An Autoimmune Disease Diet: How To Eat Your Favorite Holiday Dishes And Stay Healthy

46011240_SThe holidays can bring stress, relatives, pain & fatigue, and of course keeping Santa Claus a secret is never easy. Yet one of the best things about the holiday season is the food. There’s nothing that can beat the stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, cookies and puddings that come with the holiday season. But the problem is that when you’re dealing with an autoimmune disease, you can’t always fit all of these delicious holiday treats into your diet.

If you’ve decided to focus on your diet as a way to help with your autoimmune disease, you already know that you won’t be able to cheat your way through the entire holiday season. You won’t be able to eat everything you want and still be able to watch your sweet kiddos open all of their holiday presents. So, instead, you’ll need to find some ways to introduce healthy dishes into your holiday meal traditions. We have some suggestions for you that are healthy enough to help with your autoimmune disease, but delicious enough to still make you find a reason to celebrate during this holiday season.

In order to keep your diet and autoimmune disease in line this holiday season, consider swapping out your usual recipes with these healthier alternatives to your favorite dishes.

Try a sugar-free version of your favorite pumpkin pie.

Your Thanksgiving feast isn’t complete until you’ve added some pumpkin pie to your plate. But the problem with pumpkin pie is that it can be full of sugar and carbs, which aren’t necessarily great for your body. If you’re trying to keep up with your favorite holiday foods, don’t skip the pie altogether. Instead, find a healthier alternative, such as this recipe, which requires less sugar. Your body will thank you for skipping out on the sugar overload, but you will feel happy knowing you didn’t let your autoimmune disease keep you from enjoying your full feast.

Ditch gluten with this gluten-free stuffing recipe.

Gluten-free diets are a great way to keep your body healthy and fighting your autoimmune disease. However, one of your holiday favorites may be stuffed full of gluten. Yes, we’re talking about your mom’s legendary stuffing you’ve eaten ever since you were a child. Don’t worry, skipping out on gluten doesn’t mean you need to skip out on this holiday favorite. Instead, try this gluten-free version of stuffing, which will hopefully keep you satisfied, without having your body regret it later on.

Don’t miss out on your favorite gingerbread cookies. Instead, go for a recipe that is a little healthier.

One of the best memories you probably had as a kid was cutting gingerbread cookies out with your mom, or creating your very own gingerbread houses. These houses may have been stuffed on all sides with icing and gum drops, and they were likely a tradition you always looked forward to as a kid. There’s no reason you should have to give up gingerbread cookies altogether now that you’re dealing with an autoimmune disease. No, don’t let your body win out and ruin all the fun. Instead, bake these gingerbread cookies that are low on sugar and even add maple syrup and applesauce as a healthier alternative.

Stay warm this holiday season with these hot cocoa alternatives.

The holidays usually come with cooler weather, red noses and caroling in the outdoors. It’s likely you’ve turned to hot cocoa as a way to warm up you and your family during this time of year. Hot cocoa is a tradition that has everything we love about the holidays – warmth, chocolate and marshmallows. However, hot cocoa isn’t usually the healthiest of options. In fact, some of today’s versions are just different combinations of heavy cream and sugary chocolate. You can use our suggested hot cocoa alternatives so you don’t have to miss out on everything you love about hot cocoa, but you won’t feel like you’re sipping the world’s most unhealthy beverage.

This holiday season, don’t let your autoimmune disease keep you from completely missing out on all of your favorite holiday food. These recipes should help you find healthier ways to still enjoy the foods you love. Because we don’t want your pain and fatigue to take away everything you and your sweet kiddos are likely looking forward to during the holidays this year.


About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

This post contains opinions of the author. is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances.  Camino Real Ventures, Inc., the company that makes available to you, does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website.  Your use of the website is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


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