Last weekend I was a guest speaker at a wonderful's women's 12-step retreat in Springfield, Illinois. I met so many great people and had a lovely time. However, the food was quite a challenge. Because many of the attendees were in AA, I wasn't surprised to see a lot of demon foods in the hospitality room (chips, snack bars, candy, cupcakes and cake). I knew I'd have to avoid them and was feeling pretty strong about my abstinence.
The real challenge was with the meals. I know that I live in a paradise of good food. Portland is a huge foodie city with restaurants and breweries and coffee galore. And our grocery stores are equally fabulous and the amount of local produce and clean meat is a real gift. And I hadn't given too much thought to the institutional food that the retreat center offered us. Well, it was plentiful but not much of it was what I typically eat: fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, buttered corn (the only veggie at that meal), a taco bar. Salad was iceberg lettuce. I did the best I could. I had a heaping plate of iceberg with a few tomatoes and cucumber bits with my taco meat. I ate the buttered corn and took the fried off the chicken. Fortunately on the second day, I met a woman who was eating differently and bringing her own food from home and she gifted me with red peppers, cucumbers, and celery.
I stayed abstinent: no sugar, no flour, no snacks. I didn't have my scale with me but I used the one plate rule of foods I could have and I realized that the question I ask myself about food when I'm away from home is changing. It's no longer What do I feel like? What do I want? but What can I safely eat that is available? A big change for this addict.