Traveling when you have food allergies makes grabbing food quickly nearly impossible. Of course, I love Panera Bread since they create clean foods and through time I’ve discovered I can eat it okay. But I can easily overdo it. That’s why on any trip I’m getting fast food in the grocery store.
How do I define fast food?
Fast food for me is something I don’t have to cook or do too much preparation in order to consume it. This can be organic fruit and vegetables, things I can eat easily. Ready to eat meat that doesn’t contain anything I can’t consume. I look for uncured meats like pepperoni or deli meats that are non-GMO. I can have dairy, and milk or yogurt is usually something I can grab quickly. And cheese usually works as long as it doesn’t contain modified food starch that isn’t specified as not corn starch (potato or tapioca starch).
How do I grab food quickly?
I read labels. Learning what is behind the most common ingredients that I cannot have is important to me. I check for tahini because it is ground sesame seeds which I can’t have. Some words make me suspicious such as spices, on the ingredient list, especially in Cajun or Indian foods.
I memorize certain brands I know I can eat. It’s important to read their labels to double check in case they changed their recipe recently, but those are the brands I reach for first. For instance, I can have dairy, so I reach for Daisy sour cream or cottage cheese first. I know it doesn’t have any extra ingredients.
On the labels, I look for organic and non-GMO. And I pay attention to how my body is doing. I can’t handle too much dairy, everything in moderation. Rice is okay but I read the ingredient lists on prepackaged rice products.
Getting fast food in the grocery store
When my daughters are with me, we all read labels for each other. One can’t have sunflower oil, the daughters both don’t do dairy, one doesn’t do eggs like me, and the other is avoiding grains like me. Our allergies and food sensitivities go together and fight each other constantly. But in the grocery store, we band together picking out foods to eat and double check what the others have picked.
It is possible. Getting fast food in the grocery store does work for quick lunches or when the surrounding restaurants won’t do. It just takes reading labels, understanding brands, and having someone double check for you.