If there is hardly any paleo-friendly food available when eating with friends/strangers, what do you eat, and what do you say to your them?
(I'm not allergic to grain, refined sugar, or legumes. I just try to not eat them.)
I'll try anything that's really special and homemade, especially if it's something new that I never had before. I don't have to gorge or ask for seconds.
I used to eat what my friends were having so as not to offend or be rude - and pay for it later.
Now I'm proud of my healthy stance and I refuse to feel obliged to eat something I don't want to eat. I explain to friends now why I eat the way I do, and I don't care if they approve or not. Most friends are really interested when I explain
I'm almost always able to find something to eat; there's normally some kind of meat option.
Often people are so wrapped up in what they are eating - I don't think they even notice what isn't on my plate.
Eating proffered junk food is a case-by-case determination for me.
If it's just my girlfriend wanting to stop and eat fast food on the way home, or a routine cookout with friends, I don't feel bad about abstaining. If people can't deal with that level of relatively innocuous eccentricity without being buttholes about it, that's their problem.
If someone has gone out of their way to make me something special, e.g., girlfriend's family making us a dinner and dessert when we visit, etc., then I graciously eat it and am grateful to do so. To me, honoring other people's genuinely kind gestures is as much a part of being a functioning human as any metabolic factor. So if someone's sweet little old grandma makes us a special cake when we visit, I smile and eat the damned cake, probably with ice cream.
I've unfortunately learned the hard way, because I get very sick. After getting over a severe case of what appears to be food poisioning last month (from what I thought was relatively paleo, non allergic foods for me someone made for me), I will no longer eat what they serve...period. I almost ended up in the hospital, it was pretty bad.
I let them know ahead of time that I will bring a plate to share (usually a fish dish with lots of veggies)...I have lots of food allergies and I dont expect people to be able to cook for me nor understand....most really dont even after explaining it anyways.
In some cultures its odd to bring a plate and probably rude, but its just not worth it. The other option is to eat before you go and don't eat there. That seems just as odd to them, so not much difference.
You have to do whats right for you especially if you are paying the price later.
I am unwilling to lie to others just to make this acceptable. This is my life, my body, my health. But tbh, most of the time, there's something paleo-realeted stuff to eat anywhere.
There are countries where I would be happy to eat anything they offered,
like bread. In some places if i didnt accept the food they gave me,
i could live even less with myself than now.
But western countries, i say no thanks.
Normally I would just tell everyone what for and eat paleo (how sad I am that my best friend is a vegan!). The only exception to the rule for me is if I am travelling in a third-world or poor country and have been invited in by a family who has generously and lovingly made a meal to share with me despite their impoverished situation - then I really just shut up and eat. This has happened to me in Nepal a few times.
That's a really tricky one, my doc even suggested I ditch my vegan friends after they made me soyrizo one time. ha.
The best I've come up with to avoid being rude is food allergies. It's not a lie as I really don't do well with gluten, but it seems to be the most innocuous way for any paleo eater to avoid eating certain foods that most people consider normal or healthy, without offending.
Just tell them as is, you want to avoid these things to feel better. Vegan people should understand that you have different needs. I often get some comments from friends that are eating the "normal" diet that I should live a little and have some "normal" food! I tell them that I have never been so alive and kicking and never felt so good and happy since I started eating Paleo ..... and the truth is they see it!!
"Food allergies" covers a vast amount of stuff within the SAD for probably most eaters, so that answer puts you on solid ground. However, for most people food allergies connote something askew in the eater and his physiology, rather than something askew in the food, and I personally hesitate at having to pathologize myself to ensure the comfort level of other people. I think my own inclination would be to beg off with "not particularly hungry" or "already ate." Both can be tricky if the reason for getting together is to have a meal and the chosen venue is Carb City Diner. In which case, yone's options are to lobby for a paleo-friendly venue, without, of course, mentioning anything about paleo. Red Lobster, great for seafood. Steak houses are everywhere. At the end of the day, the most difficult questions will demand reckoning: Why in he'll am I socializing with vegans?"