Nourishing Your Gut: A Guide to Delicious Gut-Loving Meals on the Go

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Written By

Rhea Dali

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Gut-Loving Meals - Mushroom Soup With Chicken In A Vintage Bowl

Maintaining a healthy gut is a key aspect of overall well-being, and what better way to support it than through delightful and nourishing gut-loving meals? 

Most Savory Gut-Loving Meals You Must Try

Whether you find yourself at the airport, a burger joint, or a sushi restaurant, there are plenty of options that cater to gut-loving meals needs. Let’s explore some mouthwatering gut-loving meals from various cuisines and specific restaurants, ensuring that you can make informed choices wherever you go.

Airport Food:

Gut-Loving Meals - Avocado, Apple, Bell Pepper And Grilled Chicken Salad With Ingredients For Making Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad:

   – Grilled chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and olive oil dressing.

Fruit and Nut Bowl:

   – Many gut-loving meals incorporate fresh seasonal fruits like berries, melon, and a mix of nuts (almonds, walnuts, and cashews).

Protein-Packed Snack Box:

   – Hard-boiled eggs, sliced turkey, carrot sticks, and a small container of guacamole.

Burger Joint:

Lettuce-Wrapped Turkey Burger:

   – Turkey burger patty wrapped in large lettuce leaves with tomato, onion, and avocado.

Salmon Burger with Sweet Potato Fries:

   – Grilled salmon burger served with baked sweet potato fries.

Chicken Avocado Salad:

   – Grilled chicken breast over a salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a side of avocado.

Chinese:

Gut-Loving Meals - Chicken And Veggies Platter, Sweet Potato, Roasted Chicken And Broccoli

Stir-Fried Shrimp and Vegetables:

   – Shrimp stir-fried with broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas in a garlic and ginger sauce.

Beef and Broccoli with Cauliflower Rice:

   – Sliced beef and broccoli stir-fried in a gluten-free soy sauce, served with cauliflower rice.

Steamed Chicken with Mixed Vegetables:

   – Steamed chicken breast with a variety of colorful vegetables, drizzled with sesame oil.

Deli:

Turkey and Avocado Wrap (Lettuce Wrap):

   – Sliced turkey with avocado, lettuce, and tomato wrapped in large lettuce leaves.

Grilled Chicken Salad:

   – Grilled chicken over a bed of mixed greens with cucumber, olives, and a vinaigrette dressing.

Egg Salad Lettuce Cups:

   – Egg salad made with avocado mayo, served in lettuce cups with cherry tomatoes.

Indian:

Tandoori Chicken Skewers:

   – Grilled tandoori chicken skewers served with a side of sautéed spinach and cumin-spiced cauliflower rice.

Vegetable Curry with Coconut Milk:

   – Mixed vegetable curry cooked in coconut milk, served with basmati or cauliflower rice.

Salmon Tikka Masala:

   – Grilled salmon in a flavorful tikka masala sauce, accompanied by a side of roasted Brussels sprouts.

Italian:

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Grilled Chicken:

   – This is one of the easiest to prepare gut-loving meals, zucchini noodles tossed in dairy-free pesto sauce with grilled chicken.

Eggplant Parmesan:

   – Baked eggplant slices layered with tomato sauce and dairy-free cheese.

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto (with cauliflower rice):

   – Shrimp and asparagus cooked in a lemony broth, served over cauliflower rice.

Mexican:

Gut-Loving Meals - Lettuce Vegetarian Wraps Or Rolls Stuffed With Freshly Chopped Juicy Vegetables And Herbs, Served With Sauce And Decorated With Fresh Mint Leaves

Grilled Fish Tacos (Lettuce Wraps):

   – Grilled fish (like mahi-mahi or cod) in lettuce wraps with cabbage slaw and avocado.

Chicken Fajita Bowl:

   – Grilled chicken with fajita-seasoned vegetables, guacamole, and salsa, served over cauliflower rice.

Beef and Vegetable Stuffed Peppers:

   – Bell peppers stuffed with seasoned ground beef, tomatoes, and onions.

Pizza:

Cauliflower Crust Margherita Pizza:

   – Pizza with a cauliflower crust, topped with tomato sauce, dairy-free cheese, and fresh basil.

Vegetable and Pesto Pizza on Almond Flour Crust:

   – Almond flour crust pizza with dairy-free pesto, grilled vegetables, and pine nuts.

