How to Eat Gluten Free in Airports

How to Eat Gluten Free in Airports

I never knew if readers really cared to know how I manage to travel while having to eat Gluten Free, but since my “How to Road Trip Gluten Free” article is the #1 read article on my blog right now, I’m assuming there’s a market for it!  😉

Airports can sometimes feel like the worst nightmare for Gluten Freers. Outside of limited dining options, the thought of getting “glutened” and then going on a plane is terrifying. I’ve been there.  But traveling is too fantastic to let Celiac or an intolerance get in the way.

After many, many flights, I’ve figured out a few things about Gluten Free eating in airports, and I’ll share my top tips with you!

How to Eat Gluten Free in Airports

1. Research the airport first

The easiest thing to do is Google your airport before your trip. Some airports already have a listing of restaurants with Gluten-Free options. Or you can get a list of food spots at your airport, go to their individual websites, and see which have Gluten Free food (and which take contamination into consideration!)

Of course, this is only possible in large airports with restarants/fast food options.

2. Ask for help

Do not ever be afraid to ask. I’ve known that embarrassing fear of coming across as high-maintenance. But you aren’t high maintenance; you have a real health condition. Recently at Philadelphia’s airport, I asked around for a great place to have a Gluten Free dinner. Turns out they had a restaurant with heavenly Gluten Free EVERYTHING – calamari even! And I got to wash it down with a Gluten Free hard cider.

If I hadn’t asked, I would have never assumed the bar-like restaurant would have had anything to offer me.

3. Use the “corner store”

Most airports have some sort of 7-11-esque pit stop. You can often find snack food there.  Packaged snacks and produce can be safe bets when you have no other option. Grab a back of Gluten-Free certified chips (here’s a list of Gluten Free products by Frito Lay), some fruit, a dairy (yogurt or string cheese) and a protein (you can often find hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerated section).

This is not necessarily the healthiest, most filling, nor the most desirable everyday meal, but it will tide you over until you’ve arrived at your destination.

4. Know your airline

Some airlines offer Gluten Free snacks and meals. Of course, you will want to double check the ingredients with the staff and trust your gut, because mistakes can be made. But many airlines pride themselves on offering options for all their fliers. Remember to request your meal BEFORE your flight. Call ahead.

Here is a great list of global airlines and what they offer their Gluten Free guests.

5. Bring your own

When in doubt, just bring the food yourself. Even toss a cooler bag in your carry on and add some safe and filling food from home (just leave behind the stinky stuff…don’t be THAT person.) If you have any liquids, make sure they stay under the minimum liquid requirement of 3.4 ounces.

Of course, this takes some planning ahead. But when you’re hungry and actually have safe food to eat, you’ll be happy.

BONUS: My #1 way to save on these gluten-free items is to buy them from the online retailer Vitacost. Sign up using my Vitacost link HERE, and save $10 on your first purchase!

Eating Gluten Free in airports may not be so glamorously last minute or spontaneous, but it is definitely doable.  Have you had a great or terrible experience of eating gluten free in airports? Let my readers know in the comments!

For more Gluten Free travel tips, including “How to Road Trip Gluten Free,” CLICK HERE!

Gluten-Free

How to be Gluten Free in NYC

How to be Gluten Free in NYC

Gluten Free in NYC

Listen.  If you’re worried about eating Gluten Free in NYC, please stop.  There is no need to fret about the glory that New York City has for its Gluten Free tourists and locals.  I ate some of the best Gluten Free food in my life and never had one gluten contamination problem.  As if I couldn’t love New York anymore…

Just download my favorite app, Find Me Gluten Free, and check to see what’s around you wherever you go!  We found one of our favorite meals this way.  We had just finished up at the Met (love), and found a Colombian place near by, Dulce Vida Cafe.  Oh.  Dear.  Goodness.  It was heavenly.  We ate cheese empanadas breaded in corn meal, tostones (fried plantains that reminded me of our trip to Puerto Rico!), and mixed grill.

Which brings me to a very important point.  Try interesting and different restaurants when you travel.  Maybe you won’t like it; maybe your mind will be opened and your mouth will have a party.  Just try new things all the time.

Though our trip was a quick 50-hour stint, and I’m sure there are so many fabulous places, these were a couple favorites:

Nizza – This great little Italian restaurant was recommended to me by a Gluten Free friend.  The whole meal was delicious (I ordered the GF gnocchi and a cab), but the highlight was the focaccia bread.

