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What on earth would you do when faced with this menu?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 29, 2011 at 2:05 AM

I accepted a "Royal Wedding" lunch invite ages ago, expecting to be able to navigate my way through the menu, finding something suitably Paleo, as I usually would.

However, I've just been sent the fixed high tea menu, as below. Short of disecting the sandwiches for their (probably processed) meat, there is literally nothing remotely edible.

What do you do in situations like this? My English politeness & fear of offending really work against me sometimes...

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches Prince of Wales Tea-smoked Chicken with Wild English Herbs Cucumber, Cr??me Fraiche & Dill Scottish Smoked Salmon with wild Rocket & Horseradish Cream Watercress, Celery, Walnuts & Goats Curd

Scones & Conserve Date & Plain Scones served with Organic Strawberry Conserve & Clotted Cream

Assorted Sweeties McVitie???s Chocolate Biscuit Cake Lavender & Vanilla Cheesecake Wild Blackberry & Lemon Curd Shortbread Tart Royal Red Velvet Cupcake topped with Creamed Cheese Icing

Teas English Breakfast Supreme, Scottish Breakfast, Earl Grey Premium, Queen Mary, Prince of Wales, Russian Caravan, Assam, Darjeeling, China Sencha Herbal/Fruit Infusions Lemongrass & Ginger, Chamomile & Spearmint, Rose Garden, Turkish Apple, Chai $45pp

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 29, 2011
at 09:44 PM

Whoops sorry I missed the $45/pp bit. Clearly at a restaurant/hotel/tea house/other, not a friend's house!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 29, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Very sensible. Assuming this won't trigger a mad binge. Just enjoy yourself with no guilt whatsoever and move on.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on April 29, 2011
at 05:54 AM

Does anyone have any ideas for tags that could bring questions like this one and this one http://paleohacks.com/questions/13870/stuck-with-little-or-no-paleo-options-at-a-business-or-social-function together? An existing tag that is suitable? I just looked and didn't really find anything. A lot of these questions that we could maybe describe as being about "staying paleo in weird situations" fall under lots of different tags: some are about restaurants, some are about cheating, etc. Well if anyone has thoughts, thanks in advance ....

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 03:06 AM

as long as you stick to the menu ingredients on hand, no professional kitchen will care if you OMIT something, especially something simple like bread, and if you inform either the service/hostess discreetly when you arrive you should have no problem receiving a personalized plate. I am making this assumption because I am doubting your friend will be charging $45 a head at their house.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 03:01 AM

*additionally* as there is a fixed price of $45, this sounds as though its being catered or presented at a restaurant, simply inform them of your dietary preferences and ask for extra servings of salmon, chicken and greens to replace the dessert/scone course.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 29, 2011
at 03:00 AM

I guess a lot depends on context...is this a high tea occasion that your friend is doing at her house - ergo you could sneak some creme fraiche filling on the side sans bread? - or is it high tea at the nearest Ritz Carlton/Plaza/etc.? An understanding friend could help arrange a few concessions beforehand; however if you're doing high tea at an upscale locale, it might behoove you to pick a sandwich, nibble sparingly a couple of times at the creamy insides (without obviously picking it apart), but mostly focus on your delicious tea and the effervescent company of the other guests. :)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 29, 2011
at 02:56 AM

...and fairly certain that she would never again be invited to tea? ;-p

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:56 AM

skip dessert, barring possibly some clotted cream with a touch of the organic strawberry preserves, obviously skip scones.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:35 AM

Or, when asked why you're not eating, respond that you have a food allergy... like, gluten... :)

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12 Answers

6
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:51 AM

if possible, inform your host that you have a gluten sensitivity and would they mind setting aside a few tea sandwiches without the bread. The smoked chicken and smoked salmon, wild herb cucumber, rocket and watercress sounds positively delightful to me! Frankly sounds too delightful to pass up. And clotted cream? The best fat of the milk? Yup. I will eat that.

if you don't want to mention a food sensitivity just pick the innards out of the bread and enjoy what sounds like some very well chosen tea. Maybe it's me but this sounds like a VERY do-able menu to me.

edit : given organic jams, wild herbs and wonderful greens like rocket and cress, i'm nit sure why you'd think the meat would be processed. Certainly the salmon should be fine, possibly a touch of sugar.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:56 AM

skip dessert, barring possibly some clotted cream with a touch of the organic strawberry preserves, obviously skip scones.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 03:01 AM

*additionally* as there is a fixed price of $45, this sounds as though its being catered or presented at a restaurant, simply inform them of your dietary preferences and ask for extra servings of salmon, chicken and greens to replace the dessert/scone course.

