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New To gluten-free And Seeking Suggestions! Running To Work - Lunch?

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Hello! I'm new here :)


I don't have celiac disease (confirmed by biopsy), but I am gluten intolerant and thus have been put on a gluten free diet. Actually, my gastroenterologist told me to go gluten free a couple years ago, but I didn't want to bother because I thought it was too big of a hassle and that I don't really need to do it...then the turning point came last week when my endocrinologist (I have hypothyroidism) increased my medication yet again and I remembered the possible connection between gluten intolerance and other autoimmune diseases/thyroid disease. I am actually a professionall trained ballerina, I study in Russia, but I became so ill from the hypothyroidism (and maybe the gluten intolerance) that I had to return home on medical leave and I am only cleared to go back to Russia in January! Oy. Anyway, something clicked and I decided to finally take the initiative to do what I was supposed to do two years ago and go gluten free! I have to be healthy to dance :)


So I am new to this - it's been less than a week! But within the first day I noticed an obvious difference - and I must say I am stunned. I am also pleasantly surprised that I am having an incredibly easy time with this! My mom said that the fact that it is so easy for me might suggest that my body really does need to be gluten free. I also think it's because I already don't eat many processed foods to start with, so I guess I didn't have to go through as big of a 'loss' as many others do.


Anywho. I have a bit of a dilemma and I would really appreciate your suggestions on this! I currently walk to work but I am now upgrading to RUNNING to work! This is awesome and I am so proud of myself :) It does bring with it a small issue - lunch - but luckily it can be worked around and remedied! On Monday mornings I will walk instead of run so that I can carry a backpack with lunch food for the week and work clothes for the week, and walk home to bring it back on Friday afternoons. As such, I am trying to make a list of foods I can keep at work to fix myself a lunch. The catch is that the items need to meet the following criteria:

Very limited fridge space, but plenty of cupboard space

Gluten free obviously ;)

Peanut/tree nut free (not allowed at the school)

I DO have a microwave.

I am in walking distance from a supermarket that I can go to if I must, but I am trying to save money so would rather not make a trip there every day.

And I am trying to avoid snack items and focus more on actual real food (I don't like snack products so much).

I figured I should invest in a microwave rice cooker and possibly a microwave pasta cooker in light of some of the items I have come up with, listed below. 


So, anyone care to add to the beginnings of what I hope will be an extensive, creative, and impressive list?


100-cal packs of popcorn

Packets of grits

Gluten free oatmeal

Cream of rice

Bob's Red Milk gluten-free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal

Knorr Bouillon


Beef jerky

V8 cans

gluten-free cold cereal


Almond milk

gluten-free Bars (KIND, NuGo, Luna, etc.)



Baby carrots


Applesauce/Buddy Fruit or other similar

Rice, buckwheat (I can invest in a microwave rice cooker)

Potatoes, sweet potatoes (I can make those in the microwave, right?)

Are there any other self-stable veggies I can cook in the microwave?


That's all I have for now! I am so sorry this post was so long, I just wanted to introduce myself properly since it's my first post  :wub: 

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Looks like you have a solid plan.  I don't have anything to really contribute to your list as it's pretty extensive.   Yes, you can nuke your potatoes.  You can add hard squashes like butternut too (yummy with cinnamon).  Oh, don't forget canned beans (baked, lima, etc.) and I like canned salmon too.


How far will you run?  I think it's a great way to get to work and get your cardio in.  


Good luck!

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Do you have a freezer at work? You could precook and freeze meals and pull them out and put the in the frig the afternoon before. Pre-make gluten-free pasta salad. And I know if it was me I would get an electric hot eye to heat my food. Microwaves are not good for you at all. I bought two of the same plant, watered one with tap water one with microwaved water (room temp) and it took less than three weeks for the microwaved plant to die :-/

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Why can't you run with ONE day's worth of lunch on you? (That's not a facetious question. I'm not a runner so I don't know if it would make a difference.)


I put lunches together and stick them in a ziplock bag. I make a bunch all at once and throw them in the freezer. I'll mix rice or baked potato with meat, cheese and broccoli, for example. When I get to work I just dump it into a bowl and microwave it. If you did something like that, then had your non-refrigerated items in the cupboard at work for snacks, would that work?

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Wow! Thanks you guys!


