going to parties...I find it a real challenge to attend a party where there isn't any food for me! Honestly, I get hungry! And I want to celebrate with my friends, family and colleagues. How do we politely advocate for ourselves? I'm contributing to a party with co-workers and they are ordering eggplant rolatini and penne ala vodka. I spoke up and asked the person coordinating the food if she could order something I might be able to eat and she is ordering me an individual portion of pasta with marinara sauce. At least I'll have something to fill me up so I can enjoy myself. Maybe I'll prepare a few appetizers to bring and share. any suggestions out there? what do you do about parties?
Hi Bev! I can only suggest what I do. If I am asked to bring a covered dish, it is obviously always vegan and plenty of it so I can eat it throughout the party. If I am not asked to bring a covered dish, and the menu choice has nothing for my healthy lifestyle, I simply pack an assortment of my yummy fruit, healty crackers/topping, and my drinks (most everyone I know drinks soda, so don't forget your healthy drink.) No one ever minds and I feel good knowing I can enjoy eating along with the other guests. My girlfriend has to do this as well all the time because of her gluten intollerance. Hope this helps. Take care and here it to your health!
I've spent the last 20 plus years just eating ahead, or bringing a meal with me in my bag that I either pull out and eat or sneak in somewhere outta sight (depending on the circumstance). I'm further limited because I won't eat sugar or processed foods, so often even if there is a vegan option I might not go for it because its full of crap - like my dear friends are veg and she is always so excited that she will have something like tofu pups wrapped in pillsbury dough for pigs-n-blanket.....I'm not touching that! I'm just so no fun....If its a pot luck sort of deal its easy - just bring what you want to eat! It's funny but you never notice how much our social world revolves around eating and drinking until you fall out of step with it all -
So true! It seems everything we do revolves around food! Weird! And its so true Ann about not really noticing until you are the odd ball! Its as if eating breaks the social ice, its something everyone has in common, and then suddenly if your eating 'different' than most then the conversation turns to you which i have found to feel socially awkward! Bizarre how much i have defended my healthy self lol! I'm thinking more at just get togethers or parties where not everyone knows eachother intimatley, but with great friends i would just bring what you want to eat problem solved! Or another good recomendation i know either its in the book or someone suggested it is find out which restaurant your going to and call ahead of time, ask if they serve anything Vegan or if they would be willing to make anything Vegan. I know you cant always be so prepared but as much as you can i think it will help!
I also tend to bring a large vegan dish to get togethers. Salsa and baked tortilla chips are always a good snack option or homemade guac! I also make sure that my purse has a stash of great vegan goodies in it!
I always bring along a dish (after checking with the host, of course) if the party is less formal. Also, I try to eat a small meal before going to a party so I won't be stuck feeling hungry while everyone else chows down.
Thanks for this post and discussion. So many social events revolve around food it's amazing.
My family is planning a big picnic (40 relatives and immediate family) later this month, and I asked if one of the three main entrees, which was a pasta dish, could be meatless and it seemed to swell into a problem. Basically, several family members didn't seem to understand why they would need to accommodate 1 or 2 people (me and my boyfriend). In my mind, I kept thinking is it that much of a sacrifice? Wouldn't they want to support me (their sister, aunt, daughter, cousin)? I even called the caterer and they said could make the pasta dish with a marinara sauce ("no problem"). I finally said to my family how many meat dishes do you really need? That seemed to be the tipping point. So, I think I've done the right thing. After all, it was never about me, it's about trying to be dedicated to greater good and healthy lifestyle that benefits all walks of life. (Thanks for reading this.)
There's two main types of parties, the dinner party and the potluck.
For the dinner party, I just pile on my plate tons of what I can eat, like the salad and maybe the bread, any cooked veggies. So my plate is full and usually nobody asks questions...at a party with 10 people or so... If it was an intimate party it would be more difficult, but hopefully the hosts would be more accomodating to your diet.
At the potluck, I do what the others have said, make your own vegan dish and bring tons of it! I went to a get together last weekend. I was planning on only being able to eat what I brought. I made Alicia's Cheesy Oozy Guac Dip and actually everyone loved it and ate it up, without even guessing that it was vegan. There were a lot of raw fruits and veggies too, since it's summer.
Also, my best friend and I kinda take care of each other. She eats gluten-free, so we both make sure to prepare gluten free AND vegan meals that the other can safely eat. It's nice because not everyone at the party has to know about it or be involved, but you still get more tasty food to eat. :D
@Wu Chun: Whats with the handbag-link? As you might know we had a few spammers of handbags here... ???
@ the rest :)
If it is party of good friends or work-related I ask if they can have some things I can eat. I think it is important that they take me in account. After all they are my friends ( or emplyer) who value my coming to their event. I ask nice and loving, not demanding or pushy.
Now most friends knew i was vegetarian, and always took that in account. vegan obviously is more challanging so I mostly offer advise what they could include in their food that I could eat and is yummie for everybody else as well.
I understand that a lot of you dont want to be a burden or to impose, but look at it from a different angle. If I invite my friends over and I know that they love some foods and dont like other foods, dont I make efort also?
When I give parties, diners etc I try to enjoy and please the people I love and invite. So do my friends they care about me and want me to have a good time. If I come and cant eat anything, they feel bad also.
If we ask nicely also it gets more normal and after a few time people get used to it and it gets more easy for everyone. If we all will do it, we are more visible also and it gets more normal to et vegan all around the world! :)
I always give the people a choice, if they cant, wont have vegan food than i can always still offer to bring my own, or eat in advance.
I feel we should not hide ourselves, nor feel we are burdening them. In parties people tend to have different choices so that people can have something they like, asking to have some vegan options is not much to ask if offering help, advice and understanding.
At least I notice that my circle friends get used to it and it is not a big deal anymore, and i am only vegan for about 6 months. Try it!