I’m so glad she asked this because if there’s one thing I love more than food, it’s being social and just straight up having FUN. To me, that’s one of the most important parts of having a FULL life. Not to mention I seriously just get so bored if I’m not out and about with people at least a few nights a week. Just another one of those ways that living in New York has ruined me, I suppose 😛
So here are my tips for maintaining a social life – some practical and others mindset-related – that I’ve learned throughout my 2 (and some change) Whole30s so far.
Discover alternative ways to socialize.
If you’re anything like me, the first thing you think of when it comes to socializing is eating and drinking with others. And for good reason! Dining with others is a fun way to enjoy company and bond (especially when there are adult beverages involved, ifyouknowhatImean).
But if you think about it, there are endless other ways to socialize that don’t involve eating and drinking. In fact, why not use the Whole30 as an opportunity to take advantage of those new experiences? Some ideas:
- fitness classes
- museums / sight seeing
- bike riding
- going to see a show/concert
- sporting events
I mean, this isn’t rocket science 😉
Another option if you just can’t bear socializing without food is to skip dining out and instead host people at your home. You can cook your Whole30-approved meals and even make a fun potluck out of it. That way your guests can still enjoy whatever food/drink they want, and you can stick to your goals.
Remember that eating/drinking is just one aspect of socializing.
This is related to the above suggestion, but here I’m talking more about your attitude/mindset when it comes to socializing. Whether you’re dining out or not, socializing doesn’t come down to just the activity you’re experiencing with another person/people, it’s about connecting with them.
Think about those times you’ve gotten lost in the best conversation with someone – where time seems to fly by, you have no temptation to look at your phone, and you wish the conversation would never end. Aren’t THOSE moments better than even the best meal you’ve ever had?!
I guess my point is, don’t get caught up thinking that your “restrictions” are keeping you from experiencing moments like that. They’re not. In fact, like I said before, your Whole30 is the perfect opportunity to open yourself up even more to those non-eating experiences and encounters.
Look at restaurants menus online.
Back to being practical. Guess what – it’s 2017 and just about every restaurant has their menu listed online. If you are going to dine out, the best thing you can do is be prepared. There is most likely at least something on the menu that you’ll be able to enjoy, Whole30-approved. Most restaurants are also used to dietary restrictions these days, so you can even call ahead and double check on what ingredients they use (especially in sauces, dressings, etc.).
If you’re doing any of those non-dining activities, chances are you may still get hungry (hate when that happens). Once again, being prepared is key…and easy. This is when “emergency” snacks like RXBars or Larabars come in handy. Other options are fruit, vegetables, jerky, and nuts & seeds.
Focus on (and explain) all the things you CAN eat.
From my experience, other people seem to get more weird about my Whole30 than I am. But as soon as I explain to them what it’s actually about and focus on what I can eat rather than what I can’t…they’re like “oh, that’s not so bad!” I haven’t once been able to dine out without ordering a “normal” meal. I’ve even dined out and shared with other people multiple times – all Whole30 approved foods!
Remember that this isn’t forever.
You can do anything for 30 days. Well…maybe not anything. But you can do this. In the grand scheme of things 30 days is NOT a long time, especially when you’re investing in yourself and potentially changing the way you feel and think forever. One day you can enjoy that glass of wine with friends, or go on a pizza date, or get ice cream by the beach. Just not today. But you know what you can still do, without those things? Everything else.
Last but not least, OWN your Whole30!
On that note, probably my most important piece of advice is to just own the HELL out of your Whole30. You’re doing something that is bettering yourself – body, soul, mind – and that’s pretty damn awesome. If you own it and are proud of the fact that you’ve taken on this challenge, people will actually be attracted to those vibes and enjoy your company…maybe even more than before.
Hope you found these tips helpful! Which of them resonate with you most? Anything to add?