5
4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on April 29, 2011
at 03:21 AM

You must be joking. I am assuming this is an exclusive, upscale event? A healthy life is the sum of many many healthy meals, along with many other factors. One "unpaleo" meal is a drop in a very large bucket. Don't be a food elitist. Enjoy the honor of attending this fancy meal, enjoy the time with friends, and get back to paleo the next day. Life is for living and sometimes you just need to enjoy it.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 29, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Very sensible. Assuming this won't trigger a mad binge. Just enjoy yourself with no guilt whatsoever and move on.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:18 AM

Just drink some very nice tea.

4
77f83ec328459dce702216709762e202

(571)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:12 AM

Ha! I usually fill my plate half full, nibble on something (typically a sandwich pulled apart), and spend most of my time consuming a safe beverage. When folks ask why I'm not eating well I typically make an excuse about having had a big breakfast or feeling a bit under the weather. As long as I am bringing something to my mouth regularly (such as the tea), folks don't seem to pay much attention.

Maybe if you're lucky the garnishes will be edible and paleo.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:35 AM

Or, when asked why you're not eating, respond that you have a food allergy... like, gluten... :)

3
9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on May 01, 2011
at 04:34 AM

That menu sounds amazing.

You know what isn't Paleo? Turning that food down. Seriously, Paleolithic people did gorge from time to time on stuff that wasn't optimal--like honey. Like a bounty of ripe fruit that hadn't been picked over by monkey or birds.

In the absence of a true, full blown food allergy (i.e. clinically identified Celiac's, or, oh, some allergy that leads to anaphylaxis), nothing will happen if you eat that food and enjoy it. Except, you know, you'll feel good and won't seem like a weirdo.

Seriously, I don't get the orthorexia. If 80%-90% of your diet is "clean," your body fat set point is where you want it, you don't have major food allergies, you can deal with some cheat meals. The reason you have insulin is to deal with occasional influxes of sugar. You come equipped with mechanisms to deal with carbs (excessive amounts even), PUFAs (ditto), and everything in between. We are omnivores. We can sit down and enjoy every part of a good meal. You just can't eat like that every day. But as a splurge? Enjoy yourself. Living paranoid of food just induces production of cortisol and stresses you out and has more negative consequences than enjoying a cheat meal without guilt.

3
3edf46d729f17cfff798b66eaa1ecb02

on April 29, 2011
at 03:35 AM

my experience with these big-deal-social-things is that you worry a lot, and then nobody really pays attention to what you're eating anyway. just have fun and be nice, enjoy the event and make a memory out of it.

2
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:52 AM

You could eat a little bit of it. I'm not sure if other people on here break paleo for special occasions, but for some things (Christmas, birthday, Royal Wedding lunch invite), it might not be so bad to be flexible.

That being said, if it would disrupt your usual eating habits, time for some fasting! I know that small "cheat" is sometimes okay with me, and sometimes ramps my desire for sweets up to unbearable limits.

Also, you could drink a bunch of tea. Turn a lemon into lemonade (if you like drinking lots of tea, that is).

2
B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 29, 2011
at 02:48 AM

Definitely eat before you go to the lunch! Will help you not be tempted.

2
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Say it would just come out the other end in 5 minutes.

No questions will be asked.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 29, 2011
at 02:56 AM

...and fairly certain that she would never again be invited to tea? ;-p

0
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on April 29, 2011
at 03:41 AM

I'm going with the pre-mentioned gluten allergy. It's polite and socially acceptable. If they give you something with sugar, suck it up and work out after.

0
1b81384cf6519d1fd092c293b050cd1f

(270)

on April 29, 2011
at 03:22 AM

I concur with the "cheat" comments, unless those foods absolutely upset your stomach. After eating paleo for three years, I actually feel a little sick if I eat too much gluten, even though I ate a lot of it the first 25 years of my life. Another option would be to count that as an intermittent fast day and say you aren't feeling so well. offer the food to another guest.

0
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on April 29, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Do the old "nonchalantly spit the food into a napkin" trick, or slip the food to the royal dog under the table.

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