How to Have a Successful Primal Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  Yay.  It is my favorite holiday.  You might ask why.  I love getting together for a feast but I also like taking time out to reflect on all the blessings we have in our lives.  One of the my blessings is Celiac Disease.  Yes, you read that right.  I consider it a blessing.  It has freed me from the small confines that the SAD (Standard American Diet) tend to restrict us to.   A whole new world of foods has been brought to my attention.  My hope is that I can bring others thinking around to this attitude of gratitude as well.

With Thanksgiving focused around food, it can be a challenge when you have a food intolerance to find the blessings.  Hopefully the recipes below will hep you fully enjoy every aspect of Thanksgiving and the festivities that follow.  

This will be my ninth Thanksgiving gluten-free and the first one primal/paleo.  I know the loneliness, alienation, feelings of being different that needing to eat a special diet brings, especially in family gatherings.  My first Thanksgiving gluten-free, I had only been on the diet for a month and was the only one eating that way.  My plate looked very lean.  I couldn't eat the stuffing, green bean casserole, pies or breads.  At the end of the feast I was still starving.  I hated feeling different and having very little food choices at family gatherings.

I made it my mission to figure out how to make gluten-free foods just as satisfying, if not better, than what everyone else was enjoying.  After lots of Flops and experimentation, my husband, the brilliant baker that he is, and I came up with an almond bread recipe that was better than anything in the stores.  We kept at the formulating and came up with an ​gluten-free all purpose blend that works in every recipe we have tried.

Armed with the bread recipe and flour blend we made a Thanksgiving meal for family that was completely gluten-free.  The best part? 

No one even knew it was gluten-free!

Having felt different and left out in previous family gatherings, I knew I needed to share this with others who were in the same boat.  In May 2016, I published my cookbook, The Ultimate Gluten Free Holiday.  You can order it here.

A couple years after going gluten-free, the symptoms I had returned.  I couldn't figure it out.  I was eating a strict gluten-free diet. Why was I feeling ill again?  After a lot of research I discovered why.

Gluten is actually a family of proteins of which gliadin is only one. ALL Grains have gluten proteins in them and they all create an immune response like gliadin in various levels.  So the very gluten-free alternative flours I was using on a daily basis and in the commercial gluten-free products on store shelves was making me sick.  Now what?

Start over, revamp my diet again and go completely grain free.  We began experimenting and formulating again to create flour blends that would work that were grain free.  We are still working on sandwich breads, but we have a paleo all purpose blend that we love more than our gluten-free blend. We love our pizza crust blend as well ( coming soon).

The good news is we have been successful with converting our Thanksgiving recipes into grain -free options.  I am sharing 4 of out families favorites.

Green Bean Casserole

Apple Crisp

French Silk Pie

Stuffing

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