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Are you on a diet that your friends would never dream of participating in? Or, do you have allergies that no one else seems to have? Show them what it’s all about! Strut those carb-less, gluten-free bites that you know and love! You never know, you might convert someone over to the diet side! (dunn-dunn-dunnnnnnnn!)

It's estimated that 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies. I personally am allergic to pineapples, apples and cherries so I typically have to stay away from the fruit bowls. But this should never hold you back from enjoying life. Meals are much better enjoyed at home, so try adding a little something to your own menu. There are always alternatives and substitutions for those amazing ingredients you can’t have.

Beforehand, do some research to find out what you and your guests love, hate, can't have, and won't have. Tailor your menu to everyone's restrictions and create options with and without certain ingredients. If that creates too many different options, opt for a DIY style menu and lay it all out. Use placeholders to suggest different combinations, and what the heck, give it a funny name while you’re at it. There is nothing that creates more buzz than adding a splash of comedy.

Whether it's peanuts, dairy, or meat, there is always a way to satisfy without settling for less. Pair your current food knowledge with some basic recipes to find your own favorite combinations. My favorite snack is a slice of cucumber with a swipe of dill mayonnaise, topped with a slither of smoked salmon and a large chunk of mango. Sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy. You can’t go wrong!

This is also a great idea to kick start you, or a friend's health journey. Since dieting is much harder without support, why not try it together? (#SquadGoals) We can all use a healthier option at least once in our lives. And, we can all benefit from group support. Change is bearable when you don't have to go it alone. Healthy food options are just a grocery trip away! So, have fun shopping and make sure you spread the love!

If you are not sure where to start, try this recipe:

Gluten-Free Orange Cranberry Scones

  • What you need:

    • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour + ¼ more for sprinkling*

    • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

    • 2 tsp baking powder

    • zest from 1 orange

    • 1/2 tsp salt

    • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

    • 1/4 cup cold 0% fat greek yogurt

    • 2 large eggs

    • 1/4 cup orange juice

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened preferred)

    • Optional: 1/3 cup white chocolate chips, melted-for glaze**

  • Instructions:

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    • In a large bowl combine 1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, orange zest and salt.

    • Add in cubed butter and greek yogurt and either using a pastry cutter or your hands (get in there!) combine butter and yogurt with flour mixture until crumbly texture is reached. Should have the consistency of small peas.

    • In a separate bowl combine eggs, orange juice and vanilla extract.

    • Add wet ingredients to dry until combined.

    • Stir in dried cranberries.

    • Shape dough into a ball and drop onto a lightly floured surface. Add more flour to top of ball and additional flour underneath if sticking.

    • Roll out dough into a large circle that is 1 inch thick. Dough is a bit tricky to work with but have patience. Add additional flour if still really sticky.

    • Cut into quarters and then cut quarters in half to make 8 scones. If they lose shape, just re-shape with hands.

    • Place scones on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took 17).

    • Let cool completely if icing with white chocolate or serve it warm without.​

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