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Eating with non-primals

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  • Eating with non-primals

    Hi there. I'm a newbie to the primal way. Have done Atkins in the past and lost a good amount of weight -26 pounds in 12 weeks so I know that low carb and high fat works best for me. Sadly I fell off the wagon and regained weight because I find it very hard to live without bread, fruit and pasta. Here's giving it another go.

    My question for you guys is how do you behave when around people who don't eat primal? I'm sometimes(1 or twice a week) at someone's house, or in a cafe with someone, or at a party or at a fundraising event organised by some club my young son is part of, like the scouts. Problem is, food offered is mostly pizza and pasta as it's cheap, or something carby. I would hate to not go to events and look unfriendly and unsupportive. It would also be stupid to pay 10 dollars for a pasta buffet and then take my own dinner with me.

    At a party, it would look strange to refuse to eat and drink anything, wouldn't it? Parties where I'm from are based on pastries, bread, crisps, cakes and sugary/alcoholic drinks.

    I'd like to hear how you get around social occasions...

  • #2
    Tell everyone your allergic to anything you don't the look of. If they press the issue, tell them it gives you explosive didiarrhea or makes you spontainiously vomit.
    Either that, or stop caring what people think.


    • #3
      Eat primal beforehand. Forage for what is primal at the gathering. Politely decline. If it's the kind of gathering where you bring something, you can bring a primal salad or something that will work for you. I have managed by having a little cheese or fruit or something from the veggie platter if there is one. Someone on another thread mentioned how if people are making bad eating choices they like to have others do the same and that is really true, so this remains a challenge, especially if you are regularly around someone who is a food pusher. I have one who works right outside my office. I sometimes politely decline other times I take it and just don't eat it or eat the primal part (breakfast taco, eat the egg trash the tortilla). This person shows her affection by making us all fat. I adore her and don't want to hurt her feelings.
      True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
      The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl


      • #4
        You might think of it this way (which I've done). If you were a diabetic trying desperately to control your blood sugar, would you give in to people who pushed desserts on you? Although I'm not diabetic, I regard my WOE as for my health, and I believe that I have to be consistent (but flexible) regardless of the circumstances. I might not be able to get grass-fed beef at a friend's house, but one meal of conventional meat isn't a problem, IMO.

        When I eat out with friends, no one ever questions my choices. I once had a waiter (of all things) ask why I wasn't having dessert! I just told him--quite coldly, "I don't eat sugar."

        At someone's house, it's more of a problem. I usually check beforehand with the hostess to see if there's anything that I can eat on the menu, and I've rarely had a problem. Of course, I will eat the filling of a lasagne and ignore the noodles, etc. I've found that if you mess your food on the plate, no one really notices what you eat or don't eat. But most times, there's some kind of meat and veggies that's OK.

        If it's some 'event' where I know there will be nothing to eat, then I plan not to eat. Even if I've paid, I regard that as my 'donation' to my health.


        • #5
          It doesn't have to be a big deal.
          "I'm just trying to do a low-carb thing, see if it helps." and pat your belly.
          carl's cave


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dave_o View Post
            Tell everyone your allergic to anything you don't the look of. If they press the issue, tell them it gives you explosive didiarrhea or makes you spontainiously vomit.
            Either that, or stop caring what people think.
            +1. If you get tired of explaining yourself to people just tell them you've just been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. People back off after that.

            Remember though - if you ever decide to have a "cheat" day with the same people they might have something to say about you eating with your "allergy". Ask me how I know haha

            "The Way We Do Anything Is the Way We Do Everything"
            ~ Kancho Cameron Shayne

            Blog - The Primal Pantry
            My Leangains/Primal Lifestyle Challenge to begin 2/7/11!
            Check out the Blog for Daily Progress


            • #7
              The events you describe where the menu is set can be a little tougher, but sometimes you'll get a pleasant surprise. Last night we had a work dinner at Macaroni Grill (which I'd originally thought was going to be a carb-filled wasteland, but which turned out to have several options that I didn't even have to modify at all, and several more that would have been good if I'd swapped out sides).

