Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Any professional event with food can be a difficult challenge to navigate. These events are likely catered, which brings its own challenges of finding soy-free options, and on top of that, the professional setting brings a level of normalcy that you likely want to maintain. You want to make sure that you don’t stand out too much from the people around you, not in a “don’t look at me” sort of way, but instead in a “I don’t want to be the weird one” sort of way. Inherently, you want the business event to go smoothly and avoid any unnecessary explanation about food as you may not feel comfortable talking about this sort of topic in a professional setting.
While it is possible to safely eat catered food, it can feel pretty limiting and there may not be a lot of options. When evaluating any available food, remember the five places to avoid soy and don’t be afraid to skip anything you think contains soy. The same goes for things like boxed lunches. You can look up the restaurant online to determine if any part of the lunch is soy-free, and then decide what parts of the lunch to eat. In practice, you can treat boxed lunches much like in-flight meals: consider ordering a gluten-free option ahead of time to reduce the chances that your meal contains soy. Then, when it comes just eat what you can and don’t eat what you can’t.
In professional settings it is always okay to bring your own food. At the very least, you should have a backup snack available, but you can bring more extensive food options as well. When you bring your own food, you may need to provide a small explanation as to why you aren’t eating the food, but honestly, many people either won’t notice or won’t ask. The trick with bringing food is to match the “level” of food that you bring to the level of food provided. At a professional event, you want to fit in with the appropriate level of decorum (i.e., you don’t necessarily want to be eating cheese puffs while everyone else is having shrimp cocktail). Try to get a sense for what type of food will be offered and bring some food that is similar. For example, if you think lunch will be deli sandwiches, you can easily bring your own sandwich. If you think that the food will be a small buffet of appetizers, bring some small snacks (dried fruit or nuts can be good options) instead of something big. If you do bring your own food, try to bring something that doesn’t need a microwave. Going microwave-free allows you to be flexible to eat as the people around you are eating and doesn’t require you to leave the group to find a microwave.
In a professional setting you want to be at the top of your game, which means it is important that you don’t eat anything that will make you feel bad! By bringing your own food or making decisions about any provided food, you can remain professional in a business setting while also ensuring that your food is soy-free. A professional event with food doesn’t need to be a big deal, and it won’t affect your ability to be successful.