The weather is starting to warm up and my inbox is filling with invites to cook outs, graduation parties and weddings!
What a wonderful time of the year!
Well, unless you have celiac disease.
These events can be emotional for many reasons but your nutrition shouldn’t be one of them.
How do you have fun at these events without feeling like an outcast?
Let’s start with cook out style events like BBQ’s and graduation parties. These are actually the easiest to be safe. Events like this are more casual and laid back so people are less likely to mind if you bring your own food or alcohol. As with any situation like this, you need to pay attention to cross contamination and make sure people are dipping serving spoons into your food! But, just make sure you eat first out of the container and then get enough so you don’t have to go back for seconds.
If you are extremely sensitive, I would not allow your meat to cook on a grill with other stuff. You never know what else may have been cooked there that could contaminate your gluten-free meat. It would be easy though to cook it before you go and just enjoy it heated up in aluminum foil on the grill. That way you know it is safe from touching other items.
A great and easy meal would be a burger or hotdog with corn and Bush’s baked beans. (All Bush’s Baked beans are gluten-free!) Can’t tolerate corn? Bring a great veggie salad to the party or another side dish! Fruit and Vegetables are always abundant at parties so fill up on their wholesome goodness before digging into the other stuff. If you must have a desert, why not make gluten-free cookies and share with everyone? Try to bring another great snack like a fruit and whipped cream bowl which is gluten-free and pretty great on the waist line.
Again, a little bit of preparation can mean worlds of difference at an event like a cookout!
Weddings are a little more challenging. I’ve found that eating beforehand is always the best idea. You just can’t guarantee something will be there for you gluten-free and I’d rather be safe than sorry. I would not suggest asking the bride and/or groom to make special accommodations for you at their wedding unless you are very close with them. For instance, my sister-in-law is making sure I have a gluten-free meal and her maid of honor has a vegetarian meal at her wedding this fall. But, when we attend weddings for friends, I would not expect the same.
I also would not suggest bringing your own food or alcohol to a wedding unless they are snacks out of your purse!
I can’t emphasize enough that being educated about your own lifestyle, disease and safety is priority one. You must be educated enough to ask the right questions to keep yourself safe. If you don’t trust people where you are going, eat beforehand and just bring some alcohol. There is no shame in safety!!!
What tips do you have for going to events like these?