Do I need to start over?


Lissa Kristine

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As I predicted, three days into my Whole 30, my church youth group decided to go out to eat. Now, I did bring a small snack (apple slices with almond butter and pistachios), but I also left the steak from my salad at home, so I was pretty hungry. I was also having a terrible day- one that normally would lead to me binging on sugary foods.

Fortunately, we went to Qdoba- a place with nutrition and allergen information online. The first thing I did was whip out my iPad and check out the nutritional information. I went to the menu and selected to see items that were Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Soy-Free. It left me with very few options after eliminating the beans as well, but my favorite meat (pulled pork) was the only one that met the requirements.

So, after a quick glance at ingredients for the salsas, I bypassed my favorite: salsa verde because it had modified corn starch and corn syrup solids. Instead, I went with the pico de gallo (which I usually avoid like the plague). I ordered a naked taco salad with pulled pork, pico de gallo, and guacamole.

Then, when looking over my choices to reassure myself later (as I was typing this), I realized that the pulled pork has salsa verde mixed into it. Does this mean I have to start over?

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The corn starch and syrup is an issue, but I would take this as a lesson learned and keep going. You might want to add a day or two to the end of your Whole30 as penance, but you are early enough in the process that you should see meaningful results regardless.

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Thing is, after excluding travel and changing out of my work uniform, I LITERALLY have five minutes to eat a small snack in between work and church, and it's only enough to hold me over for a couple hours until we go out. Then, I usually don't get home until after 11, when I have to get lunch/snacks ready for the next day.I have to get up at 6am or earlier, so there's no time for dinner.

Basically, this is my only chance for dinner... and even though I'm okay with bringing my own salad dressings, etc (in baby food jars in my purse), I'm not exactly comfortable opening up my own tupperware container in a restaurant- especially without buying something.

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I COULD do that. The only thing is I would have to know in advance where we're going out to eat- and usually it's more of a "Let's go to ___" right before we jump into our cars. I certainly wouldn't want to pack grilled chicken if we go out to the diner where I can order some eggs and fruit or something like that. Plus, it's kind of awkward still.

I'll keep it in mind though. I'm trying to figure out what to do tonight. I'm babysitting and then heading straight to a youth rally. There was a discussion about going out to eat afterwards (possibly at Sonic). I know there's nothing safe there, but I either need to come up with the safest option, or figure out what to pack (I feel less weird about bringing my own food since we're eating outside anyway). I just need to figure out something that will be ok at room temperature... since I won't be able to heat or keep it refrigerated. (I also may not have time to go to the store for more olive oil until tomorrow, so a salad is out).

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Good luck adapting to the social situations. In the beginning it is a challenge. After a while it should get easier. There is a quote about it that comes to mind. "It's a social event with food not a food event with people." I often go to lunch or dinner with my family and simply order water or black coffee plus a salad with oil and vinegar or a dressing I bring if I know in advance. I can eat protein just before we go, or when we get home. It seemed a bit weird in the beginning, but now it's really no big deal. I had a friend years ago with lots of allergies plus he was really skinny and was rarely hungry or trying to save money. He just went everywhere with us for fun, not to eat and would just get a drink. No one cared at all. I keep some tiny containers of almonds and raisins in my purse and also have a few Primal Pacs in the car for "emergencies". I also have grass fed beef hot dogs that I slice and put in small containers for grab and go protein. For just a few hours, no refrigeration is really necessary if you pull them out of the fridge before you go. Not exciting food, but it's easy, compliant and better than a lot of other options I might get if I ate out.

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Again, when plans are made at the last minute, it makes it extra difficult to eat protein before I go out to eat... and typically by the time I'm sitting down to eat I am STARVING. Some limp lettuce won't cut it... and eating dinner at 1 in the morning isn't realistic either. Unfortunately, the only option I'm really seeing is to skip spending time with my friends entirely.

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You seem to want to sabotage the process right off the bat. If you know you will be going out after church, then plan for that and don't wait for the restaurant to be chosen. Just assume it won't be a place to be successful on Whole30. Nobody wants you to give up spending time with your friends, but you can certainly do more to make this doable.

