By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber
Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure, jetting off for a romantic getaway, or taking the kids to Disney World, travel offers immeasurable benefits. Trips provide a much-needed break from the routine, renew our sense of wonder, and deliver a fresh perspective on life. As Pico Iyer put it, “Travel is not really about leaving our homes, but leaving our habits.”
However, when we are living with allergies, food sensitivities or within a specific dietary system, it is precisely when we break our daily habits that we open ourselves to health risks. Whether you are living with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or following a Paleo diet, you’ll want to keep gluten out of your diet even when you may temporarily relax the rest of your healthy habits.
Follow these guidelines to safeguard your health while travelling:
1. Pack Food
Portable snacks and meal replacement shakes are a convenient way to ensure that you never go hungry. Buy individually packaged almonds or make your own mix and pack a few ziplocks with your favorites. Small fruits such as tangerines or apples are easy to throw in your bag. A few low-sugar protein bars also come in handy when the airplane forgot your GF meal and the plane is delayed on the runway…for another 3 hours. Kind Bars are widely available and at least two of their tasty bars have only 4 grams of sugar: Cashew Ginger Spice and Madagascar Vanilla Almond. Other bars to look for are Quest Bar Coconut Cashew and Lara Bar Uber Roasted Nut Bar.
If you can find the time to make a batch of home-cooked treats to pack, try these lemon poppy muffins or Janice’s delicious chocolate date coconut bars for a sweet treat that travels well and offers sustainable energy.
I often freeze small containers of yogurt to take on trips – by the time I’m ready to eat one a few hours later, it is defrosted but still cool. A box or small bag of Mary’s Gone Crackers is also useful if you can find room in your bag!
Finally, including a few packets of protein shakes like Sustain or Recharge in your luggage is a foolproof way to ensure that you get a nutritious breakfast even if your hotel offers only pastries and cereals.
2. Do Your Research
Does your airline offer gluten-free meals on your flight? Can your hotel restaurant accommodate gluten-free and make recommendations for local restaurants that would be suitable? Call ahead and ask questions and of course, turn to Google to search for gluten-free restaurants at your destination. Gluten-free is becoming increasingly popular and easy to accommodate.
3. Communicate in the Native Tongue
It’s always best to explain your allergy or dietary concerns with your waiter, but when language is a barrier, a simple card explaining that you cannot ingest gluten is a great tool.When travelling internationally, print out gluten-free request cards in the language of your destination country to ease communication barriers. Celiac.com offers cards in 54 languages explaining Celiac and gluten-free in multiple languages which you can print out to take with you to restaurants: http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/
Enjoy your trip!