What sucks the air out of a room and ruins the most festive social gathering? Try sanctimonious talk about nutrition to alienate friends and family and polarize dinner table discussions. Welcome "orthorexia" to the party. It is defined as "the unhealthy obsession with healthy eating". Surely you are not obsessed, just conscious or concerned... but trust me your friends think you are. So, is the answer to just "go with the flow" and eat what everyone else is eating to avoid conflict "when in Rome"... and all that? Not necessarily. Such a foray into the sweet and seductive world of processed foods could set off an immune response you will later regret. At the very least, you risk triggering the unhealthy sugar cravings that took you so long to rein in or worse yet you may experience an intestinal event of Biblical proportion. But social isolation is a high price to pay for maintaining healthy eating habits.
Here are 3 tips to this tango:
1. Eat well before the party. It's an old dieter's trick. You will be less enticed by the undesirable offerings. If you show up hungry and find that the food choices do not suit you - you will be frustrated, critical and miserable. Instead, show up satisfied and curious, happy and focused on the social opportunities.
2. Be gracious to your host and the other guests. You can honestly compliment the presentation: "That looks beautiful!" or "Everything smells so good!" You can say these things honestly because after all, Doritoes are very colorful and nothing scents a room like cinnamon and wheat.
3. Bring something wonderful to the party. No, not a raw vegan cashew butter spread to ignite a discussion about sprouting nuts and antinutrients. How about a great hostess gift, a party game or a funny anecdote? We come together to share so bring something everyone will appreciate and enjoy without rousing conflict.
Discussions about food have replaced religious debates and are as fiery and emotional. Agree to disagree or find common ground and share ideas peacefully with the goal of increasing understanding. Food Truth is about maintaining a real food eating style for your health and the health of the planet. As you learn better, do better. And share sparingly when welcomed to do so or risk finding yourself alone in a corner with your pure pastured provisions.