Gluten Free in NYC

Bloom’s Deli – This came from another recommendation.  I can’t rave about it enough, a quintessential NYC diner.  We got a window spot to watch the hustle and bustle and the cabs drive by.  I got Gluten Free French Toast.

I also found some Gluten Free pizza and had hot dogs with GF buns at Yankees stadium.  Everywhere I turned there were options.  Eating gluten free in NYC is a breeze, a joy, and a great way to gain a few pounds.  Can’t wait to go back.

How to be Gluten Free in NYC

Gluten Free

Why I Chose Young Living Essential Oils

Why I Chose Young Living Essential Oils

Young Living Essential Oils

I may have been a skeptic, but I was a desperate skeptic – with one health problem after the other during the summer of 2014. A sweet friend kept posting about how Young Living Essential Oils were changing her and her family’s lives. Way too many doctors visits and antibiotics made me willing to give it a try.   Maybe they would help; maybe they wouldn’t.  But after going Gluten Free a few years earlier, I knew it was possible that natural options could help.

My friend introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils through their Premium Starter Kit. The first thing I tried was the Thieves blend, a great supporter of the immune system. Then Peppermint, a blessing to the digestive tract. One at a time, I started experimenting.  I noticed as I was ridding myself of toxic chemicals and replacing them with oils, I was getting healthier. The hype started to make sense.

I used to be a desperate skeptic, but now I’m a firm believer. And I’m surrounded by beautiful friends who have become firm believers for themselves and for their families.  There’s a reason your Facebook feed gets blown up with friends talking about essential oils! They work! Maybe you’re a desperate skeptic too.  Or maybe you’re on board the essential oils bandwagon, but you’re confused about which brand to try.  For you and everyone else, these are the reasons I chose Young Living Essential Oils:

Young Living Essential Oils

  1. Seed to Seal promise

Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise is what sold me. They are the only company that oversees the entire process of creating each essential oil. That way every member can be sure they are receiving genuine and pure oils every time. They have high standards, and I appreciate that. Young Living Essential Oils are never diluted or cut.

  1. Cost vs. Benefits

The cost of the Premium Starter Kit was affordable enough that I was willing to take a risk of seeing no benefits. However, the benefits ended up far outweighing the price. Considering how much I was spending on co-pays and prescriptions, the cost/benefit is incredible.

  1. Wholesale Membership

Young Living is far more than essential oils. They also have personal care and cleaning lines. Not only are they all natural, they have the added benefits of infused oils. By ordering a Premium Starter Kit and becoming a member, I have unlimited access to Young Living’s online health and wellness store at a 24% discount.

  1. Support System

I think many people are scared of jumping into essential oils because they don’t know what to do with them. I was no different. I learned that there are incredible support systems throughout this company filled with people who genuinely want to help so you and your family can lead healthy, happy lives. I have never felt alone throughout the process!

I’m just a desperate skeptic turned firm believer.  And I believe we should all be in this together. Life is hard enough as it is, we don’t need to be bringing toxic chemicals into our homes to make life that much harder!

Interested in a Starter Kit? Here’s what you get:

Young Living Essential Oils

11 Oils (5ml):

  • Thieves
  • Stress Away
  • R.C.
  • Lemon
  • Digize
  • Lavender
  • Frankincense
  • Panaway
  • Purification
  • Copiaba
  • Peppermint

In the event that they are out of a particular oil in that list, you could get one of these great oils (5ml):

  • Orange
  • Lemongrass
  • Aroma Ease
  • Tea Tree
  • Citrus Fresh

You’ll also get a diffuser and some fun extras!  Everything you get is worth about $300, and you’re getting it for $160.

Please comment below, message me through my Contact box on the upper righthand corner, or find me on social media – and ask anything!  I asked a lot of questions before purchasing the Starter Kit.  Let me be a resource after you’ve signed up as well.  Not sure how and when to use an oil?  I’d love to talk to you about it!

CLICK HERE to sign up for the Premium Starter Kit through Young Living Essential Oils!

See also: 4 Essential Oils for Travel

How To Go Gluten Free Without Crying

How To Go Gluten Free Without Crying

how to go gluten free

When I went Gluten Free (GF) years ago, I panicked.  “How will I live without bread.  And cookies.  And bread.  And pasta.  And bread?!?!  Lord save me.”  I wanted to cry.  I thought enjoying life was over – even though I knew it was worth it.  After only 24 hours of no Gluten, I noticed a positive difference in my body.  After a week without Gluten, the change was so dramatic I knew it could never touch my lips again.

