By Jenn Bruer
“Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.” Orson Scott Card
There was a point in my journey to Living Grainlessly when I realised that social events were a challenge, so I would avoid them, and that often left me feeling depressed, deprived, and isolated. Social events in my life always involved foods filled with sugar, grains, and gluten, all of which left me feeling pretty horrible, not to mention that it induced binging. It would often take me weeks to recover as I dealt with outrageous sugar cravings, acne, mood swings etc.
So what was I supposed to do? Never go to a social event again?
That’s when I knew something had to give! So I joined a local “meet-up” group called “Tor-Paleo” and I met a whole bunch of other people that eat just like me. I no longer feel so isolated.
Yesterday my wife and I hosted a paleo pot-luck at our home with the Toronto Paleo group; this social event was different from the other ones in my life, and for that I am so grateful. None of the foods were filled with sugar, grains OR gluten! It was wonderful to partake in a guilt-free feast surrounded by like-minded, kind, interesting and accepting people.
The other social events, though – filled with sugary treats – will always be there. Here are some tips I’ve created for myself that have prevented me from falling (too far) off the wagon and staying ONTRACK:
- O: Order a glass of water; this will make you feel full and keep away your sugar cravings.
- N: Get back on track again the Next Meal. NOT on Monday or on the 1st of the next month! Those excuses are just enabling you to binge until you “restart”… and you know it!
- T: Take a grainless dish to the event, like a fruit or veggie tray.
- R: Raise your hand and say “no thank you”. And if that doesn’t work, tell the food-pushers that you are allergic – it stops them in their tracks every-time!
- A: Always eat before you go! Fill up on salad and a source of protein that you know will stretch over the course of the event.
- C: If all else fails… Cheat. Just don’t self deprecate; remember that you usually do well with your food choices, and that this is just a day “out of routine”. Always remember the 80/20 rule. If you’re good 80% of the time, you’re doing awesome.
- K: Keep a couple squares of 80% dark chocolate in your “back pocket”; they are filled with saturated fat and very satiating. Go ahead, TRY to have too much…it’s pretty hard to eat too much 80% dark chocolate – it’s that rich!
The need to feel a part of “community” is something I know very well. I am happy to say that I now have two new communities; a community of other grainless folk with the Tor-Paleo, and a growing community of people out here in cyber space who have shown me support in my need to shout out loud that FOOD can change your health 🙂