Cyclinglady, the distance is 2.4 miles one way. I usually walk it in about 40-45 minutes. I am new to running, so I don't expect myself to be able to run the whole way from the beginning, but I'll go at as slow of a pace as I need and with walking intervals and work up from there! I'm absolutely determined to learn to run and to make it a regular part of my life - I realized it's a skill that I can't afford to not have!


Brandiwine, unfortunately I don't really have a freezer at work. The fridge we have is one of those mini fridges and it has a small freezer 'tray' type of thing at the top but it can't hold much more than an ice cube tray! The fridge itself doesn't have much room because it's pretty loaded with baby bottles (I have a job at a private preschool and I work in the infant classroom). Usually I can fit a day's worth of lunch in there but no way I can fit 5 days worth. I thought about packing some grilled chicken into a smallish glass container - I think I can easily fit 4 3-oz pieces in it which can last the week. 


Batrfull, I'm not a runner not a runner yet either, but I'm pretty sure already that I don't want to be carrying stuff on my while running. I have a backpack, but it's big, and will bounce around. And I definitely won't settle for running with a purse! Lol. I will be leaving my work clothes at work, too. That way, when I run, I don't have to have anything on me (how freeing)! I ordered an armband for my iPhone that will hold my phone and also cash/cards. That way I have no excuses and I can run as if I were just going purely for exercise. I suppose I could buy one of those slim backbacks that don't bounce, but I just can't afford it. 

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Be sure to cross reference your microwave popcorn.  The popcorn is fine but its the extra ingredients one should keep an eye on.  For example, I react to Kroger brand microwave popcorn and I looked it up in my 2013 Gluten Free Grocery Shopping Guide and its not listed, which means, I cannot have it.  Also, some people still react to gluten-free oats, I'm one of them.  You may not.  Also, you should look up your beef jerky or beef sticks.  Some are fine, some are not.


I would add to your list Jiff's peanut butter to go.  It's an individual serving of PB in a disposable container.  If someone says something, tell them you are accommodating your own food allergy :-)  Kidding but seriously, even if you don't take them to school, they are handy to have around.  I would also take banana's, which are great for replenishing your potassium since now you're going to be a runner.  I like keeping an apple around as well.  Granny Smith green apples are my favorite.


As for the running.  Be patient, eventually you will get legs and lungs but it won't happen overnight.  It'll just click one day and you'll know you've got it.  Be sure to stretch, drink plenty of water, and I recommend a good glass of milk within 20 minutes of completion.  Make sure you are wearing actual running shoes.  Don't be jogging around in some casual Puma's that are really for soccer :-)  Some people like listening to an iPod and some runner's don't.  You'll have to be your own judge on that one.  Starting out, run a slow, light pace that you think you maintain.  Don't time yourself right away.  The goal should be just to make it to school.  Then later on you can get detailed with it.  Did I mention water?  


Love running.  You will too.

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eers03, thank you very very much for the lovely reply! You motivated me a lot haha :) And I will go check the popcorn and the beef jerky right now! I really like the peanut butter I got at whole foods and there is nothing in it except for peanuts, but I told everyone that it's a gluten free container and not to contaminate it, and I wrote it on top! But I do like the idea of the single-serving ones. Honestly, many times for my lunch break I just go outside and walk around because it bores me to stay inside sitting around, so I could even eat the PB for lunch as long as it's outside. I can find little containers to make single servings myself! Great idea  ^_^


Actually, all your ideas are perfect, and thank you for the running advice. I know that I need to be patient, and I am so excited just to start that I don't care how small of steps I need to take, I am determined to get to the goal in due time! I want to do it the right and healthy way and part of that is pacing myself, so pace myself I will, hehe. Patience is always the name of the game, isn't it? 


I have heard that milk and chocolate milk are good after exercise, so I'm happy to see you suggested it. I have access to milk from the school's kitchen and I think it's safe to drink from it; I mean, why would it be contaminated? They buy gallon-sized jugs but nothing ever goes into the jugs, just poured out...? If it's safe then that will be easy for me to just drink a glass of whole milk when I get there (and I think I will be hungry, too). A glass of milk and a banana with peanut butter...sounds perfect :D


I have sketchers running shoes (they are the running ones). And I always drink lots of water because I keep a bottle that I constantly refill at the school! 


I feel so much more prepared and less anxious about it after getting all these replies! Thank youuuuu  :D

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