A dinner party;
attending one means you have reached it, the pinnacle of your life:
It means you are wealthy enough to afford to feed more than yourself and your cat, and it also means you finally have a living space big enough to comfortably fit more than a futon and one IKEA bookcase.
People filter into your abode, greeting you with bougie cheek kisses as they throw their thrift store coats on your bed and waltz into the midst of the soiree.
Intellectual conversation is made, hors d’oeuvre are served, and then, right when you are thinking to yourself “Should I get the organic chicken out of the oven?” it happens. That one friend comes up to you and says “Hey… I was just wondering, is there cheese in that salad?”
This friend looks sheepish as he or she continues to politely pry about the ingredients in every dish, making you re-evaluate ever inviting said person to your house. It is not because you don’t enjoy their company, but because they have more food restrictions than BBC has seasons of Dr. Who.
I am that friend.
I wasn’t always this way- from ages one to seventeen I basically ate whatever I wanted with no real consequences, except for the occasional stomach ache or rash that I attributed to the ‘sensitivities of being a ginger’ (it’s true. We actually are more sensitive).
Then senior year of high school, gluten and I stopped getting along. We had a tumultuous relationship for the next two years, exacerbated only by the eventual inclusion of dairy into the never-ending eat-stomach pain-regret cycle.
Then, a beacon of hope arrived at the end of last summer thanks to Runner’s World and the absolutely excessive amounts of emails I get from them.
I was busy deleting all of their messages one afternoon when I happened upon an email advertising the Paleo diet.
The Paleo diet, which claims to be the “healthiest diet in the world,” aims to mimic the diet of cavemen from the Paleolitic era (aka the Stone Age) by focusing on proteins like meats and nuts.
I had read an article or two on it in various issues of the magazine but had written it off as total insanity, a sure way to become emaciated and fatigued. Not eating carbs? Not eating cheese?! Depriving myself of the two main ingredients of pizza, my favorite food, sounded like a bandwagon I was not about to jump on.
But, as the stomach aches continued into the school year, I decided to give Paleo a go, with the concession that I could still eat french fries and potato chips, because a life without french fries is no life for me.
The first month was absolutely terrible. I was tired, always hungry and lost close to ten pounds, something I didn’t necessary want to do. Luckily, the plan allows you to have three cheat meals a week, which means I still got to call my boyfriend, the Towson Best man, for my weekly sesame beef and sushi fix.
The problem with the Paleo diet, however, is that because it does not allow you to intake grains, legumes (including peanuts!) or dairy, your body stops being able to process these foods altogether.
Intake of them, even once a week, can wreak total havoc on your system. It’s a trial and error process to figure out what “forbidden” foods your body can still handle for an off-Paleo meal.
Eating nachos induces a want-to-crawl-in-a-hole-and-die stomach ache for me, but all Chinese food and most sushi is still okay. Peanut butter and I never cross paths anymore, and the same goes for ice cream, which I honestly didn’t really like very much in the first place.
Other than this article, I try to keep my dietary restrictions to myself. I’d rather talk about the weather, Mitt Romney, or the amount of tiles on the Info Comm ceiling than talk about my eating habits.
I am a big believer in the individuality of people’s systems; every person’s body is unique and requires its own unique diet, exercise, and sleep habits. I eat between four and six servings of meat each day. I know this would elicit screams of animal murder from many of the bean-eating, pasta-loving vegans and vegetarians I know.
Y’all can eat your tofu; I’ll be over here with my steak frites, perfectly content to use my incisors to the best of their abilities.