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Large Gathering at Friends' Parents Farm--Help!


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Hi all,


 I'm on Day 23 of my second Whole30, and this weekend I'll be part of a large group (about 15 of us) who are spending the weekend at a friend's parents' farm. My friend's mom is "providing all the meals", and I've joined the event a bit late (as in just confirmed yesterday I could attend, so her mom has likely planned the menu already). I've bought lots of Whole30 snacks and food items to get me through any times where I can't eat something (packs of tuna, Epic bars, butternut squash baby food, nuts, cherry tomatoes).


My question is--should I give my friend a heads up about the Whole30? I don't want her mom to feel like she needs to cook me anything special, yet also don't want to seem like a picky eater or ungrateful in the event I can't partake of all the things on the table (which I know most people won't do anyways, but still, in the event her mom makes a big lasagna or something).


Any advice on how to word this to my friend? I essentially want to convey that I've cut some things out of my diet, but am bringing lots of my own snacks and such so I won't be a burden or ask for special treatment (I've never met her parents, so don't want to be branded as the "high-maintenance guest"). 


Appreciate any talking points or things you've said in the past to give your hosts a heads up, but also let them know that they don't need to do anything differently for you.


And, I'll be bringing a fantastic hostess gift for her mom :-)



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Definitely tell them, they will feel so much more comfortable that you did, and they may want to provide special food for you, as any gracious host would.

Stand in your truth. You are not being difficult, you are reclaiming your health.  

I know when I have guests I want them to feel comfortable and love to cook and provide for all dietary restrictions. As a hostess I would be horrified if someone didn't tell me a dietary restriction and I cooked food they couldn't eat. 

One of the greatest gifts ever given to me on this journey was a friend who cooked a buffet of compliant foods just for me. 

It was both a beautiful gesture and delicious. 


What you've said above is great "  I've cut some things out of my diet, but am bringing lots of my own snacks" 

I try to focus on what I can eat first - and always tell people I eat a very simple diet, just meat, fish, chicken, fruits and veggies.  That makes it sound easy, familiar and non scary. Then I add "I don't eat any dairy, gluten, soy...."

And then reiterate again what I can eat. I think it really helps people get their heads around it to hear what you CAN eat bcs they get overwhelmed with what you can't eat.  Once you get there you can offer to help in the kitchen and maybe say things like "would you mind if I set aside some of these beans before you put the cream sauce on them?"


I know it feels uncomfortable, but believe me, being in ill health feels way worse.

Good luck! You can do it.  

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I would say to your friend "in on a restricted diet so I'll bring all my own food, tell your mum she doesn't need to cater for me"

She will either say that she wants to cater for you and ask for more details, or be grateful that you are taking care of it

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These situations feel sticky, but just be polite while sticking to your guns.  I'm actually going through a similar thing tonight with dinner at a friend's parents' house for a birthday.  Just don't make a big deal of it and everything should be ok.  Let them know you have some dietary restrictions but you are prepared and please don't think you are being rude.  (And the hostess gift doesn't hurt ;))

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