3

votes

How do you deal with weddings or other catered occasions?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 03, 2011 at 3:23 PM

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.

74c1777d7d39b053ca64c065dcdb0072

(713)

on December 18, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Honestly, I would rather say I can't,then I don't. Allergy excuse is acceptable because then the waiter will actually do it. My close friends know how I eat,but I am not about to start a discussion with a waiter who probably will not care.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 16, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Yeah, the faking allergies thing bugs me, too. I'd rather just say "I don't eat grains, legumes or dairy" or whatever I'm trying out in a particular year and let them assume what they like. Better advertising for Paleo and better by far for the people with real and serious allergies.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 16, 2011
at 06:33 PM

I say, wave your freak flag high. I know that my way of eating my things, in my way, in my own time gives my in-laws something to talk about when I'm not around but I rather enjoy my liminal social status. Otherwise I feel like a sneak and a liar.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 16, 2011
at 06:31 PM

I'm also uncomfortable with this -- I have issues with coming across delicate, fragile or sickly when in fact Paleo makes me feel strong, healthy and well. It's not great advertising for the way we eat.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on December 16, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Why is the allergy excuse considered acceptable amongst Paleo folk? Sigh.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on December 16, 2011
at 03:40 PM

The rest of us with serious allergies really do not appreciate this. You cry wolf and we get less secure food service. Please don't.

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on December 16, 2011
at 03:38 PM

Not if it's smothered in sauce or broth, no way. Catered meat is always tainted with MSG, it seems.

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on August 04, 2011
at 12:30 AM

+1 for "I don't judge people (well I sorta do...)" love it

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:19 PM

I agree. Don't make a big deal of it and a big deal won't be made. Get some food, cut it up....push it around on the plate. Talk a lot, and have some red wine (if you do that). Nobody will really notice. If someone does go all Food Police on you, just say your stomach has been 'iffy' and you don't want to push it. Polite society demands little white lies sometimes!

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on August 03, 2011
at 05:59 PM

Agreed, always say how good/tasty it looks and then skip it. Think of it as smoke and mirrors avoidance.

91d422b073139d35e0856967ba1c21d6

(1054)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Great answer! Agreed that people don't really pay attention. EXCEPT -- if the food is homemade the person who cooked it will probably take offense if you make it obvious that you're not eating their delicious creations. I always make a big fuss about how good it looks. I do that for passed hors d'oeurves -- that looks sooooo good (pained look on face), but no thank you.

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:04 PM

Yeah, sometimes people notice you're not eating, but a lot of times folks could care less.

  • 8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

    asked by

    (2830)
  • Views
    1.3K
  • Last Activity
    1283D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

11 Answers

best answer

14
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on August 03, 2011
at 04:07 PM

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.

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on August 03, 2011
at 05:59 PM

Agreed, always say how good/tasty it looks and then skip it. Think of it as smoke and mirrors avoidance.

91d422b073139d35e0856967ba1c21d6

(1054)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Great answer! Agreed that people don't really pay attention. EXCEPT -- if the food is homemade the person who cooked it will probably take offense if you make it obvious that you're not eating their delicious creations. I always make a big fuss about how good it looks. I do that for passed hors d'oeurves -- that looks sooooo good (pained look on face), but no thank you.

10
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:27 PM

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.

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on August 04, 2011
at 12:30 AM

+1 for "I don't judge people (well I sorta do...)" love it

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:04 PM

Yeah, sometimes people notice you're not eating, but a lot of times folks could care less.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:19 PM

I agree. Don't make a big deal of it and a big deal won't be made. Get some food, cut it up....push it around on the plate. Talk a lot, and have some red wine (if you do that). Nobody will really notice. If someone does go all Food Police on you, just say your stomach has been 'iffy' and you don't want to push it. Polite society demands little white lies sometimes!

6
D54290f91bd8c2ff9fdf2f519933bf3e

(1231)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:37 PM

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.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on December 16, 2011
at 03:40 PM

The rest of us with serious allergies really do not appreciate this. You cry wolf and we get less secure food service. Please don't.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 16, 2011
at 06:31 PM

I'm also uncomfortable with this -- I have issues with coming across delicate, fragile or sickly when in fact Paleo makes me feel strong, healthy and well. It's not great advertising for the way we eat.

5
91d422b073139d35e0856967ba1c21d6

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Double down on water during the meal if we're not eating at all.

  4. The toughest thing for my husband is cake, but he was so good at our last party, didn't touch a bite.

  5. 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.

5
Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:51 PM

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.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 16, 2011
at 06:33 PM

I say, wave your freak flag high. I know that my way of eating my things, in my way, in my own time gives my in-laws something to talk about when I'm not around but I rather enjoy my liminal social status. Otherwise I feel like a sneak and a liar.

4
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on August 03, 2011
at 04:09 PM

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 [email protected]#$ about what anyone would say about my choices.

1
4fca5e11d50731edbf4cf2ec38691aa3

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

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.

1
74c1777d7d39b053ca64c065dcdb0072

on August 04, 2011
at 12:14 AM

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.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on December 16, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Why is the allergy excuse considered acceptable amongst Paleo folk? Sigh.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 16, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Yeah, the faking allergies thing bugs me, too. I'd rather just say "I don't eat grains, legumes or dairy" or whatever I'm trying out in a particular year and let them assume what they like. Better advertising for Paleo and better by far for the people with real and serious allergies.

74c1777d7d39b053ca64c065dcdb0072

(713)

on December 18, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Honestly, I would rather say I can't,then I don't. Allergy excuse is acceptable because then the waiter will actually do it. My close friends know how I eat,but I am not about to start a discussion with a waiter who probably will not care.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 03, 2011
at 08:19 PM

In that situation I just eat the ribs....I LOVE BBQ and if the sauce has some no no's in it I chalk it up to 80/20.

0
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on December 16, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Locate meat. Devour

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on December 16, 2011
at 03:38 PM

Not if it's smothered in sauce or broth, no way. Catered meat is always tainted with MSG, it seems.

0
Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

on August 03, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Eat before you go. There is almost always some sort of veggie tray right? grab some broccoli can cauliflower and move on...gives you more time to chat if you are inclined..

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!