Bye-bye wheat, rye, and barley!

Turns out it wasn’t that hard.  In fact, I rarely miss any Gluten-filled product.  When somebody devours a delicious cronut (croissant donut) in front of my face, I just slap them. When somebody enjoys French bread dipped in Olive Oil and spices, I just faint.  These activities make my Gluten Free self feel better.  I kid (not really)!

There are so many options for the Gluten-Freers.  SO MANY.  Fear not, my Celiac-y friends!  You’re all gonna be just fine.  Remember: we can eat our hearts out on foods like meats, dairy (unless you have a dairy intolerance, unfortunately common in the GF community), produce, nuts, rice, quinoa (my fav!), oils/butter, and CHOCOLATE.

BONUS: My #1 way to save on these gluten-free items is to buy them from the online retailer Vitacost. Sign up using my Vitacost link HERE, and save $10 on your first purchase!

Gluten Free

The “How to Go Gluten Free without Crying” Steps:

how to go gluten free

  • Get Rid of the Gluten

Throw out the bread, pastas, cookies, soy sauce, spice mixes, etc. that are not marked Gluten Free.  Or put them in a designated cabinet for your gluten-eating family members.  Out of sight, out of mind.  You won’t accidentally grab them when you’re not in the GF habit.

  • Wash, wash, wash

Wash all your pots and pans, utensils, and cooking spaces.  If you live with people who will continue eating Gluten, you will have to be careful.  Some people buy two of everything – two spatulas, two cookie sheets.  I just wash all our kitchen appliances thoroughly – no direct sharing.

  • Meal plan each week

Google Gluten Free recipes or use Pinterest!  Pinterest is a great resource for GF meal ideas (start here and then expand to here!) Have a plan, stick to it – especially when you’re just starting out.  You won’t get as overwhelmed while you’re still figuring it all out.  Example:

MONDAY

Breakfast: 2 eggs, salsa, 1 slice of Gluten-Free bread with peanut butter

Snack: Yogurt

Lunch: Quinoa Salad with grilled chicken

Snack: Apple and almonds

Dinner: Tacos with corn tortillas and homemade taco seasoning, refried beans

Dessert: Dark chocolate (because, duh, you need chocolate!)

  • Go For The Substitutions

Some people say silly things like, “Don’t buy substitute products, it’s so much healthier and cheaper to just eat lettuce wraps.”  Girlfriend wants bread and pasta!  Celiac was going to kill me; brown rice pasta isn’t.  These substitute products will make the transition much easier.

Try both Rudi’s and Udi’s breads (Rudi’s doesn’t ONLY make Gluten Free bread, so make sure it’s labeled).  They’re more expensive. So when they’re on sale, stock up and put them in your freezer! Jovial pasta is my favorite!  Non-Gluten-Freers love it too. You can’t beat the ingredient list: Organic brown rice pasta, water. And San-J has great GF soy sauce.

Remember to look at the ingredients!  A lot of substitution products will use white rice flour or potato starch.  Try to stay away from those and stick to brown rice flour, coconut flour, garbanzo bean flour and healthier flours like these. 

  • Make Google Your BFF

When you don’t know if a product is Gluten Free and it’s not marked on the package, google it! Most products have GF info on their website.  If they don’t, you can often find the info on a forum. Just google “Is (blank) gluten free?” and research away!  This is also a great way to find restaurants.  I often google “Gluten free (restaurant name)” — this gives me a leg-up in case the staff isn’t up on their GF facts.  Also Google hidden sources of Gluten.

  • Speak Up!

This is still the hardest one for me.  I feel bad about my Celiac, and I shouldn’t.  I often feel like it makes me high maintenance.  Which it does, kinda.  But this is a matter of my life, my health.  Tell your family and friends. Explain to them how important it is.  Tell the waitstaff at a restaurant that you cannot consume Gluten, because it will give you the shits (No, no, feel free to leave that detail out).

Pro Tip: Celiac/Gluten Intolerance is NOT classified as an “allergy.”  But most people don’t know that.  SO when you’re at a restaurant, and you think they’re not understanding the importance of you staying away from Gluten, tell them you are terribly ALLERGIC to it.  That’s a buzzword that just might save your stomach!

