Holidays should be fun and enjoyable. But being gluten free during the holidays tend to make them stressful, especially if you are going to celebrate them in a non gluten free environment.
In my opinion, Thanksgiving is the hardest one to get through if you live a gluten free life. Its purpose (besides celebrating America and all…) is to eat food- and a lot of it! But for someone who is essentially scared of food, its tough.
I have been gluten free for the past five Thanksgivings. Don’t worry, they get easier each year and you learn as you go along. I definitely have learned some things on how to have a safe gluten free Thanksgiving. They may be helpful to some of you:
1. Talk to the host. That is, if you are not hosting yourself. If it is someone you know and trust, it will be easy to have a conversation with them about your concerns. If they are receptive, they should not have a problem cooking a few items a little differently to accommodate you.
2. If you are too nervous to ask them to change their habits, get there early and help them cook. This will give you a chance to suggest a few changes to certain things. Even offer to cook some of your own sides (like some gluten free stuffing) so you know it will be perfect!
3. Bring your own food. Honestly, this is the option I would go with. I know it is awkward to arrive at a Thanksgiving dinner with your own gluten free meal. But if you are really nervous and the host isn’t very trustworthy, it may be your best bet.
4. Watch out for the turkey. There are a lot of seasonings that are not gluten free. Make sure to ask what was used on the bird before chowing down.
5. Avoid desserts. I know that pie that the host says is gluten free looks really good, but it is probably not gluten free. People who aren’t used to cooking gf are not aware of things like cross contamination. I would politely decline (or do what I did once, take a piece and slyly throw it in the garbage LOL).
6. Drink lots of wine. You gotta fill up somehow right?
Ok so the last one might be a bit of a joke but I hope the rest help!