Eating Gluten-free on an Airplane

I am very blessed- my sister and brother-in-law live in Hawaii, and I recently visited with my dad. The flight there was 11h 40m. I flew United-- and they did not serve "meals", only snacks for purchase. Did they have a gluten-free option? No. Did they accept special dietary requests? No- because they weren't serving "meals". Whaaaaaaaaaaaatttt? You mean to tell me that flying through 3 major meals does not encourage an airline to offer you at least one? Crazy town. With only one option. Bring your own food -- and a lot of it.

Let me tell you- I eat A LOT. But I can't eat a lot of processed foods - they literally make me sick. So this presented a huge dilemma -- WTF do I do?

At the airport before the flight at 7 am, I ate a 3 egg omelette from a restaurant in the terminal with a cup of coffee. For $16. Don't do that. I should have brought hard boiled eggs but my press for time is a story for another day. We boarded. I crossed my fingers.

I brought 12 little packet's of Justin's Almond Butter (Justin is a God, btw and I ended up eating ten of them); I had 2 bananas, a handful of random protein bars from Whole Foods (that had little substance since they were stripped of all the normal things that go into a protein bar), raw almonds (which I forgot about), Glutino Breakfast Bars (which I love but give me heart burn), half a bag of Salt & Vinegar chips, and freeze dried Apply Mickey Mouse snacks that my dad had, and that was it. I was hungry 90% of the flight, and ate as soon as we got to Honolulu. (Hello, Jamba Juice!)


With a more flexible schedule, I could have done better. I could have baked muffins. I could have made my own green bean or kale chips. I could have bought a bag of carrots. I could have, I could have, I could have. The truth of the situation was I left packing for the last minute, and did not prioritize my poor little belly. Of course hindsight is 20/20. And when you have a sensitive stomach, confined to one tiny bathroom shared with about a hundred other people for 11 hours, you have to be willing to go a little hungry.

If you are making a trek across the world, start planning now. Check the airport about what you are and are not allowed to bring food wise -- but most people are surprised when I tell them I bring my own snacks. Liquids are banned, foods are not. Unless of course you have fruit cups that are too big - but you should otherwise be fine. In fact, when I used to fly to San Francisco frequently, I was complimented on my healthy snack choice by TSA. Go figure :)