3 Ways to Survive Thanksgiving if You Must Eat Gluten Free

thanksgiving gluten free Hey gorgeous! It’s Jenna here, and today we’re going to talk about something that can bring up a lot of controversies. I’ve even seen it break families apart.

Is there an etiquette to follow at Thanksgiving if you need to eat a gluten free diet?

It’s one of those difficult conversations that need to be had around food-focused holidays.

Humans are so focused on traditions. Personally, I think that traditions help us remember our loved ones for years after they’ve passed on, and they are very important to pass through generations.

But, sometimes things need to change, and being diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity is one damn good reason to change traditions.

In my family, we used to eat massive amounts of Lasagna on Christmas Eve and spend days baking cookies between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Coincidentally, I was always sick on Christmas…

After three out of five of us were diagnosed with Celiac Disease, things had to change.

Thanksgiving is the most FOOD CENTRIC holidays that we have in the US.  Seriously, people, we spend days cooking leading up to one gigantic meal!

So how do you survive Thanksgiving on a gluten free diet?

Yesterday, the Food Allergy Freedom Collection was released with over 280 holiday recipes that are allergen friendly. Personally, I've been hosting Thanksgiving for the last 4 years. It's hard on it's own - especially if you have food allergies or Celiac Disease.

Having hundreds of gluten free and allergy free recipes to choose from is key!


  1. Become the Hostess with the Mostess

Yes that means dressing up with your big girl apron on and cooking the turkey (and the sweet potatoes and the veggies and the pies and all of the other delicious food that you want to serve) yourself. Lucky for me a few other family members have Celiac Disease or eat a gluten free diet. This means that even though I’ve hosted Thanksgiving for the last two years, I get help in the kitchen. If that’s that case for you too, then divide and conquer the Thanksgiving meal prep.

  1. Pre-Prep and Bring Your Own Meal

Maybe cramming 12 people into a NYC apartment (like I did my first Thanksgiving) doesn’t sound like a fun time for you? If you don’t have the option to host Thanksgiving, prep your meal prior to getting to your relatives. Then, make your plate, wrap it up and then heat it when you arrive.

Yes, that means lots of extra cooking for you, but hey let’s look at the bright side – you’ll have loads more leftovers all to yourself for days after the holiday!

Another bonus? You’ll be less likely to over stuff your face with turkey and pumpkin pie (until you get home).

Truth is the holidays are one of the most popular times to start Gluten Free Glow, my 14-day clean eating cleanse program, because we all think that magically our stomachs and our bodies can handle weeks and weeks of overindulgence of sugary foods.

  1. Put Down the Turkey – GASP!

Yes, I said it. Getting a food coma from the L-Tryptophan is actually optional. If you’re going somewhere else for Thanksgiving and you don’t want to cook your own bird, then make a new tradition of something easier to cook (and transport) for dinner. I skipped turkey one year on Thanksgiving and am living proof that you’ll survive.

Some of us have those family members that don’t believe ‘in the whole gluten thing’ – I get it.

Well girlie, you don’t have to put up with that B.S.

You know how your body is when you’ve been true to your gluten free diet. You also know how you feel when you get glutened.

Don’t let them mess up your holiday joy. Do what I do – sit as far away as possible at the dinner table.

But seriously, some people just don’t know because they weren’t there to see you at your worst before the diagnosis or they haven’t seen you hugging the toilet in pain from gluten exposure.

You only have yourself to answer to when it comes to your diet and your lifestyle. Don’t let your friends or family (even when they are just trying to be helpful) let you feel like anything less than that beautiful you.

P.S. The Food Allergy Freedom Collection with over 280 holiday recipes that are allergen friendly is only available until Midnight on November 14th. Don't miss it here.