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Friend's sugar-and-gluten-fuelled-birthday-party

by (209)
Updated about 2 hours ago
Created May 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

I'm trying to be quite strict paleo (in terms of not cheating as often. My mum can't afford grass-fed meat, and I still eat dairy) to get healthier and lose some weight. I've been eating eggs, meats, nuts, fruit, veg, and greek yoghurt for about a week now. Since I was used to absent-mindedly snacking on sugar-filled stuff, I had to detox (though that wasn't as hard as cutting out grains. Oh boy) I'm just starting to feel a little better now.

However.

My friend is having her fifteenth birthday party next week, and the theme is "cakes". So, we all have to bake a cake, and she'll decide the best one. (And by the sounds of it, we're all going to eat a slice of everyone's cake. That's 7 or 8 pieces.) and for dinner, she's ordering pizza for us. Her mum is making cookies, and I'm assuming there'll be loads of junk there.

I can resist, but how can I do so without being awkwardly interrogated? I'm the biggest out of my girlfriends there, so I'll get asked about my body image and stuff. I can also handle that...I just don't want to ruin her birthday by not eating cake and pizza. Obviously I'll still bake her one, and give her money for the pizza, but what can I say?

I was thinking "I already ate" but she specifically told us to come on an empty stomach. Or, "I'll take the cake home." but I'm not sure whether that'll work.

Damn gluten infested environments.

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401 · May 21, 2013 at 2:17 AM

Calling someone a troll because they are trying to figure out how to balance their dietary preferences without upsetting their friend. Riiiiight...

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6709 · May 20, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Oh really, you cut out gluten 'ages ago' yet have not figured out what to say when someone puts a gluten pizza in your face?!? TROLL! and as for the downvoters, there should be a middle finger icon

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96 · May 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I forgot to mention paleo cookies are awesome. Bake up a bunch of these chocolate chip cookies sprinkle them with sea salt and body will question your awesome diet. http://www.againstallgrain.com/2012/08/29/real-deal-chocolate-chip-cookies/

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1826 · May 18, 2013 at 7:57 PM

No need to feel awkward about being Paleo or gluten free. Every teenage girl I know has some sort eating disorder ranging from vegetarianism or veganism due for ethical reasons to anorexia/ bulimia for weight control. Paleo for health reasons is the most sane decision in the crazy world of teen diets.

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209 · May 18, 2013 at 3:34 PM

thanks for all your answers :)

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1716 · May 17, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Shame, it sounds as if you haven't been doing this for very long - I don't have any advice except I can sympathise and hate situations such as this. If it's any consolation, over a few years you will get stronger and able to just stick to what makes YOU feel the best without constantly taking care of how everyone else is feeling in the situation. You just have to say 'no thanks, its for health reasons' and leave it at that. Its get's easier and pretty soon you won't worry about someone's hurt feelings over a cake or cookie, because actually most sane people will just let it go :)

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2904 · May 17, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Bill, your understanding of gluten intolerance leaves a lot to be desired.

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1197 · May 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM

This is a great idea - have a nice slice of your "paleo cake", a little bite of everyone else's, judge the winner, nibble on your pizza (everybody will be full from eating all that cake), and talk alot and laugh with your friends. They probably won't notice that you aren't eating like they are. Just have fun and like @CD said, the next day get over it and go back to eating the food you want!

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209 · May 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Sorry, I didn't make that clear. I cut gluten out ages ago, and whenever I have it I get a sore throat and bloated stomach

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26182 · May 17, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Personally I am anti- "Paleo Baking". Mostly because I just don't get it.

But in your situation you gotta do what you gotta do. So here would be my plan:


Day's before -- eat clean, mostly vegetables some meat
Day before -- make this: http://paleomg.com/simple-blueberry-lemon-birthday-cake/
Day of -- Eat a big dinner just before you go over there, bring a vegetable plate to share
Day of -- take a small taste of each person's cake
Day after -- get over it and get back to eating the way you want.

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1197 · May 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM

This is a great idea - have a nice slice of your "paleo cake", a little bite of everyone else's, judge the winner, nibble on your pizza (everybody will be full from eating all that cake), and talk alot and laugh with your friends. They probably won't notice that you aren't eating like they are. Just have fun and like @CD said, the next day get over it and go back to eating the food you want!

