Friday, December 2, 2011

Surviving the Holidays Gluten Free: Part 1

I will be reposting this series in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I pray that this series is an encouragement to you as you deal with being gluten free during the holiday season this year!

The holiday season is usually very heavily-focused on food. Sure, most people like to eat, and most people enjoying spending time around the dinner table with family and friends. But what do you do when you can't enjoy certain foods?

Being gluten free can be tough. I understand. But being gluten free doesn't mean you can't enjoy the holidays. This four week series will go through some of the ways you can survive - and enjoy! - the holidays, even when you're gluten free!

This week we'll look at how to handle dining in someone else's home.

When you're dining in someone else's home, you essentially have three choices about how to handle the situation:

  1. Eat food at home before you go. Have a snack or small meal at home before you leave. This will leave you less hungry (and tempted) at the gathering.
  2. Take food along with you. Don't be embarassed to do this! Consider taking a gluten free dish along to share. This way, you will have something to eat - and you can share some gluten free yumminess with others! Alternatively, you could also pack a snack or two in your bag just for yourself. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this!
  3. Eat what you can at the other person's home: fruits, veggies, chips, cheese, etc. If it's an appetizer-type party, there will likely be at least a few safe food options for you.
Most often, I will choose numbers two or three. I often bring a gluten free dish along (something homemade!) and people are usually impressed that it's gluten free ("Oh my gosh! There's no gluten in this?!"). In addition, I do often pack a small snack in my purse, just in case. I will also just eat what I can, and enjoy it!

It can be helpful to talk openly with the hostess before you go. Most people will appreciate the education because they really do want to please all of their guests. This is going to be most helpful when a full meal will be served.

*One word of caution - I find that quite often people (both the hostess and other guests) are very interested in what it means to be gluten free. This can lead to long discussions about celiac disease and being gluten free. I try to keep the focus off me and my diet, especially at a dinner or party, so just be warned that this may happen.

Another option is to simply host the party yourself. You're in control then! Of course, this isn't always practical, but when it is, consider it. You can always have other guests bring a dish, but at least you know that the food you provide will be gluten free!

Don't shy away from dining at someone else's home, even if you are gluten free! You have several choices about how to handle the situation. I encourage you to consider your options and then make it a point to enjoy the get-together!

If you can't wait for next week, you can read the entire series HERE!


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