My response to her at that time was: “I will take one event at a time a figure out the most gracious way to deal with it.” When you are surrounded by others who don’t have to or don’t want to make the changes you have had to make it can be a bit tricky figuring out how to socialize and fellowship without that affecting how people feel about you or about being a hostess to you. It is therefore, your burden to put them at ease because it is YOUR change. I had my first experience since all my dietary changes of being invited over to someone’s home after church for Sunday dinner. God was good to me. My husband told me we were invited and that I was to call them back to confirm.
So, I called the day before we were to come and told the hostess that we would be coming and that I had something else to tell her. She was so gracious. She made it so easy. I told her that due to some dietary changes for health reasons I would probably not be able to eat much of what she would fix. I assured her that Lyle would really enjoy whatever she fixed because he doesn’t get as much “regular” food at home as he used to. I told her that I was looking forward to the fellowship and that was the main thing anyway. I told her that basically I could not eat meat, dairy or eggs. I asked her if she planned to fix a green salad. She said yes. (Otherwise I would have offered to bring one to add to the meal) I asked her if there was anything I could bring. She said no. I told her that I would bring my own dressing for the salad because I also could not have any processed sugar (which is in most purchased salad dressings and I could not have any oils except EVOO and coconut oil. She said that she understood because her Dad had gone off his oral medication for diabetes after 5 years and had controlled his with diet as well. See, I told you God was good to me in this. She really understood. That was so helpful my “first time out” so to speak. She told me what she would be having and I told her that I could not eat most of it. She asked if I could eat fruit. I said “yes.” She told me at church that morning she had fixed me a big bowl of strawberries, blueberries and grapes. I thanked her. When we got to their house she asked me if I could have Feta Cheese. I told her that I could eat around it. She said she had not added it to the salad yet. She also was adding bacon pieces. She told me she would take mine out first, then add the bacon and the cheese and toss with Blush Dressing. So, when we went into the dining room there were plates and salad bowls on the table. My plate had salad on half of it and my salad bowl was filled with the fruit. It was just perfect! You know, 15 minutes after we started eating it just didn’t matter what everyone had on their plate, because the conversation and fellowship was the main thing!
There are a couple of other tips I have learned about eating when you are not in control of the cooking.
I take 2 small bottles (actually they are travel size bottles that Pantene Shampoo came in) with me in my purse. One has EVOO in it and one has Vinegar. I take a tiny salt shaker with Himalayan Crystal Salt in my purse. Whenever I am out eating at a restaurant I order a salad with no dressing because I do not know what is in the dressing and there is and excellent chance it has sugar and an oil that is not the best for me. I either plan ahead and bring a dressing from home that I made or if I find myself unexpectedly going out I put my EVOO and vinegar and salt and pepper on the salad. It beats making impromptu dressing out of vinegar and prepared mustard which I did one time!!
If I go to a pot luck I bring at least on dish I can eat, whether it be a green salad or some other kind of raw salad with whole grains, legumes and veggies, or a tray of fruit.
If you just plan ahead a little you can figure these things out little by little. You do not have to compromise your diet. Take flax crackers with you in the car in case you need a little crunch with your salad at a restaurant.
If my family goes out to a favorite Mexican restaurant I take my flax seed crackers and order guacamole and eat my crackers, guacamole and some salsa.I hope this helps you figure out your way through the maze of learning to eat differently than most of the rest of your world.
Does anyone know of any good restaurant chains that cater to vegan whole foods customers?