Happy Celiac Disease Awareness month!
There are few months I love more than this month. Sure, a big part of that is because it’s MAY (finally! Hallelujah!) which means that Spring is (hopefully!) here to stay. BUT most importantly, I love that here is a whole month dedicated to awareness around Celiac disease and the gluten-free lifestyle that comes with it.
No, it’s not a fad. No, avoiding gluten is not all about looking good in your skinny jeans (by now we’ve all realized that gluten-free does not equal healthy or skinny, yes? Please say yes.) And YES it is a real auto-immune disease that seriously affects more than 3 million Americans, and approximately 1% of the total global population.
In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, and since a 100% gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease, I’m going to be sharing a few blog posts dedicated to my favorite gluten-free products (snacks, pantry staples, etc.) and a few posts on gluten-free eating and cooking tips over the next 4 weeks. I may even have a few giveaways up my sleeves, so be on the lookout 😉
One of the hardest adjustments for me in regards to a newly gluten-free lifestyle was (unplanned) eating on the go. Sadly, I don’t think there will ever be a day where I can step out of my house without having an emergency snack (or 10) in my bag. Sure, there are more and more gluten-free options available all around us, but I’m also pretty careful about the quality of food that I am putting into my mouth, and sometimes (just sometimes) a girl needs a little more sustenance than the gluten-free marshmallow bars at Starbucks 😉 Without further ado…..
What healthier on-the-go gluten-free snacks can you often find in my bag? My go-tos are:
You’re not surprised about this one, right? I am a self-professed granola addict, and I always have some on hand. A little bit of granola can go a long way – just a few handfuls can hold you for hours since it’s packed with tons of healthy fats, protein, and just the right amount of carbs (assuming you are making your own at home like I do, of course! Many store bought brands can be full of unnecessary sugar and other junk, so beware.) AND a little baggie of granola takes up next to no room in my ever-overflowing purse.
Thank you, mother nature. You just can’t beat what she’s laying down, you feel me? No better nutrition, and so easy to grab on the way out the door. Just make sure you are grabbing fruit that travels well – my go-tos are usually apples, bananas, and clementines since they don’t need to be refrigerated, they can withstand some abuse in the purse, and they aren’t a struggle to dive into on the go.
3. Natural Fruit & Nut Bars
While I love granola, I’m not really a granola bar fan nor am I a protein bar fan (99% of them taste like CHALK people! Let’s stop denying it). BUT, I DO love clean, minimal ingredient nut and fruit bars like Lara Bars, RX Bars (newer to me and I’m in LOVE!), and That’s It Fruit Bars (fun fact: the Trader Joe’s Fruit Bars are the same thing as That’s It Bars, just private labeled. The couple that we do our nanny share with are siblings of the That’s It owners and let us in on that tidbit. #friendsinhighplaces). There are usually always one of each of these in my purse/car/diaper bag/ gym bag/ stroller at any given time.
4. Peanut Butter or Almond Butter Packets
These are a LIFESAVER. Literally. Tons of protein and healthy fats in one little convenient package. Plus, they are squeezable so you don’t have to worry about the mess that would come with needing a knife or a spoon if you, say, kept a jar in your car (yes, I’ve tried that, too). I can’t stress to you enough how perfect these are for traveling! They took all of my “what am I going to be able to eat” stress away for our last two European vacations. Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter Packets, Almond Butter Packets, and Barney Butter Almond Butter packets are my favorites.
….And while I’ll admit that I often eat them by squeezing them straight into my mouth – no shame, folks, no shame – they are a great pairing with the apple or banana I mentioned above OR my next on-the-go item for a more well-rounded snack.
5. Gluten-Free Crackers
I’m admittedly a carb-o-holic, and always need to have some crunchy carbs on hand, so obviously crackers are a big staple in my diet. My favorites right now are the Crunchmaster Multi-Grain crackers (I usually buy these in bulk at Costco! But beware if you’re avoiding soy – some of them use gluten-free soy sauce as an ingredient) and newer-to-me Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Almond Meal Crackers.
6. Gluten-Free Rolled Oats, in a baggie
Maybe I should have put this at #1, because I ALWAYS have a baggie of oats in my purse. Sounds totally random, I know, but it’s the perfect on-the-go meal, and so much better for you than those pre-made to-go oatmeal packets. To make the oatmeal, I’ll usually stop off at a coffee shop or convenience store and ask for a half-full cup of hot water, and to “cook” the oats, I just let them steep away in the hot water for 5-10 minutes. Bonus: most coffee shops and convenience stores have honey packets available, so no need to even add any sweetener like brown sugar to the baggie of oats that you store in your bag! Very important: make sure your oats meet the gluten-free purity protocol standards! I love Bob’s Red Mill’s Old Fashioned Rolled Oats.
7. Fresh Veggies & Hummus
This is one of the more planning-intensive snacks as they need to be kept cool or eaten quickly, but I LOVE packing some fresh veggies (carrots are my go-to!) and hummus for a healthy, easy snack. I usually buy the individually portioned hummus cups at Costco for easy on-the-go eating (sorry, environment!).
8. Trail Mix
While I generally make my own – a mix of roasted almonds, walnuts, craisins, and allergen-free chocolate chips is my go-to – there are many high-quality trail mixes out there on the market. Another great option that packs a ton of nutrition in a small and portable package! If you choose to buy your trail mix, just triple check that it is gluten-free and processed in a dedicated facility.
And there you have it, folks. My most favorite healthy(ish) on-the-go gluten-free snacks!
What are your go-tos?