How to: Survive social events, gluten-free Print Recipe Print Recipe

Don’t blink.

I did and now we’re less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving.

The next thing you know, you’ll be pulling out your Holiday attire & toasting to the new year. This gives me anxiety.  Breathe.

With the holiday’s just around the corner, a few people have asked me to share some tips for eating out on a gluten-free diet. This has been my life for over a year now and thankfully there are great resources such as Triumph Dining who offers various guides [restaurant, grocery, etc.] to help make gluten-free easy and accessible. Want one?? Keep reading!

Here are a few tips, which I live by that will help get you through the Holiday parties & events. . .

Call ahead. Let the host/hostess know what your allergies are.  Be prepared to give them suggestions on what you can and cannot eat. You can always offer too bring something. A bottle of wine, flowers of something like THIS are always nice hostess [thank you for having me] gift.


Offer to bring something [that you can eat]. Veggie plate or these quinoa stuffed cucumbers, soupside dish, etc. – something you’re comfortable making [or picking up].

If it’s pizza night, you can bring gluten-free pizza crust & prepare it there [if it’s that kind of pizza party] or just pick up a frozen pizza & *bake there.  We keep both options in the freezer as back up.

*careful with cross contamination

Avoid showing up on an empty stomach. Eat an apple or something light before you leave. If you didn’t do the first two bullet points and you’re not certain there will be anything for you to eat, then eat more beforehand and pack something light, just in case.

Back up plan. Keep a few bars, trail mix, packet of peanut butter,  fruit, juice, etc. either in your handbag or the car.

Drink water. It’s important you’re drinking a lot of water throughout the day and evening. If you’re hunger pains start to kick in at the event and there isn’t anything to eat, keep drinking water.  If you’re not a big water drinker, adds lemon &/or cucumber. Trust me, it’s delicious. I call it “spa water” since that’s where it’s usually offered.  This is also a great option when entertaining at home.

In addition to all that, Kelley’s recent question [via 30 Day Challenge] was looking for advice when ordering off the dinner menu while trying to lose or maintain  an ideal weight

Good news, you can STILL eat out while you’re on a weight loss plan.

  1. Don’t arrive on an empty stomach. That doesn’t mean you should eat an entire meal, just something small to hold you over.
  2. Drink lots of water!
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want &/or if you have allergies, SPEAK UP!
  4. Avoid meals that say, “fried”, “breaded”, “served in cream sauce”, etc. and LOOK FOR steamed or broiled.
  5. Family Style.  Dish small portions on your plate  try and stay away from the “avoided” foods listed above.
  6. Start with soup or salad. Look for options loaded with veggie [soups – avoid cream base, cheese, & if possible, no bread].  Ask for dressing & the cheese on the side.
  7. Substitute vegetables or baked potatoes for french fried.
  8. If you want the chocolate chip cookie, then skip the carb/starches at dinner.
  9. Eat slow, savor each bite, and taste all the flavors.
  10. It’s OKAY to not to make the clean plate club like you did when you were a kid!

If you have any tips/advice for eating out, please share!


The lovely folks over at Triumph Dining sent me an extra Gluten-free Grocery Guide which I’m giving away to one lucky winner!

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your favorite gluten-free product OR meal is. Yep, that’s it!

Bonus is you. .  .

1. Follow With Style and Grace on Twitter & Facebook and leave a second comment.

2. Follow Triumph Dining on Twitter & Facebook and leave a third comment.

Giveaway ends Sunday, Nov.13

Eligible to US residents only

WINNER #13. . .

Click here for more information or to sign up!

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  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    great tips and for anyone not eating the S.A.D., these are great tips…from vegan to vegetarian to GF to nut free, always come with a backup plan and never on an empty stomach 🙂

  • Shannon

    For a quick and easy GF meal – I love stuffing anything into a sweet potato (just like you!) – chili, black beans and veggies – really anything! For a nice meal I love risotto – especially red wine and pea risotto – Yum, Yum!

  • Diana G

    my favorite gluten free food is glutenfreeda’s cookies. They’re preshaped and frozen and you just take out how many you want and bake them for fresh baked cookies. I love all the different awesome flavors.

  • Bev Weidner

    L-O-V-E this. !

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Excellent words of wisdom for anyone who has any kind of food allergy.

  • Paige Corbin

    I love With Style & Grace!! I follow you on twitter and FB and also did the same for Triumph Dining. My favorite GF meal are meatballs made with GF breadcrumbs on top of gluten free pasta (I like the Schorr’s brand best!)

  • Megan @ Tales of an HBS Wife

    Thanks so much for posting! As a nutritionist, I’m always looking for tips for patients when dining out – these are great!

  • Plain & Fancy Living

    Thanks so much Lisa!! My favorite GF item is Mary’s Gone Crackers. Quite honestly, Mary has been keeping me alive for a few weeks because I know she is safe to eat. Fingers crossed to win the guide.

    Amy R.

  • Jinsoo An

    This is one of my favorite gluten, soy and corn-free desserts I’ve created!

    Orange + mint infused dark chocolate pudding with tapioca starch, almond milk, poppy seeds, hint of cognac, walnut layer and raspberry on top.

