Planning a delicious menu of gluten-free and dairy-free foods was not enough. As you may recall, my friend and I, with all our good intentions, were sandbagged by the uninvited cheesecake that came to our dinner party.
Neither of us wanted to be called control freaks, so we had to find a different kind of strategy next time we planned a dinner party. We had to do emotional planning too. We had to plan our attitude, not just the menu, and decide to have a good time even if our unintentional saboteur brought something delicious that we couldn’t eat.
We prepared all the food ahead for a feast sans gluten and dairy. And then a guest arrived with two enormous trays of manicotti and a gallon of ice cream. With clear memories of the carb coma from the time we ate the cheesecake, we served the manicotti and ice cream in addition to what we prepared. Neither of us ate any, though we felt tempted. And because we’d decided to have fun at our own party no matter what, we were clearheaded and triumphant the next day.
When I shared our experiment about emotional planning at a meeting, everybody had something to say about feeling like they live in two food worlds, the one among Suppers friends and the one “out there.” One member said that our friends who brought cheesecake, manicotti, and ice cream just don’t believe that food is as big an issue as we do. Another said her boyfriend knows about her diabetes threat and the fact that she eats no sugar, yet he arrived one night with a cake. Dr. George said most Americans eat the same foods over and over and have no idea that their foul moods or their children’s crankiness relate directly to diets heavy in wheat, corn, dairy, and sugar.
I can only come to one conclusion. While I feel like an island in a sea of people who don’t get it about food, I have to stick with my program. I have to keep preparing delicious meals and modeling healthy behavior so that I can be there when people wake up and say, “Good Lord, it really is the food.”