If you suffer from wheat or gluten intolerance – or simply want to eliminate it you’re your diet for other reasons (such as if you are on the Paleo Diet), you may discover that it is difficult to travel very far from home and still be able to stay gluten free. However, it is possible, you just have to take the time to plan ahead and you can still enjoy yourself while staying on your special diet.
You can still go on vacation and enjoy great meals and snacks without worrying about what you’re eating or dangerous cross-contamination. All you have to do is prepare yourself for travel so that you can enjoy your vacation and eat well at the same time.
First, educate yourself with a list of restaurant chains in the area that you’ll be visiting so that you know which ones offer gluten-free options. You can go online (before you leave for vacation) and search “gluten free restaurant chains.”
Then check out specific locations and information on their gluten-free offerings since menus can vary from franchise to franchise. Many popular chains offer lots of great dishes that are gluten-free. Among them are: Bonefish Grill, Carrabas Italian Grill, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Chilis, On the Border, Outback Steakhouse, PF Chang’s China Bistro, and Ted’s Montana Grill.
This is only a small sample, and that’s good news! For a quick bite at a fast food spot, Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A has gluten-free menu items. Check their websites to see where they’re located at your destination or (if you’re driving) along the way.
Some grocery chains post wheat and gluten-free food lists. You’ll want to check out what supermarket chains are in the area you’ll be in, so that you can know where to shop when you need a few supplies for snacking or making your own meal if you won’t be dining out.
Another great idea is to bring along a supply of gluten-free food bars to use as an emergency. These are a lifesaver when you’re at the airport, or stuck somewhere without a proper snack. Plus, there are several varieties and flavors to choose from.
Two of the most well known brands for gluten free snacks are Bumble Bars and Lara Bars. They can be purchased online or at some retailers. Ener-G Foods produces a great line of single serving gluten-free cereal packages and packets of gluten free bread (2 slices per pack).
Armed with your list of restaurants that offer great gluten-free items, your supermarket list, snack bars, cereal and bread packets, you’ll be more than ready to take a vacation and never have to give a moment’s thought worrying about what you’re ingesting.
Instead, you can sit back and enjoy yourself, bask in the sun, or ski down a powdery hill and be secure in the knowledge that you have the eating part of the vacation handled and won’t have to worry about your nutrition.
Mackenzie O'Brien at Buddyz McHenry. Since going professional less than one year ago Mackenzie has performed at over 40 venues in Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin as well as in the downtown areas of Chicago, Madison, Nashville, and Austin A mix of covers from Americana, Country and Folk music: Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Hozier, First Aid Kit, Tracey Chapman and many others. Mackenzie was named a featured singer in Madison Wisconsin's Chick Singer Night 2017.