As someone who is completely gluten-free and fairly sensitive to cross-contamination, traveling is stressful. In fact, it’s downright anxiety inducing. At this point, I’ve gotten pretty damn good at learning how to travel without having to go hungry or eat crap. I spent the past 10 days on vacation at a lake house which luckily had a kitchen, however, getting to said lake house required driving 12+ hours. That’s a whole lot of time in a car that requires a decent amount of food. Since I was the only person on said trip with dietary restrictions, I just decided to be prepared (really prepared) since it’s nearly impossible to find a gluten-free friendly food option in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t want to hold up the driving process. With some advanced planning, I was able to eat (and eat well) without having to stress out about where my next meal was coming from. I simply packed a small ice chest with cold items and another bag with “dry” items. With that said, here are my top tips for eating gluten-free on the road:
1. Make a list: I’m a list person (obviously). The day before we left, I made a list of items to buy at the store, items to cook, and other food items I was going to pack. Making a list just helps me visualize how much food I actually need and helps me identify what types of things I need to buy.
2. Cook ahead: I made a few items to bring with me such as hard boiled eggs (your driving buddies will loooove it), some steak, and some chicken since I needed to use up those items before leaving. I’ve also made some veggies, sweet potatoes, and other easy items on other road trips as well. I aim to make things that are easy to eat, don’t need to be reheated, and that travel well.
3. Buy strategically: I was so busy the few days leading up to the trip that I honestly didn’t have time to make much food. Instead, I bought a few strategic items that again traveled well, didn’t need to be reheated, and that were easy to eat in the car. My strategic items are usually protein sources like deli meats and chicken sausages, fat sources like cheeses and coconut flakes, and carb sources like plantain chips and sweet potato baby foods.
4. Fill in the gaps: I also purchased several bars like Yawp Bars, Epic Bars, and SR Bars to have as quick snacks (bonus: you can eat them the entire duration of your vacation and have snacks for the ride back). I usually bring along my protein powder to use in a pinch when I know I won’t be able to get any protein for awhile and for pre and post-training shakes. I fill out the rest of my food with veggies and fruits like carrots, broccoli, and apples.
What are you go-to road trip eating strategies?