Most of us love a good summer event – be it a backyard BBQ, outdoor concert, or a sporting event. But for many people working on improving their health and happiness, these events spell TROUBLE. The good news is that it really is possible to enjoy a sticky summer night with friends, without feeling like a bloated walrus.
The most important thing to remember is to choose wisely – I don’t believe in any diet of pure restriction (except in the case of an allergy). It’s not healthy for our mental well being, and puts us in a constant state of feeling deprived, which isn’t fun for anyone. Does your Aunt Edna make your favorite homemade fudge every year for the family picnic? Then by all means, indulge and savor every bite of a reasonable serving. But as for the wavy potato chips, and store-bought coleslaw you can find pretty much anywhere? Not worth it.
Secondly, remember the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. Whether you are new to navigating social events with a dietary restriction or focusing on eating real, unprocessed foods, always always always be prepared. Bring a dish that you both love eating, and meets your needs. Chances are there will be other guests that will delight in a healthier option on the table, and you know you’ll have something to eat. It really is important that you love it and look forward to eating it – it’s pretty hard to watch everyone eating the delicious family reunion spread, if you are munching on brown rice crackers and sipping on water.
Most sporting events will allow you to bring in food, just be sure to check the website or call the site for specifics. Some ballparks allow food, but only in a soft lunch box. Others allow hard coolers, but you can’t bring in any glass containers. Just be sure to check before you pack yourself a delicious and healthy feast. And while you’re at it, send a big hearty hug to the environment by packing your own flatware. I love the reusable bamboo set from to-goware.com.
Lastly, remember what you are really there for – seeing family, enjoying music, cheering for your favorite team, etc. and keep that in the forefront of your mind. Savor that piece of Aunt Edna’s fudge, then head on over to the family croquet tournament and get ready to show your skills.