Planning A Gluten Free Road Trip

 
road-trip-scenic-view
I'm in planning mode (which starts out as panic mode, then once I have a moment of clarity to get me in gear, get my to-do list organized, then it finally turns into planning mode. It's my process). In one week from today we will be doing some serious road tripping. A five hour drive to Salt Lake City to record a cooking segment on channel 4 Good Things Utah (go check out my first appearance on the show making Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies), a wedding, then a 2 day drive to Arkansas to visit my grandma and relatives there! With four kids...9 years down to 10 months old...in a vehicle...driving for days...

Ahhhh! Sorry, moment of panic.

My worry isn't so much the car ride (although it should prove interesting trying to entertain a baby for hours a day who hates being in his car seat and isn't interested in movies yet). No, my biggest anxiety is keeping my gluten sensitive daughter fed while away from my safe gluten free kitchen.

 This morning as I sat on the floor with Dax while he played with his toys, Miah came and sat beside me and simply said, "I wish I could have gluten too." She wasn't upset, just thoughtful. "It's not always easy being different," I said with a smile, "but different is good too." 
Different is good, but I can make it easier by planning ahead and being prepared with knowledge and gluten free food ready to go. So now that panic mode has passed, I am preparing so we can make wonderful memories.

 

MAKE IT, PACK IT, SNACK IT!

Making gluten free snacks and breads ahead of time and packing them in a cooler for the road won't just save you from anxiety about whether something is safe to eat or not, but will also save a ton of money. If you plan on staying overnight at a hotel, their complementary breakfast may provide you with some fresh fruit, but each hotel and hotel chain is different so come prepared in case. For a meal on the road or a filling snack, this week I'll be making and freezing GF Applesauce MuffinsHomemade GF Granola Bars, and Homemade GF Sandwich Bread . I'll also have the cooler full of peeled and cut fruits and veggies like carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, apples, oranges, grapes, as well as some raw almonds, cheese sticks and yogurt. That should keep everyone's munchies in check. 

Since my grandma is a born and raised Southerner I know food at her house will be battered and fried (tasty, but not gluten free). So I'm going to mix the dry ingredients for  Homemade GF Waffles (which also works well as pancakes) and pack it in a plastic container as well as some GF oatmeal and rice noodles for a gluten free equivalent to whatever everyone else will be eating. The great thing about grandma's house in the summer is the overload of fresh eggs from her chickens, and fruit and veggies from her garden so no worries there! Overload is the wrong word since you really can never have too much fresh whole food.

BUY IT! GLUTEN FREE DINING OUT

It was a tradition growing up on my family's yearly excursion to Arkansas to stop once each day of our journey for an ice cream cone. It was special because my family rarely ate out when I was younger. It's a tradition that I want to continue since my children don't eat out often either. So here's my top picks of drive thrus and quick eats with links to their list of gluten free options. As always be sure to let the food handlers know of your special dietary needs so they can avoid cross-contamination and serve you properly.

 Wendy's (as you've probably already guessed), Arby's, and Chick-fil-A have the most comprehensive and comforting gluten free menus of any fast food place and you can never go wrong with Costa Vida. You can tell them you want it gluten free and watch them wash their hands, change gloves and make it right in front of you. 

Some prep work now means that we'll be able to enjoy a less stressful and more memorable adventure.

Road trip! Road trip! Road trip!....Are we there yet?

Melissa-Signature

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 21 June 2018

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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