Chicken and Arugula Pizza on Cassava Flour Crust:

   – Cassava flour crust pizza with grilled chicken, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic glaze.

Sushi/Japanese:

Sashimi Platter with Avocado:

   – Assorted sashimi (raw fish slices) with avocado slices .

Cucumber and Avocado Rolls (No Rice):

   – Sushi rolls made with cucumber as the wrapper, filled with avocado and julienned vegetables.

Seaweed Salad with Grilled Salmon:

   – Seaweed salad topped with grilled salmon and a sesame-ginger dressing.

Thai:

Gut-Loving Meals - Traditional Asian Soup Tom Yum

Tom Yum Soup with Shrimp:

   – Spicy and sour tom yum soup with shrimp, mushrooms, and herbs.

Green Curry Chicken with Vegetables:

   – Green curry chicken with a variety of vegetables, served with cauliflower rice.

Pad Thai with Zoodles:

   – Pad Thai made with zucchini noodles, tofu or shrimp, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts.

Remember to communicate your dietary preferences and restrictions to the restaurant staff to ensure your gut-loving meals meet your specific requirements. Now, let’s delve into specific restaurant gut-loving meals options!

Specific Restaurants:

CAVA:

Grilled Chicken Bowl:

   – Base: Mixed greens and spinach.

   – Protein: Grilled chicken.

   – Toppings: Cucumber, tomato, olives, and a generous serving of hummus.

   – Dressing: Lemon herb vinaigrette.

2. **Mediterranean Salad:**

   – Base: Romaine lettuce.

   – Protein: Falafel.

   – Toppings: Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and a sprinkle of pine nuts.

   – Dressing: Olive oil and lemon.

3. **Lamb Meatball Plate:**

   – Base: Cauliflower rice.

   – Protein: Spicy lamb meatballs.

   – Toppings: Feta cheese (optional for dairy-free), roasted vegetables, and tzatziki on the side.

California Pizza Kitchen:

Cauliflower Crust Margherita Pizza:

   – Cauliflower crust topped with tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, dairy-free cheese, and basil.

2. **Grilled Chicken Salad:**

   – Grilled chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens with avocado, cucumber, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

3. **Quinoa and Arugula Salad (Customized):**

   – Request a quinoa and arugula salad

 with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, and a lemon-herb vinaigrette (confirm dressing ingredients).

Cheesecake Factory:

1. **Grilled Salmon with Steamed Vegetables:**

   – Grilled salmon fillet with a side of steamed broccoli, asparagus, and zucchini.

2. **Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Appetizer):**

   – Request the chicken lettuce wraps without soy sauce, and choose a gluten-free dipping sauce.

3. **Tuscan Chicken:*

   – Grilled chicken breast with garlic, herbs, and vegetables, served without the cream sauce.

Chick-fil-A:

1. **Grilled Chicken Sandwich (No Bun):**

   – Grilled chicken breast with lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

2. **Grilled Nuggets Salad:**

   – Grilled chicken nuggets on a bed of mixed greens with a variety of vegetables, topped with a vinaigrette dressing.

3. **Side Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing:**

   – A simple side salad with avocado and a dairy-free dressing.

Chipotle:

1. **Salad Bowl with Barbacoa:**

   – Romaine lettuce base, barbacoa, fajita vegetables, tomato salsa, guacamole, and lime vinaigrette.

2. **Carnitas Burrito Bowl (No Rice or Beans):**

   – Carnitas, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, and extra veggies.

3. **Chicken and Veggie Bowl:**

   – Grilled chicken, fajita veggies, lettuce, salsa, and a side of guacamole.

Five Guys:

1. **Lettuce-Wrapped Burger:**

   – Choose your preferred patty (beef, turkey, or veggie) wrapped in lettuce, with toppings like tomato, pickles, and mustard.

2. **Bunless Bacon Cheeseburger Bowl:**

   – Burger toppings with bacon, cheese, and other preferred toppings served in a bowl.

3. **Grilled Chicken Salad:**

   – Grilled chicken on a bed of lettuce with avocado, onions, and vinaigrette dressing.

Flower Child:

1. **Spicy Japanese Eggplant & Brussels Sprouts:**

   – Roasted Japanese eggplant and Brussels sprouts with sweet potato, topped with almond butter.

2. **Mother Earth Bowl:**

   – Ancient grains, sweet potato, portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, broccoli pesto, and charred onions.

