Last weekend I attended a conference for nonfiction writers. The location was a national 4-star chain hotel conference center (Elizabeth Taylor was once married to one of them, so you get the idea). All meals were included in the conference price - which had gone up this year. Having attended this event before, I knew that the hotel and its catering department had done a great job of providing an assortment foods for an assortment of guests. Not so this year.
In addition to having few selections that were gluten-free for breakfast (how hard is it to put out containers of yogurt?), the lunch and dinner options were heavy on sauces containing flour and lots of pasta. Haven't they considered rice or potatoes? The catering staff were very helpful in finding non-gluten products for me (like oil and vinegar for a salad... not an entire meal). Fortunately, I am just 'wheat intolerant' and not a Celiac like another guest who attended is. She was really hungry... until I flashed her my stash of gluten-free goodies.
From soy chips (http://www.kaysnaturals.com/about.html) to nutrition bars (http://thinkproducts.com/) I had packed a bunch of my favorite 'side dishes' that can take a bowl of fruit or a salad and turn it into a meal. And, I kept them in my ridiculously large tote bag wherever I schlepped with enough to share with the curious and the desperate. (You would think that I get $$$ from these product shout-outs, but I don't. So, you can trust what I say.)
Don't be sensitive about packing like a Bedouin. Take care of yourself, and you won't be hungry while eating gluten-free away from home.