As most of my friends and family know, my life-long stomach pains were explained this year. My doctors at Florida State figured out (after 22 years of pain and testing) that I have a non-celiac wheat allergy and a dairy allergy as well. With my busy travel schedule, I had to learn on the fly how to travel and eat out with my new allergies. High quality nutrition is important to every athlete and I was worried about restrictions on some of my staple foods. Thankfully, I had a great nutritionist to help me get started and an amazing mom with lots of ideas.
The most important thing that I do when booking a trip, is to look for a place with a kitchen. This could mean staying at someone’s house, renting an apartment or condo, or staying at a hotel with a kitchenette. Although at first glance some of these options may be more expensive, the price evens out when you are able to get all your meals at the grocery store versus paying to eat out. If I can plan a trip with a kitchen, everything is easy. I can buy good ingredients and cook my meals. I always pack my lunch for a tournament day so that I can control everything that is going into my body.
If I can’t find a housing option with a kitchen, I will find one with a fridge and microwave. I book most of my hotels on sites like booking.com or priceline.com where the features of each room are listed out. I do my best to stay at Hilton brand hotels because if breakfast is included, I know I can eat the meats and the hardboiled eggs because they are both gluten free and dairy free (the prepared eggs are gluten free but not dairy free). I can use the toaster for gluten free bread and it’s a perfect pre-tournament breakfast. Then I use the fridge to keep my lunch food. I even can go to the grocery and get a rotisserie chicken and sides to have dinner in the room if there are limited restaurant options. I keep a bin in my car with some paper plates and plastic cutlery for instances like this.
Quick Pre-Tournament Breakfast
Toasted gluten free bread (Canyon Bakehouse and Udi’s are my favorites)
Pre-packed hard boiled eggs (any grocery store has them)
Jimmy Dean microwaveable sausage link
Apple/banana/Silk yogurt alternative
Lunch/On the Course Snacks
Sandwich on gluten-free bread (meat, spinach and mayo)
Veggie Chips (I like the Synder Brand best)
Fruit Snacks or Craisins (a quick hit of carb and sugar)
Beef Jerky (be careful that your brand is gluten free!)
Alex Approved Restaurants
Please comment with any questions or suggestions!