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MyW30

Drinks and snacks with friends

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Hi all,

How do you deal with eating and drinking out? I do not really miss the drinks or snacks or whatever per se. I actually like the whole30 food better in moat cases. Still I hate not being able to just eat and drink the same as my friends. It makes me feel left out even though they are very understanding and cool about it. I just hate not being able to have a glass of wine with them for example. I don't like going and eating out that much anymore this way. Is it just the offer I've got to make? Because I am really starting to wonder whether it is worth the offer now... What do you guys do about this?

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First, remember that a strict whole30 is just 30 days plus your reintroductions, it's not forever and isn't intended to be. Those occasions with friends are where your food freedom will come into play, once your whole30 is over -- then you get to decide if a glass of wine is worth it, or if you'd rather stick to something non-alcoholic, and you get to decide if it's worth it to you to sometimes have non-whole30 foods while you hang out with friends. Sometimes it might be, sometimes it might not, but it will be completely your choice, not some rule that someone else has set for you. Sometimes it is easier when you know you can have these things if you want them, but you decide that you don't. 

It may help to find things to do that aren't centered around food. For instance, you could go to museums or shows. For me, I met most of my close friends taking craft classes and we still go take classes or hang out and craft. Or you could hike together or enter fun runs or 5ks. Go learn rock climbing or take dance lessons or archery lessons or axe throwing.

If you do tend to get together for meals or snacks, find places that have foods you can eat, or invite them to your place for a meal or a movie or a game night. If you tend to always go to the same one or two places, see if you can talk to the chef or someone in charge (at a time when they aren't busy), and see if there's something they could come up with for you that would work so there would be something you can order when you do want to have something to eat.

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Getting together with friends where the socialization doesn't revolve around food/drink can be helpful, I agree... but I've found it far more enjoyable to bring friends into my world during Whole30, having them over for a compliant dinner that they have trouble believing is actually free from everything I'm not eating. Doing this flips the situation so it's no longer about me being different and what I "can't have" that they're having, instead putting what I CAN have front and center in a way that lets them see that I'm not actually missing out on good food. Sometimes it's great to let them guess at whether or not you're catering to them by putting out non-compliant foods (then really wonder when I eat it, too, especially when I've made vegan "cheese"!)... sometimes it's fun to have them help prepare the food, so they can see just how little it takes to get amazing tastes with compliant ingredients.

That said, I wasn't one to ever enjoy wine and I've been sober since long before I heard of Whole30, so the types of social situations that would typically involve wine or other drinking haven't really been a frequent thing for me... and when I've had friends drinking, it definitely hasn't been any issue for me to say that I'd go without (and they wouldn't have thought to ask if I wanted any, for that matter). I do think that bringing them into a compliant dining experience could give them some good insight into what you're doing for yourself, though, so hopefully that's an option that could work for you.

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When I go out with friends, I order a sparkling water with a lime.  This makes me feel fancier than if I were just drinking plain water. If we are just hanging at someone's house, I'll bring my own Whole30 approved appetizer and some of my own seltzer water.  If it is a holiday event, I make sure to offer to bring a dish! Remember, this is your journey! 

I would also recommend being open and honest with your friends so that you can gain their support.  Maybe tell them that going out to eat is really stressful for you right now because you're trying to focus on your health. Tell them about your personal goals so that they understand where you're coming from.  Then you could then suggest a movie or bonfire night!

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