    If anyone wants the recipe, let me know.

  • Leah

    Amy’s GF rice mac and cheese! For a commercially prepared product it rivals and exceeds the other boxed brands.

  • Becca

    A recent change to GF has put me in a very tight pickle lately with all my other food allergies (all nuts, bananas, tomatoes) and having been a vegetarian for 20 years, I really appreciate this advice.

    The best GF meal I have made thus far is GF pasta with roasted red onions, butternut squash, rosemary, oliveoil and white beans.

    I hope to start posting GF options on my blog soon.

  • Katie

    Your veggie tray looks delicious. I would be all over that.

    And I keep snacks in my purse even though I can and do eat gluten. Nothing is worse than not liking or wanting to eat what is available and being starving!

  • Tee

    Well, I’m pregnant, so right now I am really loving Amy’s frozen mac & cheese…It’s my saving grace 🙂

  • Tee

    I follow Triumph Dining on Twitter and Facebook!

  • cathie orozco

    enjoy many things but spinach is my treat — today i stir fried spinach and onion and then added 2 eggs — wonderful!!

  • Tanya

    Our favorite GF product ….oh, there are so many…is Canyon Bakehouse foccacia bread. We also love out homemade cupcakes. We always bring backup to any event, find a stylish bag that is a small cooler but doesn’t look like one (there are many choices) and blend right in knowing that you will have whatever you need and you may even have people asking,”Where did you get that?” Enjoy the season!

  • Alexandra Patterson

    I really love the Glutino flaxseed bread with all natural almond butter and sliced banana!

  • Alexandra Patterson

    I follow triumph dining on twitter (@alexandrap529) and facebook

  • Alexandra Patterson

    I follow you on twitter and facebook.

  • Maria

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • Barbara

    My favorite gluten free products are Pamela’s Pancake Mix and Pamela’s Cornbread Mix.

    I’m new to your website, and have enjoyed your tips and suggestions!

  • alyssa

    i’m so glad i found your blog, especially this post! i became gluten intolerant during my last semester of my undergraduate career (what timing, huh?)

    i’m really new to this, so i’m sure everyone has much better suggestions but i absolutely love glutenfrieda’s breakfast burritos… my GF tendencies also make dairy off limits, but these burritos are so easy to make before work and SO delicious! definitely worth the trek to find them!

    in second place: red quinoa and black beans: so delicious!


  • Jennifer

    I am loving Amy’s cheese enchiladas right now. They save me when I need a quick lunch and am stuck at work!

  • Amanda Barkey

    This is a great post! My husband went gluten free this year because of health issues and our whole family has pretty much followed suit… this post was so helpful! Our favorite gluten free product to have on the go is KIND bars 🙂

  • Andi

    Last weekend I had the most amazing gluten free mac & cheese from Misfit in Santa Monica. The green chilies and spanish chorizo made it even more amazing!

  • Mary Beth

    Sometimes I’ll pack a small dark chocolate or two in my purse so I can have a little something for dessert, in case there aren’t gluten-free options.

  • jenny

    Timely post. Our favorite GF product is Trader Joe’s Artichoke antipasto. Great on everything!

  • Erin

    Thanks so much for these helpful suggestions for the holidays. This is our first gluten free holiday season so we can take all of the help we can get! My husbands favorite gluten free product is the Udi’s brand bread. Our favorite meals are homemade mac and cheese and teriaki beef and vegetable stir fry over coconut lime rice.

  • Julia

    We love the Glutino pretzels!

  • Kendra

    We love the mixes from King Arthur Flour. When I want to whip up a loaf of GF bread or cookies, they make it easy and delicious. Not such a fan of most GF mixes, but King Arthur has it down!

  • Kendra

    Following With Style and Grace on FB!

  • Kendra

    Following Triumph Dining on FB!

  • Kristen

    Love Better Batter flour. Best tasting all purpose gf free flour I have found.

  • Stephanie

    My boyfriend just found out he has celiacs disease a year ago and we both love pasta so it’s been a bummer ever since, having to eat mushy brown rice pasta that cooks into goo.

    The best pasta we’ve tried by far is quinoa pasta, the way it cooks makes it taste just like normal wheat pasta! Not mushy or gooey! We make huge bowls at a time because restaurants always charge more for gluten free pasta, so now we eat in whenever we’re craving italian!

  • Sarah

    My favorite gluten-free food is Trader Joe’s Soyrizo. It is so versatile and flavorful. For someone who is GF and vegetarian it’s a total score! No TVP here :] My non-GF non-veggie BF loves it too! Double score!

  • ashley

    best gf food? vietnamese summer rolls. hands-down. with spicy peanut dipping sauce.

  • Laura S

    favorite (naturally) gluten free meal: tacos!

  • Meagan

    I love love love quinoa with mushrooms. So delish!

  • Danielle

    Recently discovered how versatile a corn tortilla is. I use them I the morning to put eggs on instead of toast. Also have replaced hamburger buns. They even work as a quick snack with some cheese melted between them.

  • Danielle

    Follow With Style and Grace on Facebook & Twitter

  • Danielle

    Following Triumph Dining on Facebook & Twitter

  • Margaret

    I love artichokes with butter!