Gluten Free Your Year with Coral -November Challenge
Welcome to month ELEVEN of the Gluten Free Your Year challenge! I’m so glad you’re here! You can find an overview of the challenge HERE
This month’s challenge focuses on enjoying our family traditions and creating new gluten free traditions for the holidays. During Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the many other fall / winter celebrations, we love gathering with family around the dinner table, but sometimes gluten can become a heated family debate. Take the stress off by planning for success with new recipes, meaningful conversations, and a few extra tricks up your sleeve!
You can also listen to my Gluten Free You & Me Podcast on this topic here:
79. Gluten Free Your Holidays with special guest Taleen Benson
Download this month’s “Gluten Free Your Holidays Checklist,” then scroll down to learn about the tools and tips that help me navigate holiday plans with success.
If you have been around my website before, you know I’m a huge advocate for PLANNING AHEAD! The same goes for creating a successful Gluten Free Holiday Season. Calendar in your events ahead of time, and be sure to schedule in some down time too!
The best case for me personally is to be helping with the planning of the holiday parties/plans/meals with family and friends, so that I can be proactive in creating an environment that is gluten free friendly.
Attending a Gathering
If I will be attending a gathering, I love to take the time to talk with the host ahead of time. Often, I am blown away by their understanding and generosity. I used to get nervous that I would be imposing, but now I have grown confident in advocating for my family’s needs. Have you ever had a moment when someone gives you their special homemade treat they made just for you and you have to refuse it because it has gluten? So sad! It feels so much better to talk to the host ahead of time!
There are so many options for how you approach gatherings in a way that can be fun and gluten free friendly:
- Offer to bring a gluten free dish
- Eat before your arrive
And, if you are traveling out of town for the holidays, remember to download the Find Me GF app! In the app, you can see ratings for Celiac Friendly and Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants. If someone suggests eating out or you want to grab a bite before heading to a gluten filled party, you can be prepared with a restaurant recommendation that you know has safe options so you can focus on having a great time instead of worrying about what to eat.
Feeling bummed about a family tradition that revolved around gluten food (like cookie baking day)? You can revamp the old traditions and have fun experimenting as you try out new recipes! you can laugh over the flops and delight in new favorites.
And, it’s never too late to start a new family tradition that will create lasting memories too! Movie nights, sign up to run/walk a Turkey Trot, seeing Christmas lights, white elephant gift exchange, ugly sweater party… all these celebrations focus on memories with loved ones instead of the food. I’d love to see your gluten free family traditions in the comments!
Something that helps me stay energized for social events is to focus on the PEOPLE, not the FOOD. I go to events to have great conversations, to laugh, to connect with loved ones, to make new friends… I come for the company, not the cake.
Hosting a Gathering
If I am the one hosting, I can plan the menu and swap out the gluten for delicious recipes that wow even gluten eaters! I hosted for Thanksgiving a couple years ago, and it was my favorite Thanksgiving ever! My sister and I reminisced about that meal and the fun we had prepping it on THIS PODCAST EPISODE. You can scroll down to find links to some of my favorite recipes.
Thanksgiving Dinner— simple swaps for Gluten Free Deliciousness!
When I started being gluten free, it was so hard, focusing on all the food I couldn’t have! But now, I focus on all the foods I can have! Many of the Thanksgiving dinner staples are naturally gluten free, and with a few swaps, you can have gluten eaters just as satisfied! Here is a roundup of my Thanksgiving menu and links to the recipes:
- Turkey (I made two because we were having a lot of guests and I was worried one wouldn’t turn out! One in the Oven and the other in the instant pot)
- Mashed Potatoes (use your favorite recipe)
- Stuffing (Healthy GF Family) https://www.healthygffamily.com/recipe/the-best-gluten-free-stuffing/
- Gravy (Use cornstarch or gluten free flour blend)
- Sweet Potatoes (HealthyGF Family) https://www.healthygffamily.com/recipe/mashed-sweet-potatoes-with-candied-pecan-crumble/
- Green Bean Casserole (Chandice) https://www.thisvivaciouslife.com/gluten-free-green-bean-casserole/ The fried onions are the hero of the dish! Don’t skip that step!
- Cranberry Jello https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/fluffy-cranberry-mousse/
- Rolls (Baking with Coral) https://glutenfreewithcoral.com/shop/baking-with-coral-recipe-ebook/
- Corn Bread (Baking with Coral) https://glutenfreewithcoral.com/shop/baking-with-coral-recipe-ebook/
- Ice Cream Cake (More Momma)
- Pumpkin Bars https://meaningfuleats.com/gluten-free-pumpkin-bars/
- Mini Pumpkin Pies: https://meaningfuleats.com/gluten-free-crustless-pumpkin-pie-cupcakes-dairy-free/
- Brownie Surprise (Baking with Coral) https://glutenfreewithcoral.com/shop/baking-with-coral-recipe-ebook/
Corn Bread Recipe
Self Care During the Holidays
My motto is “Don’t expect others to know how to gluten free.” It’s up to you to take care of yourself and only you can decide what’s best for you. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you show up to an event hungry, and then you find out that there’s nothing safe to eat. Or sometimes someone makes you something and after asking some questions, you realize they did in fact use gluten– it can be frustrating. But remember you don’t need them to understand or agree with you, you need to choose for yourself how you are going to live your best gluten free life.
Like I mentioned earlier, plan your calendar ahead of time to make sure you include time for yourself and honor your needs while also celebrating the holiday season.
Some things I like to make sure I do during the holidays is drink lots of water, stay active, focus on people over food, and prepare in advance.
Be prepared for “accidental glutened” — check out options for a “glutened basket” from September Post and Essential Oils
Don’t leave holiday shopping to last minute! Avoid all that last minute stress by getting your holiday shopping done early. I have a series of HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDES. Check out Gluten Free Your Holidays, Part 2: Holiday Gift Guides for ideas for anyone on your list! Stocking stuffers, men, women, children, and whole family gift ideas are all in this post. and be sure to also follow me on Instagram @glutenfreewithcoral for more product recommendations and updated discount codes!