What “can” you eat at your next dinner party?


And what, if anything, do you tell the hostess in advance?

Lots of dietary restrictions these days; what’s a hostess to do? From a recent New York Times article: (See link below)

It’s becoming harder for Americans to break bread together. Our appetites are stratified by an ever-widening array of restrictions: gluten free, vegan, sugar free, low fat, low sodium, no carb, no dairy, soyless, meatless, wheatless, macrobiotic, probiotic, antioxidant, sustainable, local and raw.

Though medical conditions like celiac disease and severe allergies have long relegated a small percentage of diners to rigid diets, more and more eaters outside this group appear to be experimenting with self-imposed limits, taking a do-it-yourself, pick-and-choose approach to restricting what they consume.

In the above list, there are 16 different kinds of dietary restrictions—and I’m sure there are many more. So I can certainly appreciate how the hostess of a large dinner party might have a difficult time pleasing everyone. But, as the article pointed out, you don’t have to delight every guest—with every single dish. That’s why potluck dinner parties work best for larger groups—15 or more. It just raises the odds that EVERYONE will find at least a few dishes that they “can” and “will” eat.

A formula for enrichment in your life

Maybe our 4Leaf Potluck Supper Club concept is a formula for what lies ahead in the world of social dining. Maybe in the future, in addition to clubs that are formed around the common interest in a sport (golf, tennis, sailing, cricket, skiing) the social dining clubs of the future may include people with a common interest in a particular way of eating.

Here’s how our monthly 4Leaf Potluck Supper Club works in Stonington, CT; the emailed invitation contains the following information:

  • When: Date and time— It’s basically a BYOB cocktail party with lots of healthy food.
  • Location: 103 Main Street in Stonington Borough
  • What: Bring a 4Leaf* “tapas” dish to share; we’ll advise you of attendance in a few days. You’re basically planning enough food for everyone to have a small side dish of whatever you bring. There is no MAIN course so to speak. Questions: visit 4leafprogram.com (mostly whole plants; no dairy, meat or eggs)
  • Salad: The hosts will provide the salad, the ice, the dishes, etc.
  • Dress: Mid Summer Snappy Casual
  • Drinks: BYOB
  • Dessert: Who wants to bring the dessert for all?
  • RSVP: By return email to the party organizer

* (4Leaf means mostly whole, plant-based foods; no meat, dairy, eggs and easy on the oil or salt.)

This is the kind of vegetable buffet that you’ll see at our monthly 4Leaf Supper Club gatherings.

That’s it. We don’t worry about the occasional person who might not eat soy, gluten, cooked food or whatever. With enough people, there are usually enough choices—so that everyone will have plenty to eat. Plus, we 4Leaf-ers have an advantage over the carnivores’ eating clubs; almost no one is allergic to vegetables.

As a 4Leaf eater (mostly whole plants) for the past ten years, I never worry about not getting enough to eat; that’s because there are almost always several choices of whole plants at every party I attend. While I may not load up on the main course of grilled steak, I can usually find all that I need from the side dishes, salads and the starch of the day.

And since I usually do a little snacking before I leave for the party, it really doesn’t take many whole plants to make me happy. So, unless it’s a formal sit-down kind of dinner, I rarely bother the hostess in advance with my self-imposed dietary restrictions.

A final comment. I happen to believe that a great many of our so-called dietary restrictions and food allergies would simply disappear if we all made a major shift in the direction of what nature intended for us to eat in the first place—whole, plant-based foods.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in 4Leaf for Life, Social Challenges. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What “can” you eat at your next dinner party?

  1. Charlien says:

    Oh my goodness……wish I was close enough to come!!!
    You’re the best!!!!!

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