It occurred to me this weekend while I was baking cookies and cupcakes for all of my fellow work mates (something I do as a christmas gift for each of them and their families and randomly throughout the year) that I was actually baking them all treats from the SAD range of ingredients. I don't think many of them would appreciate paleo goodies and I doubted that a few paleo treats for xmas would really open their eyes to much.
So it got me wondering to what extent others on PH are strict when baking/cooking for others? Do you always provide paleo food and thus send a message in your everyday practices?
I don't bother unless it's maybe a dinner with one or two other couples or close extended family members and I'm trying to showcase my mad cooking skills. Why should I waste expensive as hell grassfed meats, organic produce and nut flours on people who are going to wash it down with a mountain dew and a slice of cake? I have a hard enough time budgeting a nutrient dense diet for just the 3 of us!
I did have a surprisingly paleo-friendly birthday party for my son but it wasn't intentional. I think I just don't even think to make a pasta salad instead of a frittata anymore.
These days, I would never serve/give anyone food I wouldn't eat myself.
As I mentioned in another thread, I also see that I am "voting" with my food dollar every time I shop, so I'm definitely going to "vote" for Primal/Paleo, organic, free-range, etc, etc...
It doesn't have to be all chocolate covered bacon. No, seriously, you can bake all kinds of stuff that I bet they wouldn't realise was good(ish) for them. Part of my thinking for accepting what other people offer is to offer in return what I'd eat. I certainly can't think of anything more suspect than baking a load of treats for the office then refraining from eating any myself, and if I'm in honest the food I eat now is far more interesting, satisfying, tasty and nutritious than what I ate before in all respects. So if I want to be popular, I'm going to bake people the good stuff whenever I get the chance, because it's awesome.
I didn't do much baking before and I do none now (except meat and vegetables.) My now-obsolete holiday specialty was making divinity.
Oddly enough, within my personal groups/family my other specialty was always to bring a mixed fruit salad. Since I've made it a lot I know when to buy the various fruits so everything is at its peak when I make the salad. No change needed there.
I'm "walking the walk" because if I eat out I stash oil&vinegar or cream/honey and butter in my purse. I order only egg, meat and vegetable items that should be pretty clean of soy or grains and I add my stashed butter, etc. from my purse. I've had a couple occasions where the menu was totally unsuitable and I just ordered coffee.
My holiday appetizers this year will be bacon-wrapped sweet potato and nicely browned stew beef. No complaints so far.
I'd like to point out that my behavior is not because I think this eating style is sacred. I tried to find compromises or mild cheats for a while but I kept getting sick afterward so now I explain my problem and I take care of myself. I let my friends and family make their own choices but I make sure they know why my health and weight have improved so much.
I'm not strict when baking for others (especially as I have a few vegan friends I bake for). I find for holiday gifting I'd rather have treats the recipients really like, and not some paleo sub (almond/coconut) that's kind of meh in my opinion. I do, however, try to stick to the following:
-No gluten. (I have problems if I breathe in flour.)
-No industrial seed oils. (I use butter, coconut oil, or olive oil depending on the goodies.)
-Organic sweeteners, preferably honey, blackstrap molasses, and maple syrup. Some unrefined cane sugar for shortbread, etc.
As for cooking, I see no reason not to cook foods that I'd normally eat. I haven't had anyone turn away roasted meats (save my veg friends), flavorful veggies, and sweet potatoes yet. :)
I used to bake cakes with those awful boxed cake mixes with my best friend-- I would probably still do that as they were mostly about the decoration and less about the actual cake, and people liked to get them mostly for the visits we would pay them on delivery.
I have tried baking "paleo" treats for my family, and they're always met with complaints about not being sweet enough. I don't really see the point of making something with otherwise reasonable ingredients and then adding a cup of sweetener, even if it's something like honey or maple syrup, to appease the sweet-tooths so I don't bake for them a whole lot.