Make food for people that don't eat Paleo and not go crazy:
A love of good food was instilled in me very early. Specifically homemade foods, and even more specifically, homemade baked goods from scratch. I'm very fortunate to have grown up in a family that appreciates food, and loves it so much they plan events only after they know what the meal is going to be. Even though as part of this family I fostered an unhealthy relationship with food, I was always eating real food, made from combinations of single ingredients. I could pronounce every item that went into my foods.
As I grew up and moved out of the house, I continued to practice making things from scratch. Mostly baked goods, since those were my favorite, and seemed to be major crowd pleasers. Going to events/pot-lucks I was always instructed to bring dessert. I made cakes for co-workers on their birthdays. The chef boyfriend would make dinner, and I would bake a dessert.
I think I liked the process and science of baking as much as I did eating it. There was always a craving, or rush I would get from thinking about something to make, looking for recipe ideas, and then coming up with my own tweeks to make it even better. I think many of the times I found myself eating foods that were not right for me was because I wanted to satisfy a craving for baking (putting something together), not necessarily the food itself, although it always turned into me eating whatever I made. Probably one of the hardest things about going Paleo was having to give up the baker part of me.
During my first 30-day Paleo trial, I made several (failed) attempts at baking. Eventually I came to the realization that baking as I knew it was a closed chapter in the book of my life. Could I still bake non-Paleo items? Sure. I did this a few times over the course of last year either during my "cheat days (weeks)" or because I intended it to be "for" someone, only to end up sampling and derailed.
Yesterday, I invited a bunch of friends over for brunch. Hosting people at our house for dinners/bbq's/etc. is something we love doing, and do often. I like planning the meal and knowing that we are putting out a good product for our friends to enjoy. I started thinking about brunch type foods, and what I would be making. Baked goods definitely had to be on the menu since this was not a "Paleo" function. I thought about what I could make: muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, etc. Ugh, this was going to be tough. How could I make something and not be able to taste it while making it to ensure it was ok? How could I sit in a house while delicious smells of baked goods wafted through the air? How could I not eat something that I baked?
I formed a plan. First off, like I mentioned in my post the day before yesterday, my head is clear. I'm not currently run by food thoughts and/or rationalizing how I'm going to get my next fix. I'm focused on the task at hand, and this task doesn't end for another 346 days. So, out of the brunch options above, I chose the one I'm most "meh" about. Scones. I threw in some blackberries for good measure (don't really care for them). Then, I thought about a way that I could treat myself that wouldn't be off the goal- bacon! Bacon is the answer to everything. I knew as long as I could have bacon, I would be ok with not eating a scone.
When all was said and done, there were two moments that nearly set me back to day 365: when I was spooning the scones onto the baking sheet, I almost unconsciously licked my fingers (but snapped out of it just in time), and when I was cleaning up after everyone had left, and there was a tiny broken chunk of scone on the plate I THOUGHT about sampling it to make sure the product I had served was up to my standard. Then I thought about having to start at day 365 again, and changed my mind. I bagged up the remaining scones, gave one to the bf to try when he got home so I could make sure they were ok, (he ate 3) but told me they were "horrible." I sent him to work this morning with the remaining scones to get them out of the house.
How to make non-Paleo foods for others and not go crazy:
1) Have a plan to make something special for yourself that fills the "void" of not being able to eat said food
2) Make something you are indifferent about (if you would kill for a brownie, make cookies instead)
3) Keep your head in the game or old habits may creep up unconsiously
4) Make sure all your product gets eaten by the intended persons (or anyone but yourself), and get leftovers out of the house asap