Guest post: Gluten-free while traveling

August 21, 2013 | By More
Cole Millen is a personal trainer and certified weight loss consultant who resides in Upstate New York. He describes food as the love of his life and seeks to help others enjoy their food while maintaining a nutritious lifestyle. Visit his blog at http://colemill.blogspot.com/.

Guest blogger Cole Millen is a personal trainer and certified weight loss consultant who resides in Upstate New York. He describes food as the love of his life and seeks to help others enjoy their food while maintaining a nutritious lifestyle. Visit his blog at http://colemill.blogspot.com/.

Many times we work hard, being diligent with diet and exercise in preparation for a great vacation only to completely backslide the moment we get to the airport. If we could just stay on track the whole way though we would feel so much better! Who wants to suffer from the consequences of their poor food choices while they are trying to have a good time? Here are some tips for sticking to your gluten-free lifestyle and feeling fantastic throughout your travels!

The Flight
Being prepared is the key to staying healthy and eating well while traveling especially if gluten is a concern. Gluten is one of the most common fillers in typical snack food fare — even many seemingly “healthy” packaged items like trail mix.

Get off to a good start by eating a healthy gluten-free meal prior to going to the airport, this way you will be full and you won’t be seduced by junk foods. Seek out food on layovers such as salads and baked chicken, and always read or ask about ingredients. Gluten is in many things you may not expect it to be in, like certain salad dressings. Packing healthy snacks such as dried fruit or nuts and other gluten free snacks are a great alternative.

Your Hotel
Again, do your research so that you are prepared. Make it your first order of business to hit up a nearby health food store, which you will have already located prior to your trip. This will make the mini-fridge or vending machine far less attractive when you are craving a snack.

Find out in advance if your hotel room service or restaurant offers a gluten-free menu. Many restaurants and eateries have several gluten-free choices today. When ordering room service, be specific about your order and most kitchens will accommodate your request. Often times it is hard to determine information about hotels. I have turned to consumer reviews for honest and unbiased information. Most recently, I took a trip out west and found a great site that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding their amenities and services as well as the restaurants in the area. This will allow you to determine which hotels, as well as restaurants, can cater to a gluten-free lifestyle. Preparation like this is key!

This might sound crazy, but taking a small slow cooker with you can be a great way to eat healthy on vacation, not to mention it is quite budget friendly. You will be able to make gluten-free meals like steamed vegetables or rice and chicken right in your room and be 100 percent certain about the ingredients you are consuming.

If a continental breakfast is available, eat all the fruit you want, unless you are avoiding sugar. Be wary of packaged oatmeals, they usually contain gluten.

Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein with no carbs and no gluten. Add a little salt and pepper and they are delicious and satisfying!

Eating Gluten-Free at Restaurants
Check out what restaurants are available in the area you are staying in or sightseeing in online before you go on your vacation. Look at the menu online and choose places with a gluten-free menu or a-la carte menu items that you can mix and match to create your own meal. This will give you a much better chance of sticking to your gluten-free lifestyle. Never be afraid to inquire about ingredients and preparation in a restaurant! Be wary of all sauces and dressings. In general anything battered or fried almost always contains flour.

Your health is important, only you can make it a priority! Stick to your gluten-free lifestyle and feel great your whole vacation!

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