Help! Returning boyfriend!


LandShark

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I need some advice, my friends.

I started my Whole30 when my boyfriend went out of town. I figured I'd be cranky and less than super fun to be around for the first couple days (and I was right! haha) so I thought I'd get through that while I had the house to myself. I'm currently on Day 13, and I'll be on Day 16 when he gets home.

There are two things going on here:

1. We like to eat out, at nice restaurants, with wine. We live in an area with fabulous dining options, and our tiny loft's kitchen is pathetic (no microwave, unreliable and possibly possessed oven, the wall between the kitchen and the bathroom doesn't go all the way to the ceiling - I KNOW!! anyway, you get the point. Not exactly a chef's dream). Eating out is something we really enjoy. The wine, the atmosphere, sharing bites of each other's plate....I know, you're gagging at the lovey-dovieness of it all. But it's true!

2. He's an athlete. He's a low-fat/whole grain kinda guy. It works for him so whatever. He's an adult, I'm not going to try to convert him. BUT he thinks this whole no grains/sugar/legumes/dairy/alcohol thing is a bit silly and over the top. He's not *unsupportive* it's just that he kind of rolls his eyes when I talk about it.

So here's the thing! I'm picking him up at the airport on Tuesday night, and I'm having one of those "Is it worth it?" conversations with myself. He's coming home from the Paralympics! It's a big deal! One of those wine and caviar and spare no expenses kind of deals! So I've got a couple options, dinner-wise:

1. We go out to one of our favourite places. I ask for some substitutions, but if it's not possible, I let it go. This night is not about me, it's about him. Drink, eat, celebrate, kiss! Aaaaaand start the Whole30 over the night day. *Shudder* I've come so far! Which leads us to option 2...

2. I do some research, and find a nice paleo/compliant restaurant and I skip the wine. Maybe it'll be delicious! Maybe he'll hate it! Who knows! This is the option with the most unknowns in it...

3. Or, I cook something at home. I try to re-create that "fancy restaurant" vibe in our crappy, possibly illegal apartment and we eat totally clean, healthy delicious food that I have prepared with love. And we're together and celebrating and happy. Should I get wine for him? Should I abstain? Will one glass require me to start over? Is it obvious that wine is a real stumbling block for me?

What do you guys think? How special does a day have to be to break your Whole30 resolve?

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Hi!

My first bit of advice is, have you talked to him about this dinner? If not do so. You might be on very common ground about it.

My second bit of advice is, does what you are eating and where you are eating impact the level of specialness that this dinner brings? If it does, then I would experience it to its fullest and start over tomorrow. And I don't mean you have to drink or order foods that are terribly unhealthy, but I wouldn't sacrifice a special night with a special person in favor of staying whole 30 compliant. If you can stay compliant and that won't impact your evening adversely and will be just as special for both of you, then stay compliant.

And don't overthink it and stress out about it :) just go with your gut....

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Can you try out the local paleo-friendly restaurant for lunch or something before he comes back, to make it less of an unknown? Maybe it's fabulous?? Or go online and look at the menus of some of your favorite places to find good paleo options on the menus, and make a call or two with questions ("what sort of oil do you use in your dressing?" "do you use canola oil on your steaks?" "is there sugar in the fish marinade?"). That way when you get there, you aren't asking the waiter a bunch of questions while your boyfriend rolls his eyes, but simply make your order: "I'll have the steak, but could you substitute extra veggies instead of the potato, and no butter please."

As far as wine, I totally relate to this particular stumbling block. I believe a celebration can be had without wine/alcohol, but it can be hard for one person to "celebrate" with a glass of wine with the person across from them sipping iced tea. It's just a little awkward for many, for whatever reason. At a table full of people sure, but just the two of you ... If you don't think it will bother him or take away from the night, then abstain. If you choose to enjoy a glass or two of wine, you probably need to start over. Which in the grand scheme is totally not such a big deal. You will get through a W30 (which will actually be sort of a W46, right? even better!). And in the end, you will want to make this your lifestyle, which will involve making these sorts of choices -- you are simply getting an early lesson on how to ride your own bike.

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Hmmm. Good points, both of you.

I feel kind of dumb about not actually, you know, TALKING to my partner about what he wants. I'm spending 85% of my days thinking about, reading about, shopping for, cleaning, chopping, cooking or eating food! His homecoming is very exciting but immediately I leap to "oh god, what will we eat!?"

Given the time difference and the long flight, who knows, maybe he'll just want a snack and 15 hour nap.

I think I've pretty much decided that I'll have some nice-ish cuts of meat on hand in case he is tired and wants to stay in, but I've picked out a nice local place that looks promising if he wants to go out. AND I'm having wine! I am making the decision ahead of time, not spur of the moment caving! I have decided it's worth it, and that I'm a-okay with extending my 30 days.

And, for what it's worth, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for making a rational decision about food and feelings. Good job, self!

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We do a lot of things out of habit and familiarity. Why not just change your habits?

Hubby and I used eat at restaurants a lot. We had a discussion about it when I started Whole30. We decided to prepare our food at home 99% of the time, even when we travel. It's a change in routine and a change of habit, but we got used to it. We are saving money and eating wonderful food.

Just replace old habits with new ones.

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LandShark -

A) I support your plan wholeheartedly. Good choice. The bit about the wine was a completely personal decision and only you can decided whether that one's worth it for you.

2) I think you did a great job of thinking through things rationally and assessing all the options.

3) Paralympics?! That's kick ass.

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