My husband and I have been dealing with this quandary for awhile as he's very intolerant of MSG and its dirty lookalikes. Catered food is so often low quality and usually covered in sauces - the last wedding we attended had fried chicken, BBQ ribs, coleslaw, and pre-dressed caprese salad - so nothing we felt safe eating. We actually sneaked out to a local Mediterranean restaurant we trust, got take-out lamb salads, and sneaked back. But we missed alot of the pomp (cake cutting, first dance) and it kind of sucked.
So what do you do in a situ where you're sitting at a table with a bunch of people and are supposed to be eating? I figure there are two issues here: how to get some food for yourself and dealing with going against social norms in a semi-public setting. We're both still a little self conscious about having to explain why we're not eating whatever.
I know fasting is an option. But sometimes it just rubs in the fact that our lifestyle is so removed from our current culture.
If it were a formal sit down dinner, I'd eat well (protein and fat) just before, and then push food around on my plate, eat the salad naked, etc.
Frankly, in social situations like that, people are more preoccupied about reuniting with old friends/relatives and catching up. Try to sit next to someone brand new that you've been meaning to meet, or an old friend/relative you've missed terribly. Fixate on them, ask all about how they're doing, be fascinated with their progress/issues/whatever as you pick at your dinner. All they'll remember is that you're a sparkling conversationalist, not that you weren't eating the dinner.
Also, stash some macadamia nuts in your purse/pocket to help you if the reception is particularly long.
You mentioned it, I just take that as an opportunity to IF. I'm open and up front about my food choices, and just don't care that people may think I'm rude for not eating something. Vegetarians are so revered in our culture that no one thinks they're rude for not eating any meat at a function, so I shouldn't be judged for not eating anything that I consider poison when I'm out. I don't judge people (well I sorta do, but I keep it to myself) for eating what they eat, and I won't let them guilt me into eating something I don't eat.
Edited to add: I also don't make a big deal about not finding any food that I can eat. I just don't draw attention to my "weird" diet, and it usually goes well.
if it's not a question about intolerance i eat the food. if it is then i just say i am allergic to whatever it is i cannot eat and see if there is some other option.
I eat a good meal before I go, then eat what I can if there's anything available. You can play the allergy/sensitivity card if you don't want to go into your way of eating. Or I just say, "I'm really not hungry"...that one gets some weird looks cause most people don't understand not eating when you're not hungry.
My husband and I seriously load up on food right before we leave (or also in the car on the way there), to the point where we really feel we couldn't eat another bite.
If the food is being served buffet-style or family style, and there's nothing "safe" or we're still full, we just take a some of whatever's not getting a lot of play and don't eat it. We can say we gorged ourselves at another event right before that, a lot of excuses are pretty easy to pass off.
If the food is plated and served at the table it's a little more challenging, we tell the server to just give salad and not the entree if the entree sounds iffy. A big priority is not to waste food.
Double down on water during the meal if we're not eating at all.
The toughest thing for my husband is cake, but he was so good at our last party, didn't touch a bite.
Potlucks are the best -- just bring lots of something you can eat and focus on that. Be sure to bring some sort of dessert-type item so you can focus on that when they're serving the cake. For those lucky ones who can eat pineapple, grilled (BBQ bonus) pineapple basted with coconut oil was a big hit at the potluck we attended last weekend.
I use the same rules I do when at a restaurant. Avoid bread, pasta, white sauces, breaded foods, and deserts. Rice, potatoes, beans, and dairy are ok for one night. If I know a sauce (like bbq) is full of sugar, I'll scrape most of it off. I also don't worry about what kind of cooking oil was used. IF'ing before and after is good.
To be blunt, I don't give a !@#$ about what anyone would say about my choices.
Honestly,I actually used to get really worked up about this. When I first started eating this way, I used to pretend that I didn't. Now, if someone says something to me about it(why aren't you eating X?), I basically say that I never eat something in X and will get sick from it.
if its a sit down dinner, you can give the waiter a list of "allergies." Everyone is so concerned about these thing, they will not bother you. If it is buffet style, I tend to eat before and then fast. I have a long wedding coming up and I am thinking about bringing food. I have brought bags of nuts to events before and in the future plan to bring a custom made trail mix. It may be rude to the hosts, but I am not going to eat something that I do not want to eat unless it is going to phenomenal or I would be insulting my grandmother.
Food is life or death to me. Paleo is not just a fad. I usually eat before I go. I also take a small cooler with water and a couple small pieces of meat.
I run sound for a band that plays for large benefits. We play for free so that the benefit can make all the money. Our band has 10-15 people in it depending on the horn section. We only asked to be fed. While we are setting up which can take 2 -3 hours, I go back into the kitchen and explain my food color preservative and grain allergies and ask the chef what he is making. There have been many times where I am served a plain baked piece of chicken or the chef saves out a piece of roast beef that is not swimming in MSG au juice. Some chefs have saved me a few sprigs of broccoli or just made some steamed vegetables. I am very nice about it. They are very nice back. I really let them know how much I appreciate them
I get head smashing migraines from food color, preservatives, and "natural"flavorings. The left side of my body gets numb and I lose my ability to think and some of my speech...like a stroke. Then The right side of my brain gets the smashing head ache and I throw up until I dehydrate. Eating Paleo has finally "cured" me.
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