3 Tips For Surviving Gluten-Free Holidays

I am happy to report that I have successfully made it through my first ‘holiday’ season as a diagnosed Celiac! It was not nearly as hard as I imagined it would be. But if I was going to offer tips to my fellow gluten-free folks, I would have three suggestions:

1. Always offer to bring a dish when going to a guest’s house to eat.¬†

This is a great way to know that there will be something gluten-free for you to eat. You can even bring two dishes if you want to have options. Don’t go the easy route and only bring dessert. Make sure what you bring will be enough to fill you up for the evening, so you aren’t miserable…and ‘hangry.’

2. Bake gluten-free treats for your co-workers, family and friends.

This is the perfect time of year to show off how delicious gluten-free food can be. Even though there are tons of great options out there, most people think that gluten-free eaters are deprived. Prove them wrong by bringing the best gluten-free recipe you’ve got!

3. Mentally prepare to ‘turn down’ all the gluten-filled desserts offered to you.

This can be really hard, especially for new gluten-free eaters. Although the cake and cookies look good right now, your health is your first priority. Its not worth jeopardizing your diet for temporary (and I mean very temporary) satisfaction.

Also, as a side note, I finally got my Face of Gluten Free Contest finalist shirt in the mail! I literally jumped for joy when I opened the package. I have never felt more proud to be gluten-free!

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Memorial Weekend Celiac Style

This past weekend I celebrated my first Memorial Day as a celiac. As usual, my family spent the weekend floating on the lake and barbecuing with our friends. Luckily, barbecue food can easily be made into a gluten-free meal. The only special thing that I brought for myself was a gluten free hamburger bun. I normally keep a few in the freezer and take one out the night before I plan to eat it. I did not feel deprived at all during the barbeque. I ate a burger, watermelon, chips and salad.

However, since most of my family and friends were able to enjoy drinking beer for the holiday, I needed to find a substitute for Bud Light. My friend suggested trying the new Michelob Ultra Light Hard Cider, which is naturally gluten-free. I am finding that every time I try a gluten-free beverage, I am pleasantly surprised. This hard cider was good, and I will definitely be buying this product again. I liked it for several reasons. First, it was light, so it did not have a ton of calories like normal hard cider does. Second, it was light in the sense that I could drink more than two without feeling like I drank too much of something sweet. Third, it did have a little sweetness to it, but it also had a beer taste which I liked. It was refreshing on a hot day, and it was fun to try something new.

To celebrate the holiday, I also made American themed rice krispy treats, that were layered in red, white and blue. I made them by using a normal rice krispy treat recipe, with a few modifications. All you need is gluten-free rice krispy cereal, butter, marshmallows and food coloring.

1. In order to achieve the layered affect of red, white a blue, place three separate pots on the oven top on low heat.

2. Melt several tablespoons of butter in each pot, then add the 15 regular sized marshmallows to each pot and stir each until completely melted.

3. Add red food coloring to one pot and blue food coloring to another pot, while leaving one pot white. Add as much or as little food coloring as you want to achieve desired color.

4. Add two and a half cups of gluten-free rice krispies into each separate pot, and stir until the melted marshmallows and cereal are blended.

5. Poor and spread the blue pot of rice krispies into a 9×9 inch greased pan. Next, poor the white pot of rice krispies on top of the blue rice krispies and spread. Fianlly, poor the red rice krispies on top of the white rice krispies and spread.

6. Let cool and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Easter Candy

Happy Easter Friends!

Today was a reminder that I have not even started to think of all the things in my life that must change to remain gluten-free. A holiday like Easter definitely keeps me in check. Considering I am a kid at heart, I really wanted an Easter basket to munch on. Thankfully, my mother did not disappoint. However, she did face the challenge of finding all gluten-free candies for me. Sorry Mom!

She got me Peeps, Cadbury eggs filled with caramel and chocolate, and Reese’s, which are all gluten-free options! She found that the hardest part of the process was finding a gluten-free bunny. We found out that most Easter bunnies are “manufactured in a facility that processes wheat.” As a Celiac, that is not an option. It was frustrating that all of Russell Stovers bunnies contained gluten, considering they make probably 90 percent of the Easter bunnies at Walmart.

After a long search, we found that the Snickers Peanut Butter bunny was gluten-free, so all ended well. To all my gluten-free eaters out there, remember that a normal life is possible. It just takes a little more effort!

Also, I hope all of my readers had a wonderful Easter, and I hope you have a great week ahead of you.