Monday, December 22, 2008

how to eat GF at holiday feasts...

My best advice is to bring safe foods.

My family always does a pot-luck type of meal for holidays and family gatherings. It's nice because you don't have to make the entire meal yourself, but it's almost impossible to know if some of their dishes contain flour. That means I end up avoiding almost everything. And definitely avoid all the cake, brownies and cookies. But there is also usually icecream and that part is something I could probably have. At least the I can check the carton for ingredients to make sure.

Anyway, my plan this year is to bring 2 or 3 vegetable dishes. That way if there is nothing else I can eat safely, I know I can eat those and not be sick.

This is also my first Christmas Eve party as a vegetarian. My family are meat/potatoes people, and not all of them know I'm vegetarian, so I'm not really sure what to expect. I'm trying to remind myself that no one cares all that much what I eat or don't eat.

Christmas Day is going to be more complicated. It's a much more intimate feast, with only my parents, hubby, an aunt and an uncle. It's at my parents house and I have no idea what food choices there will be. They always say they'll do everything...and with my food restrictions, that's just not acceptable. What if I get there and all the vegetables are covered in cream of mushroom (Gluten of mushroom) soup!

I know I am bringing a Pumpkin Cheesecake (recipe and photo's to come as soon as I make it, promise) . I have emailed them to ask what sides I should bring but if they don't check their email, I'll bring a couple of vegetable dishes and surprise them. :)

My family (except for hubby) doesn't really understand Gluten Free or what it means for me and my health. And up until this year I'd not given them a reason too, because I'd cheat on my GF-ness during holiday/family gatherings.

I'm at the point now where I understand that it's not something I can cheat on. I'm gluten free. I have to stay this way in order to stay healthy.

If you are also gluten free, you know how challenging it is to eat other people's food...but it's Christmas and the people we eat with love us, food restrictions and all. They can handle learning that the reason you won't try their amazing cookies isn't because you are picky or that you don't WANT to, but is because of digestion problems with the protein in the flour. Or you could always just tell them it's an allergy to wheat. It's not the same thing, but people understand the severity of food allergies and it's sometimes just easier to explain it that way.

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