“Dinner with Friends and Family”


 I have known I was lactose intolerant since I was 5 years old.  What this means is I’ve been modifying food and bringing substitutions to parties for basically my whole life.   I can remember ordering pizza without cheese, or peeling cheese off, or bringing my own cupcakes to friends birthday parties, so could enjoy what everyone else was enjoying without feeling different.  And I never did!  Thanks mom for that great parenting!

With that said, in order to keep my health intact, I’ve always had to bring some food to family and friend gatherings.  Honestly, it’s customary to bring a gift for the host when you arrive and most people bring a food item anyway.  It’s rude not to.  And when we’ve hosted, we’ve learned about our friend’s favorite wines and tried some new and delicious dishes from our friends bringing their own favorites.  Some of these dishes are now staples for us.

I mention this because if you are going to bring an offering anyway, why not bring something that you not only like, but will keep you on your healthy eating kick as it may be the only healthy option at the party you attend.  The only food you know about is the food you bring, so make sure it’s a healthy choice and bring enough for all to share.  You may find that everyone else at the party really loves your avocado dip too.  And perhaps you can teach your fellow party goers a few things.  For example if you brought endive leaves to dip into your guacamole instead of chips and the fellow guests loved it, they might just start eating it that way too, or better yet serving it that way at their next event.

I encourage you to bring your own healthy treat to your next event and see how it goes.  It will probably be well received and better yet, it will keep you on your optimal health track!  Even if you don’t have time to make a salad, a nice veggie tray is about the same price as a bottle of wine and just as easy to pick up at the local market.  Everyone brings wine, think outside the box and bring good health to you and yours 😉

I’ve brought a variety of items myself including homemade green salad, homemade avocado, corn, and tomato salad, spaghetti squash, bought veggie trays, bought fruit trays, and the list continues to grow.  It’s a great opportunity to try out new recipes as well.  With that said, please try to bring food that is mostly premade as you don’t want to be in your hosts’ way in the kitchen.

Also, remember you want it to feel like a “treat” rather than a “diet” staple.  Make it fun for all and you will be more likely to eat what you brought and everyone else will too.

Additionally, if you know it’s a “pizza party” and you can’t eat traditional pizza, perhaps bring a version of pizza that you CAN eat with enough for everyone.  That way, you don’t feel deprived and others can try your pizza too.   This applies to other cuisines and dessert too.

Good luck!  Let me know how it goes.  What are you favorite healthy recipes? What kinds of food do you like to bring to friend and family gatherings?