Not About Food

Returning the dietary choice favor


Not About Food

Returning the dietary choice favor

MandalayVA | | Oct 19, 2010 08:11 PM

Because of health reasons, I need to eat a carnivorous diet. Animal fats, meats and eggs are the bulk of what I eat and my well-being has improved tremendously on this regime. I've learned the hard way that grains, soy, starches and beans do not like me one bit.

Due to volunteer work I do with young people I am thrown in with vegetarians and vegans. The more lenient of my vegetarian acquaintances understand how I eat and will do nice things like make a kick-ass spinach frittata, something all involved can enjoy. I don't specifically ask this, it's just done as a thoughtful gesture and I always let them know it's appreciated.

I respect others' dietary choices. Unfortunately I've found that mine is totally disrespected. My group is big on potlucks, and unfortunately the menu always skews heavily in favor of dishes filled with grains, soy, starcges and beans. Non-starchy vegetable offerings are close to nonexistent (unless I bring one), so this dilemma comes up:

Someone asks me if I've tried the vegan red velvet cake or the sprouted-grain pizza with soy cheese. I say no, unfortunately I'm unable to eat it due to health reasons, but I'm sure it's very good and I wish I could.

"But it IS healthy!" comes the response.

"No, not for me, I'm sorry."

"It's vegan! It's got whole grains/sprouts/soy milk, it's really healthy!"

"For you, maybe. For me, no. Don't take it personally, I got dealt this hand, sorry."

But, of course, it's inevitably taken personally--even though many of these people KNOW how I eat, have been TOLD I get sick; some have even seen how I react for themselves. I have NEVER had one vegan say before these things "hey, Mandy, tell me what you can eat, I'll see what I can rustle up." I am expected to eat what's available. I've tried to turn it, saying that it would be like me offering bacon cheeseburgers and omelets to them knowing full well they can't eat it and getting pissed off that they didn't. Doesn't work.

(FYI--these things are combined with business meetings so I can't get out of them)

Is it wrong for me to ask for a salad or even a veggie tray if they want me to eat with them so badly? Or is it offensive?

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