The last decade has borne witness to a cultural shift in health and wellbeing, with more Australians learning how to take a diet-first approach to self-care. The result is increased flexibility in dining menus, with customisable dishes suited for those with allergies or dietary restrictions. But it can still be difficult to find gluten-free options on a road trip that don’t negate taste and nutrients. Below, our five-step guide for eating (and enjoying) gluten-free food on the road.
1. Plan your trip
Before you take off, get organised. Estimate how long the journey will be, and chart out places you might be able to stop. Look for cafes and restaurants that you know have gluten-free options (and don’t be afraid to call up and ask – as always with our health, knowledge is power). Planning out your whole trip (including the return) will help you to avoid drifting into the hunger zone with no viable meal options in sight.
2. Prepare mindfully using apps
The benefits of the smartphone age? Google Maps, for a start. Second (for us) are the array of dietary apps that support mindful meal preparation. Consider downloading a food intolerance app such as ‘Find Me Gluten Free’, Coeliac Australia’s ‘Gluten Free Ingredient List’, or the Gluten Free Scanner apps to understand what you can and can’t have on your journey.
3. Pack snacks like a pro
Again, a little preparation can go a long way. By packing the car with a selection of healthy, fibre- and protein-rich gluten-free snacks, you’ll stay fuller for longer – perfect for maintaining concentration and energy levels for long stretches of highway. Think gluten-free snacks such as popcorn, veggie chips, fresh fruit, nuts and yoghurt pouches. Don’t forget to throw in some condiments for meal stops – salad dressings, sauces, toppings and spreads often aren’t gluten-free, and even the smallest amount could bring you unstuck. A good rule of thumb for snacks: bring more than you think you’ll need.
4. Keep water levels up
Water can be your best friend on the road. An insulated bottle will keep your drinks at a great temperature, and help you quench your thirst for the drive. For a change of pace, mix up your beverages occasionally, such as tea or fruit juice.
5. Come say hi to us at Oliver’s
No matter if you have to, or simply want to, eat a gluten-free diet, Oliver’s menu is loaded with GF options for any time of the day or night. From our delicious breakfast crumpets to an array of oven baked goods, salads, smoothies, curries, snacks and desserts – read more on our gluten-free offerings here, or check out our comprehensive menu here.