I grew up as the pickiest eater on the planet. I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years, don’t eat seafood, hate everything that has protein in it, and can’t stand the way tofu smells. To add to all of that, the past two years, I have been eating gluten free. My diet consists of fewer than ten things, the top three being gluten free pasta, pizza, and cheese sandwiches. Carbs on carbs on carbs.
For all you picky eaters out there, I’m sure you can relate to all the problems and questions that come with eating absolutely nothing. For friends of picky eaters, I bet there were times you wanted to de-friend your best friend because of how annoying she is about it. We get it, being a picky eater is not fun. Most of the time, we wish we could eat like a normal person, too.
If my friends suggest we go out for apps and drinks after work, I have to check the menu first. If that place doesn’t have one thing I can eat, I’ll politely suggest a different restaurant. If I’m going to a BBQ, I have to awkwardly stand there and eat salad while everyone digs into hamburgers and hotdogs and asks me obnoxious questions like, “Wow, so you’ve really never eaten a burger before? How do you live, what do you even eat?” Meeting my boyfriend’s parents for the first time over a long weekend was even worse than it normally is because my boyfriend had to brief them beforehand so they don’t ask questions and made sure the house is filled with “girlfriend” friendly food. Trust me, it’s a hard life.
So how do you do all this and not seem like a wannabe skinny bitch who is on some weird crazy diet? The answer: BYOF — bring your own food. Going to a BBQ? Bring your own lunch and also bring a snack that everyone can share. You’ll seem like a domestic housewife who whipped up some yummy dip, but really you only did it because you know you love it and can eat it. Going to a restaurant? Bring your own snack to eat right before you go in so you so can get a salad and actually not be starving after, because who even gets full from only a salad?
If you can’t bring your own food, then you’re pretty much screwed and will have to answer a million questions about why you’re a vegetarian or vegan or gluten free or just don’t like the way that anything tastes. The least you can do if you know you’re going to be in this situation is to prepare a good answer about how to nicely respond to everyone harassing you about what you put into your body.
The best answer to all the questions? Say you’re allergic to it. People will feel bad for you and not roll their eyes and be personally offended that you don’t want to eat their food. From personal experience, when I tell people I get really sick if I eat gluten (not a lie) and my stomach can’t handle digesting too much meat, they feel bad and want to help. They want to make sure I am comfortable and have something to eat.
Or screw it, who really cares what you eat? If they want to ask you questions and you don’t feel like answering, simply say “I just don’t freaking like it.” Let them think you hate their food and that you’re claiming you’re a vegan just to get attention, cause let’s face it, who really is a vegan if they are not looking for attention? .