Handling Social Engagements

Maintaining a ‘paleo’ lifestyle or completing a ‘paleo’ challenge can be tricky when social engagements with non-paleo friends and family are on the agenda!! If you are in the midst of a strict paleo trial or if you want to avoid a food hangover, what can you do when the invitation to a party or event arises?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1) Be the inviter! 
Have people over to your house so that you can be in charge of the menu. There are many ‘paleo-approved’ meals that many wouldn’t think twice about. It may also be an opportunity to show any friends that think you are a total weirdo that the food is amazing and it’s still “normal.” (examples shown below)
2) Offer to bring a dish.
If you are going to someone else’s house to enjoy a meal together, bring a ‘paleo-friendly’ option along to compliment the meal. Pick a nutrient-packed dish that will “get you through” the evening with plenty of substance.
• Cauliflower rice dish
• Homemade chicken wings
3) Eat before you go.
Before you leave your house, enjoy foods that fit your lifestyle so that you don’t “have” to eat at the event. You may be able to find enough friendly choices at the event to nibble on and still appear social, but you won’t give-in to foods your are trying to stay away from due to temptation on an empty stomach.
4) It should be the people around you that make a social event what it is, not the food and excessive drinking.
Engage in conversation rather than food. Carry around a wine glass with sparkling water or a cocktail glass with soda water and lime. Remind yourself how you want to feel the next day and what your goals are.
5) If you are in the middle of a ‘paleo’ challenge,
and are planning a get-together at someone else’s home, simply let them know ahead of time that you have committed to a trial focused on meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds. If you are at a big-event and people start asking you questions about what you are eating, or aren’t eating, tell them the same thing: “I’m in the middle of a nutrition challenge.”
6) Intolerance and allergies:
If you aren’t in the midst of a “challenge,” but don’t want to sabotage your new lifestyle, and how your gut feels, politely tell people you have discovered some food intolerance and allergies. Tell them you are allergic to gluten, beans and dairy. Tell them that you eat meat, veggies and natural oils because that’s what your body tolerates – “I feel better with a focus on these foods.” You never have to use the word ‘paleo’ or ‘primal’ or ‘diet’.
Anyone else have other strategies they use for social engagements? Please share in the comments section below.

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