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401 · May 17, 2013 at 7:29 PM

If your friend is is cool with it, meet up with her and discuss your concerns and what you do not normally include in your diet, pointing out that they don't make you feel like death but you prefer not to eat them. If she's cool with you not eating cake or pizza, bring a cake for her and some eggs/nuts/veggies for you. If she is offended or wants you to not "miss out" on the food, try a bite or two of each cake but no more and have a slice of pizza (sans crust, if you can manage).

I react enough to certain foods that I avoid eating them whenever possible, but if I'm at someone else's house or a celebration and those foods are prominent items or made by someone else, I will have a bit of whatever it is. I'm not going to die from it and I respect that they took the time to make something special; that said, I'm not going to indulge, just eat enough to make the hosts happy.

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209 · May 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Just to let everyone know (if you guys are even interested) it went better than expected! Her mum made chili, so I ate that whilst everyone was eating pizza or cake. They asked why I wasn't eating the pizza/cake, and I just told them I didn't fancy any. They left it at that. I was quite shocked, but obviously pleasantly surprised. Of course, I told her I'd eat her cakes at home when my appetite returned. My parents are thankful for the free cake.

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38 · May 20, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Hello EB,

I recommend that you meet or call your friend before the party, to explain your diet restrictions to her. Tell her it's a medical prescription, not just a weight-loss diet if you feel a bit shy about the weight loss aspect. Don't hesitate to tell her that you feel uncomfortable about not eating and that you worry about other people's judgment. Ask her to support you, if needed.

She will feel honored that you share your feelings with her and will want to help you. At least that's how I would feel, as a friend.

The group, as a whole, can be intimidating, but if you take people one by one, you'll find that they are usually understanding.

I was at a party a few days ago and could only eat bell peppers! No spring rolls, no cake... It was a bit tempting, but it wasn't hard. And you know what? I'm sure nobody noticed that I wasn't eating the same food as everyone else, haha. Once people have their eyes on their cake, nothing distracts them!

Bring a plate of paleo-snacks to share with your friends, so you'll have something to snack on there. 15 is the age when girls start caring about their weight, so if you bring a plate of sliced vegetables, I can guarantee you they will eat some of it!

Good luck.

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96 · May 20, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I don't know where you live but many gourmet pizza places offer gluten free crust options these days. I know that they are not paleo but it could be an okay compromise, or you could make a paleo pizza and bring it with you. There is a pizza mix sold at health food stores called Chebe that is almost paleo, it made with tapioca flour and makes a decent pizza crust. I have found pakeo cakes difficult to make but paleo cupcakes made with coconut flour, and or almond flour are really good, just do a google search and you will find a bunch of recipes. Explain that your gluten intolerant and that you are trying to make healthy choices for yourself and people will understand. I have been paleo for a year and have been delivering pizza for the last four, everybody thought I was weird and still do, but I feel better and look better and most of them respect me and my choices. My bosses also just started a donut shop and have been bringing them to the pizza shop everyday for us to taste test but the don't bug me about tasteing them. A few of my coworkers have even begun been asking me about my new lifestyle because they have seen the changes it has made for me, if you stick with your new lifestyle your friends will too, because it is life changing. Just make sure to not preach paleo, let the results speak for themselfs. Sorry I know this is long but one last bit of advice on navigating this party, is to bring some kind of bubbly water like Perrier and flavor it with liquid stevia drops, it will help with what I assume will be a soda filled party. Last thing is have fun, being paleo is suppose to make you a healthier person not fill you with doubt, and anxiety. Everything will be great just keep at it and soon you will navigate through situations like this without even thinking. Have fun!

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96 · May 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I forgot to mention paleo cookies are awesome. Bake up a bunch of these chocolate chip cookies sprinkle them with sea salt and body will question your awesome diet. http://www.againstallgrain.com/2012/08/29/real-deal-chocolate-chip-cookies/

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421 · May 18, 2013 at 3:06 AM

I'm 17, so I feel your pain. I felt so awkward and uncomfortable about my eating habits in the beginning, especially because I didn't look like I needed to lose a lot of weight, so people never understood my refusal of certain foods and always questioned me.

It seriously gets better! There are a million excuses if the truth makes you uneasy. I still use these from time to time...

"I'm actually concerned I have a gluten/dairy/whatever allergy, so I'm trying to go 30 days without it and then reintroduce. We'll have to meet up for pizza/ice cream/whatever next month!"

"You would not believe the amount of food I ate yesterday, so I'm trying to take it easy on the pizza/cake/whatever today."

"I'm so full right now, I'll come back for some pizza/cake/whatever in a few."

