Holidays are a time for celebrating and feasting. Remember if you or anyone you know is celiac, patience truly is a virtue this time of year!
Being Celiac or having an autoimmune disease that requires a specific diet is already quite challenging, but add the begging and pleading of, “just a little try” or “what can this little bit do?” that many well intentioned people can yell at you, to eat something with gluten, can be so overwhelming and disheartening.
So how do you deal with this constant bouragement of comments? With grace and confidence!
First and foremost, always remain calm and polite. How you react will determine your inner peace and how well you journey through life with your disease. Remind yourself that there are still so many people who have little understanding and knowledge of what Celiac Disease is. Politely explain the extreme side effects, such as migraines, joint and bone pain, severe abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea etc., you can have if gluten is ingested.
- Always come prepared.
Bring your host a dish that you know you, and all the other guests, can enjoy and feel satiated after you eat just in case there is not much for you to choose from. I usually bring a savoury and a sweet dish. This also gives the guests an insight into what you can eat.
- Offering health benefits.
Offering the health benefits of removing gluten from your diet also makes people perk up and pay attention, especially when you mention weight loss. Yet it’s not about weight loss for a CEliac. It’s about ensuring you keep a strong and healthy gut, intestinal lining and overall immune system. Gluten can impair and negatively affect all 3.
- Careful with cross-contamination.
You need to be extra careful when you are not the cook. Keep an eye on individuals who may dip gluten crackers in dips or use serving spoons for non-gluten-free foods and gluten-free foods. You may ask to be served first in order to avoid cross-contamination. I also label gluten-free food to remind guests to us only the serving utensils made available for that particular dish
- ASK! ASK! ASK!
If in doubt about the ingredients in a food or beverage ask your host! Many people can feel intimidated to ask the cook what ingredients are used in food creations. The fear of offending or insulting a host can be overwhelming. Remember gluten can hide in many food and beverages such as seasonings, sauces, meat, fish and poultry, alcohol, caramel desserts and much more.
Remember to be patient with family and friends who celebrate love and holidays with food! Wishing you a wonderful season filled with happiness and health.
“With love and patience, nothing is impossible.”
Easy, Nutritious, Delicious Recipes
For more healthy holistic recipes and information see Celiac Sweeties – Holistic Information and Recipes for Individuals with Celiac Disease and other Autoimmune Deficiencies.