Gluten Free Snacks and eating on the run

Travel Snacks Gluten Free

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Snacks – don’t leave home without them.  There is nothing worse than getting stuck in a situation where you are hungry,  your will power is waning, and there is nothing to eat but fast food.  You think to yourself; “Oh, how I wish I had put some snacks in my bag”.  Below is a helpful list of ideas for packing snacks as well as eating on the run ideas, put together from reading on line different fast food restaurants about their ingredients in the food, and trying to make the best decision for gluten free that I could.  Of course ingredients may change, restaurants may change their recipe at any moment, and therefore I encourage you to ask questions (as you are use to doing already) about the specific item you choose.

First off, its easier and cheaper to carry snacks with you.  Load up your back pack with Raw nuts – they last a long time and of course need no refrigeration.  A small handful of raw nuts could make the difference in assisting your will power.  Apples, baby carrots, Celery sticks, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, zucchini sticks, kale chips all travel well enough for a day or so.  Peanut butter and almond butter are sold in little packs similar to ketchup packs,  thereby making them a very easy for dipping  carrots, apples, or celery into on the go.

Chick-fil-A: will sell you a grilled chicken breast without the bun, or a salad with grilled chicken.  Last checked, their chicken was gluten free.

Boston Market has many options for gluten free, rotisserie chicken, fruit salad, green beans, corn, cinnamon apples, and they state that non of their gravies, or dressings contain gluten.

Chipotle Mexican Grill: order the bowl with any meat, veggies and sides – just no tortillas.

Chili’s bar and grill:  they have a gluten free menu here.  Last I checked their ribs were on this menu.

Red Lobster has a gluten free menu.

Jasons Deli caries gluten free bread for their sandwiches, and has a delicious salad bar.  I can’t help myself sometimes to a sandwich, but I always remind them about the allergies, and to please keep it from touching the prep board.  Actually I say, “I understand that you guys know what to do with gluten allergies, and are good about changing the gloves and keeping my sandwich free of gluten crumbs.  I appreciate that.”

On the subject of salad bars, I am often dissatisfied in the placement of the crouton bowl. As it goes with people reaching for things with little plastic tongs, bits get dropped on to other things and no one would think this is problematic.  Crumbs from croutons seem to hide and stick to anything.  As you know it’s not just a crumb.  It has already been studied that 1/8 of a thumbnail size of gluten is enough to set off the inflammatory response.  It does matter!

As far as eating steak, chicken or any other protein source for that matter, you need to ask about marinades, and seasonings.  Often they may use soy sauce for instance in their marinades, and or use a dusting of flour prior to grilling, as if often the case with fish.  The chef knows the answer to these questions.  I have been surprised lately to see things that I would have assumed were naturally gluten free; such as grilled Asparagus listed as not gluten free.  It just depends on what they have put on it, and or where it was cooked.  Many restaurants do not have a separate kitchen, and therefore cross contamination with certain foods may be the reason it’s listed as not gluten free, when you think it should be.

Enjoy the healthy benefits of cooking at home as much as possible, and when out and about, be prepared, and always ask questions before consuming.  Chefs and ingredients may vary, be aware.