              At any rate, when we were perusing the appetizers to share and people were suggesting fried/bready things, I said "I'd go for the grilled veggies." A coworker said "Are you going vegetarian?" I said, "No, I'm just trying to avoid grains." He asked why so it gave me an opportunity to bring up the whole primal/paleo concept, at least at a high level, and to mention that I felt so much better when I ate that way (I didn't even mention weight loss). People listened, and said it seemed to make sense; we didn't get too deep into it since one of my other coworkers hijacked the conversation with a discussion of a family member who has Crohn's disease and is managing it with a primal-type diet ... and we got off on a tangent about Crohn's.

              But the reception wasn't hostile, just curious. Of course, I wasn't preachy at all, just discussed it casually and mentioned why I liked it and it worked for me.
              Last edited by ennasirk; 01-13-2011, 09:26 AM.
              "Sometimes, you need to make sure the angel on your shoulder has a wingman." -Me

              My primal log


              • #8
                Occasionally I have to eat meals with clients. When I first started changing my way of eating, I was a little self-conscious about how my clients might perceive it. Now I just don't make a big deal about it, and most people hardly even notice. If I'm at a restaurant, I just order something the way I want it, and most restaurants are very willing to accommodate my requests. It's hardest when you're in a situation where you can't control the menu, but even then, I'm not afraid to eat something the way I want it. For instance, I was at a client event recently that had a catered sandwich buffet. Luckily there was a big veggie platter too. I took a couple of sandwich halves and disassembled them, diced up the meat and threw it on top of the veggies. I had several people comment that the way I was eating it looked better to them than a sandwich with "all that bread!"

                I like it when I have friends/family over to our house for dinner. I will cook primally and for those that don't know I'm living primal, they hardly even know the difference. They just enjoy the good food I prepare. Christmas dinner at our house was mostly primal with the exception of one potato dish thrown in for the traditionalists, and of course we had dessert. But I served some really good meat & veggies that were raved over.

                If I'm invited to a party, I make sure that whatever dish I take is primal so that I have at least one option.

                If someone asks me about the way I'm eating, usually I simply say that I don't eat wheat or sugar, and leave it at that. If they ask further questions, sometimes I might give them a quick rundown of my way of eating without getting preachy.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ennasirk View Post
                  I wasn't preachy at all, just discussed it casually and mentioned why I liked it and it worked for me.
                  I think that's the best thing we can do really- just be honest about it, explain how healthy we feel, and hope they care enough to investigate TPB for themselves.


                  • #10
                    Eating primal imo doesnt seem to stick out like a sore thumb like some other really drastic diets. If i go to a diner or steakhouse with friends its pretty easy to order the steak with greens and hold the roll. Im not sure how old you are or how old your friends are, but i think that as we age people become a bit more accepting of things.

                    None of my friends care if I dont eat pizza or pasta with them. I tell them that I want the meat and veggies and they are like "oooooook" ahhahahaha. its actually fun to joke about.

                    dont worry about offending someone. if you are polite when you decline, and you even tell them why, they should understand. to be honest if they get offended, then that is their water to carry because that is a verrrrry petty thing to get upset about.

                    you have to live your life, they live theirs how they feel fit right. do you get upset if they eat pizza? of course not.


                    • #11
                      This is all I do at a party with tons of crap nibbles all over the place: "oh I just ate a huge meal beforehand i couldnt eat another bite"
                      If we are going out to dinner with someone: I just order what I want to order
                      If we are eating at someone's house who is serving pasta or something carby like that: "Unless you guys want me to crop dust you all night its probably better if I stay away from gluten".


                      • #12
                        In response to your original post I just tell everyone that I have gluten intolerance. It is not really lying since my body does react badly to it.
                        "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                        People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.


                        • #13
                          Intermittent Fast when the "crap" food is around. I know it is tough to not eat in America because every time there is an event or birthday or whatever we all have to stuff our faces, and if you don't people look at you funny. Pretend you are in Europe and say "I'm not hungry" and eat real food after the party.


                          • #14
                            as mentioned above, tell them it gives you explosive diarrhea.

                            I dunno.

                            after 5 years as a raw vegan I pretty much got over ever explaining the weirdness of my eating habits to people. Primal is way easier to find food, but I mostly don't care.