3 Winning Tips for Surviving a Party… Gluten-Free
Let’s face it. Receiving a party invitation when you’re on a gluten-free diet is somewhat bittersweet. Who doesn’t love a good party? But, who looks forward to stressing out about what to eat or being contaminated? While there are no guarantees (unless you make all the food and host the party at your place), the three tips can help you navigate and survive a party and leave the stress behind!
1. Be a natural: Focus on all-natural whole foods to boost nutrition, help you feel full and satisfied and of course, to keep meals and snacks gluten-free. Think of veggie trays, fruit bowls and seasonings that are naturally “safe”: lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Don’t forget plain, lean meats (steaks and ribs) and poultry (baked “drummettes” or chicken wings free from breading) as excellent choices for metabolism-boosting protein. Be sure marinades, sauces and rubs are gluten-free. If foods will be grilled, ask about what other foods have been or will be grilled along with your food. Be sure to check out my “No Thought Required Gluten Free Foods List” as a reminder of all the wonderful, naturally gluten-free foods we can enjoy.
2. Snack smart: Remember the potential risk of cross-contamination and hidden gluten hazards when hitting the snack table. For example, popcorn is naturally gluten free; however, some popcorn may be manufactured near gluten foods, which could lead to contamination. Browse around the Gluten Free Resource Directory for delish gluten-free snacks! You might be surprised by how many mainstream brands of potato chips and tortilla chips are gluten free. Of course, always read labels carefully and when in doubt, call the manufacturer to be sure there is no risk of gluten contamination.
3. Talk it up: Most people want to understand the facts behind why we need to eat gluten-free. If you’re invited to a party, tell the host you’d love to bring your signature dish to share with everyone. (If you don’t have one already, there are plenty of excellent choices of yummy gluten-free dishes in the Gluten Free Gigi Recipe Index!) Ask if there are special dietary concerns for other guests attending the party and share your understanding about what it’s like to be on a special diet. You may actually be a huge help to a host who isn’t familiar with serving individuals with food allergies. Opening the door to discussion in this manner is positive, non-threatening and will likely be an opportunity for you to educate someone about living gluten (and other allergen) free.
With these tips and great gluten-free products, you’ll be enjoying the festivities like everyone else!