Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Like I'm High-End Homeless...

I'm basically living out of a duffle bag this holiday week. I traveled across the country via plane, and am now traveling across a state via car. If you, like me, are spending a lot of time in transit this holiday season, here are a couple of quick, car- and plane- friendly snack ideas:

1. Annie's Gluten Free Bunny Cookies - Low-mess little treats that are great for snacking. 
2. Luna Protein Bars - I can't remember if I've recommended these before, but they're hearty and great for traveling. Not all flavors are gluten-free, though.
3. Popchips - Savory snacks that play well with upset tummies. I'm not sure if all flavors are gluten-free. 
4. Nature Valley Nut Crunch Bars - These tuck nicely into purses and backpacks. They may shatter, but they're basically just nuts so the bars maintain their taste and texture integrity even if they're in pieces. 

And if you're looking for some fast food, here are links to gluten-free options from Wendy's and Chipotle

Happy Travels!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

This week go away from me. As I am sitting at my desk, eating my late lunch, I realized that it is Thursday already. The winter solstice is here, Hanukkah is in full swing, Christmas is in a couple of days, and Kwanzaa is rapidly approaching, too. Where did 2011 go? I am not prepared for the End of Times in 2012... I only have one publication and haven't been to confession since high school. But before we go putting carts before horses with insert-a-geddon, take a moment this holiday season to appreciate whatever life has given you and to let the people who you care about know that you care. 

May your holiday season bring happy memories, glutard accommodations, and a break from work! Best wishes for the end of 2011 and the start of 2012!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Get That Outta Here! More Tips on Avoiding Cross-Contamination

I still don't have anything nice to say, but I'll point you in the direction of a post that came across my Google Reader* this morning about tips for avoiding cross-contamination: http://www.celiact.com/blog/2011/12/12/73-gluten-free-kitchen-avoid-cross-contamination A lot of it overlaps with tips and tricks I've mentioned before, but you get the point. You can see that I'm not making this (sometimes inconvenient) sh*t up. 

If you don't subscribe to the CeliAct blog, it might be worth checking out. BEWARE that they are trying to sell you supplements. Supplements are a good idea when you're missing a major food group, but DON'T feel obligated to buy their formulas. I'm healthy as an asthmatic horse** and I only take whatever multivitamin is cheapest plus a B vitamin blend since many gluten-free grains aren't fortified like wheat flour is. But they aren't just selling products on their blog. I don't always find the blog useful, but I do like seeing their headlines, which often point me toward good things to know. Its nice to see what's going on in the glutard world and they write about things I wouldn't have thought to look up on my own. As long as I'm making recommendations, Celiac.com has some blog posts worth perusing, too. 

*Google Reader is how I subscribe to blogs. Even though the Almighty Google recently overhauled Reader and removed some of my favorite features, it is a great free service that has a user-friendly Android interface. 
**It's not like their supplements can cure asthma anyway. This should be obvious, but I am still feeling a little stabby, which makes me skeptical of everyone's intelligence, even my own. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Oh hey there. I'm in a bus, blogging on the run today thanks to my uber-busy schedule. 
Impending finals and holiday shopping stress have left me feeling kind of stabby. I have been told many times, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," so I have no post for you this week. If there's anything you'd like to see me address on the blog, let me know. Maybe I'll write a post. Maybe I won't. Only way to find out is to submit a topic.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Going Gluten-Free at Sporting/Concert Venues

There's been a recent uptick in the number of concerts and sporting events I'm attending, which means I've spent more time than usual at arenas. Unfortunately, arenas are rarely good settings for gluten-free fare. 

As always, what you can eat depends on the willingness of the staff to accommodate you and your judgment of if you think said staff will be able to get it right. Be attentive. Don't be afraid to ask questions. But if you know you're going to have a lot of questions, I recommend waiting to search for food until lines die down. The last thing you need are a bunch of rabid sports fans upset with you because you stand between them and their beer and hot dog. 

So with the usual caveats about being careful, I recommend seeing if the concession stand can give you a 100% beef hotdog without a bun. No fillers = no problem! Explain that you have an allergy, aka that they can't just peel a lukewarm dog out of a bun -- it has to be a clean dog. They're usually able to wrap a naked dog in foil and send you on your way. If they don't have plastic forks and knives for you to use to devour with your dog, feel free to wander around to other stands. I've had to rely on spoons before from ice cream stands, but it isn't like I was cutting real meat. Or you could be manly and just eat the dog with your bare hands. I've done that before, too. Note that the "manly" option is not particularly attractive on dates. ...Unless you can eat a hotdog seductively in a stadium full of people? I dunno. Don't try it. Just eat your damn dog. 

Aside from the bunless-wonders, there isn't much for glutards to eat at typical arenas. Some arenas will offer higher-end concession options like salads, chicken sandwiches, or ice cream, which may or may not be glutard friendly or adaptable. If they have fries, you could ask if they're cooked in the same oil as chicken strips, onion rings, etc. You could also ask about the nachos, but be warned that nachos are a real heartbreaker. If the squirty nacho cheese is safe, then the chips will be unsafe; if the chips are safe, then further inspection will reveal that the cheese is not. Hopes raised; hopes dashed. Maybe you'll have better luck than I've had, though. Hopes raised! 

Otherwise you can drink a ton of soda and hope that fills you up. Spoiler alert: It probably won't. Or, and I am NOT advocating for this, you could try to stealthily sneak in a snack. This is probably against the rules, so don't do it unless you know the venue allows it. Or, even better, you could try to eat beforehand. Fill yourself up so you can sport out/rock out without having to worry about concession stand food. This last option gives you the extra advantage of not having to miss any of the game/concert waiting in line or reading ingredient lists. 

Game on!