Food is often used a center to social activities – especially around the holidays. We eat to celebrate, grieve, communicate, get together, and have fun. When you have dietary restrictions because of a weight loss goal or health issues, it can feel isolating. Feeling isolated can lead to other negative emotions and behaviors. I want to give you some tips and support to support this area of your life which leaves you free to keep your spiritual growth moving forward.
Recently I learned that my body is having an inflammatory response and so my doctor ordered me to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. My new anti-inflammatory diet has required more changes. I’m ending up losing weight simply because the inflammation in my body is being resolved (which is awesome!), but weight loss was a secondary goal.
“Weight loss” is one of the most searched for terms on Google.
Did you know that “weight loss” is one of the most searched for terms on Google? This tells me it’s on people’s minds. But you don’t have to let any dietary restriction or health goal limit your social activities. Even if they center around food!
I made a decision my dietary restrictions were not going to limit my social life. And so far, it’s been great! So great that I want to share what I’ve learned about eating with others.
You may not have food restrictions because of allergies or inflammation. But you may have lifestyle choices or weight loss goals that you want to uphold whether you’re eating alone, with your family, or with friends.
We socialize around food. You don’t have to be limited!! If we decide not to eat with other people because it’s hard to figure out the food, we end up missing out on a lot of fun things.
Five tips to actively participating in social events surrounding food
Here are 5 tips to being able to stay true to your own integrity regarding food AND enjoy the fellowship of your loved ones. It doesn’t matter if you are eating to support weight loss, your personal values, or to eat as your body needs you to. These work!
- Let people know what’s going on for you. People want to help and support other people. For the most part, if you let other people know you have food restrictions they will try to be considerate. They might miss the mark once in a while but it won’t be because they don’t care. It also can eliminate any awkwardness if someone goes to a lot of work to prepare something you can’t ultimately eat.
- Plan ahead. Do your research about what kinds of food will be available where you are eating so that you can make informed decisions when you get there.
- Bring along your own food if you are attending a social event with shared food. Bring one thing to share with the group that you can also eat. Bring enough of something else for yourself to eat well in case you’re not able to eat what’s being served. For example, last week at my school we had a baked potato bar. I knew that most of the toppings were off of my list of foods I could eat. I brought along shredded cheese to share with the staff and then brought a small container with kale for me. I topped my own baked potato with kale that I slipped in the microwave for a minute or two. It was amazing!! Wilted kale on a potato tastes really buttery and delicious. You can be creative and find ways to make it work.
- When eating out, do your homework first. Check to see if the place you are planning to eat has an online menu to pre-plan what you’ll eat. It takes the guesswork out and significantly reduces the chance you will eat something that makes you sick or that is off your list of approved foods. AND a really nice benefit is that you aren’t stressed or feeling self-conscious when you order because you already know what you want to eat. If a restaurant doesn’t online menus or allergen information, call the restaurant. There are many restaurants who do not advertise that they have a separate allergen menus. You would be surprised! A word of caution…ask lots of questions and be specific when you order to be sure you get the food you need. You need to be your own advocate.
- Keep snacks with you just in case. I have healthy snacks in my car, in my classroom, and of course in my house. Some go-to snacks that keep really nicely are nuts and dried fruit. You can put them into a ball jar and they stay fresh for a really long time. I find that when I store nuts in plastic, they end up tasting rancid very quickly. But stored in glass they taste great. My favorite combination is mixed nuts with dried tart cherries. If you’re choosing dried fruits, be sure that they don’t contain added sulfur, nitrates, and sugar. Store fruit and nuts separately. Even stored in your car, they last a long time. (disclaimer…. I am not a nutritionist or dietician. Nuts and fruits may not be the best choices for your personal diet.)
I hope this serves you. If so, please click “like” or consider sharing. My mission is to spread love and light far and wide. Every time you share or like you are helping me do that.
All my love,
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