  • Don’t Cheat

You cannot cheat on a Gluten Free diet when you’re eating that way for Celiac Disease or a Gluten Intolerance.  It’s not a weight-loss plan where you can splurge on Friday night.  You either eat Gluten Free or you don’t.  Even the tiniest amount of Gluten can send your body into a tailspin.  Make the commitment; your body will thank you by not ruining your life.

Have questions about how to go Gluten Free?? Use my Contact page in the upper right hand corner to email me!  Or comment below!

BONUS: My #1 way to save on these gluten-free items is to buy them from the online retailer Vitacost. Sign up using my Vitacost link HERE, and save $10 on your first purchase!

Also see: Gluten Free Travel

Gluten-Free

 

Gluten Free in Costa Rica

Gluten Free in Costa Rica

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Being a Gluten Free traveller in Costa Rica was a breeze. Like many other Central American countries (click here for Gluten Free in Puerto Rico!), Costa Rica’s staples are rice and beans. They also eat a lot of meats and veggies.  This meant that I had a meal option every place I went. Keep in mind that the Costa Rican diet is pretty mild, we didn’t encounter spicy food during our trip.   Here are the common Costa Rican dishes that I safely enjoyed:

Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto is a traditional Costa Rican breakfast dish made of rice and beans.  When you order Gallo Pinto, it often comes with eggs, a choice of meat,  fried plantains/bananas, and sometimes a corn tortilla.  Rice and beans for breakfast?  I wasn’t so sure.  But I always believe in eating as the locals do.  Now I wonder why Americans don’t consider rice and beans to be a breakfast food!  I woke up craving my Gallo Pinto each morning!

FullSizeRender

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Casado Plate

A common lunch or dinner in Costa Rica is a Casado plate.  These plates include rice, beans, plantains, meat of choice, salad and a veggie (and often a corn tortilla).  It’s very simple food, but always delicious.

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Ceviche

Secret: I hadn’t had ceviche before coming to Costa Rica.  I also hadn’t had octopus.  I can cross both of my bucket list!  Ceviche is a raw fish dish, cooked with a variety of fish (including octopus…yum!).  The fish is “cooked” or “cured” with citrus juice.  You then can eat it with corn tortilla chips.  This was one of my favs!

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Drinks

Coconut water is abundant in Costa Rica.  It’s the perfect way to stay hydrated in the blazing heat.  The locals walk around with coolers and will cut one open for you right there.

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Smoothies are a big deal in Costa Rica.  I had all sorts of tropical fruits in mine.  They are so refreshing on a hot day. (Sidenote:  Water in Costa Rica??  We drank bottled water the entire time, but gambled on the ice.  We were perfectly fine.  Costa Rica water is safe to drink, but does contain bacteria foreign to Americans.  So it can possibly leave you running to a toilet.  We didn’t think it was worth the risk on a 9 day trip.  If we were there longer, we would have had the water.)

Gluten Free Costa Rica

COFFEE.  I can’t consume caffeine.  And that was my greatest Costa Rican tragedy (forget the puking during my flight or visiting the hospital!)  I did take a sip here and there of my boyfriend’s coffee.  Let me tell you.  It is absolutely delicious.  If you are a coffee drinker, you’ll be in heaven.

Gluten Free Costa RicaOther

The only dessert we ordered our entire trip was this fresh coconut ice cream in a coconut shell with toasted coconut.  Holy coconut heaven above!

Gluten Free Costa Rica

We got it “to share.”  You can see how sharing went…

Gluten Free Costa Rica

The only morning I didn’t have Gallo Pinto for breakfast, I had a Gluten Free waffle on the beach.  It’s a hard life.  We enjoyed waffles at Coffee & Waffles in Tamarindo.  It was so nice to be able to sink my teeth in some Gluten Free sugary goodness.  I can’t recommend their Gluten Free waffles highly enough!

Gluten Free Costa Rica

Of course while we were there, I enjoyed some fried plantains.  A dish I fell in love with while in Puerto Rico.  Fun fact: Apparently Costa Ricans don’t call fried plantains “tostones” like they do in Puerto Rico.  In Costa Rica, they are “patacones.”  Do not, I repeat, do not mix this up!

Gluten Free Costa Rica

If you are a concerned traveller with Celiac or a Gluten Intolerance, put your fears aside and fly on over to Costa Rica. Any traveller will be quite pleased with the simple, yet delicious cuisine!  Pura Vida!

Gluten Free