Socialising whilst adopting a new way of eating can be quite daunting, and previous to being high raw, I’d even opted to NOT socialise whilst bedding down a new diet fad or whilst doing a detox. I remember one time, when I was still a flight attendant,deciding to pick up more flights for a month as I was giving myself a 30 day (month) ban of anything social, just so I could focus on my eating and exercising without having to have the anxiety of peer pressure to drink or eat things I just didn’t want to.
However this was before I went raw, and possibly had an unhealthy association with diets or ‘detoxes’ that would only be for a period of time, and what I found with RAW was that it was something that was going to last me over time and become a habit, and not just last for a short timeframe.
I promise you, there are ways you can still care for your health without dropping out of the social scene.
Here are some tips I’ve employed over the years to stick on track:
- Have a treat day and coincide it with your outting: the whole idea of having a treat day is to ensure you don’t have a feeling of deprivation and resent the new way of eating. Treats for me since having gone raw have changed quite significantly and even if they are still considered junk food, as long as I aim to stick to vegan foods, even if cooked, then I am not too stressed out
- Load up: fill up on a green smoothie, cooked or raw soup of salad monster before heading to a party. This will curb your appetite and ensure you are able to stop at just one or two nibblies when you get to the party. Don’t arrive hungry
- Pack your own smoothie! I’ve done this loads, and before you say ‘how embarrassing’ basically it’s not really a big deal at a party. Mostly everyone else is concerned with what they are drinking to worry about what you are drinking (usually why I never recommend people to announce ‘they are not drinking alcohol tonight’ as it was probably likely no one would have noticed anyway. I often take a pineapple and coconut smoothie or an equally delicious smoothie – usually my husband will choose to have some of mine rather than alcohol instead. I pack my smoothie in a cold flask so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and at a party where it is ‘help yourself’ to drinks I just discretely pour my drink into a cup like everyone else’s. In a situation where you are at a dinner party, perhaps make enough for everyone to try. Also green smoothies are a great conversation starter!
- Dinner Time! When I am asked to a friends house for dinner, I never assume they know what kind of food I like to eat, so rather than be ‘that person’ who can’t eat this or can’t eat that, I actually make my own dinner (enough for a full meal size) plus extra for everyone else to sample. I take it along, and if I am lucky then the host has prepared something for me, and I have contributed something healthy and delicious as well. Usually I pick a show stopper – something that will really impress people so it encourages them to try it and I’ve always taken home empty dishes!
- Going out to dinner? If you know where you are going ahead of time, call up the restaurant for a copy of their menu or check them out online. Most restaurants have vegetarian dishes than can be easily modified – think salad minus the cheese, or even ask to speak to the chef and let them know your requirements to see if they can come up with something to suit you prior to arriving. I’ve been known to take a ripe avocado in my bag to bulk out my meal if the options have been poorly. If you cannot prepare ahead of time by calling ahead, or it’s a spontaneous dinner plan, think of ordering 2 or 3 appetiser size meals if there are no or minimal options in the main meal section. Don’t be afraid to speak to your server about your requirements (you can use the ‘I’m allergic to these foods…will help). I have a friend who carries a business card size card with their food requirements for the server to give to the chef, good idea!
- Relax your rules: sometimes it’s just not going to be easy to get the exact meal you require due to the fact you are in a social environment that is a little challenging. Don’t stress out, make the most of your situation, hopefully you’ll have a lara bar or some trail mix in your bag to get you by, until you can have your next meal as you want! Try and enjoy the moment for what it is, it’s about being with friends and loved ones, and if you happen to slip up, you can get right back on track when you get home!
Do you have any other suggestions?