Gluten-free To Go
If I don't eat, I turn into an angsty teenager- fully complete with eye rolls, a snappy attitude, and more F bombs than I care to confess. I don't know what it is- obviously my body is sensitive (I have a gazillion food intolerances and get a migraine if I miss a few glasses of water). but it's only since I've been allthebadfoods-free that I turn into the Wicked Witch of the West if I go too long without eating. And since I can't rely on the corner store to carry a gluten-free, dairy-free, high protein, low sugar, no soy snack bar (actually, does one even exist?!), I need to be prepared. I bet you do, too. So, here are the top 5 tips I have for being prepared:
1) Pick a safe treat that fits your hunger needs and keep it by the door! I choose bananas, because they are sweet, can hold me over in most situations, and they provide the sugar I need. I always have green & yellow bananas so I don't run out, and they are within arms reach of the door.
2) Pack to go. Better than having a safe snack by your door? Keep 'em in your bag! More specifically, buy emergency snacks the next time you shop. And only eat them when you NEED to. Keep 3 snack bars in your purse, briefcase or car (weather permitting). It may be days before you need one, but it'll be waiting for you at the drop of a hat.
3) Pack your lunch the night before. It may seem obvious, but sometimes our belief that our morning routine is flawless gets in the way. If you hit snooze one time too many, if you have kids, get stuck on breakfast duty, get called in early, etc- you need to be prepared. Sometimes you won't have 5 minutes to pack up a lunchtime meal. You'll have 12 seconds. Do yourself a favor and have what you need ready. Pack dinner leftovers in a meal size tupperware when cleaning up dinner. Keep all the ingredients for a salad in separate little containers, huddled together in the fridge. Whatever it is- have it ready! And if nothing else, know what you want to take.
4) Know your surroundings. Sometimes, on the worst day, you will have zero options. Your meeting unexpectedly ran late, and you missed your bus. You're in an unfamiliar area and -damnit iOS upgrade- only have 4% battery left. No one you ask even knows what gluten is. It's raining and the last thing you want to do is wander the streets in hopes of finding food. Prevent this by researching the area before you leave. With help from apps like Yelp and Find Me Gluten-Free, you can check out an area before you even get there! And you should. Worst comes to worst, you can check your notebook and find the directions to that hidden little gem 2 blocks down on the left. The best part of this? You can price check and choose the cheaper option, should you need it.
And finally, #5) Enlist the help of family and friends - even coworkers! My husband is my life savior. He knows how horrible I feel if I'm hungry, and unfortunately, he also has to deal with me. If he knows I'm stuck in traffic on a terrible commute in from work and I left my bag at the office, he has a snack ready for me on the table. I won't have to look through cabinets, put in any effort to cook, or mindlessly pace in my kitchen feeling hopeless and aggravated. He saves me. If we're meeting up somewhere, he too carries a snack around in case I need it. My coworkers know how hard it is for me to find food in our cafeteria, and a friend offers her stash of snacks in case mine ever runs out. We all have our downfalls, but if we address our hunger before it hits, we can build out teams of people who care, while we most deserve their love.
So bottom line, yes, feel distraught when you are starving, alone and no one understands. But then cross that experience off your list, and ensure for yourself that those horrible events are few and far between. And let me know how you do it! :)