With summer quickly approaching (yay!), that means vacations and traveling are right around the corner. If you are dreading trying to find gluten free food, never fear! Here are eight tips for you to set your mind at ease while on the road and eating real food gluten free lifestyle. #1) Use technology
Yelp is one of my personal favorite apps when I am on the road. I typically type in the search field ‘vegan' or ‘plant-based'. I've found that both of these usually result in finding some pretty neat places that serve delicious, naturally gluten free food. This also lets you explore parts of town you are visiting that you wouldn't otherwise. And of course, you can always ask questions on the Udi's Gluten Free community page. There is sure to be someone who knows where you are traveling to!
#2) Be prepared
One of my must-dos when I travel is to always pack real food. Real food that is naturally gluten free is a great way to start off any trip on the right foot. If you are traveling in a car pack a cooler with all kinds of real foods! Simply refill it with ice along your road trip. Hummus, organic Greek Yogurt (Wallaby Organic Yogurt is a good choice), made-from-scratch guacamole, almond butter or sunflower seed butter. Pack these goodies in glass containers (avoid plastic whenever possible).
#3) Eat real "fast" food
The best gluten free foods are those that are naturally free. Not surprising, eh? Hemp hearts, coconut butter, almond, walnuts, sunflower seeds, goji berries, kale, spinach, arugula, carrots, celery, mushrooms, bee pollen, acai, herbs- the list of naturally gluten free foods is endless! You can find them at local health food stores, farmer's markets, and CSAs. And of course be sure to buy organic real foods too!
#4) Go local
Local farmer's markets are a great place to try new gluten free foods and also give you an insiders look at the town you are traveling in. These two sites are a great resource for traveling and also in your hometown as well. Bookmark these sites Local Harvest (also includes a list for CSAs) and Pick-Your-Own. Pressed Juice Directory is another great site to find organic juices wherever you go. I hope you refer to these sites frequently! Shopping local is a great way to give back and support the local community you are traveling in.
#5) Carry snacks with you at all times
If you know you'll be relaxing on the beach or visiting a museum for many hours, be sure to always pack some snacks with you so don't have to look up the nearest place that might have gluten free options. Nut and seed bars, dried fruit, nut and coconut butter packets are all great real foods to have on hand.
#6) Pick where you go to eat out
If you can pick where everyone goes out to eat you will have peace of mind. (And everyone is happy!) This might require a little research on your part but will save you much heartache in the long run. If you have Celiac calling ahead and asking about their meal preparations and how they prepare their gluten free meals is always a good idea.
#7) Keep your immune system happy
This might sound like an odd tip when traveling but it's probably one of the most important ones on this list! Gluten sensitivities and Celiac disease are a sign of leaky gut and/or a compromised immune system. Eighty percent of the immune system lives in the gut, so one of the best things you can do for your health on road (and at home too!) is to take a quality probiotic. Traveling is a stress and added stress increases inflammation in the body which doesn't make for a happy immune system. Help boost your immune system and keep your gut flora happy by taking a probiotic daily. If you are taking a road trip pack a refrigerated probiotic such as this one. If traveling by air use a dry ice pack. Probiotics are highly perishable so handle with care (hence the keeping cool part). Keep your gut happy while on vacation this summer! (Tip: find a local made sauerkraut at farmer's market or at a local food store. Organic Sauerkraut is a great probiotic. Note: always buy sauerkraut in the refrigerated section, NOT shelf stable.)
#8) Skip the alcoholic drink
Alcohol is inflammation and, as you just read, inflammation doesn't make for a happy gut or immune system. So drink with a lot of caution if you do decide to drink. One healthy alternative is kombucha. This effervescent drink contains a tiny bit of naturally occurring alcohol so you can still say "cheers!" with your friends. It can be found at local health food stores, Whole Foods Market and even on tap at some farmer's markets (so delicious). Cheers to that!
Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi's Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.