There are all kinds of tricky situations – we completely understand! Family gatherings, social, business lunches, etc. There are cultural differences to consider, in some cases, also.
For big parties, the office holiday party, church pot luck dinners, and similar – these are often the easiest to deal with. As has been said before, most people don’t even notice! In the early days, do yourself a favor and eat BEFORE a meal. It will be so much easier on you if the choices are limited.
Bring one dish you can eat. Cheese platters, (with pepperoni, sausage, and crackers, if necessary), deviled eggs, shrimp, meatballs, crustless quiche, sliced deli meat platters, a roast beef, there are really a lot of party foods you can bring, if appropriate.
If you’re dining out, there are also options. Too many to go into – but stick to basics – eat before you go, ask for meat dishes, smile and say no thank you, etc.
Now for family gatherings – these can be the most difficult to maneuver. The same principles apply, though. Eat beforehand. You will be so glad you did! Bring plenty of food to share. Focus on visiting and talking with others. Offer to wash dishes, watch the children, go for a walk after dinner, etc. If there are people who will really push their food, hopefully you can have a conversation with them. (Parents, grandparents, aunts, etc.) Just tell them you have been trying an elimination diet, and right now, you feel best if you avoid all grains and sugar and fiber, etc. (All perfectly true.) You don’t have to admit to all meat, exactly, if you’re not ready for that. But just ask for plain meat, no breading or gravy. If they care about you, they will be so glad to help.
If it is more complicated than that, just stick to basics. Smile, say that everything looks delicious, but you just aren’t hungry right now. Then change the subject and talk about how glad you are to see them, ask about their kids, etc. Drink water, pile on the meat, and enjoy.
Very occasionally, you end up at a house where you don’t know the hosts very well and there’s no opportunity to talk ahead of time or bring your own food. And they serve salad and pasta, ha ha. It has happened to me! Same basic principle. Drink water. Move the food around. Explain that you are recovering from a recent illness, if you must come up with something.
Most people today understand giving up all grain. But they still offer a lot of fruits and vegetables. This can be tricky!
If you have eaten already, it’s very easy to sit there and talk and drink a glass of water. It might make some people VERY uncomfortable, but it is okay. It’s only a couple of hours, when you think about it.
We bring meat to my father’s house – his wife is a vegetarian. My dad eats a huge portion of what we bring, and it drives his wife crazy. She keeps hinting that he should have salad, but he just smiles and enjoys himself, lol.
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