JHMOMI gave you some great tips. She's got 3 very active kids but still manages her Whole30. Try to take in what she said instead of fighting it.

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My main thing is, i can plan ahead when I have a rough idea of what's going on. When it's a complete toss-up of we may or may not go out and we may or may not go someplace "safe." I'm used to deciding at the last minute when and where we are eating. I might plan on going home after work, and end up going out for dinner with a friend an hour later. I just don't always know.

That, and I feel incredibly self-concious if I bring my own food into a restaurant- especially a sit-down restaurant. I've always thought it was rude to do unless there's a legitimate allergy- which I do not have. And my friends also know that I don't have a legitimate allergy... and my one friend will definitely tease me if I start packing my lunch/dinner to bring inside restaurants- ESPECIALLY since he and I have the same views on bringing own meals into restaurants.

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Here's the thing, though - and please know that I'm only offering some tough love - you seem to know enough in advance (there are already talks about going to Sonic) that you could prepare something just in case. Better to be prepared than to be hungry, right? Pack a little lunch cooler right now, keep it in your fridge until you leave - and then in your car - if you don't need it, GREAT!

... I feel incredibly self-concious if I bring my own food into a restaurant- especially a sit-down restaurant. I've always thought it was rude to do unless there's a legitimate allergy- which I do not have. And my friends also know that I don't have a legitimate allergy... and my one friend will definitely tease me if I start packing my lunch/dinner to bring inside restaurants- ESPECIALLY since he and I have the same views on bringing own meals into restaurants.

THIS is the real root of the issue. If you're uncomfortable taking some food with you - for legitimate health reasons, if not an allergy - then you need to either reassess your commitment to the program or your fear of being chastised. If you want to make this work in a social circle (like a church youth group) that revolves around food, you're going to have to man up or back down - that's all there is to it. Almost every one of us has had to make the program work in awkward situations. You'll get compassion and understanding from this group, but not coddling. You've been given plenty of great ideas, now it's up to you to run with them or not.

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I would simply add my own experience. I want this way of eating to make me feel good, be healthy, be stronger, sleep better, not feel bloated or have an upset stomach, etc. It isn't just a 30 day thing for me. So, I have had to learn to plan. This doesn't mean I have to know all the details of what I am going to eat or where. It does however mean that I need to plan for the regular occurrence of eating somewhere where it may be challenging.

So--I keep Primal Pacs in my purse, bags of nuts in my car, cans of tuna in my office desk, etc., etc. The point is that if I have to grab some bites of one of my emergency items in order to get some protein/fat in me before I go somewhere and order a salad with oil and vinegar I CAN because I planned not necessarily for a specific situation for but ANY situation so that I can feel good about my choices and not go hungry.

Hope this makes sense. Also, true friends will be proud and supportive of your commitment.

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I need to find Primal Pacs. I've looked at all the local grocery stores and Target, but nobody sells them.

I still think bringing food into restaurants is RUDE, and not every place has salad with oil and vinegar, so I think I'm just going to skip going out with friends. I just do not see how I can eat out on this plan at all.

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You can order Primal Pacs online--I don't think you can find them in stores. There website is here: http://primalpacs.com/

I'm not suggesting you take food in with you (though I realize others have). More so that you have a healthy snack before going and then do the best you can when out. I will say that it probably took until the end of my first W30 for me to feel pretty comfortable/confident going out to eat.

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I used to find this very hard but soon got over it. What I usually do is either eat before I go and then don't eat at the restruant. I'd explain to the people who I'm going with why I'm not eating there and not to feel bad! Or I tourture the waiter and tell him ive every intolerance under the sun :P usually works.

It's the same as going out for a night. I live in Ireland, and people like to drink. I stopped going out as I didn't want to consume alcohol (an Irish person who doesn't drink????!!) but I just drink some water with lemon or lime! Or coffee... People find it amazing too.

It's all confidence and having the ability to fight through it, and focus on yourself rather than others.

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