I don't know about where y'all live, but around these areas Pot Lucks are a THING. Whether it is at work, Saturdays during College Football games, at church or at home, pot luck meals are always happening, They seem to happen even more often during the Holiday Season.
The whole Pot Luck concept was unknown to me before I moved here and I think it is great. You take a bunch of people who want to share a meal, they all make their favorite or requested recipes and everyone gets to share without breaking the bank. How can this be a bad thing? Well, I guess calling them a "bad" thing is not necessarily right. My personal observation is, that when you are on a restricted diet, whether you are restricting calories or groups of foods, navigating these pot luck meals can be a little tricky.
Why tricky you ask? Well, in my experience, there is TONS of food. These foods rarely ( never really) include low carb or low calorie options. Most often what we have is lots of cheesy melty goodness, pasta heavy, creamy canned processed food followed by truckloads of dessert that my old self loved to partake in. Everyone wants you to try their dish and encourage having seconds or thirds.You see the food, but often times you have no clue how it was prepared and how much of what was put in it. Not to mention sometimes they are loaded with Sodium which can really mess up the scale. You want to know how badly? Go check up my update for the Scale Accountability Club here.Of course, this never bothered me until now.
I avoid eating out as much as I can, because I feel like if I don't prepare what I eat, I can't trust that it will have the calories it says. I know that it may sound a bit crazy, but I have to be THAT crazy so that I do not go crazy;). For me, overeating and binging are separated by a very thin blurred line. Eating more than usual will easily end up with a binge, if I don't practice self control. With no reason, not because I was angry or sad, just because.
So as Holiday Season is upon us, I have been browsing the trusty Pinterest in search on options that will be a crowd pleaser yet fit with my plan. I have found many options that wouldn't be terrible, but the more and more I saw, I realized that in this case my best shot at navigating through this successfully is the KISS principle ( Keep it simple, stupid).
I decided that instead of trying to make a recipe for a healthier version of a "popular" food, Whenever I had to participate in one of these events, I would instead bring something that is usually non existent in our reunions : Fresh vegetables and fruits. I know that I will most likely be able to find a protein to eat and I can choose how little or much of anything else I want to consume. But what I will not have, is veggies to munch on without piling calories and a non dessert sweet. A fruit and veggie platter with some cheese thrown in solves that problem. If I am feeling inspired I will attempt to make the ones below :
You can find the tree recipe here
So am I being boring and playing it super safe? Perhaps, but I am also making it easier on myself. I am not one of those people who will just have one little bite or just a little bit of something. If it is a trigger food especially. I wish I could eat just one bite or half a serving of certain things. But I am not there yet. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do for yourself. So, What are you bringing?