The other day I met a super awesome mom at a local library and we hit it off. She’s super nice, my age, and invited me to hang with some other families at a local park today. Yay! New friends! What I forgot to expect though, was that there was going to be a bunch of SAD food there, things people brought for the kids to snack on and things the parents brought for themselves as well. Funny enough, being a work-from-home-mom, I just don’t hang with people who eat SAD food often, so this was just a weird surprise that: “oh yeah, the rest of the world really does eat this way.” :)
So it got me remembering all the things I used to do when social situations like this would arise, in order to get through without eating a bunch of less-than-stellar choices, and a few things I always advise clients to do when in these situations too. Situations like:
Going out to an anniversary or birthday dinner/celebration
Going to the movies
Going to any restaurant for any reason
Here are a few things you can do to ensure you do better food-wise than if you hadn’t prepped at all:
1.) Consider the idea that you don’t, in fact, HAVE to eat at functions like these, especially at the movies. Going to the movies JUST for the movie is a novel idea for most, but it’s one you can get used to and actually grow to prefer. And at parties and such, sure, you might get questions, but you can always make something up and say you’re just not hungry, you just HAD to eat before you came because you were STARVING:), or you’re not feeling well. You can also mention that you are working on a new weird, plant-based lifestyle and you want to try to do your best for a few weeks and see where it takes you…because it’s been making you feel good so far. And I find self-deprecating humor to be helpful in situations like this. “I eat really weird. Don’t mind me.” :D Ha.
2.) Remember that these events are actually for socializing, not eating. Spending time in the company of others is a really wonderful thing, and doesn’t have to derail you. And not obsessing about food, or even considering it while you’re there, gives lots more headspace to enjoy others and your surroundings. Try a game for get-togethers like these: try to talk to 8 people whose names all start with different letters while you’re there. Just strike up a conversation and talk about anything. Then take notes in your phone about who you talked to and about what later. Really keep track and see if you can get to 8 by the end of the night, and don’t repeat any first-name letters. If you talk to a Mike, you can’t count talking to a Matt later on. It’s a great game for distraction. :)
3.) Eat a big Nutritarian meal before you go. My favorite is to blend up a huge smoothie right before I leave, drink half before I go, and bring the other half in a purse and down the whole thing undercover-like in a bedroom or bathroom later in the night, when I start to get hungry. Makes cravings for party food completely go away.
4.) Instead of drinking alcohol, try to make a fancy cocktail out of say, seltzer water and lemonade or fruit juice. Use a champagne glass if you can find one, or a wine glass. Ask the bartender if there is one, to make that for you. That way you don’t feel left out of the “everyone is drinking but me” thing, and you still get to stay on track and not crave from being tipsy.
5.) Consider cutting back on your social life for a bit, while you build your Nutritarian habits stronger and stronger in the beginning of your journey. I know I did this a lot in the beginning, and was so much stronger for it later on. It doesn’t have to be forever, but it can really help.