Let's face it, we ALL know that in America almost all of our social gatherings revolve around food. We meet people over food, spend time over food, center holidays around the buffet of food dishes. Work has "let loose" days that usually revolve around people bringing in and sharing food because bringing your own food is typically the norm.
What about those people on a restrictive diet? Low sodium, gluten free, low sugar, vegetarian, vegan, nut allergies, natural and organic? Or simply those trying to watch the calories, fat and sodium?! Or how about those people who need to eat small but frequently, that can be hard to accommodate too if it is outside your own eating habits.
When other people prepare our food we really just don't know what we are getting ourselves into. They could have made a very healthy dish with natural ingredients OR they could have prepared the same dish with lots of things that add extra fat, sugar and high calories.
It is my new goal to try and find a way to spend time with others so that our world can stop revolving around food. My only idea for now is doing gatherings for tea and coffee. This would provide an opportunity to still enjoy a beverage and more easily get out of eating food.
One perfect way to help eliminate this problem is to plan gatherings outside of conventional meal times. Of course, there are still many people who whenever they host anything provide food and beverages as a gesture of being a good hostess. I am equally as guilty of this.
Another way to make things easier on people is to ask it to be potluck style. This way, it ensures that each person will have something they like and are able to eat based off of their own dietary restrictions.
How about when we are invited to another person's home specifically for a meal? I think there are no problems when you accept the offer from the person letting them know that you have a specific dietary restriction and that you will bring your own food but still want to join the company.
An alternative to bringing your own food along, is that you can eat before you arrive. But, make sure you have informed your hostess that you will be doing so to avoid them preparing more food than necessary. Most people will understand in these situations. If they don't, then perhaps you should reconsider the company you keep!
Good luck-and remember, don't feel guilty that other people want you to eat things that you know are not in your body's best interest! Stay strong!!