I’ve always been more of a follower than a leader in social situations. It’s something about myself that I don’t really like that much.
The good side of this is that I’m quite easy-going and happy to join in with what everyone else is doing. The bad side is that I get swept along with the crowd, sometimes without regard for my personal values (which at 38 I’m still struggling to define clearly).
Healthy eating, and healthy living in general are not really compatible with the average social get-together.
I know in part this depends on who your friends are and what they enjoy doing, but generally, gatherings seem to involve copious amounts of tea and cake (in the daytime), or copious amounts of alcohol and food (in the evening).
I went out last night for a friends birthday. It was a house gathering with drinks and nibbles. I deliberately ate dinner at about 5:45pm so that I wouldn’t be tempted to stuff loads of unhealthy food, but even with a reduced appetite it’s really hard not to “pick” at food when you are chatting.
I like to read labels and check ingredients, and I buy organic wherever possible, but when food is presented at a table you inevitably end up eating things you wouldn’t normally eat at home.
I also had one and a half glasses of red wine (which I rarely drink any more) and feel pretty rubbish and tired this morning.
The hardest part of all was pudding.
Women tend to focus on providing cake as a centrepiece to gatherings, which before having children (and before I spent so much time with other mums) I rarely ate.
I have honestly never really cared that much for cake. I don’t bake, I am not interested in learning to bake and I don’t really like eating cake.
Last night, a batch of home-made chocolate brownies appeared for pudding. A small plate was handed to each of us, and the brownies were passed around.
There was no alternative, and I found that I just couldn’t say no.
Not because because of the temptation: I didn’t really want one, and I don’t really eat chocolate any more (mainly because it contains caffeine); but when a friend has taken the time to bake them for you, and there are five of you sat together, how can you refuse without offending?
I really don’t know the best way to deal with these situations.
My views are a little extreme I guess – most people would probably say oh it’s just one evening, it won’t hurt!
But I am trying to restore fertility to my body and take care of myself with 100% natural food and this kind of thing doesn’t help me with that.
I’ve thought a lot about what to do, and I think the answer is to take more of your own food and share it with others – beyond anything you might ordinarily take.
Last night for example, I could have taken a healthy, fruit-based treat (even something really small) and offered it around.
I tend to just eat my raw food cut up, so I do need some recipes (and my new raw recipe book hasn’t turned up yet). Although I could even have taken some freshly chopped pineapple, which is just lovely on its own.
I think I need to be more proactive about leading people into what I’m doing, about sharing my way of doing things.
I need to be true to myself and not worry so much about what other people think.
I need to be less paranoid that people will think I am rude, or boring, or weird if I refuse something that is offered.
Not easy for a follower like me.