I really enjoy a great road trip. This means an extended weekend or a planned multi-day trip which involves stopping and eating at places I've never heard of. That can be as easy as brushing a furry knot out of my long-haired cat when I'm not sure what's available in the next town, especially when I'm in the middle of nowhere. I've found a few ways to lessen the hardship of gluten-free on the road.
#1 Carry food with you at all times. Yes, and bring a superhero along with you as well (is Captain America available?). This can be easy if you find out what you like and keep it on hand. My suggestion: gluten-free protein bars and cookies. I really like protein drinks (single-serve powder is most accessible, although it can be costly). I take the protein from my bulk container and double bag the protein. This keeps costs down but gives me a few meals to hold me over until I find a safe restaurant to eat at.
Always bring yummy snack foods with you for the ride. Gas Stations do not have many gluten-free offerings, except for Oregon and California. These are the only two states which I have found more than 2 or 3 safe snacks to eat.
My favorite gluten-free snacks are KaPop Snacks, Deliciousness Foods, and Jai Mix. I've interviewed each of these owners on my podcast, and I would feel safe eating these snacks, even on vacation! They are reliable and do not use any gluten in their products or their process.
Remember to not carry chocolate with you on your road trip, chocolate melts, and makes a mess. Be cautious of coconut oil, as this will quickly melt in your car!
Check back for your next gluten-free on the road trip next blog!
How to Avoid Gluten when you are eating while traveling
If you’ve had celiac disease for a while, you already know how to avoid gluten. Accidentally ingesting gluten could be a sign, however, that you’re not being as careful as you should be.
So, what should you do to avoid another accidental ingestion in the future? Here are some simple steps to start implementing now, if you haven’t already:
All Food is NOT Created the Same. Your favorite pre-packaged snack in the United States or Canada may not have the same ingredients in Germany or Mexico. When traveling internationally, NEVER assume the ingredients are the same in different countries, unless the packaged item you are eating is from a company which creates EXCLUSIVELY gluten-free foods.
Always check food labels. First look for the label “certified gluten free”. Products with the certified gluten-free label are safe to eat for celiacs. FDA only allows packaged foods with less than 20 parts per million of gluten to be labeled as certified gluten-free. Here is a reference for helping you understand what to look for on a label. Some sneaky gluten ingredients are: MSG (monosodium glutamate, modified food starch (unless it says corn or potato, assume its gluten) and maltodextrin (a modified food starch)
Keep a gluten free kitchen. You may need to keep separate utensils and cookware to avoid cross-contamination at home. You could also ask your travel companions to eat gluten-free the entire week so as to avoid cross-contamination if you are using a shared kitchen when you are on vacation.
Label food packages. If some of your family members don’t follow a gluten free diet, make sure everything is labeled so they know what they can and cannot touch. Items such as toasters, cutting boards, pots/pans, and other kitchen utensils need to be kept separate at all times. An easy way to do this is to
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