Friends flying in from overseas? Relatives coming to stay for the next two weeks? It’s a busy time of year, full of activities and loved ones. Let’s be honest — you probably won’t have the time or energy to cook healthy, nutritious meals each and every night.
Sometimes the simplest solution to keeping your eating on track over the holidays is to rely on the professionals! For example, make reservations for the gang at a familiar restaurant or buffet. Sam and I have a favourite Thai restaurant that we like to take our out-of-town guests to because there are so many healthy options — and they are so great at accommodating my “no sauce” or “on the side” requests. We are also friendly with the owner of an Arabic restaurant not far from where we live, and his place features a vegetarian buffet — as well as a full menu! It’s a great destination for friends and family alike, as the food is delicious, many dishes are free of gluten, dairy and sugar, plus there’s a little something for everyone — even french fries and soda. (Not that we’re recommending those items, of course!)
Yet another solution — I did this years ago when hosting a birthday dinner for 30 guests — is to have your get-together partially or completely catered. This way you can accommodate everyone’s tastes, while making sure that clean eating dishes are part of the menu. Many professional kitchens now offer gluten-free pastas and gluten-free breads, as well as a variety of seasonal, vegetable-based hors d’oeuvres.
And if all else fails, there is always take-away! For example, many restaurants and pizzerias are now featuring gluten-free crust, and you can easily skip the cheese and/or meat toppings. Some of the best pizza I have ever eaten was with vegan friends back in university: just crust and sauce, loaded with plenty of veggies and pineapple. Delicious!