Grain Free Travel Tips

I’m here in Tuscon, Arizona, where it’s spectacular and beautiful and sunny and warm. I’m scouting out the resort here, a beautiful resort – the Loews Ventana Resort. But I’ll tell you about that another time. Some great news ahead!

Right now, I want to share with you some travel tips. Some ways to carry food along. You know it’s one of the most common questions I get in the Wheat Belly community, that is, “I’m going to travel across country, or fly to New York, or even go to Europe, what can I can I bring along so that I’m sure I have healthy foods to eat in case there’s nothing at the airport, or along in the car?” And so, here’s a list of healthy snack choices to bring along on your next travel plan.

How about some raw or dry-roasted nuts or seeds. So, raw is always safe. Dry-roasted is okay, remember, if it’s not dry-roasted with unhealthy oils. Because very commonly, manufacturers will turn to cheap oils, like hydrogenated cottonseed oil, or hydrogenated soybean oil, and those are no-no’s. We don’t want that. So raw is fine or dry-roasted – without those unhealthy oils. And so, dry-roasted or raw pecans, cashews (just go light on the cashews because of the carb count), almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds – all safe choices.

Hard cheeses are very good for travel because they keep for hours, if not days, just wrap them, of course, and they can last. And they’re very filling cause they’re full fat, and that’s what you want. You don’t want low fat. You don’t want skim. You want full fat cheese, whenever you have cheese, if you include dairy in your eating.

Grainless granola. I’ve shared a number of recipes for grainless granola, recipes over the years in the Wheat Belly blog, also the Wheat Belly cookbooks, but we’ll also share one with you here with these tips [below]. And that’s a delicious way to have crunch and a little bit of sweetness – we use benign sweeteners. It’s the kind of snack that will keep you happy, keep the family happy, keep the kids happy.
Trail mix bars, a lot like the granola, the grainless granola: crunch, sweet, tasty. They’re made with nuts and some other good ingredients, you can use some cacao nibs, all sorts of good healthy things. We’ll also share a recipe for a healthy bar that you can carry along that the kids tend to really love.

Jerky. You can find jerkies that are complying with the Wheat Belly lifestyle. Remember we don’t want added sugars. We don’t want sodium nitrate, the curing effect. We don’t want that. We don’t want soy sauce, soy, or anything with gluten in it. So, there are several brands. You may have to look a little bit. Krave is a good brand. Primo is another one. Epic’s a great one. They also use free-range sources for their meats. Those are all safe, tasty, and healthy choices for jerky.

Muffins, scones, cookies, these are all foods that you can make with Wheat Belly recipes. They’re healthy. They don’t have grains or added sugars, and they’re all tasty. And they’re portable. You can bring them along on your next travel plans and they’re very easy, and you’ll have a very, very satisfied family if you bring the family along.

And you may know that Wheat-Free Market makes things like cookies that are also consistent with the Wheat Belly lifestyle, and they would also be portable, and they’re incredibly tasty.

So, there you have it. Some useful travel tips for foods that are portable and healthy, that you can bring along, that leaves you comfortably, and safe on the Wheat Belly path.

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Apple Cinnamon “Granola”

When you need some crunch in your breakfast, this is the way to go. Mix up a batch on, say, Sunday, save in an airtight container (refrigeration optional), then eat over the course of several days’ breakfasts.

The dried apple in this recipe can be replaced with peaches, strawberries, raspberries or any other unsweetened, dried fruit you have available. Just be sure to purchase unsweetened pre-dried fruit. Even better, save money by dehydrating them yourself and that way you know there will be no added sugar. The fruit is added after baking, as the fruit tends to burn, even at low temperatures.

Makes 10 servings

4 cups dried coconut flakes (unsweetened)
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup whole chia seeds
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Sweetener equivalent to 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup avocado or extra-light olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ounce (approximately 1 1/2 cups) dried apples (unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 300℉.

In large bowl, combine coconut flakes, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, sweetener, and mix thoroughly.

Add oil, vanilla extract, and mix in thoroughly.

Spread mixture on large, shallow baking pan and transfer to oven. Remove every 4-5 minutes and turn over with spoon. Repeat once or twice until mixture very lightly browned. Remove and cool.

Transfer mixture to large bowl. Break up or chop dried apples into small pieces (dried fruit often comes in a pouch that you can use to break by rolling a heavy glass, jar, or rolling pin over it while still sealed) and add.  Cover mixture and store. (Refrigeration not necessary if to be consumed over the next several days.)

Trail Mix Bar

These bars have many of the wonderful nuts, seeds, and crunch of a trail mix–but without the sugar load. This poses only a modest carbohydrate exposure, as the dates provide 4 grams sugar per date.

However, if you are a marathon runner, triathlete, or other long-duration exerciser and would like to use these bars as your during-exercise carbohydrate source, they are easily modified to increase carbohydrate content to suit your needs. You can add more 2-3 more dates, for instance, or more raisins or apricots, ground in your food chopper or food processor in the first step. If you are not a long-duration athlete, leave these bars as is!

Ingredients for every 2 bars (e.g., multiply ingredients by 4 to obtain 8 bars):
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
1-2 whole pitted dates
1 tablespoon walnut fragments
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sweetener equivalent to 1 tablespoon sugar or sweeten to taste
1 tablespoon coconut milk (full thickness), room temperature
1/2 tablespoon almond butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Combine coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dates and grind in food chopper or food processor until consistency of coarse coffee grounds. Pour into bowl.

Add walnut fragments, cacao nibs, cinnamon, and sweetener and mix thoroughly. Taste batter to ensure degree of sweetness. Stir in coconut milk and almond butter by hand. (If almond butter is too thick, microwave prior to adding to mix in 15 second increments to obtain a liquid consistency.)

On parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, divide dough into two parts (or into as many bars as you desire). Shape into bar shape with the flat edge of a butter knife.

Bake for 60 minutes. Remove and cool.

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