While I only enjoy eating at home now, sometimes I get invited over a friends house or meet up with the family for dinner for a holiday or special event. These outings are happening more often than I'd like and I don't know how to handle them. My diet is Whole30, and I don't want to cheat. What experiences have people had with this? I wouldn't be asking if I didn't have so many parties to go to in the next few months! Whenever I can I bring my own food, but I don't want to offend my Grandmother on Easter Sunday!
I think sometimes we put ourselves in really awkward positions when we are so rigid about certain things. I've done whole30...I know it's very strict and the reasons for it are good. But, having said that...There are times and places when you (and when I say you, I mean we the people, collectively) should put your rigidness on the back burner for the sake of whatever that special occasion may be. You can eat pretty clean on Easter i'm sure, not sparkling, not completely..but if YOU don't make a fuss about it, then chances are no one will really notice what you do or don't eat. And if Gramma made something special for Easter, just take a bite and know that you made her happy and it's not the end of the world. Your body will not implode, your health will not suddenly disappear due to one day of "going with the flow". I think sometimes this whole paleo/whole30/primal blah blah blah can really play headgames with us...Guilt over it doesn't help...Mental health is just as important as physical and feeling guilty because you DIDN'T eat or DID eat something for a special occasion isn't worth it. That's just my take on it. It's a hard decision but I think we make it harder on ourselves than we need to. Best of luck and all you can do is what you can do...(i'd make gramma happy)
I've always been the weird guy, so I rarely have a guilt problem saying "no" to others' food. That said, I try to rank "bad" stuff so that I can bend with varying degree at special events.
I tend to lump rice/sugar/potato into the "don't put a ton of effort into avoiding them at a one-off event" because I find that my carb-train doesn't get derailed that easy.
Next up would be "bad oils/fats" that end up in food. I little bit of veggie/seed oil in someone's home-made treat won't kill you. Not good for inflammation and long-term stuff in my book, but we're not talking about habitual eating. This tends to be things like deviled eggs or salads with commercial dressing.
I tend not to have too much of an "immediate" reaction corn, and eschew it as food mostly for political/environmental reasons. Peanuts also don't give me very acute issues, so I'll let those slide in a pinch, like a salad or some sort of Thai food.
Wheat is something I'll actively avoid and refuse. It's bad news bears for me. I really avoid claiming Celiac as a cop-out, because it implies that wheat and gluten is only bad for people with some abnormality. I'd rather take a minute to explain my decision, consciously staying away from being "preachy" about it. I also have a pretty quirky set of friends and family, so we all have our... nuances... that we all deal with.
I will also eat gummy bears under any circumstance.
Overall, I avoid the stuff that causes acute problems, but I am willing to slide a bit on the stuff that causes more systemic long-term problems. If you have a good handle on the whole Paleo thing, you'll likely not be super hungry at the party, so avoiding things like cheese and crackers won't be hard. If someone made some killer ribs, but the home-made BBQ sauce has a ton of sugar in it... go for it. I bet they're tasty. Also, nobody's home-made chocolate chip pecan raisin oatmeal sugar cookies are THAT magical. Be the weird one. Have some conviction about the change you want to see in the world :D
And if someone pulls the "everything in moderation" card, just ask them if they want to go do some heroin real quick.
Go to the Everyday Paleo website. Sarah has lots of great recipes to bring to parties and for everyday life. If you need to adjust it for Whole30. If you can't bring something try to eat clean before so that you are full(ish) before you get there. If people question or try to derail you just stand by your lifestyle choice. My whole family of 4 (with two teens) is Paleo and my own mother and father disagree with our lifestyle. But we are eating so much better, healthier and in the long run I know we are doing what is best for us.
Check out my post on this...
It's good to have a priority list. What is "absolutely no" (grains and legumes for me, except for rice), extremely rarely (sugar, sweet veggies/fruits, veggie oils) occasionally (glass of wine, rice, dairy) and so on.
it's always good to chose places that offer "pure meat" dishes - steaks, chicken etc without things mixed into it. There is the danger of marinades though, it's good to ask. Simple salads with olive oil is also pretty safe. I take sometimes salad with grilled chicken or tuna. sushi is a pretty safe once-in-a-while treat, just without the soy sauce.
In terms of dessert I always go for some fruit - it is the rarely occasion for me to eat a few grapes or other sweet and generally avoided treats.
Best Paleo vacation? 4 Answers