Traveling Gluten-Free: How a Body Builder Maintains Her Diet on the Road

April 9, 2013

Traveling Gluten-Free: How a Body Builder Maintains Her Diet on the Road

Susan Maloney

NFCA Athlete for Awareness Susan Maloney shares how she stays gluten-free while traveling as a professional body builder.

Hello Gluten-Free Friends,

I received the following question about my travel routine, and I wanted to share my response with you.

How do you stay gluten-free when you’re traveling? You seem to focus on protein, so do you use gluten-free protein bars or shakes? What do you order when you eat on the road?

I follow a higher protein diet than most individuals, athletes included, given my particular sport and need to find good quality nutrients that will maintain satiety, muscle, stabilize blood sugar, and help me to stay lean; and that nutrient by any other name must be protein. So, when traveling or just working my usual 12 hour days, I never leave home without my packed food bag for the day with tuna packs or another type of fish, prepared containers of egg whites and egg white protein powder as my mainstay fuel with zip lock baggies full of veggies for all of my meals throughout the day (I eat every 2 hours). I do not eat protein bars, as most are loaded with sugar and fats that I cannot tolerate and would not need to consume during my day.

I rarely ever eat out at restaurants as I have only found 1-2 places that can meet my specific dietary and nutrition needs. Most restaurants grill with soybean oils, dressings and/or marinades with sugars or artificial flavorings that I do not consume. I also prefer organic and wild caught proteins, which can be hard to find in my local restaurants. I do, however, find it an absolute divine treat to go to Fleming’s Steakhouse in Woodmere, Ohio, where Chef Ian comes to my table, pan sears my rare salmon filet in a separate pan in water and steams my spinach. Nirvana!

I certainly want to stress that I do believe there are places that can and will meet individuals’ gluten-free needs, and most folks can in fact go to a restaurant and choose fruits, salads and gluten-free foods that are safe and healthy options. With my additional food sensitivities and the fact that I choose not to eat starchy gluten-free options, I would much rather grill my fish and vegetables at home, where I can prepare the healthiest meals for me and my family.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your support.

In health,