Friday, March 23, 2012
Eating Gluten Free AND Healthy on the Road - Is it Possible?
I'm on the road again for work. I try to have most of my meals planned out ahead of time, but there are always a few that I have to figure out on the fly. This isn't usually a problem, and as I've mentioned a few times, when things get bad I always resort to french fries, although I really prefer not to.*
Even if I've done my due deligence and found restaurants to eat at along the way with gluten free menu items, these restaurants usually highlight gluten free pizza or pastas. Which is great, but not always so healthy. My problem these days is eating gluten free AND healthy on the road.
Many gluten free people bring along gluten free snacks when they travel: nuts, gluten free bars, etc. This is a good idea, but I have this problem where if I have food around me, I eat it. Knowing this about myself, I tend not to bring extra food along. If you have more self control than this, I highly suggest you bring some snacks. But the problem of eating healthy remains. Yes nuts are good, but wouldn't you like some fruits and vegetables? I know I would right about now. Some people even bring a cooler along with these kinds of food. Also a great idea, if I could just manage not to eat it all at once. You also have to make sure you are staying at hotels with fridges if you go this route, which is not always possible.
Yesterday I had to figure out all my meals on the fly. It did not go well. It started off ok with a nonfat plain yogurt and some fruit at the train station in New York. Then I took the train to Philly and from there a three hour drive to North Central PA. By then I was starving and had no ideas for lunch. I stopped at a rest stop with some of the usual options - burgers, french fries, pizza, pretzels, and coffee. There was also a sandwich place that offered some salads, but when I checked them out it was brown ice burg lettuce, unripe tomatoes, and weird looking deli meet. Not exactly my idea of a good lunch. So, french fries it was.
And then it was time for dinner. I am in rural PA and there were no restaurants in sight. More french fries for dinner. I felt gross, and still hungry. Sad times.
So, I know it's possible to eat gluten free, but is it also possible to eat healthy on the road? I'm sure it is, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. I think for my next trip I need to not only research places with gluten free food, but also restaurants in general that may have some healthy vegetables and protein. There are probably restaurants around that could give me a decent meal, but I just don't know where they are.
On my last trip I was actually able to construct a healthy dinner out of food I found at a gas station: Yogurt, fruit and cheese (meant for children...), and veggies and dip. I tried to find something like this last night but couldn't.
Anyone have any tips on healthy gluten free traveling (besides the obvious answer of gaining some self control and bringing food along)? Help please.
*Note: Many people choose not to eat fast food french fries for cross contamination and gluten in the oil reasons. People have gone back and forth on this issue. Unless french fries are coated in gluten, I personally eat them and have never had a problem.