Certified nutritionist and author Aimee Aristotelous says, “Sticking to your gluten-free nutrition goals during the holidays is actually simple, and you don’t have to give up your favorite meal traditions.” Aimee, who also avoids gluten, offers tips on how to have a “delicious,” gluten-free holiday:
1. There are many healthy gluten-free holiday choices.
Believe it or not, several traditional holiday foods will provide you with quality protein, good fats, and low-glycemic gluten-free carbs. Turkey, sweet potato, roasted small potatoes with skin on, vegetables, salad, and a dollop of cranberry sauce will allow you to partake in the festivities while maintaining your balanced gluten-free food plan.
2. Skip the breadbasket.
Yes, starting a meal off with the breadbasket is standard protocol during most meals (not just during the holidays) but two pieces of bread with butter means 400 calories before the real meal even begins! You can still be social during the pre-meal noshing with a small dinner salad or veggies dipped in hummus getting some greens in while you’re hungry is your best bet!
3. Boil your sweet potatoes.
Boiling sweet potatoes (as opposed to roasting) will cut the Glycemic Index almost in half. This means the boiled sweet potato won’t raise your blood sugar in the same manner that roasted sweet potatoes do, so you can still enjoy this holiday staple without any guilt.
4. Low-carb mashed cauliflower.
If you want to take it to the next level, replace your potato dish with mashed cauliflower. Simply steam your cauliflower until tender and mash it with grated Parmesan cheese until you have reached a mashed potato consistency.
5. Avoid binge eating. Try spreading out the food on your plate and take smaller initial portions. You can always come back for more!
6. Step off the wagon, don’t fall.
Of course the holidays are for having fun and enjoying yourself, so if you maintain balanced nutrition on a regular basis then splurging for a meal (or two) will not hurt your goals, as long as you return to your good habits after the splurge. And if you are hosting the dinner or want to bring a side dish to your destination, check out our holiday recipe collection.