Vacations are good for the soul. But, when you have to eat wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar, any sort of travel takes on new meaning. Preparation is key, in fact, it’s mandatory. Doing a little work ahead of time will save you in big ways, especially when your tummy starts rumbling from hunger. After a recent 7-hour trip down the Oregon Coast (what was I thinking?!), I was so grateful that I planned my menu in advance. It’s tough to find foods that you not only feel like eating, but that also meet the wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar lifestyle. Luckily, I did some of the work for you already. Here are some tips to keep in mind when traveling:
Bring Essential Snacks With You
If you’re roadtripping, as I did, make sure you pack a grocery bag or two full of necessary items. Bags of mixed nuts, apples, carrots, rice crackers, wheat-free cookies and bars, blue corn chips and soy crisps are critical. That way if you stop to eat at a restaurant, you can order a salad or soup and then have something tasty to supplement it (and have dessert too!). For airline travel, bars are your savoir. Find a wheat-free, dairy-free, low sugar bar that you love and take a few with you. Or bake your own.
Energy Bar Recipe
Book a Hotel Room With a Fridge and Microwave
And if available, always pony up the cash for a kitchenette. It will save you so much time and money otherwise spent searching for food you can eat (and enjoy) beyond basic salads. If you have a toaster in your room, try wheat-free English muffins with dairy-free cream cheese as a nice lunch. Pick up salsa and hummus at a local grocery store, along with veggies and chips for great healthy in-room snacks.
At Restaurants, Always Let the Wait Staff Know About Your Allergies
As a courtesy, when I’m ordering, I always let the wait staff know that I cannot eat wheat or dairy. This way when I ask for no croutons or bread and slyly ask about what ingredients are in the dressing, they don’t think I’m some obsessive-compulsive customer who’s trying to drop 5 pounds. Once they understand you actually have a reason for being more finicky about your food, they are usually very accommodating. Whenever a meal comes with a side of pasta, always ask to substitute grilled veggies (whatever they have on hand) and this can also be done for sandwiches. Recently, a restaurant carried an albacore tuna salad sandwich. I asked if I could just have the albacore tuna salad and they were happy to oblige. Above all, being upfront and polite will warrant the best service and food.