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Surviving Social

Posted May 30 2013 1:00am

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Choosing a 30 day timeframe in which to tackle the Whole30 program proved to be difficult.  At every turn I found something on my calendar that put a wee hitch in how I was going to pull this off.  Being on a strict diet can really mess with social time!  I promptly decided there’s never a ‘good’ time to do these things and opted to just deal with the situations as they came.

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Within the first week of my Whole30 I attended a volunteer event with my coworkers.  For the most part it was no big deal… I brought my own coffee with coconut milk, passed on the free cookies, and made sure I ate a good breakfast before I went.

The trouble came when the gang invited me to join them for lunch afterwards.  I initially said no thanks but to be honest, I really wanted to go!  This was my first event with these girls and part of the fun of these things is the social aspect.  So I changed my mind and tagged along to the local burger bistro and hoped for the best.

I found that I could order a plain burger on a bed of lettuce, asked them to cook mine in a dry pan because they used canola oil (which is not W30 compliant) and ordered a side salad with lemon wedges.  Sure, it was about the most boring meal on the planet, but I was there for company and it was really fun.  I’m glad I went and proud of myself for sticking to the W30 rules!

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That same weekend Michael decided he’d like to host an impromptu family BBQ.  Not wanting to rain on the parade (like the weather did on our day!) I put on my thinking cap and came up with options that I could eat that everyone else would enjoy.

Believe it or not, Costco came through for me!  I found some really great frozen burgers with no crazy additives, chicken breasts, Wholly Guacamole, and a huge shrimp tray.  I bought a fruit platter and a carton of strawberries, which I turned into a huge fruit salad and picked up the ingredients to make a really fun bigass salad.

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{Mixed leafy greens, sliced Gala apple, red onion, fresh basil, roasted beets and carrots, tossed with just olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper.  I also crisped up some whole pecans in some coconut oil to throw on at the end.}

There was homemade potato salad and other yummy BBQ favourites on the buffet but I was totally happy with my W30 meal.  Filling and delish!

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The following weekend I hosted Girl’s Night at my place.  Oh sure!  A hostess who tells you she can’t eat the usual bags of licorice, brie and baguette, or share in the bottles of wine.  Good times, eh?

Well, my girls were super supportive and rallied with no problems at all.  We feasted on homemade guacamole, devilled eggs with homemade olive oil mayo, cold shrimp, apple chips, fresh veggies and a creamy cashew dip I put together.  While they all sipped on wine, I killed a bottle of Perrier.  :)

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The very next day the sun was shining so Michael hosted another family BBQ.  Thankfully there were still the compliant burgers and grilled chicken, and this time I loaded up on more salad, grilled zucchini and sliced avocado.  Second time around was easy!

Not to say that I didn’t really want to partake in the other things, because sometimes I really did wish I could have a glass of wine or an ice cold beer… but I knew it was just 30 days and I really only wanted these things because I couldn’t have them.  Well, screw you cravings.  I know what you’re all about!  You can’t beat me! 

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Even my Mama got sucked into my Whole30 since it overlapped Mother’s Day.  I always head to my hometown to spend Mother’s Day with her, and we have a tradition of going out for a steak and seafood dinner.  This year she agreed to postpone and instead I cooked us a lovely dinner at home.  Chicken, baked yams and asparagus.

The next morning I wanted to make sure she still got a tasty brunch, so I tried my hand at the Salmon Cakes from It Starts with Food (yummy!), topped with over easy eggs, and served with wilted spinach and sliced avocado.  Mom was happy, so I was happy!

So, the point is, it can be done.  Just like the rest of this diet lifestyle, it requires a lot more thought and preparation that most of us are used to…but it comes together and everything works out just fine. 

In the end, these social situations are really about the people and not the food anyway, right?!  A good lesson for all of us.

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