Gluten Free on the Road!

Okay, so, eating Gluten Free isn’t necessarily always a picnic in your own town. There’s the constant label reading, the complicated ordering process at restaurants, and the constant trips to the store for obscure ingredients like tapioca starch to create basic things like pancakes.  On a side note, until I started eating Gluten Free I had no idea that tapioca had forms other than this, which looks disgusting:

So, in short, traveling to a totally different city and eating Gluten Free can be a challenge.

Here are some basic tips I learned over a recent month-long trip to Colorado:
I’ll preface this by saying I was incredibly lucky to have access to a kitchen THE WHOLE TIME I was out in CO, therefore, these tips will be based on having that available.

1) If you get in after five in the evening, plan to eat out for dinner.
If you’re a superhuman and can get off a three hour flight and still make yourself a delicious, Gluten Free dinner afterwards, more power to ya! That’s not my style. Qdoba on the other hand? Far more my style. I got a Naked Burrito Bowl, which is basically a burrito minus the tortilla, served in a bowl. Pretty self-explanatory. Just make sure they use clean gloves, and ask if any toppings are not Gluten Free.

2) Go to the store. ASAP.
I got in to DIA at six in the evening, and after getting luggage, driving to the house I stayed at, grabbing and then eating dinner, and unpacking it was 10:30. Can you imagine trying to go grocery shopping at that point? I couldn’t. So, my first full day in Denver included a trip to Sprouts. Y’all! Why do we not have these in The South?!? It’s similar to Whole Foods, but cheaper, and with more local produce. It’s a great little store, and if you find yourself in the Denver area it’s totally worth a trip. Anyways, I grabbed some flours and xanthan gum as well as some Gluten Free bread, and I was in business.

3) Larabars are your best friend.
Or any Gluten Free bar for that matter. I stashed one in my purse in case I got hungry/had few Gluten Free options while eating out or shopping. And let me tell you, it may have been the best idea I had.

4) Use your phone.
If you have a smart phone, you’re never more than a few clicks away from a restaurant’s nutritional info. For example, I found out that Noodles and Company offered Gluten Free pasta on their website before I even walked into their restaurant. It’s worth researching any restaurant ahead of time to find out what your options are, or if you need to pack a Larabar. 😉

5) Try out new recipes.
You’re already outside of your comfort zone, you might as well have fun with it. Why not try new recipes while you’re in a new place? If nothing else, you can say “Oh yeah, I tried that out while I was in fill in this blank with a city.” It may not turn out all that great, but the memories will be fun.

6) Relax.
Do what you do at home. Read labels, interrogate waiters, cook. Don’t freak out about being away from home. You’re capable of eating Gluten Free there; you can do it while traveling. When in doubt; eat a Larabar. But don’t fill your trip up with anxiety over food.

Happy traveling!
Love,
Olivia

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