Last night, I went to a rooftop event for the Chicago Cubs game – which means you don’t have different vendors to choose from. There is one menu with a few options, and unfortunately they are mostly ooey-gooey, greasy, salty, carb-a-licious! Not to mention all the beer, I felt like I was in Psychostick’s “Beer” music video. I like the song, but not too fond of the after-math that comes with the drink.

Anyway…You know that you are going to an event where you might not have the healthiest of options, what’s a paleo/gluten-free/vegetarian to do? It can be an issue, but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t need to be so difficult!

healthy beast

1. PRE-SNACK: Wait, I have to eat before I eat?
Not exactly. But imagine you don’t eat anything beforehand. You get to the event and you may not eat for another hour. In the meantime, your hunger is gaining, anything that comes in front of you is subject to being scarfed down in a nano-second. The first thing you see, you don’t care, it’s going in! To avoid this ravenous hunger, have a little healthy snack on the way out the door. It won’t fill you up entirely, but it will push aside all those thoughts like “I don’t care what I eat, I just need something, ANYTHING” – because that “anything” might turn out to be junk. If this is an event where you can easily access a cooler in your car, or don’t feel strange about stashing some snacks in your bag, by all means, bring some healthy options with you!

Pre-snack examples:
Carrots and celery sticks, small handful of almonds or other nuts, slices of avocado and tomato, a small side salad, an apple or banana

2. MENTALLY PREPARE: Signal your inner healthy beast to get ready!
There WILL be junk at this event and you haven’t made it this far to just let your guard down to pig out on everything in sight. Remind yourself about WHY you are doing this. Are you trying to reach a goal? If your goal is important to you, then you won’t let a little temptation get in the way of reaching that, right?! You can do this!

-Scope out all the options available and look for key things that fit into your healthy lifestyle.
-Focus on your REAL foods like vegetables, fruit, non-processed meats, nuts, seeds.
-Don’t be afraid to ask if there are any other options for vegetarians – they may just offer you a salad!
-Deconstruct items by removing the unhealthy parts, for example: Take your normal hamburger or chicken sandwich and order it with no bun or cheese, and ask for extra toppings (lettuce, tomato, etc.). *NOTE: If you have Celiac, simply removing products containing gluten may not be ideal. Foods in close proximity to gluten products may be subject to cross contamination. – A great tip from a fellow non-gluten eater GFDougie*

Guess what? At my event last night, I asked if they had a vegetarian option and they DID! See, not so scary! I had to wait a few extra minutes, but in the end it was very rewarding. I was presented with a nice big veggie burger. I removed the bun and added a bunch of tomatoes. Just look at all those colorful veggies (it may not look as appetizing in the photo, but I can assure you it was awesome)….

veggie burger, vegetarian, healthy meal

Seriously, it is difficult to go to events and have to feel like the odd one out – not drinking tons of alcohol or eating fattening foods. But you know who you are and what you are doing this for. If you indulged in some of the greasiness, ok ok… it’s ok! We all do it sometimes. This is an event, not an everyday thing, so hopefully you can get back on track the second you are out of there. Learn from your mistakes and do a little better next time. Don’t stress yourself out or put yourself down for “cheating”. This will only create negative feelings – which can lead to not wanting to stay on track in the long run out of frustration.

Good luck! Though I think after all that, you won’t need it, right? ;)

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