How To: A Gluten Free Thanksgiving

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Thanksgiving is upon us. 

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – all of the food and fun of Christmas, but without the stress. And after I was diagnosed as a Celiac, none of that changed. 

Okay, maybe a few things changed like what sort of pie crust I use and the depths I go to when researching my turkey, but the general admiration of the holiday never faltered. 

Having Celiac Disease means a lot of big lifestyle changes, but it doesn’t mean your life as you knew it is completely over. In fact, Thanksgiving (or any other holiday centered around food) isn’t as stressful as one who needs to be gluten free may think. 

To ensure yourself a happy (and safe) holiday, just follow these simple steps:

Prep Wisely
It’s no secret that Celiac Disease means additional time and energy spent prepping and purchasing food. Start your list a good two weeks ahead of time, shop as early as your fresh veggies allow, and have a plan of action for each step of the way. Us Celiacs are good at this, considering we can’t put anything near our mouths unless we have conducted thorough research ahead of time. 

Do the Work
Sure, it may be easier to have your gluten eating friends and family bring some side dishes to your gathering, but unless they are well versed in hidden dangers and cross contamination, it is worthwhile for you to just dive in and do the work yourself. Another option is to only eat the gluten free turkey and potatoes you made and just stare longingly at the green bean casserole you know will make you sick, but we all know putting in the work pays off when you actually get to eat the food that lands on your table. 

Make New Traditions
No one says you have to eat stuffing and rolls at your holiday meal. Sure, they may be classics, but there is no written rule that says you can’t trade the rolls for a nice quinoa and veggie salad, or that stuffing for grilled corn salsa. While there are many gluten free alternatives at the store, oftentimes they just don’t taste the same, and leave you feeling like an outsider. Instead, ditch the traditions and dig into food you really love. 

Having Celiac Disease can be a bummer, but it doesn’t have to ruin Thanksgiving. Do your research, make a plan, and indulge in that gluten free pumpkin pie like there’s no tomorrow. 

What are your tips for a successful gluten free Thanksgiving? 

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