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Old 10-29-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
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Oh no -- a small group potluck!

I've been to a couple of potlucks since going low carb. I take something I can eat and everything is fine. However, in a couple of weeks I have a potluck lunch where there will only be 8 of us. Of course, I'll take something I can eat, but since this is such a small group, we'll all be at one table, and it will be obvious that I'm not eating the other food. I don't want to answer questions or look like a food snob or extreme eater, but I want to go to this little celebration. Any advice? I eat this way for health as well as for weight loss/maintenance.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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Who cares if you're eating other food? In real life, it's pretty rare that others notice details about us that we stress about ourselves. And if someone does ask, I would either say "that's what I wanted" with a smile or "I wanted to enjoy the time together while still eating the way I prefer". Sweet, honest comments diffuse so much drama!
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:02 AM   #3
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Agree,

there's been plenty of times where I am not eating or don't feel like eating. Just be polite and state, you're eating what you want.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:57 AM   #4
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strange as it seems to most of us, "I'm just not hungry" generally works great! Of course you have to eat ahead of time to pull it off because you can't be chowing down on a big portion of your own dish.

Or "my stomach is a little unsettled, i think I will stick to what I am familiar with."

but I agree, don't say anything unless others bring it up.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:19 AM   #5
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I have celiac disease and have dealt with these small potluck get-togethers for many, many years. My experience has been that, although initially I shared your apprehension, in fact my concern proved groundless. Most of the time no one seemed to pay any attention to what I was eating and if anyone did and inquired about it I simply explained that I can't eat glutens. I think this will transfer to the requirements of your LC diet. If anyone asks about your food choices you can simply explain you need to avoid certain foods for health reasons. Since I am also hypothyroid and take thyroid supplements I also need to avoid things like cruciferous veggies so I know from firsthand experience there are many health problems which may require people to avoid certain foods (allergies for example) so I think no one will question the fact that you can't eat some things because of health needs.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:11 AM   #6
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Bring a couple of your own dishes to share. They dont have to be anything weird...maybe Buffalo Chicken Dip with Chips and Celery sticks for dipping. Or some delicious Asain style chickem salad lettuce wraps. Low carb things that everyone can enjoy, and you wont seem like an outcast
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:15 AM   #7
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And you never know....maybe someone will bring something low carb (or something salvagable) and you can also have that
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:20 AM   #8
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I find potlucks to be the most problematic dining experiences in terms of peer pressure to eat something off plan. Everyone wants you to try what they have brought (understandably so). And some people are more sensitive than others and feel slighted if you don't try their dish. Especially with a small gathering, it's more noticeable, so I understand the concern.

I find that honesty and directness is the best approach. And firmness. I don't explain myself any further than I need to get a people to understand why I am avoiding certain dishes. I don't justify my choices or debate them. I apologize for not being able to try something if the person seems to take it personally. I've never been thrown out of one, and I've always been invited to the next one, so I guess it works.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily-D View Post
I've been to a couple of potlucks since going low carb. I take something I can eat and everything is fine. However, in a couple of weeks I have a potluck lunch where there will only be 8 of us. Of course, I'll take something I can eat, but since this is such a small group, we'll all be at one table, and it will be obvious that I'm not eating the other food.
... and they'll probably be dressed and vote differently, too. Way of the world. So, let them ask questions. However, others' curiosity does not equate an obligation on your part to explain a thing. If you aren't in the mood to dish about your dietary this or that, simply answer, "Oh, personal preference" if any attempts at probing start. In all likelihood, they won't. Let us know how it goes!
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:30 AM   #10
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I also find this problematic as people tend to take offense when you don't eat what they think is their specialty...maybe you should let each other know what you are bringing in advance so there won't be seven desserts and one dip. That way you can attack how to eat ahead of time. If the idea doesn't go over well I would just tell others that you can't eat certain foods because of the way it affects your blood sugar...it is true after all and If that doesn't work I alway tell them diabetes runs in my family and I am trying to stay ahead of the game.
I also tell people to bring what they want and don't cater to me as they know I eat this way. The pot luck is for all and not just about me. So, I take a safe food I know all will enjoy and eat what I chose from what is there.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #11
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If you are doing this for your health (and these are people that know you and who care about you), you should be able to simply tell them you must avoid certain foods because of the nutritional plan you are following. I'll often say it will affect my blood sugar (I'm not diabetic, but that is no word of a lie... high carbs WILL affect my blood sugar).

I've sometimes lightened the mood by saying, "I'm allergic to that... when I eat it I break out in fat."
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by trishthedish View Post
If you are doing this for your health (and these are people that know you and who care about you), you should be able to simply tell them you must avoid certain foods because of the nutritional plan you are following. I'll often say it will affect my blood sugar (I'm not diabetic, but that is no word of a lie... high carbs WILL affect my blood sugar).

I've sometimes lightened the mood by saying, "I'm allergic to that... when I eat it I break out in fat."
love the bolded part and agree with the rest.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:04 PM   #13
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I agree with everyone else. Don't stress over it. Just bring something you know you can eat. I guess I look at it like a teachable moment. If someone wants to know why, I'll give an abbreviated version.

My dd has been doing that at work has to explain, she can't eat gluten. It's amazing how many people don't know what gluten is..
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:31 PM   #14
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You bring whatever the heck you want, and you eat it. Eat it with confidence and pride. Stab your deviled egg with a fork while staring them right in the eye.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:45 PM   #15
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Thanks, everyone, for all the wise words.

