I'm in Day 25 of my no sugar etc. challenge. I'm still feeling great, but my self-imposed paleo-vegan diet did present me with a delimma: Do I go to my first Philadelphia Gluten-Free Potlucks MeetUp where I know the menu will be very tempting with loads of GF pastas and yummy baked goods and either a) stand out even in a GF crowd by what I CAN'T eat, b) cave in and eat everything? I have to admit I was a little intimidated by the group because of the description of their December cookie swap potluck that I didn't attend -- they sound pretty darn serious about their gf baked goods! I decided to just put myself out there and go anyway, and do what I do for every mainstream potluck -- take something that I know I like and can eat and stick to that. I made a bean dip with carrot and celery sticks, which was pretty good, but which needed a little more pizzazz. (Next time I'll volunteer to bring my Spicy Red Lentil and Spinach Stew -- so good!) I also planned to drink lots of water and tea and concentrate on the company and the conversation instead of the dessert table.
And I'm very glad I went! It's funny how having one little (okay, major) common denominator like having an auto-immune disorder can really break the ice! The conversation was about food, and celiac, and life, and the intersections of all of the above. It's a great group of people. We laughed a lot. Everyone was welcoming and engaging and though I was a little self-conscious about not really being able to eat much that other people brought, I felt supported anyway. And I felt encouraged by organizer Jessie, who noted that it was nice to see some vegetables on the table, since they tend to gravitate toward making items that are typically not naturally gluten-free. I'll take that as an invitation to come and participate in the way that meets my health goals and be happy to share something that everyone else can enjoy as well, even if they quickly move on to the cupcakes.
I have to note that I'm proud of myself for not caving. I was tempted. If I knew the group better I'd have smelled everything like I do when gluteny desserts cross my path at work. I really enjoy the smell of tasty treats even if I can't eat them. Maybe next time.
I borrowed this photo from Cathy who was in attendance and who organizes Greater Berks Gluten Free Social and Support Group in Reading, PA. Check it out!