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A beginner’s guide to a gluten-free Christmas

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DAY 17

For me, Christmas is about two things: family and food.

This festive season will be my first since I got my Coeliac diagnosis. This time of year is stressful enough as it is with travelling, shopping for last minute gifts and family drama, on top of anxiety around what you can and can’t eat on the big day. To soothe my own nerves, and hopefully some of yours, here’s my guide to a successful Christmas, free of all things gluten.

Talk to who’s cooking in advance (or even better, be the cook).

Wherever you’re spending Christmas, whether it be with flatmates, friends or in-laws, have a chat with who’s going to be doing the cooking. Not everyone is well-versed in catering for gluten free tummies. It’s worth talking about cross-contamination and double-checking ingredients so you can tuck in without worry on Christmas Day.

If you fancy a challenge (or you’re extra paranoid like me) you can try being the chef instead.

Naturally gluten free foods are your best friends.

Veggies, potatoes and unprocessed meats are generally a safe bet, as they are all naturally free of gluten. Most chocolate brands are usually gluten free too. If in any doubt, always check the ingredients.

Beware of the danger zones – but alternatives are available.

Here are some Christmas products that commonly contain gluten:

  • Chipolatas
  • Gravy
  • Stuffing
  • Yorkshire puddings
  • Mince pies
  • Christmas pudding

Thankfully gluten free alternatives are readily available in most supermarkets nowadays.

Live in the moment and enjoy it.

I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to worry too much. Eating gluten free can be incredibly frustrating at times and I often get stuck in my head overthinking. In the end, you just have to trust who’s cooking and do your best to enjoy it. Christmas only comes once a year after all.

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Film, media and journalism student. I like writing about my inability to eat gluten.

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