What in the world is gluten?
So glad you asked…it’s a protein, yes a protein. It’s the combination of glutenin and gliadin coming together from wheat and other grass-related grains. There are those who have a true allergy to gluten, those who have an auto-immune disease called Celiac (or gluten-sensitive enteropathy), those who are sensitive to gluten, and there are those who are perfectly fine with gluten. Where are you on the spectrum?
Gluten is not an evil entity which many make it out to be; however, in the US we still consume foods in much larger quantities than we need, and we over consume processed foods…which can mean eating too many grains. What’s your staple grain? Is it wheat? If so, consider sprucing up your diet with a variety of grains, not just those that have gluten.
If you are going gluten free on the road you need to know which foods have gluten and then stock up on some staple foods for the tour.
Foods with Gluten:
- Kamut (TM)
Grains/Starches that are Gluten-Free:
- All Legumes
So, of the list of gluten-free starches which do you prefer? Which might you find on the road? If you are truly allergic or have Celiacs you must be hyper aware of how foods are prepared. Often foods can get cross contaminated with foods that contain gluten or they have a dressing, sauce, marinade, or spice that has gluten. If this is your scenario, let’s meet and get you on a safe path of eating on the road. If you are sensitive to gluten or just removing it from your diet you don’t need to be hyper-sensitive to the possibilities of cross contamination, but aware. Here are some tips for choosing to eat gluten-free on the road:
- Opt for a baked potato (seasoned potatoes may have some gluten on them or contamination)
- Plain rice only! Seasonings are often contaminated with gluten.
- Be sure to tell your server you are allergic to gluten and all wheat products. As a chef instructor I will tell you that most chefs (and almost all servers) still do not understand what gluten is or understand food sensitivities…just tell them you are allergic to be safe.
- Pack for the road! Pick up microwave quinoa or millet packets, puffed millet for cereal, and consider making some gluten-free grains for the road trip. Check out this recipe for curried almonds, millet stuffed tomatoes, granola bars and quinoa porridge.
- Corn tortillas are easy to come by at Mexican restaurants; however, ask how they prepare their marinades or rice.
- Fan of soy sauce? Not so fast, there’s gluten! Travel with Bragg Amino Acids instead!
- Put down that beer…yep, that’s got gluten!
- Ditch the idea that you have to have a grain at every meal. Instead fill your plate with veggies & legumes. You can enjoy a feast without ever missing a grain. Take a look:
Thanks @BartCrow & @ErynBrooke for the amazing meal…gluten free! Check out my their websites here:
Eating gluten free can be simplified. Avoid stressing and start off with simple alternatives like rice, potatoes, and corn…they are easy to find on the road! Spruce up your plate with starchy veggies and legumes in place of breads and grains, and don’t forget the protein! Although I’m not gluten-free I do try to go days without gluten just to focus on eating alternative grains for their health attributes and flavor profile. Something to consider…
Just Wendy Jo