By: Leanne Ely
So, you’ve adopted a new lifestyle and you feel amazing. And now you get the big invite to the family BBQ/potluck/party/etc and you know what that means! You start fretting over what you’ll be able to eat and what people will have to say about you avoiding the hotdogs, “salads” and desserts. But you know that you’ll just feel terrible if you pig out on mayonnaise-based salads, chips, sodas and those other foods you’ve been trying so hard to avoid. Your fretting turns to anxiety, which means you’re not looking forward to what should be a fun family gathering.
Good news: There’s no need to stop being social during the summer! It’s easier than you may think to stick to your healthy eating regime. Here are some strategies you can use to successfully enjoy your next BBQ invite, without that “I shouldn’t have eaten that” stomachache when you get home.
1. Contribute. Bring your own meat to put on the grill, or take some shellfish to share! Your host or hostess may appreciate that you are cognizant of the costs involved with putting on a BBQ. Bring a big garden salad, a veggie tray, some paleo deviled eggs or a side dish of your choice so that you know there’s going to be at least something there for you to eat with your burger patty or steak. If you’re trying very hard to stay on track, this is your best strategy.
2. Eat beforehand. Fill up on veggies and water before you leave home so you don’t arrive to the soiree in starvation mode. Then, just say no to the buns and eat what you feel suits your diet. Most people will understand if you’re trying to cut back on grains. It’s fairly commonplace right now, so it might not be that big of a deal to skip the bread.
3. Get out of the kitchen. If there’s mingling happening in the kitchen, around the chips and other former favorites of yours, then get out of Dodge! Go and chat with the folks outside, or in another area of the house. You don’t want to be eating all by yourself but remove yourself from temptation if you can.
4. Loosen up a little bit. There are times when you have no other option than to just make the best of a situation. For instance, if your child is invited to a birthday party and the only thing offered is pizza or hotdogs, try to loosen up a bit and let your child join the other kids at the party and eat what’s being served unless there’s an allergy to contend with. When my kids were little, I would just go with the flow at birthday parties. Mind you, I had to scrap the children off the ceiling with a spatula from all that sugar, but honestly I didn’t want the kids sticking out like little sore thumbs and having the host feel judged because we don’t eat cake/hotdogs/soda/etc.