SiaMia, can you direct me to those recipes?
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:09 PM   #16
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Lots of wise advice! Bring what you can eat, and pick out whatever others bring that you can eat. If some uninformed person makes a comment like "How can you eat all that fat and eggs and other bad things?" you will have a chance to politely explain how this way of eating has benefited your health. They can take what they want and leave the rest (true for both food and advice).
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:23 PM   #17
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I always eat something ahead of time or surely I'll be so hungry that I eat something I shouldn't. Then I bring a larger than my share size of something I can eat... super legal, of if something else is an adaptation, my meal is not too far over.
I like it a lot when someone brings a fresh garden salad... and it is surprising how fast it goes.
My friends all know my LC diet... some are helpful & some sabotage. The saboteurs need to lose weight themselves... even diabetic... yet they push me to eat things I can not. I need to be quite a bit stronger. I'm fighting to get back on LC again...
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:42 AM   #18
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I've been low carb / Elating clean for just over 13 years and when I go to a potluck, everyone seems to point out and discuss whatever I am or am not eating. It causes me to avoid eating in front of others and reinforcing long-ago eating disorder tendencies. I pop into potlucks after everyone has eaten just to socialize. At family holidays I bring dishes that I can eat and endure teasing and comments, but I feel great afterwards while everyone else is in a carb induced coma - ha.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:07 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Arctic_Mama View Post
Who cares if you're eating other food? In real life, it's pretty rare that others notice details about us that we stress about ourselves. And if someone does ask, I would either say "that's what I wanted" with a smile or "I wanted to enjoy the time together while still eating the way I prefer". Sweet, honest comments diffuse so much drama!
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:10 AM   #20
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I've been low carb / Elating clean for just over 13 years and when I go to a potluck, everyone seems to point out and discuss whatever I am or am not eating.
Wow...I've never had anyone comment on what I was eating. Personally, I think it's pretty rude and I'd probably have to say something. Nicely at first, but if it didn't stop, I would probably return the rudeness by pointing out that they're sure stuffing themselves with a lot of sugar, fats (because *they* would think this is a problem, not because it is), etc.

My motto is to do unto others as I want done to me, but if they continue in their rude behavior, then it's time for 'intervention'.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:11 AM   #21
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You bring whatever the heck you want, and you eat it. Eat it with confidence and pride. Stab your deviled egg with a fork while staring them right in the eye.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #22
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Wow...I've never had anyone comment on what I was eating. Personally, I think it's pretty rude and I'd probably have to say something.
You're lucky. I get this all the time, and I think people don't think it's rude at all. I think they think it's a universal thing to talk about, like the weather.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #23
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Maybe not so much lucky as they know me...and know I won't be shy about telling them they're being rude.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:42 AM   #24
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Believe me, I am also not shy about telling people it is rude and/or none of their business. And the reaction I get is what leads me to believe a lot of people think it's fair game for conversation.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:58 AM   #25
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Oh, I would say food is fair game for conversation, but the tone if the inquiry is important! My friends regularly chat about our diets, recipes, etc, and I had two ask me yesterday what it is I'm always drinking (coffee with HWC, my breakfast). Thing is, if you choose to explain it that's fine, but if it's a headache to get into the details and you don't pursue the line of conversation that is also fine, it's OKAY to steer it away from food. If they persist at that point, from anything beyond honest curiosity, that's getting into sonically impolite territory.

But I just assume the very best of everyone's motives and if I really don't want to talk about it, offer up a better topic of conversation instead
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:17 PM   #26
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I might take two dishes to the potluck, or a big salad as well, just so you don't have only one thing you can eat. I've been in similar situations and sometimes I've felt awkward saying no to pretty much the majority of food available, but that's just the way it is sometimes when you have a specific food plan. My daughter was vegetarian for a long time and she had the same kind of experiences, so does anyone who must eat gluten free or dairy free. When people comment on my food I just give a basic explanation, reassure them that I am fine with the food I'm able to eat, and politely change the subject.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:29 AM   #27
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Thanks, everyone, for all the wise words.

SiaMia, can you direct me to those recipes?
I know the recipes for SiaMia's excellent suggestions.

Buffalo Style Chicken Dip....I cut this recipe in half, so that's 1 can chicken, 1 block cream cheese, etc. You can use ranch dressing instead of blue cheese. You can glop the whole mess into a small crockpot on low for 3 hours instead of baking, and you can use chopped home-cooked chicken instead of the canned. I drain and rinse it very well when I use canned.

16 oz cream cheese, softened
24 oz canned chicken breast, drained
8 oz hot sauce (I use Frank's)
8 oz Blue Cheese dressing
16 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until blended well.

Bake (uncovered) @ 350 for ~30 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges are brown.

Asian Style lettuce wraps--this is very versatile. Use any stir-fry veggies you like...pea pods, julienned zucchini, any kind of mushroom, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, etc. I usually add a shake or two of rice vinegar and a couple drops of hot chili oil, and I use sesame oil when I stir fry mine. Serve with a bowl of nicely cut iceberg outer leaves for wrapping. You could serve burrito shells or tortilla chips for the non-lowcarbers.

1 large chicken breast (you can use pork or shrimp)
1 red bell pepper
1/2 c cabbage
1 green onion
1/2 shltake mushrooms (or portabello)
any other lc veggies you want to add
1 med garlic clove
1 t ginger (fresh or powder)
1 tb soy sauce
1 t splenda (I like terryaki sauce better so I added this to the soy )
1 t red hot pepper flakes
2 tb veg. oil
iceburg lettuce leaves

Preheat skillet on high, make sure its very hot. Thinly slice meat. Add the oil to the pan and put the meat in add salt and red pepper flakes (this really makes it!)
Cut veggies into bite size pieces like a stir fry. Add veggies when chicken is about done....it wont take long since its very hot. Last add in the garlic and ginger, then the soy sauce and toss. Wrap the mixture in the lettuce
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