Tag Archives: holidays

Five tips for eating gluten free during the holidays

Around this time of the year, tons of holiday diet tips articles come out. Most of them tell you the same things – don’t stand near the food table, avoid high-calorie drinks like egg nog, have healthy snacks before a party, keep your will power strong.

Well, when you have to eat gluten free, things tend to go a bit differently. So here are the things that I’ve learned about eating during the holidays without getting sick, and still having fun!

1. Focus on the festivity
Sure, a lot of holidays revolve around the food we prepare, serve, and eat during them. However, it’s not everything. Even though you may not be able to eat grandma’s famous Christmas cookies anymore, you can definitely still make grandma a killer Christmas gift, or spend some QT with her while everyone else is in a sugar coma from the cookies. By focusing on the other aspects of holidays, you’ll still get the same amount of enjoyment out of them, maybe even more.

2. Eat what you can, whatever it is
Sure, you could stick to plain veggies and shrimp cocktail. But if you’re not trying to lose weight, then eat whatever is gluten free!

Fattening casserole? Yes!
Cheese platter? I’ll try one of each.
Ice cream? Double scoop please!

I’ve found that I usually can’t eat most of the “bad-for-you” foods at parties like rich desserts, pies, pizza, and appetizers. So, if there are things that I can eat, I’ll go for it even if it’s not something that fits into my usually healthy diet choices. There are enough times I have to say no, so if I can say yes, I will!

3. Bring something and be proud that it’s gluten free
I’ve made the mistake before of bringing something that’s gluten free and letting it sit around incognito. Then I realized that if I didn’t say something about it being gluten free there was a big chance for cross contamination (ie: you bring a dip and corn chips, and someone grabs a hunk of bread and dunks it right in the bowl). It also will help other guest who may have food allergies, and may even spark a discussion that could lead to someone discovering their own gluten intolerance.

Even if it’s not homemade, bringing a box of gluten free crackers, chips and salsa, or a bag of nuts even, will ensure that you have something around to keep you from starving.

4. Scope out the scene before the party
Hopefully you know the host of your party, and can ask them casually what’s on their menu (or ask them if they need help, can bring something, or offer a great recipe you have). If they’re planning on serving turkey pot pie for dinner, cookies for dessert, and beer to drink, then you know that you should probably BYOB and bring something substantial to eat (or eat more ahead of time).

If you don’t know the host well, then don’t bank on them having a full array of gluten free items for you to eat. Have a yummy mid-sized meal beforehand and then you can focus on having a few drinks, socializing, and having a few nibbles. Not every party also needs to be a feast (I have to remind myself of this one sometimes).

5. Be a good sport, but also take control

If someone gives you a cookie tin as a gift, for godsakes just take it! Give it to your mailman or something. There’s no worse feeling than having a gift rejected, so just be thankful. There is so much going on during the holidays that your gluten allergy is probably not high on people’s priority list. So, be a good sport and keep your holiday cheer up.

On that same note though – take control of the holiday season! Have your own gluten free party! Gluten free graham cracker gingerbread house making party? Gluten free cookie swap? Hot chocolate, popcorn, and Christmas movies? Throw a get-together yourself and you can run the show.

Hope you find these tips helpful! Also would love suggestions on anything that you do during the holidays to stay gluten free and also have a merry time!


Dinks for Christmas

Santa, please bring me some Dinks for Christmas.  They are incredibly adorable!  Since they’re made in Brooklyn, maybe I can try to find them in a store somewhere around here…

I also will accept one of these super sweet cases for my new Macbook Air, or some white fleece mittens.  That is in addition to the Dinks, not as a substitution.  Thank you!

This is my gluten free Christmas list

Tis the time of year for holiday gift guides!  I’ve had my eye on some gluten-free related items lately, so I thought that I’d publish them in the off chance that Santa read this and has time to pick me up some things.

1.  Books and cookbooks!

Over Thanksgiving, I went into Barnes and Noble and saw a huge selection of gluten free cookbooks, books about gf baking, and gf lifestyle books.

While I usually am fine with looking recipes and information up online, there were some books that really caught my eye!  You don’t get gorgeous pictures on a website like the ones in Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free: 75 recipes for Irresistable Gluten-Free Desserts and Pastries!

Although I think I would probably prefer one of the kid’s cookbooks that I saw, because the recipes are more my speed 🙂

Like Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults

Books and cookbooks make a great gift – they’re relatively cheap, easy to pack in a suitcase, and chock full of new ideas!

2.  Gluten-free swag and apparel

Who doesn’t love a novelty tee?  You can show your GF pride, jump off conversations, and look super-fly.

From Cafe Press

They have lots of gf tees, but this is one of my favorites:

And I love this tote:

And this one makes me laugh:

3.  FOOD!  The holidays can be hard for us celiacs.  There are the memories of Christmases past, the temptations at every corner, and the well-meaning family members who try to force feed you.

Buy some Glutino pretzel twists, dip them in white chocolate, and slap some sprinkles on them!

Buy them a gluten free goody that they don’t usually have.  Maybe it’s Udi’s Bagels or muffins, or just a tupperware full of box-mix brownies.

Or perhaps just a big ole bag of xanthan gum.  MMMMMMM!

So, that’s what’s on my gluten free Christmas list.  Hopefully I don’t get coal (or wheat) instead…

Dean and Deluca’s “Pumpkin Potion”

Yesterday I got my first real dose of Christmas in the city.  We went in to get some ingredients for dinner from Whole Foods, and a little present to send my dad (to make up for abandoning him on Thanksgiving).  But there was so much to see that we ended up making an afternoon of it.  Who can take a quick trip to the grocery store when you get off the train and see this view of Central Park?

So we headed to Dean and Deluca to see if they had anything for my dad, and to give us an excuse to get coffee ourselves.  Usually I kind of hate going there a little bit, because they have all of the best baked goods in the city and I can’t have ANY of it.  So, being in the holiday spirit and all, I opted for the “Pumpkin Potion” made with soy milk.  It’s a blend of something pumpkin, and chai, and I think magic – because this thing was soooooo good.  It made Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks look like car wash hot chocolate (what? they didn’t serve hot chocolate at your car wash?)  It was incredibly frothy, and even though I’m not usually a fan of chai, the spiced and subtle pumpkin flavor was really amazing.  Almost made me not envy the line of people getting cupcakes and pastries.  Almost.

We also got a few of their Origin Chocolate bars, which didn’t make it home whole.  In our defense, it was a long subway ride.  Other gluten free food options at D&D include:

  • Siggi’s Yogurt (I’ve had the Orange Ginger and it was decent)
  • Macaroons (sometimes they have packaged ones, but the sales people will never give me a straight answer about the ones in their display case).  Plus, if you’re in the area you might as well get your macaroons here).
  • Nut mix and cranberry nut mix
  • Soups (they had butternut squash when I went, that is gluten free.  But check for other varieties)
  • Larabars (at the SoHo location, not at the Rockefellar Center location)
  • Tons of candy and artisan chocolates
  • Terra chips and popcorn (at SoHo location)
  • At the SoHo location they also have a lot of prepared foods, sushi (but no soy sauce), cheeses, and fresh fruits and veggies.

On the way there we saw the big tree getting prepped for the lighting in Rockefellar Center. Right now it looks like a construction zone, but soon it will be all gussied up and ready for Christmas.

Apologies for those of you who can’t try the yummies at Dean and Deluca.  For those of you in the city – D&D moved to 48th Street a couple of months ago.  It’s much more discrete now (not even on Google Maps yet):

Dean and Deluca

On W 48th Street between 6th and 5th Ave.

Or 560 Broadway (right outside the Prince Street subway)