Many months ago, my husband, Erik, and I did the Whole 30 program. It was completely life-changing, and I’ve talked about it before here on the blog. If you don’t know what Whole 30 is, you gotta check it out, but in a nutshell, it is a lifestyle change, 30 days to reorient your mind and your relationship with food. And along with Whole 30, comes lots of rules about what you can and cannot eat. For example:
No Legumes (yes, that includes peanuts)
After completing the Whole 30, Erik and I have continued to stick to the plan 95% of the time.
Quick update: In total, I have lost 21 pounds since starting Whole 30.
Recently, I had an email subscriber reach out to me and ask what we do about socializing while on Whole 30. I get it. Going out and spending time with friends is TOUGH. My husband and I both used to treat food as an adventure (we still do, we just do it differently now). We used to constantly say things like, “Oh, we should all go out and try the new restaurant that opened up on Friday!” or “I’ve never had kimchi deviled eggs before! Well, we have to order some of those!” And if you are like that, or around people that are like that, then it can be difficult. Not to mention, many people treat food as a celebration, and who wants to exclude themselves from that?
So here are tips and tricks I have picked up since adopting a Whole 30 lifestyle permanently. I have arranged them, in my mind, from the most ideal solution to the least.
1.) Suggest doing something that doesn’t involve food.
Get people together to do something else- a hike, a trip to the botanical gardens, or a museum. But I recognize that what is appealing to a lot of people is the opportunity to sit around and converse. There is a place in my city where you pay a $5 cover charge to get in, and then you can sit and play board games. They have hundreds to choose from, and you can stay as long as you want. Do some research and find unique and different places in your city where you can just sit around and talk.
2.) Have everyone over to your house for dinner.
This way you can control the menu and all of the ingredients you use. You’ll know for certain if that bacon is sugar-free or if that almond milk has no carrageenan. Yes, it’ll mean you have to cook, and clean, and pay for food, but you’ll be creating a situation where you can stick to the Whole 30 plan.
3.) Suggest a potluck.
This tip is a little different from the one above. You can have your gathering anywhere; just make sure that the dish you bring is Whole 30 complaint. This way, you will know for certain that there is at least one thing you can eat, and fill up on it.
4.) Go out to eat- and chose a chain restaurant.
Okay, I am going to be honest with you. Chain restaurants are not my favorite thing ever. I would much prefer to support a local business, but there is a method to the madness. All chains with 20 or more locations are required by law to share their nutritional information, and many of them do it via their website. By suggesting a chain restaurant, you are giving yourself the opportunity to do a lot of research beforehand. Go online, figure out what you can and can’t order, and what substitutions you can make. The go-to restaurant of many a Whole 30-er is Chipotle. There you can order a salad with carnitas, salsa (no corn salsa), and guacamole. Done!
5.) Go out to eat- and pick a steakhouse or a diner.
In my experience, these are the two categories of restaurants that make staying on Whole 30 the easiest. Since both types of restaurants are used to custom orders and requests. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to a diner and asked for poached eggs (which are always cooked with no oil or butter) and dry hash browns. Is it the most amazing meal of my life? Not a chance, but if it makes hanging out with friends possible, I’ll live with it.
6.) Eat before you go out. Sort of.
A personal trainer taught me this. She would eat at home just enough to take the edge off. That way, when she went arrived at the restaurant, she wouldn’t order something crazy. Or dive into the basket of fries everyone at the table had decided to split. I have done this for years and years now, long before Whole 30, and it works! My personal preference is to take a spoonful of almond butter and eat it right before we leave. It’s so fatty and sticks to the roof of my mouth; I don’t feel like eating anything else right away.
Note: I am not saying this only works with almond butter. I know that nut butters are trigger foods for a lot of people, and if they eat one spoonful, they end up eating the whole jar. Find something that both satiates you and is Whole 30 compliant and use that.
7.) Carry snacks with you in case you go on a spontaneous outing.
Things like apples, bananas, Larabars, and these single servings of almond butter are all great things to have in the car, purse, etc. That way, you always have something with you to perform tip #6 with.
So there you have it! Seven tips and tricks for socializing while on Whole 30. And now, I want to hear from you! What tips and tricks have you picked up along the way?
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, click here. Also, if you do utilize a link, THANK YOU!
Hello there, Friend!
Get my latest recipes sent right your Inbox on a monthly basis!