It's summer - which, for this college celiac, means lots of studying for the GRE, working at an amazing internship three days a week and flying off to visit family in the Lone Star state.
Compared to my short, three-day stay in Disneyland, I'll be rockin' in Texas for two weeks. What gluten free foods am I packing (correction: stuffing) in my suitcase?
Here's a sneak peek at how I make sure this celiac won't go hungry!
1. Immediate necessities
First of all, you should consider what food you'll need right when you land. Now, your access to a grocery store will vary depending on your destination and arrival time. In my case, I know that I'll be stepping into humidity - I mean Houston - at seven P.M. their time. After a long day of travel, I know that I won't be craving a shopping spree. So, I'm packing:
A dinner that I will most likely eat on the plane, while waiting at the baggage claim or on the way to Grandma's house. It may not look pretty, but this combo is bomb! Basically just mixed greens, lots of leftover roasted veggies, salmon, two kinds of tater (regular and Japanese sweet potato) and avocado. Served with some green beans, it's a dream!
Night snack goodies like half a So Delicious yogurt container, a travel pack of sunbutter, a small container of fruit, and rice cakes.
Breakfast for the next morning, which features a pre-made and frozen smoothie bowl that I double wrapped and stuffed in my suitcase! (Can you say smoothie addict?) Plus my usual toppings.
2. Breakfast staples
Now, in my experience, breakfast is the hardest meal of the day when I'm away from home - mainly because *insert a lone tear here* I have to leave my beloved Vitamix behind. I often end up using a verrrrry low speed blender my grandma has, but I also love having these staples in my suitcase:
Buckwheat and rice flakes for oatless oatmeal.
Chia seeds (Mamma Chia for the win!) for oatless oatmeal, smoothies and chia seed pudding.
Spices like turmeric, maca and cacao.
Enjoy Life Trail Mix - crunchy chewy goodness!
Several Health Warrior Chia Bars to eat as snacks or crumble on my oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt.
Coconut flour - for breakfast bakes and/or breakfast cookies.
3. Hard-to-find items
Now, when you're staying somewhere for a decent amount of time, obviously you can stock up with lots of gluten free food from local grocery stores. Before you leave, I definitely suggest spending a few minutes researching your destination. Any gluten free restaurants nearby? Health stores? Knowing your options will help you know how much to bring.
In my case, I know that there is a Randall's Grocery with decent produce and gluten free options nearby, several Whole Foods Markets (score!), and plenty of delicious restaurants. As a result, I'm only packing some of my favorite foods that can be hard (or pricey) to find. These include:
My homemade granola. I cooked a big batch a few nights before my flight to make sure I had my favorite treat stocked for the first week. By the time I get back, I'll definitely be experiencing granola withdrawal!
Food for Life Rice tortillas, which I love cooking on the stove top to make crunchy chips.
Daiya cheese - mainly because I only have half a bag left and I know that I wouldn't finish a whole bag if I bought one there.
The new coconut milk coffee creamers from So Delicious - because I just received some samples the other day and want to use them in my smoothies and oatmeal!
And that's a wrap! I won't lie and say that traveling with celiac is easy, but it does get easier with experience. Now, I expect to tote a decent amount of food with me on any vacation. It's just reality. By accepting that, instead of being embarrassed or anxious over it, I have a less stressful (and equally delicious) trip.
Because, in my mind? Clothes < food in my vacation priority list. That's what washing machines are for!
What are some staples you bring with you on extended vacations? Any of the same ones on my list? Comment below!