Most days, I do not even really think about being gluten free.  Our home is safe, and I’ve learned a few lessons about keeping myself safe at work too.  Traveling still makes me take a deep breath and the list making begins.  I keep a mental list handy of things that travel well.  

I know that if we are going on a military trip I’ll likely find a refrigerator at the hotel, but almost never a microwave.  I didn’t know that the first time we traveled and believed the email I had telling me a microwave would be no problem.  After a few tears, a lot of begging, and a few hours of wondering what I was going to do with the frozen food we had brought with us on the airplane – the hotel did steal a microwave from their housekeeping department but I learned on that trip – cold food that does not require heating is the only way to go.  Our schedule is usually pretty full when we travel with the military and we are not authorized a rental car so I must take everything we need. This was rather daunting that first trip, but now I have a decent handle on it.  I can take our chex mix cereal and get the milk from the continental breakfast bar.  Bananas are usually found there too, and since the skin protects the part I eat I do not have to worry about gluten fingerprints on them.  Lunch and dinner typically consist of a chicken salad, tuna salad, quinoa salad, sandwich meat with cheese and crackers, or hummus and veggies.  I take a small lunch box sized cooler and extra cold packs.  That way if we can’t get back to the room for lunch we won’t starve.  I keep a stash of Nature Valley Almond Bars and Welch’s fruit snacks on hand for the afternoon munchies.  I learned to take a water bottle that has a filter in it so I can just fill it from the tap.  Often the water is just stored in big pitchers at the hotels and I have no idea if they might be cross-contaminated. A baggie of craisins keeps me happy in the airport.  I also take a zip-lock of bleach wipes so I can wipe down any surface we might be eating on.  I always feel a bit paranoid going to this extreme, but the thought of trying to fly home if gluten hits me is enough to make me take the extra precaution anyway.

If we are traveling by car the options are more vast.  The toaster oven is my salvation and offers me so many more options.  We can take waffles or muffins for breakfast.  I made these grain bombs for dinner a few weeks back and we both quickly decided they would be a go-to meal for trips.  Sandwiches also become a possibility (technically you can eat sandiches not toasted but I do not know of anyone gluten free that chooses to do so)

We can take small mason jars of yogurt and zip-lock of granola to add to it.  Smoothies made and stored in mason jars are not only tasty, they also help keep the cooler chilly.  They also help me get more veggies and fruit in our diet when we are traveling, which seems a bit harder to do than we are at home.  We still rely on quinoa salads, chicken salads, and tuna salads*.  Our black bean and corn salad makes it into the rotation too.  Hummus and veggies is great if we are driving through a meal time.  Sandwich meat layered with cheese and mustard and rolled into lettuce works well if we need a quick meal or something to take hiking with us.  If we have some hummus leftover we typically spread that over the lettuce before we roll them up!  Shredded chicken doused in bbq sauce or dressed with a honey mint dressing is a favorite of ours! 

I’m sure over time our lists will expand but for now this our go to plan for traveling.  


*I realize that I list salads a few times, but I do try to vary them.  We’ll take a Mexican inspired quinoa taco salad for one meal and a Greek quinoa salad for another, for example.  I also vary the hummus we take, doing an artichoke herb one time and a chipolte based the next.

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