Hello lovely readers,
Do you find it challenging to eat out and not be tempted by bread, or cheese, or wine and of course dessert?
At christmas, it’s endless supplies of parties and family events where the booze flows and the life and souls of the party that are gluten, refined sugar & processed foods are in full attendance. Then it’s New Years, then supposed ‘dry January’ but there’s always a birthday meal, family event, or some other occasion where there’s always cake & coffee. Not to mention if you work in an office where there’s always cake or chocolates around. Of course then it’s a marketer’s delight with chocolates galore consumed in the run up to Valentine’s Day & then of course Easter. Bank holidays usually mean nights out, booze and meals out. Then people panic because it’s the summer and they haven’t got their summer body. Is it any wonder?
The commerciality of traditional events to celebrate love and life, friendship & success have turned into a cocktail of health concerns for those of us who want to stay feeling healthy & looking awesome.
When the day comes where you’re finally ready to go on a cleanse, detox, nutrition plan or just general clean eating lifestyle, it seems to be incredibly difficult to eat safely anywhere but your own home. So how does this affect your ability to flutter between business meetings, have quality time with friends, attend networking events, family lunches & dinners at friend’s house?
Some would say that it’s easier not to go out, or to make excuses each time you’re asked, or to go for dinner but not eat. Do you really want to be THAT person?! I don’t think so. This is something that can prevents a lot of people adhering to their clean lifestyle. It can be for numerous reasons, many claim they haven’t got the willpower. Well, let me tell you, that has NOTHING to do with it. It’s an excuse people use to feel less guilty about not doing what they said they would do. More often than not, the reasons are unconsciously things out of your immediate control. It is incredibly important to master your emotions and thought process about such situations, as well as what you can order & how you can go about it etc.
Here are 3 tips on mastering your emotional health before even stepping out of the door:
Face Your Fear Of What Others Think
Many fear the judgement that will come from others at the dining table if they’re not having a drink. Many fear the constant comments such as “it’s more important to have fun & eat what you want than to ‘restrict’ yourself.”
Others fear how they are perceived by others. They fear they may not be invited out if they’re not drinking. They fear being ridiculed. They worry that they will be looked upon differently by their nearest and dearest. When, if they are indeed your nearest & dearest, they won’t care what you’re drinking or what you’re eating as long as you’re happy. The truth is if you’re around the right people, then you should never be afraid to be yourself and stick to your beliefs, even if they are newly founded beliefs.
Commit To Your Beliefs
When you adopt new beliefs about what you want to eat and how you live your life, this of course changes your dietary habits which can then cause your friends and family members in particular to question it. Why? It’s nothing personal, it’s simply because it’s different to how you’ve lived your whole life, so why change now? This is totally normal! So if you’re going to a friend’s house, don’t be afraid to say the foods you’re not eating anymore. E.g. that you’re not eating anything with wheat in because it makes you bloated so you are eating only alkalising food; or you’ve learned more about the health implications of consuming too much dairy so ask them to cook in coconut oil rather than butter. Easy!
Understand Change & Embrace It
Change can scare people. Especially if they see you changing and they’re not. Sometimes it makes them realise that they know they need to make some dietary and lifestyle changes, but they aren’t taking the action. Or sometimes they just don’t understand your new beliefs, or think what you’re doing could be enjoyable. But that is their opinion on what having fun is. That could be their fear coming to the surface without them realising it. This is ok too. Just remember that whoever it is, is coming from a genuine place according to the world they’re living in and they may just not understand whatever it is you’re doing.
Now here are some more practical tips to help you when you’re eating / drinking out:
Call ahead to the restaurant
If you haven’t chosen the restaurant, then you may well not have a huge choice on the menu, so call ahead ask for your requirements. This is simple to do. Many restaurants will cater for all dietary requirements, and most will always have gluten free options. Dairy free is a bit trickier, as you’ll have to find out it’s not cooked in butter, but just ask, or even say you’re allergic if you don’t want to risk having it. Eating vegan AND gluten free is not easy, but you can never go wrong with a salad, just be sure to check what it is in the dressing, and ask for it to be on the side. Fresh lemon juice and olive oil is a simple but delicious dressing, so you could just ask for that!
Chose the restaurant
So simple, but easy not to do. If you’re going out with friends or family just suggest a nice place that caters more for your tastes but that also has something for everybody else too. It’s easy for people who aren’t as health conscious to find something on the menu, than for you to find something that’s gluten free, dairy free, raw, vegetarian (thats not cheese or pasta) or vegan. Don’t be afraid to be true to your values and remain committed.
Switch Coffee For Green Tea or Water
Business meetings & networking events are always a difficult one, pouring endless supplies of cups of coffee, simply because it’s offered on arrival, it’s on the table, or there’s a ‘coffee’ break. Starting your day with so much caffeine causes havoc for your health that day and all the days following until you break this habit. Start by switching to green tea, so you still get a small hit of caffeine, without bouncing off the walls! Read more about this in my earlier blog here.
Take the car
If you’re prone to having a drink or five, avoid the possibility of having more than one by taking your car so you have no choice but to drive home. It may be stating the obvious, but if you’re committed to your health, then this should be a no brainer!
And finally – Forget FOMO!
Fear of Missing Out is why so many people cave and give up their ‘new lifestyle’. They don’t want to miss out on whatever fun is happening at that party, that restaurant, that event etc. Whatever the event is, either go, and be happy with your choice to either drink or stay sober, or be happy enough in yourself and trust that you’re doing what’s right for you at this time and say no. I don’t want to go. This of course links with facing your fears of what others think!
When I was socialising & partying too much, following a series of traumatic events I chose to ignore, I couldn’t bear the thought of not going to the party. I couldn’t stand my friends having so much fun without me and then telling me everything I missed the next day. This couldn’t continue, I had to start somewhere. That somewhere was saying NO. If you did EVERYTHING then what else is there to explore? Where is the excitement in life? It’s hard at first, but isn’t everything when you first start?
I had been delaying my own happiness for months by hiding my emotional pain in party after party. As long as I feared missing out,I was delaying my own success and stepping into my own greatness. I was delaying my own health. I had to step back for a bit to understand what I wanted, how I needed to do it and to gain the courage & strength to say, “No, I want to focus on ME now.” So ask yourselves, do you need to focus on YOU? Can you implement the above advice to help keep you healthier and on the road to your own health success? No-one will eat healthily for you, they can comment and make remarks, but the only person who has the power to change your life, is YOU.