3. **Salmon with Lemon Olive Pesto:**

   – Grilled salmon with lemon olive pesto, asparagus, and snap peas.

Jason’s Deli:

1. **Grilled Chicken Salad with Avocado:**

   – Grilled chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a balsamic vinaigrette.

2. **Zucchini Garden Pasta (Customized):**

   – Request a zucchini-based pasta with grilled chicken, broccoli, and olive oil.

3. **Nutty Mixed-Up Salad:**

   – Mixed greens, dried cranberries, nuts, and grilled chicken, served with a side of olive oil.

MOD Pizza:

1. **Cauliflower Crust Pizza (Customized):**

   – Choose a cauliflower crust and top it with tomato sauce, dairy-free cheese, veggies, and grilled chicken.

2. **Salad Bowl with Chicken:**

   – Create a salad bowl with mixed greens, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, olives, and balsamic vinaigrette.

3. **Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl:**

   – Cauliflower rice base with roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Panera Bread:

Green Goddess Salad with Chicken:

   – Mixed greens, chicken, cucumber, avocado, and tomatoes with a green goddess dressing.

Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich (No Bread):

   – Mediterranean veggies, hummus, and avocado without the bread.

Broth Bowl with Chicken:

   – Request a broth bowl with chicken, quinoa, and a variety of vegetables.

P.F. Chang’s:

Lettuce Wraps (Customized):

   – Chicken or tofu lettuce wraps with water chestnuts, mushrooms, and a gluten-free sauce.

Gluten-Free Shrimp with Vegetables:

   – Protein: Grilled shrimp

   – Vegetables: Steamed broccoli, snap peas, and carrots.

   – Sauce: Gluten-free sauce (verify ingredients with the staff).

   – Additional: Consider adding a side of sautéed spinach or other non-grain vegetable option.

3. **Buddha’s Feast:**

   – Steamed vegetables with your choice of protein (tofu, shrimp, or chicken) and a gluten-free sauce.

Shake Shack:

Burger Bowl with Avocado:

   – To enjoy such gut-loving meals, choose a burger (without the bun) and add avocado, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps:

   – Grilled chicken with lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

Salad with Grilled Chicken:

   – A simple salad with grilled chicken, avocado, and vinaigrette dressing, and this one of my favorite gut-loving meals will satisfy your cravings.

Sweetgreen:

Kale Caesar Salad (Customized):

   – Request a kale Caesar salad with grilled chicken, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a dairy-free dressing to taste this one of the best gut-loving meals.

Spicy Thai Salad Bowl:

   – Mixed greens, spicy sunflower seeds, cucumbers, and tofu, topped with a spicy cashew dressing.

Harvest Bowl with Chicken:

   – Warm grains, roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, and almonds.

True Food Kitchen:

Grass-Fed Burger (No Bun):

   – Grass-fed beef burger with lettuce, tomato, and a side of sweet potato hash.

Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl (Customized):

   – To enjoy more gut-loving meals, request a teriyaki bowl with quinoa, vegetables, and your choice of protein (tofu or chicken).

Butternut Squash Pizza (Cauliflower Crust):

   – Cauliflower crust pizza with butternut squash, dairy-free cheese, and caramelized onions.

Whole Foods Hot Bar:

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Breast:

   – Grilled chicken breast seasoned with lemon and herbs.

Roasted Vegetables:

   – A mix of colorful roasted vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and zucchini. and enjoy gut-loving meals like this.

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf:

   – Cauliflower rice cooked with herbs and spices.

Zoe’s Kitchen:

Mediterranean Chicken Bowl:

   – Grilled chicken, Greek salad, and a side of hummus.

Chicken Kabobs with Greek Salad:

   – Protein: Grilled chicken kabobs.

   – Side: Greek salad with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, and a sprinkle of dairy-free feta for one of the most famous gut-loving meals.

   – Dressing: Olive oil and lemon vinaigrette.

Salmon

 Kabobs:

   – Grilled salmon skewers with a side of roasted vegetables.

Conclusion:

Navigating a gut-friendly diet can be enjoyable and diverse, no matter where you find yourself dining. By opting for nutrient-rich, wholesome ingredients and making mindful choices, you can savor delicious gut-loving meals that not only satisfy your taste buds but also promote gut health. Remember to communicate your dietary preferences and restrictions to ensure a personalized and enjoyable dining experience with your favorite gut-loving meals. Embrace the variety of flavors and textures available, and let your gut-loving journey be a tasty and fulfilling one!

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