I'm afraid to eat away from my home!


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I am on day 7 of my first Whole30 and I'm scared to go out to eat.  I went out last night with my Dad and took the advice from the website about checking EVERYTHING in the meal I was eating.  I asked specifically for no dairy or grains.  I had pan seared salmon and carrots with an olive and tahini emulsion.  I has asked to just have the salmon plain and steamed vegetables but it came out differently then I asked.  When the food came out I politely asked the server to check on the sauce because I had asked for no dairy.  Everything seems Whole30 compliant but I really don't know.  I've been stressed out all night wondering if it really was and am debating calling the restaurant today to find out what exactly was used in the preparation of the meal.  I feel the same this morning as I have all my other mornings, waking up with a dull headache and hungry.


I started the Whole30 because I travel quite a bit for my job and I feel like I get "food anxiety".  I don't feel like I have a great relationship with food even though I eat fairly well.  I've been sticking to Paleo for the past two years and it has been great except when I have a lot of travel in a row.  I really don't like worrying about what I'm going to eat at every meal and if I can find good food when I'm on the road.  I'm really hoping the Whole30 will help.  Right now though I'm just bummed because I have to be extra diligent about everything I'm eating and it's almost adding more stress to meals.  


I know I'm coming into the hardest days of the Whole30.  All I want to do is hide under the covers and not leave my house.  I said I wouldn't be a salve to this when I started last week.  It's one of my goals actually, to keep living a happy, fun life while I make life long improvements.  I don't feel like that at all today :(


Has anyone else gone though this?  

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I think it's entirely reasonable to expect food anxiety when you're on a restricted program like Whole30 and your food is somewhat out of your control, like it is at restaurants. Keep in mind that it's just for 30 days. After that, you get to make informed decisions about how to move forward in the healthiest way, which also includes figuring out how to minimize food anxiety. Nothing wrong with avoiding eating out as much as is healthy, reasonable, and possible for you while on your Whole30.


Sounds like you did everything you could in getting a compliant meal in a restaurant. Good for you! Now relax a little and trust your instincts. You don't have to eat out unless you want to. I've done four Whole30s eating out as little as possible, and the world hasn't ended. I still have a social life. And I appreciate good food even more. 


Whole30 will make you less tolerant in every way of putting garbage into your body. That doesn't have to translate to anxiety. It may feel that way at first. But as you ease into it and spend more time living this lifestyle, it will get easier. I promise. Just keep going. You're doing great!

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Hi, ajuliamc, I agree with LadyM. It sounds like you did everything right, and the food was probably compliant, so go ahead and release that anxiety and move on.


It is definitely hard to eat out on the Whole30, and I screwed up a couple of times when I was eating out, because it's just harder to know what's in your food or to think about every little thing that might be compliant. But it sounds like you did great last night! Keep in mind like LadyM said, the actual Whole30 is only for 30 days, so you've really only got 3 weeks left of being this vigilant in restaurants. A lot of the things that you are allowed to have after the Whole30 (bacon with a little sugar in it, vinaigrette on your salad, compliant foods that don't upset your system) will make it much easier for you to eat out once the 30 days is over. I've actually got an 8 day conference coming up in a couple of weeks, and I feel very good about my ability to eat healthily while I'm there because of the tools I've gotten from the Whole30. However I was also realistic and deliberately timed it so that I wouldn't actually be on the Whole30 or doing reintroductions while I was away.


Finally, if you're feeling a lot of anxiety in general, I'm wondering if you're eating starchy carbs. It definitely helped my mood to add starchy carbs like sweet potatoes, beets, new potatoes, or parsnips to one or two meals a day. So you might make sure to have a sweet potato today. 


I think the first week or so of the Whole30 you are pretty much a slave to the Whole30 just because of the number of dietary changes, the amount of prep and cooking, and the effect on your body of eliminating so many things. To me there was definitely a period of pushing on through that wasn't particularly happy or fun. So I think happy and fun are great long term goals but there might be some times on the Whole30 when you simply feel tired or cranky or overwhelmed. Having an expectation that this initial period will be easy, happy, or fun might be unrealistic. (Although I did find learning new things and interacting with other forum members fun). Check out the timeline for more on that. 


I think your goal of a better relationship with food is great, and you're doing great! You can start a food log on the forum if you want more regular support from others.

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Thank you for your help and support Lady M and chezjulie.  I'm wondering if I'm also hitting the "kill all things" stage a bit differently and it's coming out in anxiety.  Keep on keeping on.  I know this is a challenge for me and it was great to get your responses so fast.  I'll definitely consider my social situations and maybe back off on attempting to eat out right now.  

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