Eating Gluten Free + Vegan[ish] at Popular Fast Food Spots

by - 2/04/2020

I know sometimes you just don't have any other option.
You are hungry and you need something quick.
So you stop at a fast food restaurant.

Your main concern:
Will they have anything you can eat?

Good news - due to the popularity of gluten free and veganism,
they have made their way to fast food spots!

Now I don't always trust fast food restaurants,
but when you are in a dire situation (ie. on a road trip),
sometimes you have to pray for the best
[aka seeing your body feeling amazing after eating from a fast food spot]

Let me warn you,
these suggestions are for someone who is some-what gluten sensitive / avoiding gluten
(not someone with celiac disease).

Keep in mind, some of these aren't
the absolute healthiest options in the world,
but it will work if we have no other choice.

... let's go! ....
[all of the below are options if you are Gluten Free & Vegan]
[if you're new to being GF & Vegan - super quick definitions ...
gluten free - do not eat anything made from wheat, rye, barley, etc.
vegan - do not eat anything made from an animal (including eggs, butter, honey, etc.)]

(McDonald’s fries are technically not gluten free or vegan because because of 
the natural beef flavor in the oil used to par fry the fries before they are shipped to restaurants - 
supposedly when testing no gluten was found on the fries after cooking, 
but it’s up to you to make the choice for your body. 
I find I’m okay with McDonald’s fries)

Entree: order the salad - subtract the chicken, dressing, cheese, and tortilla strips
Snack: grab the side of apples

 Burger King
Entree: order the impossible burger - no bun & no mayo
(just an FYI the impossible burger at BK has kind of gotten a bad wrap recently - it is a soy based product and may not be the healthiest choice, but if you are in a pickle it could work - just see how your body feels after eating it)
Sides: order the garden salad - no cheese & no dressing
fries (prepared in fryer used for products containing wheat and milk)
apple sauce

Entree #1: order the garden salad - no cheese, no dressing & no croutons
Entree #2: order the apple pecan salad - no chicken, no cheese & no dressing
Sides: plain baked potato
apple bites
french fries (the fryer is probably used for products containing wheat)

Meal[ish]: order the oatmeal (Classic or Hearty Blueberry) 
[keep in mind oats can typically be cross contaminated so if you are very sensitive to gluten this won't be good for you]
 Snacks: fresh fruit - banana, orange, seasonal fruit blend
bag of nuts
 Chips - Hippeas, Sweet Potato, Popcorn
(look for gluten free and/or vegan on the bag)
KIND bars (if fully vegan check to make sure not using honey)

Taco Bell
Meal[ish]: side of rice and beans
Snacks: chips and guacamole or pico de gallo

Personal pizza: order the gluten free crust  
(supposedly it has no eggs - double check their website though for allergen info if you're sensitive)
add some plain tomato sauce and whatever veggies you like
[keep in mind cross-contamination may be high here as they are making a ton of other pizzas 
that are not gluten free and the gluten can be airborne]

Entree #1: order a bowl
Entree # 2: order a salad
Entree #3: order hard shell tacos
add in options:
brown or white rice
black or pinto beans
fajita vegetables
fresh tomato salsa
romaine lettuce
corn salsa
green chili salsa
red chili salsa
Side: chips and guac or chips and salsa

In my mind all you need is one go-to option.

Before eating at any of the above,
think about the reasons why you eat how you eat
and if it is okay for your body to take a risk.

Cross contamination can happen anywhere,
so if you are really sensitive please do what you need to do for your health.
(packing food is always wonderful)

If you want to take a chance, I recommend going online and looking at the allergen lists for the place you are looking to eat at and asking the employees about any concerns you have.
It is better to know ahead of time than to find out the hard way!

What are some of the fast food restaurants you go to
when you are in a crunch as someone who is gluten free and vegan?

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