Your Guide to A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Guide to Gluten-Free Thanksgiving
By: Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday full of family, gratitude and of course delicious food for days!  It may seem overwhelming to navigate our food-focused cultural celebrations when you are dealing with a food allergy, sensitivity, intolerance or any type of preferences, like vegetarian, plant-based, light and healthy, etc.  In our home, 50% of us have been gluten-free for the past few years with wonderful effects.  The other half tend to eat gluten-free but not all the time.  My youngest son, Dillon, and I both found different benefits, of going gluten-free like focus and less IBS symptoms, and it’s gotten much easier to execute over time.  But holidays and parties can add another layer of thought, planning and execution.

So, here’s your guide to a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving, from our New England home to yours!   From apps to dessert, it’s a fun way to celebrate without wheat.

  1. Homemade Especially for You

    Gluten-free Gravy

    Any course can accidentally include gluten so be sure to look closely to avoid hidden sources of gluten and make your own from scratch!

    Gravy & sauces are where flour can lurk. Try this Vegan, Gluten-Free Gravy that’s quick, easy and tasty.

    • Vegetable Stock and Broth may contain gluten. Read labels carefully or use your juicer pulp to create your own.
    • Salad dressings can be another haven for gluten or additives. Creating your own is so easy and much tastier.  Try this Gorgeous Salad full of fall ingredients and use the Walnut Oil dressing.
  1. You Don’t Need Bread Before Dinner

    No need for gluten here.  All of your guests will enjoy these healthy, gluten-free pre-meal bites so you can pass on the bread.  Many appetizers typically include bread crumbs or flour for texture.  It’s simple to make a switch without sacrificing flavor. Try these winners:

  1. Delicious Sides Don’t Have to Contain Gluten

    There are so many gluten-free flours on the market these days.  Many are created to be a 1:1 substitution for wheat based flours, making them an easy swap in most recipes. If you’re worried about impressing your guests without gluten, try making these:

  1. Main Dishes Made Plant-Based

    Offer some non-turkey, seasonal main dish options which could double as a side.

  1. No Need to Skip the Last Course

    Carrot Cake Protein Balls

    Limiting your portion to help prevent pounds from packing on makes sense, but no need to go cold turkey on treats when you can enjoy these gluten-free, smart sweets using healthier ingredients.


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Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Stacy is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and an Integrative Nutritionist. She consults for various companies, focusing on health, wellness and innovative strategies to help increase individual’s fruit and vegetable intake. Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist; she holds a BS degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston, MA, with more than 20 years of experience. Stacy created and now serves as project manager and lead writer for nutrition services content on the Dana Farber website and the affiliated, nationally recognized nutrition app. Stacy is regularly featured on TV, radio, print and social media on behalf of Dana Farber and other organizations. Together with her husband, Dr. Russell Kennedy PsyD, they have a private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC. Stacy is an adjunct professor in Wellness and Health Coaching at William James College, currently teaching a graduate course in Health Coaching. Stacy is featured in the award winning documentary films, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2,” and serves on the Reboot with Joe Medical Advisory Board. Stacy lives in Wellesley with her husband, two sons and three dogs. She enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking and spending time with friends and family. Stacy is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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