Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Five Steps to Stay Gluten Free at a Cookout

Over the past weekend I was glutened at a cookout.  It's been three days and I'm still paying for it. The sad thing is I knew all the steps to take to avoid being glutened and I didn't heed any of my own advice.  Then I decided, maybe there are others who haven't laid out a plan to keep from being glutened at a cookout or party.  Here are the steps I should've taken to avoid becoming ill. 

Step 1.  Call the host.  
     If you feel comfortable enough with the person hosting the event call them and explain what gluten is in for various types of food.  This is a fantastic way to spread the gluten free message and help people understand the lifestyle.  Questions to ask them would be as follows:
  •      What will the main course be and how will it be prepared? 
  •      Will the food be marinated?  So many people don't have any idea that there is gluten in soy sauce.
  •      Will the main course be deep fried?  Items that are deep fried are sometimes fried with other foods that are not gluten free.  
  •      Will the main course be covered in batter?  99% of batter will be gluten laden. 
Step 2.  Offer to bring a side dish that is gluten free.
     When you provide a gluten free side dish you know for a fact that you will have a food that you can eat safely.  Again this gives you another opportunity to explain to others about the gluten free lifestyle.
    If the host insists you don't need to bring something bring a dish anyway.  Their best intentions might not be enough to keep you from ingesting gluten. 

Step 3.  Eat something before you go.
     Hunger is the first step to temptation.  If you are overly hungry then you will start to rationalize with your hungry self and convince yourself that the consequences won't be that bad.  This is especially hard if you see one of your favorite gluten filled foods from your past that you always indulged in.  So to avoid these known temptations eat a bit of something before you go so you aren't starving when you are ready to eat.

Step 4.  Keep a gluten free snack handy.
     Don't ever be empty handed.  If you cannot eat something light before you leave for a cookout then make sure you have something close by in case you cannot eat much of what is being prepared.  Mixed nuts are a great snack to keep handy, gluten free bars, dried fruit, or something homemade from home.  

Step 5.  Don't eat the gluten containing food to be kind to the host.
     Being kind to the host is not being kind to yourself.  Depending on your level of gluten sensitivity being kind by eating the hosts food can truly derail your healing and overall well being. Be kind to yourself first, you are completely worth it.

As you can see it's truly easy to remain gluten free while attending a cookout.  A tiny bit of planning can save you days of heartache tummy aches.

What do you do to help remain gluten free while attending cookouts?  Add your comments below.



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