"I know this sounds crazy, but I don't really like pizza/cake/whatever so much anymore. But give me a (insert popularly loved SAD food that isn't available at the moment- or "fun" Paleo food like nuts, fruit, dark chocolate, etc.) and I can go to town!"

I used to scarf down my breadless cold cuts during my lunch period so that no one saw me eating them... Now I savor every bite and when people ask why I don't have bread, I ask them why I should. And while my friends may laugh at me sometimes, I believe they do have some respect for my decision deep down- as every real friend should.

Since I don't have any allergies, I'm able to be less strict with some things. I told myself I would eat this way as long as it didn't interfere with my ability to be social and have fun.

Good luck!

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1826 · May 18, 2013 at 7:57 PM

No need to feel awkward about being Paleo or gluten free. Every teenage girl I know has some sort eating disorder ranging from vegetarianism or veganism due for ethical reasons to anorexia/ bulimia for weight control. Paleo for health reasons is the most sane decision in the crazy world of teen diets.

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5650 · May 18, 2013 at 12:46 AM

make a paleo cake and eat that when you are there. you could even make an all fruit cake and eat it. i've seen people cut a watermelon in cake slices and ice them with whipped coconut cream, even garnish with some shredded coconut. looks cute and is healthy. avoid the pizza and eat before you go to the party.

nobody is forcing you to eat junk food. you are the one that puts the food in your mouth. if you don't wanna eat it, YOU have the control.

all of my friends are familiar with my diet. i just say i don't eat these foods because they aren't healthy and leave it at that.

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1826 · May 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Tell your friends that you are gluten intolerant and will spend the entire party farting and/ or get explosive diarrhea if you eat anything with gluten in it. That'll be a nice and pleasant thought for them to ponder. You can eat a lot of protein before the party and drink plain seltzer water with lemon in it or something.

Seriously, my teen daughter has a mild allergy to gluten and her friends really try to accommodate her needs when they go out. Now, after 6 mons of Paleo, she's lost several pant sizes and has become the slimmest in the group, many of the girls ( and their moms) are impressed and switching to Paleo as well.

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4400 · May 17, 2013 at 9:03 PM

This is the first of 1000 such situations you will run across. Might as well deal with it well this time. You don't need to eat other people's cakes. And you WILL NOT ruin your friend's party by not eating the cake. This is nothing more than an opportunity to enter into a difficult situation and exit kicking butt! What a challenge, to be surrounded by cakes and not eat any.

You're big. Okay, use that to your advantage. A skinny person will get scorned for skipping the cake, but people will understand. Just tell your friend you're trying a new approach and you're really sorry, but you really need to skip the cake and pizza. I would still bake a normal cake, maybe your favorite, and let other people gloat over it. Just don't taste the frosting while you're making it.

Arrive full, don't eat anything there, tell you're friend you're attempting a new lifestyle that doesn't include cakes, that they can get away with it but you can't, and have a great time. Once you've done this a few times, you'll get used to it and see that other people won't really care, except for the really good friends, who will be really really proud of you.

Oh, no need to talk about paleo. Just say you're not eating foods like cake and pizza and let it go at that. Of course, if somebody asks for more info, go to town!

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2291 · May 17, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Eat the cheese and toppings off of the pizza and push your crust around and rip it up to look like you took bites.

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519 · May 17, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Do what makes YOU happy... My girlfriend gives me shit all the saying that I need to let myself have pizza and pasta and bread buy I would much rather have 3 1/4 pound grass fed beef patties with lettuce, advocado and onions. Dont let someone peer pressure you especially when it involves something as important as your health.

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6709 · May 17, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Eat a slice of pizza and a piece of cake. It wont/cant hurt you. Your not gluten intollerant anyway, you have spent 99.999% of your life eating gluten since you just started eating paleo a week ago anyway.

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2904 · May 17, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Bill, your understanding of gluten intolerance leaves a lot to be desired.

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209 · May 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Sorry, I didn't make that clear. I cut gluten out ages ago, and whenever I have it I get a sore throat and bloated stomach

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6709 · May 20, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Oh really, you cut out gluten 'ages ago' yet have not figured out what to say when someone puts a gluten pizza in your face?!? TROLL! and as for the downvoters, there should be a middle finger icon

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401 · May 21, 2013 at 2:17 AM

Calling someone a troll because they are trying to figure out how to balance their dietary preferences without upsetting their friend. Riiiiight...

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