Attitude of gratitude: a gluten and dairy free life

I have so much to be grateful for this year. How about you?

My mother is healthy for the first time in years, and my sister is also well. They are making most of the gluten and dairy free feast this year, and that makes me so happy. I’m also grateful for my sisters-in-law who are making much of the dinner on my husband’s side. We are eating with my family today, and my mouth waters for the three things I love most: turkey, my mother’s cornbread dressing and gravy.

Fall light through the oaks

“What?” you say. “Those items are filled with wheat and dairy.”

Well, they don’t have to be. Last year, I posted my mother’s dressing recipe. As for the turkey, we bought ours at Whole Foods which recently opened in Oklahoma City. Yes, it was pricey, but we got a fresh, organic bird with no additives. I may go back after Thanksgiving and buy an heirloom bird. I feared it was too much to ask of my family to eat a more gamey bird, but I want to try one. Perhaps, they will be on sale after the feast. I know some of us don’t have the option of Whole Foods, so I did some looking for other options. Butterball Fresh Turkey and Butterball Fresh Breast of Turkey are both gluten free, and I believe they say so right on the package. According to Honeysuckle White, their frozen and fresh turkeys are gluten, dairy, MSG and soy free. I found these turkeys last year at Wal-Mart and Target. Here, Homeland probably also carries them. Personally, I avoid any turkeys with additional broth, stuff, gravy, etc. Fresh is always best, and if you’ve waited this long to make your turkey, you need to buy fresh anyway.

It’s so scary what is put into our turkeys and other food, but today is all about gratitude so I’m not going there.

My 'Enterprise' apple in the fall. I don't get many apples from it because of the deer, but it makes up for this with such gorgeous fall color. Apple, peach and cherry trees adorn my front yard.

As for gravy, make your own and use arrowroot powder (available in bulk from Bob’s Red Mill and carried at our local Homeland in the gluten free section.) It is less gummy than cornstarch, and, in the U.S., corn has its own issues anyway. You can also use tapioca starch. Remember to stir cold water into the starch dissolving it before adding to the hot turkey broth. Otherwise, your gravy will have tiny dumplings. If that happens, it still tastes good so serve it and enjoy.

I am making the pies. In the past, I’ve made all of the crusts by hand. A food processor or electric mixer makes this easier, but easier still, is buying gluten free pie crusts from Whole Foods. I almost cried when I saw them in the freezer case. In an hour, my girls and I made a lemon meringue and two pumpkin pies. Today, I’m making a cherry crumble pie for Bill. Cherry is his favorite. I am also making mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. I grew the sweets, and I’m about to dig the rest of them for today. I am grateful they are so easy to grow.

Speaking of the gluten free Thanksgiving, I am also thankful for my health. There was a time when I was very ill, but this year has been abundant in good health and blessings for all of our family. Going gluten and dairy free wasn’t easy, but it’s been rewarding. I’ve made new friends, and for the first time in my life, I feel strong.

The long and winding road to my upper pasture

Life really is a long and winding road full of trials, tribulations and blessings throughout. The best of Thanksgiving wishes for to all of you. You are all a part of my life, and I say a little prayer for each of you everyday. Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Rose says:

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Dee! Good health is one of the best blessings we can receive; I’m so glad you’ve found a diet that changed your life for the better.

  2. Hope you are having a fantastic Thanksgiving Day weekend!

  3. CurtissAnn says:

    Honey, I celebrate our gluten-free lives! We are blessed to have discovered the cause of our health difficulties, and to share this knowledge with those who wish to be healthy. I give thanks that my husband’s difficulties cleared up with mine on the diet. My nephew and one of his friends from nearby Keesler Air Force base joined us for dinner today. I know they did not realize it was all gluten free. Avoiding soy, potato starch and dairy. It is not hard to do, once you get the hang, and the food– scrumptious!
    Sending love,

  4. Robin Ripley says:

    What a lovely way to give thanks, Dee. I wish you and your family the most wonderful Thanksgiving yet.

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a wonderful post. I am so glad to hear that you and yours are well and happy. This makes for a great holiday. The best to you today and always Dee. Big Hugs.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thanks Lisa. Happy Thanksgiving to you too. Hugs right back my friend.~~Dee

  6. Jennie Brooks says:

    you are the sweetest! love your pictures.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I don’t know about that Jennie. You’re pretty sweet yourself.

  7. Frances says:

    Your sweet and grateful post made my day, Dee, thank you. I am so happy for your wellness and ability to find the best way to feed yourself and your family. Life is a long and winding road, full of beauty, just like your path to the pasture. May you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving ever!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      The same to you dear Frances. I’m grateful to have you as my friend. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  8. LaDonna Evans says:

    Dee, Thanks so much for putting all this information on your blog. We recently put our daughter on a gluten free diet to see if it helped her “intestinal issues”. Because I knew you had issues, I checked your blog as a starting point. I found wonderful links and posts from you! I too bought Gluten Free Pie Crust at the new Whole Foods. I’m glad you are feeling so much better!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi LaDonna, I’d be interested to hear if your daughter does well on the diet. When I was tested, I discovered I also had dairy issues. I even avoid a lot of soy although I love chocolate. If I can ever help you, please let me know. If you want, you can also like my facebook page, Dee-liciously Gluten Free,

      1. LaDonna Evans says:

        Thanks for the link to your FB page, I had not yet seen that! She is already feeling better, even though she is having a hard time going completely gluten free. Frutrates me when I find out she cheated on her diet!

  9. Leslie says:

    I’m grateful for this information Dee and so thankful that you are feeling good. And your photos are beautiful…fall is lovely there!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Leslie, I think fall is our best season. I really do. Love and hugs this Thanksgiving.

  10. Carol says:

    Dee, this is a beautiful and thougthful post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! May your blessings continue between now and the next Thanksgiving.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Carol, I hope the same beautiful things for you and your family.

  11. Gail says:

    Dee, I am so appreciative that you’ve raised my consciousness about gluten issues. We’ve recently joined a supper club and one of the women is gluten intolerant. It never occurred to me that flour would show up in so many products and now I can be sure it won’t be an issue with foods I take to dinner. I am also thrilled to learn that there are products that make your life easier. I am going to try the pie crusts. Happy holidays my friend. xxoogail

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Gosh Gail, you made my day. I’m glad you found some of the information helpful. Going gluten and dairy free certainly changed my life for the better, and there are only good things on the horizon food-wise.

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