Four Things NOT To Do on Thanksgiving If You're Gluten-Free

Want To Feel Good for Black Friday? Then Avoid These Like the Plague

stuffed turkey
Don't eat this gluten-stuffed turkey!. Love Life/Getty Images

Thanksgiving takes many people (especially those new to the gluten-free diet) out of their "comfort zones" and places them instead in the realm of well-meaning — but sometimes uninformed — relatives and friends. And that sometimes leads to ... uncomfortable symptoms of a glutening soon afterward.

To keep you safe during the holiday, here are four rules to eat by:

  1. Whatever you do, don't be tempted to eat turkey that's been stuffed with gluten bread. I don't care if you try to choose the meat from the outside of the bird — the juices flow throughout the turkey, and carry the gluten protein throughout, as well. If you do this, you'll get sick — guaranteed.
  1. On a similar note, don't try pie filling from a pie with a gluten crust. The same rule as above applies — that filling is thoroughly cross-contaminated.
  2. Quiz the chef thoroughly on ingredients used, and don't eat anything you think is suspect. It's easy for Aunt Edna to forget that her favorite sweet potato casserole recipe contains a tablespoon of flour as a thickener unless you prod her memory. For more on this, see: Should I Eat 'Gluten-Free' Food Prepared by Friends or Relatives?
  3. Don't be tempted to cheat on the gluten-free diet, even if it's just for one day and you don't get bad symptoms. I've found that cheating once frequently leads to repeated cheating ... and you could really destroy your health.

It's not too late to make yourself some gluten-free food to take to a relative's house, or to follow some of my other tips for a gluten-free Thanksgiving. And once the holiday is over, if you've learned something about how to have a great day gluten-free, share your story on my Facebook page.

Oh, and have a terrific Thanksgiving!

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