Nourishing Your Body for Better Health
Friday, November 5th, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

It takes a little planning ahead to guarantee a great Thanksgiving. In many ways, it’s easier if you’re hosting, because you know what you can and can’t have. Most people hate to impose on their hosts, but it’s easier on you AND your host to ask beforehand than sit through a four-hour meal and watch others eat. Remember, nothing is more important that staying safe! Here’s a and round ups for gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes from around the web.  There are more and more sites with great tips, too.

Gluten free Girl has an amazing roundup of recipes

Celiac Family has a Thanksgiving Roundup from a variety of bloggers

Simply Gluten and Sugar Free Healthy Holiday

Gluten-free Goddess

Celiac Princess

A list of 40 recipes

Also, here’s a run down of the usual foods, and what you need to plan for:


Though it’s always good to check, the good news is that all plain fresh turkey is naturally gluten free. However, self-basting turkeys usually contain gluten. Most gravy packets are a problem, too.  Check out my gluten-free turkey list for 2010

If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving at your house, talk to your host as soon as you can. If they haven’t already bought a turkey, they may be open to buying a different brand. In addition to the brand of turkey, you’ll need to talk about:

* Broth used for basting

* Seasonings

* Stuffing in the turkey

* Cross contamination

This is obviously more of a challenge. You can go the nontraditional route and do a wild rice, buckwheat or quinoa stuffing. You could use a GF cornbread or pre-made bread crumbs.


Almost all canned gravy and gravy packets are not GF.  Trader Joe’s sells some now.   Also, it’s pretty easy to make a simple gravy with GF broth and cornstarch instead of wheat (and if corn is a problem for you, arrowroot can be substituted 1:1 instead). See this link for recipes

Stop the presses! SOME Butterball gravy packets are now GF.  Read labels carefully!

Side dishes

There are lots of good options here. Green bean casserole, baked yams, cranberry relish, gelatin salads, butternut squash soup, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, applesauce…all of these things are easy to adapt to food restrictions, and they’re healthy and delicious to boot.


For many people (myself included!) dessert is the highlight of the Thanksgiving route.  If you’d like to use your standard recipes, you can easily make a crustless pumpkin or sweet potato pie or check out Whole Foods’ crusts.  Or, you can easily make a crust from crushed up cookies, shredded coconut or almond meal. Apple crisps are also simple, too. And, of course, now with the new GF Betty Crocker mixes, a cake or brownies are pretty simple, even if they’re not traditional.


Free Celiac Class: Nov 12th, 1:30-4:30

Just two spots left!  If you’re interested, please email me.


Video on Celiac and Autoimmunity

Dr. Gary Kaplan gave a fantastic presentation for D.C. Celiacs in June 2010.  Check it out!

In his talk, Dr. Kaplan describes Celiac Disease (CD), as an autoimmune disorder with environmental and genetic triggers. He identifies 4 types of Celiac Disease: “Typical,” “Atypical,” “Slient,” and “Latent,” with each type characterized by a different presentation of symptoms. He explains why so many people with Celiac Disease remain undiagnosed, and he discusses the numerous environmental triggers that can help set off the disease.

Dr. Kaplan points individuals with Celiac Disease have a higher risk for developing other autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Disease, Grave’s Disease, and Addison’s Disease. Consequently, if one autoimmune diagnosis is reached, it is important to check for other co-existing autoimmune conditions, so that an individual can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Finally, Dr. Kaplan urges that if you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, you must pay close attention to your nutrition beyond adopting a gluten-free diet. Furthermore, Dr. Kaplan recommends that if you’ve had undiagnosed Celiac Disease for awhile, you should be checked for underlying nutritional deficiencies and medical problems. The goal is not just to relieve symptoms, but to help you return to optimal health.

Gary Kaplan is an Osteopathic Physician and board certified in Family Medicine, Pain Medicine, and Medical Acupuncture. He is the founder and medical director of The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in McLean, VA, and he also serves as a Clinical Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better!  Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating.  Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.