Socializing and food go together like salt and pepper; it’s rare that you find one without the other. And with food usually being a main attraction, it’s often just as fun if not more so than the company and conversation. How many times have you gone to an event just to eat the food? Probably more often than you’d like to admit. But when you’re living gluten-free, attending social events requires a shift in thinking and an adjustment of expectations. Unless they are gluten-free events, you probably won’t find many safe foods. So, visiting with others will now take center stage and the food of the party takes a back seat.
However, when you want to find something you can eat, there are some navigation rules to keep in mind:
Social Event Rule Number #1: Have an idea ahead of time if there will be someone you can ask about mystery dishes. Asking questions at large catered affairs where the staff is invisible is usually more difficult than at parties hosted by friends or associates. If you know there won’t be someone you can get accurate information from, you’re on your own and you’ll need to play it extra safe.
Social Event Rule #2: Change your thinking from attending the event for the food to just looking for something to snack on. Then, if you can’t find anything to eat, your expectations were low from the beginning.
Social Event Rule #3: When looking at the spread, make the distinction between singular, raw unprocessed foods and foods that are processed or dishes with multiple ingredients. Use your gluten detection skills to find what’s safe and, worse come to worse, stick to the fruit and vegetable trays.