How to Approach Wheat-Free Holidays - dummies

How to Approach Wheat-Free Holidays

By Rusty Gregory, Alan Chasen

Some of the most challenging times you experience on your wheat-free journey include eating with people who haven’t seen the wheat-free light (at least not yet). What do you do when meal preparation is completely out of your hands or traditional holiday foods that don’t fit your lifestyle surround you at every turn?

Should you tell others that you are wheat-free?

Now isn’t the time to be shy about your pledge to a wheat-free lifestyle. You don’t have to flaunt your new health commitment, but you should be prepared for whatever dining experience you may encounter. Let others know that you’ve gone wheat-free and that it will impact the foods you eat.

Doing so will cut down on the amount of stress you feel when you turn down food that is offered to you.

Assuming you’ve gone wheat-free by personal preference (not on doctor’s orders because of a health condition such as celiac disease), not all is necessarily lost if you give in and live it up a little during a wheat-filled holiday or social gathering.

The pressures to succumb, the inconvenience of finding food alternatives when they’re not immediately available, and the desire not to burden other people attending your gathering are all legitimate reasons for easing off your wheat-free diet for a meal. Just don’t use that as an excuse for an extended break.

There are a couple of schools of thought regarding wheat-free strictness and offer tips on how to enjoy celebrations without completely blowing your diet. Take some proactive measures and learn modifications you can make to ensure you eat what you want to.

You also find guidance on how to plan a successful wheat-free experience when you’re dining with others who aren’t wheat-free, including your boss and other colleagues, and the healthiest food seems miles away. Finally, be prepared to respond to tough wheat-free questions and comments that are destined to come your way from friends, family members, and coworkers.

Letting your body determine your limits

“How far do I have to go with my wheat-free lifestyle for it to be considered wheat-free?” and “Can’t I fudge just a little bit from time to time on my wheat-free diet?” are common questions among those making the switch to wheat-free living.

These are great questions that can only be answered by your reaction to wheat and grains and what you’re willing to put up with. If you’re not bothered or are only slightly affected by inflammation, digestive issues, weight gain, or allergies, you may be willing to be less strict with the amount of wheat you eat.

However, eating wheat prevents you from looking and feeling your healthiest. Most people who endure low-grade levels of allergies, inflammation, weight gain, and digestive problems chalk them up to some other cause and say, “That’s just a part of life,” and, “I’m just getting older.” They’re not aware that wheat is at the root of their problems.

Of course, if you suffer from celiac disease, the answers to these questions are pretty clear: Wheat is off the menu, period.