I always have a backpack full of items I can eat. I have now been gluten free for two years, and have a hard time with dairy. When traveling, it gets interesting to say the least. I always bring protein / nut bars (Lara bars and Kind bars are my favorite), crackers, dried fruit, and Justin’s peanut / almond butter packs. Like you I look up the nearest Whole Foods / Trader Joe’s or other natural food store to grab some fresh produce that is hard to carry (bagged apple slices are usually my favorite). Thanks for your inspiration and tips! I am glad to know I am not the only one in the airport that people look at weird! ;)

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Amie November 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Katie,
Great to hear from you! Your snacks sound delish. I love Justin’s Nut Butter, as well; he’s one of my favorites! Have a great Thanksgiving holiday and thank you for sharing your tips.
xo

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Katie November 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Amie- Thanks! You too!

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