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Old 05-15-2011, 11:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Pot lucks

I think I live in the pot-luck capital of the world. If it is a large group, I have better choices, and try to bring my healthy choices. Some of the smaller groups I belong to however seem to try and outdo themselves with desserts and snacks. How do you manage to change the trend, so there is something to eat besides what you brought, and how do you turn down, the person, who wants everyone to just try a little or send you home with half the cake she brought, because everyone else brought cake, cookies, muffins, and sweet bread?
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know that you can change what others do (or even if you should). We don't go to a lot of pot lucks, but when we do we bring our own dish and just look over what else is there. If I feel comfortable eating it, I do (in modest portions) and if not, I don't.

When offered dessert or a take home, I find a friendly but firm "no, thank you" works well. Sometimes it takes two or three of those, but finally it will sink in.

Perhaps other folks have better strategies?

Regards,
Michael

PS I like to make sure I don't arrive at these gatherings "hungry". I also have some water first and make sure to drink water during the event as well.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you have any control over the pot luck - which probably isn't usually the case - you can assign catagories of foods.

We host a couple pot lucks for grad students every year and if we don't provide some guidence or assignment we will get 9 deserts and 12 versions of chips and dip. We like to "over suggest" salads because it is interesting what some people consider a "salad". Apparently if it is served cold, it is a salad.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like that "If it is seved cold it is considered a salad" line. I have friends and family that go with that. A timely thread as I have a pot luck on Sunday to attend. I was asked to bring dessert -- I'm reconsidering my choice and may switch from Cheesecake to angel food strawberry shortcake. Mary
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with Michael's advice - I get a lot of potlucks in academia (scientists seem to love to cook...) and I find that water is a great tool.

I've also found filling up my plate with my own food first helps - I'll eat that and usually be full, or close to it. Carrying around my food on a plate is also a great way to ask others to try it! I've had instances where people start to ask me what's in it, and I've had some good discussions about low-calorie cooking (with my very limited knowledge!).

I've also found that by openly talking about my food choices, I get less people offering me to take home sweets, but YMMV on that, as I know plenty of other people who take it as an opportunity to 'fatten you up' when they hear you're having success losing weight

Barring all, a polite "no, thank you" without offering extra explanation DOES work. I know I always tend to want to elaborate, but then you're just giving them more to work with when they want to give you food! Sometimes I'll also say "Next time I may try something of yours. I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach! I'm full!"
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