Surviving the Holidays Gluten-Free

by Henri Roca, MD

Holiday celebrating can be a challenge if you are gluten-free and still in the place of craving gluten. Here are some tips to make it easier:

  1. Let people know you are gluten-free. They may not be able to accommodate your needs, but at least they won’t be insulated when you choose not to eat certain dishes.
  2. Eat at home before you go to a gluten-rich household. If you eat ahead of time, you may not be as hungry and as susceptible to temptation.
  3. Bring a dish for the communal table that is explicitly gluten-free. A rice-based dish is a wonderful addition.
  4. I strongly suggest bringing a gluten-free dessert if you have a sweet tooth. I’m bringing a acorn squash sweet potato peach dish with a nut crumble.
  5. Be sure to keep yourself occupied visiting with friends and family rather than stuck in front of the television. Your friends and family can keep your mind off of the food and can help keep you on track.
  6. When in doubt or in temptation, take a walk and do some deep breathing.
  7. Be sure there are abundant cut vegetables with hummus or vegetable dip for noshing.
  8. Avoid alcohol.
  9. Be in as relaxed as possible. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and let go of what you can’t change. It’s amazingly easy to slip back into childhood behavior patterns including gluten ingestion when stressed with family dynamics.
  10. Remind yourself why you are taking an active empowered role in your own wellness, no matter the state of health of any of the guests.