Without time to go into more detail, here is a basic gluten/dairy-free staple foods list (I always have these around!). More will come later (the interesting substitutes and recipes I’ve found…).

  1. Rice/corn cakes/chips/crackers – the perfect crunchy substitute for bread when you’re on the go- slather them in one of the nut butters, and you’ve got a great, protein-rich snack. Watch out for the flavored versions, however! They may contain gluten or dairy (especially “ranch” or “barbeque” versions).
  2. Almond butter – I discovered this while trying to find new ways to get protein – I like it even more than peanut butter! There is also cashew butter, sunbutter (from sunflower seeds – sweet and sooo good), and any other nut-butter you can dream up.
  3. Peanut butter – it’s so nice to have an excuse to eat this all the time. Especially with a square or two of my favorite Dark Chocolate.
  4. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc. (nuts/seeds) – you can’t go wrong with these! Just make sure you check the preservatives list if you aren’t buying them organically. Dried fruit/nut mixes (see #13) are a definite must, but always follow the rule and check the nutrition information, as mentioned – just in case!
  5. Fruit leather – a great on-the-go snack without digestive side effects.
  6. Hummus – for some individuals coming off of eating gluten with many digestive disorders, eating beans and legumes may not go over well. See what your digestive system can take and work your way back to eating chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, etc. – and hummus. You’ll get there! Its a delicious and healthy alternative to dipping those carrots in ranch dressing!
  7. Fresh fruits/veggies (i.e. carrots, apples, lettuce, bananas…) – what can I say? Thank God for produce!
  8. Gluten-free Pretzels – yes, they exist, and they are soooo good. I discovered them with much joy after about 6 months of living on rice cakes and peanut butter.
  9. Banana chips – watch out for processed versions, but basic banana chips are a good, healthy-fat snack punch when you need them.
  10. Lara Bars – a lifesaver. These medium-sized, low-calorie bars are perfect when you’re on the go. Great alternative to Clif and Zone bars, which are full of allergy “no-no’s”.
  11. Stevia – I use this as a subsitute for refined sugar, which gives me migraines. It tastes a little bit like licorice, but its not bad. Especially if you use it as an ingredient or a mix-in, rather than a topping. In other words, don’t spoon it down dry.
  12. Tuna – a definite MUST for on-the-go individuals looking for protein. Check the ingredients, but it should be allergen-friendly. (I can eat sunkist, which is the most popular brand, and should be available at any grocery store… I believe they even come in packs so you don’t have to carry a can-opener on your keychain!)
  13. Trio Bars (and other “Mrs. Mays” products) – a nut and dried fruit mix bar that has also saved me from starvation (or at least a major headache and embarassing stomach growling) many a time.
  14. Soy milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter (“Silk” and “Whole Soy&Co” products, especially)- essential substitutes for dairy to get that calcium into your diet. You should be able to find soy milk at any grocery store, while cheese, yogurt, and butter of this variety may need to be purchased at a specialty store. (note: regular butter, milk, and yogurt should be gluten-free- just check the label in case and watch for flavored/mix-in versions…)
  15. Tapioca or Rice Bread (and other “Bob’s Red Mill”, “Food for Life” and “Ener-G” products)- granted, it won’t taste the same as regular bread. Get used to it – unfortunately, the one thing I have yet to find (commercially… homemade gluten-free bread is pretty good!) that has an equivalent is real, honest-to-goodness fresh bread. This is, however, great for sandwiches and the like.
  16. Terra and veggie chips – a yummy and nutritient-rich snack (although most regular potato chips are okay as well)- I love the sweet potato ones, in particular!
  17. Rice – good old-fashioned rice is a great thing to have on hand. It will become your best friend. Rice cereals (check to make sure they are without malt – for instance, only the Honey Rice Puffins cereal is gluten-free, although they advertise the others to be so as well) are a good staple to keep around, as well as anything corn-based and without malt, barley, etc.

To get a quick peek at some of the upcoming delicacies that are available, check out the Gluten-Free Mall.

That’s all for now, folks!